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The Redbud Cottage--Beach & Quiet. Lake Sara Waterfront & Wood Fires.

Bedrooms 3
Space 1,500 sq ft
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 2 - 3 nights


About the property

3 Bedrooms with King Beds, 2 Baths. On The Lake. Sunny Deck & Wood Fireplace.

Located in the heart of central Illinois, the Redbud Cottage at Lake Sara is a great destination for families or friends, or a perfect stopover for a trip through the Great Midwest. With your own swimming beach, a floating dock to play on, a beautiful wood-burning fireplace, a dock for fishing, and a large deck for sitting in the sun, enjoy the peace and quiet of our little wooded cottage on the lake.

Every season is beautiful on Lake Sara, with Spring and Fall being particularly pretty and quiet. The Summer water is wonderful for swimming, and warm from May through September. Enjoy eating on our old family picnic table by the water. Watch the kids swim or play on the beach, or have fun taking a lovely float yourself in Lake Sara's clean, warm water.

Wake boarding, tubing, and water skiing are local favorites. There is good fishing for bass, crappie, catfish, and blue gill, especially in the Spring and Fall. Lake Sara sets aside special quiet hours for fishermen. Winter is a great time for crisp woodsy walks and warming fires.

Our 3 bedroom, 2 bath cottage sleeps up to 8 in our 3 king size beds and a couple of wonderful wide sleeping couches in front of the fireplace. We have a nice kitchen with a Keurig Coffemaker, a French coffee press, a dishwasher, and all new dishes and pots and pans. Our washer and dryer and two-car garage make this a perfect spot for an extended stay. A canoe and a kayak available for the use of our guests.

Inside, enjoy the separation of a master suite upstairs, as well as the two-and-a-half story, book-filled living room with its massive stone fireplace. You can burn local wood that you'll find stacked at your door. One of our favorite sports is sitting with a book in front of the fire--wine and s'mores are optional.

Our lot is full of tall, beautiful oaks and maples, and is in a pretty neighborhood on the quiet western end of Lake Sara. Redbud trees line Lorton road and are being planted among our woods, bringing their vivid purple/pink flowers in Spring. Views from our huge deck are all water and trees--you can only see one other house. The Lake is surrounded by good Illinois farmland, so it's a wonderful spot for long flat bike rides and walks.

More Details

David Hartmann
Member since: 2013
Premier Partner

This partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks French, Spanish, I speak a very little bit of Spanish and French.
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
23 June, 2018

About David Hartmann

Dee and I grew up in Effingham, and I spent all my Summers on Lake Sara from the time I was five. We love this beautiful quiet lake, and own the white brick house next door, which we purchased in 1987.

We regularly swim laps from our dock around the point to the Redbud Cottage dock and back. This quiet cove is a gem for swimming, and has beautiful views across the lake to the undeveloped public land one sees there. Many of our nights here are spent out by our fire pit overlooking the lake, where we get to watch the sun set and the stars rise over the lake's calm waters.

We come to Lake Sara as often as we can--probably 40 weeks a year--for long weekends and all family holidays. My extended family still owns my Mother's house--the 'famous' Green House--on the far end of the lake by the dam. So, we're very familiar with Lake Sara, with Effingham, and with our lovely Central Illinois area. We're happy to answer any of your questions, and make suggestions for dining or day trips here in the Great Midwest.

We hope you'll enjoy your stay on Lake Sara as much as we enjoy living here.

David Hartmann purchased this cottage in 2012

Why David Hartmann chose Effingham

We were happy to be able to secure this pretty cottage with its stunning fireplace after our long-term neighbors decided to give it up. We admit to lusting after the pleasant little beach that is a feature of The Redbud Cottage. We are now able to play with our grandchildren on it!

Our neighborhood, in fact our whole end of the lake, is very quiet and wooded. Things are much less developed around us than they are on most of the rest of Lake Sara.

