Never before available to the public, this one-of-a-kind property was a sanctuary and escape from our parents' busy lives. "Bittersweet" was a piece of land in Saxeville, Wisconsin, before it merged with the vision of my father. With the help of my mom, who had a distinct eye for decorative detail, and a builder/contractor who physically assisted in carrying out their dream, our family retreat and haven was born. This 80 acre sanctuary for wildlife, and humans alike, remains a family member and one we long for when we are not able to be there to enjoy the many gifts she has bestowed on us for over 40 years. This one of a kind property remains a living entity, well-tended to by our caretaker and friend, who loves her as much as we do. We named the property "Bittersweet" because of the wild Bittersweet plant that grows there and because of all the work and joy the property represents.
As my father was in the scrap business, the house has had manifestations over the years reflecting unique finds only my dad could realize. The original slate roof from the Neenah, Wisconsin, city hall, for example was in place until a hail storm forced us to replace it. The house is built around a very unusual square stone silo (from the original barn that had long since been destroyed), in which a spiral staircase resides as the means to get to the second floor and lower level of this three story rustic home. A man made pond of 3 acres, with a small private beach area, welcomes swimmers, paddle boaters and those ready to fish. Known as the "Disneyland of fishing" for the well-stocked contents of the pond, it creates a wake-up call effect for those youngsters who go on to fish in other lakes and have to wait far more patiently for their catch! Make sure to throw those fish back so everyone can enjoy the fun! A private tennis court is located in one of the naturally occurring valleys on the property. The land is sprawling and perfect for long walks and outdoor camping. There are trails that ramble around the property. Bicycling is very popular on the quiet roads around Long Lake.
The interior of the home has a fully equipped kitchen, and formal dining area that looks out on the pond; seeing deer come to the salt lick is a favorite meal time sight, as are the majestic windmill spinning with a slight wind and, of course, the calm of the pond. The covered deck that runs along the north side of the home has panoramic views of the beach, pond and woods beyond. You'll really enjoy our local thunderstorms from the safety of the large overhanging roof. We've spent countless hours enjoying a cold drink and watching the clouds and wildlife that come to the pond for water or a bath most evenings.
There are four bedrooms, three full bathrooms and a ½ bath; a large living room area on the main floor is also surrounded by windows with a perfect view of the wrap around cedar-planked deck and beach area. Upstairs there is a pool table a sun deck and more sitting room as well as a bedroom and bath. The lowest level has direct access to the outdoors and beach, with two bedrooms and a full bathroom. Entertaining is a dream with a huge buffet countertop with barstools between the dining and living rooms.
The galley kitchen is fully stocked with dishes for over a dozen, pots pans, blender, mixer, coffee maker, microwave and plenty of wine and specialty glasses. Just bring your own food and bottled water (for those who don't prefer fresh well water) and cleanup is a breeze with the glass top electric stove, dishwasher and disposal. You'll love the gas grill just outside the sliding glass doors off the dining room and make sure to bring a cold beverage as you grill and enjoy the view of the pond, fields and woods beyond.
We provide all the bed linens, bath towels and beach towels. We only ask that you keep up with the beach towels while you're there and feel free to use the washer and dryer to keep up with your own personal laundry.
There's a king sized bed in the main floor master bedroom, two twin beds in the upstairs bedroom, a queen sized bed in the lower bedroom and a bunk bed with a queen sized mattress on the bottom and a twin sized mattress on top in the second lower bedroom. We provide an additional cot (in the downstairs bedroom) and two sleeping bags for anyone who'd like to curl up on the sofa or floor.
The road leading to Bittersweet is ¼ of a mile and adds to the complete privacy. The changing topography - flat land, small hills and valleys, heightens the overall experience of being rejuvenated and restored by nature’s beauty. There are no neighbors to be seen in any direction. Take off your watches and settle into what we call "Bittersweet Time."
The property is across the street from Long Lake which has a public access in case you want to bring a boat. There's grocery shopping, a theater, many restaurants and other shops just 12 miles away in Waupaca. If you are looking for adventure, consider taking the Crystal River Canoe Trip from Ding's Dock. Looking for antiques? Check out Walker's Barn nearby or many other local antique stores.
You'll enjoy satellite television and high speed wireless internet along with an assortment of Disney films for the kids on VHS. You'll find plenty of board games and a game table in the living room. The pool table upstairs will entertain your more competitive side and don't forget to make a phone call from the antique wall phone upstairs. We'll bet you've never seen an antique coal stove, but you'll see one upstairs along with a bevy of antiques, custom lighting (the chandelier in the silo above the spiral staircase was fashioned from the brass drying drum of a local paper machine) and a real one-of-a-kind dining room table made from an antique wood pulley mounted on a truck transmission case.
NOTE: Bittersweet is not to be considered a handicapped accessible property. There are steps to the front door, a sunken living room and more steps from the deck down to the beach.
We are delighted to be able to share our beloved "Bittersweet" for the very first time and hope that you will take home the kind of memories that three generations of our family have made there...