Thanks to Insider for this:
Between Lake Huron and the Saginaw Bay in Michigan, a boat-shaped house is selling for $750,000.
The home rests on Lookout Pointe and is an icon of the area, according to the listing by Laura Bush-Kempf at eXp Realty.
5629 E Augres Ave
Au Gres, MI 48703
The unique home looks like a ship emerging from the bluff, and it has a history of being used as a family gathering place.
It is nautically designed both inside and out, making it feel “like a playground” in the 1950s and ’60s, when Barbara Baum Freethy spent her childhood summers in the home, she told Insider.
William Baum, an avid sailor, built the house in 1935 with help from family and friends, according to his granddaughter, Barbara Baum Freethy.
Baum Freethy told Insider her grandfather, William Baum, worked for the family insurance company, but “he probably should have been an architect.”
While he was unhappy with his career, according to Baum Freethy, he loved sailing and owned several old wooden boats.
Baum Freethy said William bought the land and designed a home shaped like a steamship emerging from the bluff. William built the cottage with help from his children and a friend of theirs who was a carpenter, according to Baum Freethy, who added that they completed the home in one year — by 1936.
Baum Freethy said her grandparents lived in the house year-round, and she stayed there in the summers with her family.
Baum Freethy said her cousins’ families built their own cottages on the property and her family visited every summer growing up.
“Every morning, my grandfather would yell, ‘time for a morning dip’ before breakfast and we would run down, jump in the water, and come back up,” Baum Freethy told Insider.
Baum Freethy said the house hasn’t been in her family since her grandfather died in 1970, but much of it looks the same as she remembers.
Baum Freethy said she saw William the year before he died at the cottage, adding that he was reminiscing about the past following the death of his wife, Florence.
“He was just sitting up on the deck, looking out at sea, and he looked so sad,” Baum Freethy said. “And he said, ‘I just miss the way it used to be. I miss my wife,’ and he died soon thereafter.”
None of William’s three children were in a place to take over the house when he died, but some of the interior still looks the same, according to Baum Freethy.
In the kitchen, Baum Freethy said some of the furniture she remembers is still there.
The kitchen table has been there for more than 70 years, according to Baum Freethy.
(Insider reached out to see if the home is selling with any furnishings, but did not hear back at the time of this story.)
Her grandfather built the nautical-style table, she said, and hung a photo behind it. Both are still in the home.
Baum Freethy said she’s glad that the new owners kept the table and picture.
But most of the inside has changed — the five bedrooms once had ocean-blue quilts, Baum Freethy remembers.
There’s a bedroom on the main floor, two bedrooms on the top floor, and two bedrooms on the bottom floor, according to the listing.
Baum Freethy said the house is special because it creates the illusion of being at sea with a steering wheel in the living room and vast windows overlooking the water.
Inside the living room, there is a steering wheel and a view of the lake out several windows
A recent photo of the living room. EXP Realty
“When you would stand at the ship’s wheel looking out of the bow of the ship, you just see water. You don’t have the sense that you’re up on a bluff,” Baum Freethy said. “So for children, it was fabulous to have this recreation of really being out on a ship.”
Other nautical details are dispersed throughout the home, including life rafts and model sailboats.
Another room in the home with a long, thin blue rug and a door at the end of the room
A recent photo of a room in the home. EXP Realty
“The whole scene completely recreated this feeling that you were out at sea,” Baum Freethy said.
The piece of land the home stands on has 180-degree views of the water. Looking out from her grandfather’s house are some of Baum Freethy’s earliest memories, she said.
“One side of the bay would be calm, and the other side would be rough, depending on the winds,” Baum Freethy said of the views from the home. “And that was really fun for a kid.”