In 1947, while living in Cincinnati, we bought 100 feet of lake frontage at $13.00 per foot, and when we sold the property, in 1976, it was appraised at $180.00 per foot. We built our home on that lot and lived there until the fall of 1976. At the time that we built there was no designated access road, from the highway, to our east property line. We just drove wherever we could make a trail. There was a twenty foot Right of Way that started at our east property line and extended to the west end of the Plat. This easement was too narrow to be accepted, by the county, as a roadway and it was much too close to the homes that were there, at that time.
Jim Blaha who owned the farm from which the plat originally came, offered all of us a deal that would provide us with a permanent County road. Jimmy’s proposal was; we were to deed the twenty foot right of way back to him and pay him $1.00 per foot of frontage that each of us owned. In return he would give enough of his land for a roadway that would be wide enough to be acceptable to the County. He would pay for all of the title transfers and the surveying. The road would be located approximately 130 feet from the front of our house, which would give us another 10,000 square feet of lawn.
A couple of the other owners and ourselves were all for the deal, but you would be amazed by the arguments that we got from some of the people, when we tried to sell them on the idea. I wonder what they would think of it now, if they were to compare it to what it would have been if it were not for the generosity and good planning of Jim Blaha. But in the end, we got our road and I guess that most everyone was happy.
I had planned to build our house by myself, but I became so involved in the designing and building of a Power Plant for the Rocky River Paper Company, that I got way behind and could see no way that we could get into it before winter, without some help. I also, during this same period, moved a Box Printing Plant from Chicago to White Pigeon, Michigan and put it in operation, at it’s new location.
I hired a jack-leg carpenter and Ralph Dean Jr., to help him and we moved into the basement on New Years Day, 1949. We lived in the basement for two or three years, and finally borrowed some money and hired a carpenter to finish the top floor. We then moved up stairs.
The house was built into a bank, facing the lake, so that the basement exited, at a level, about five feet above the water line. We lived in that house until the fall of 1976 and then sold it to Mr. and Mrs. Tom Nelson. We then bought a Mobile Home on South Constantine Road.