We have five grown children, all of whom are married. They spent most of their holidays and hundreds of long weekends here as they were growing up. They learned to swim like fish here, became very capable skiers and wake boarders, and built forts in our woods (you can still see the ruins).

What makes this cottage unique

I don't think you can beat the view from the cottage out to the lake. And, sitting on the dock, one has unobstructed views the full length of Shumway cove, Lake Sara's smoothest and quietest water.

Few of Lake Sara's lots have their own beach. This one has a long sloping sand entrance into the water, perfect for children or for those who want to cool off without actually swimming. This quiet cove, just off the main lake channel, is narrow enough to swim across, but wide enough to be private. The land just across from the Redbud Cottage is public land that will never have houses built on it.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Effingham in Summit

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 1500 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 16:00 / Check-out: 11:00
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome ...
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lake View ...
  • Lakefront ...
  • rural ...
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Master Bathroom - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , Modern, and very private on the second floor.
    Main Bathroom - Toilet , Bath with Shower , Modern, on main floor.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Master Bedroom - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed
    Glenna's Room - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed , Green like Glenna's 'Green House' on the Lake
    Redbud Room - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed
  • Master Bedroom has a lovely king-size pencil post bed and plenty of storage. On the second floor with the Master Bathroom. The two bedrooms on the first floor have king-size beds and are adjacent to the main bathroom on the first floor.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Boat ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair accessible ...
Onsite Services:
  • Massage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • library
  • live theatre
  • marina
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • bird watching
  • Boating
  • Miniature golf
  • scenic drives
  • Shopping
  • walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • Basketball Court
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • Kayaking
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
Massages (for a separate fee) are available from Serenity Theraputic Massage--815-829-5090--Barb Kilzer, Proprietor. Highly recommended by David and Dee!


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(117 traveller reviews)

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The Redbud Cottage--Beach & Quiet. Lake Sara Waterfront & Wood Fires.
average rating of 4.786325 based on 117 reviews

Great for family get togethers

  • 5 of 5

Swimming, fishing, bonfires, kayaking, canoeing, bird watching, grilling, cooking, and plenty of drinking! All were excellent. We caught every species of fish from the pier! Small kitchen, and the cabin needed a bit of maintenance, but it’s a lake cabin. The owner is directly next door if you need anything.

  • Review Submitted: 10-Jun-2018
  • Date of Stay: June 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Awesome Lake Sara getaway!

  • 5 of 5

Such a nice, quiet place to spend a few days (or longer)! The cottage is really well stocked, too - kayaks, life jackets, bicycles, we even found more obscure things like the required caps tubers must wear while on the lake. Highly recommend Red Bud Cottage and its owner, David, is super easy to work with.


  • Review Submitted: 03-Jun-2018
  • Date of Stay: May 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Mahomet, IL

Serene Place

  • 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Redbud Cottage. The house is clean and everything we used worked. The dock and slings worked out great for our fish/ski boat. It is very quiet at night, we enjoyed hearing owls and even sent owl sounds back to them by using a blue tooth speaker, the owls responded but did not fly near our speaker, darn!

The beds are amazing, slept well every night! The kitchen is well stocked with what you need to make all meals. We gave this a 5 star because it is a 5 star place to stay!

  • Review Submitted: 27-May-2018
  • Date of Stay: May 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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St. Charles, MO

Relaxing, Peaceful, and Charming!!

  • 5 of 5

We really enjoyed our stay at the Redbud Cottage!! Caught lots of fish, went on kayak rides and made wonderful memories around the fire by the lake. Lake Sara was a quiet, beautiful lake. We were able to rent a pontoon boat from the local marina and see the entire lake. Absolutely spectacular!! The house was warm and cozy and the beds were super comfortable. It was stocked with more than I would imagine with all the necessities. It was such a great weekend!!

  • Review Submitted: 16-May-2018
  • Date of Stay: May 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Decatur, Il.

Amazing location!!

  • 4 of 5

This place is amazing. Easy to get to. Very private but yet close to Effingham!! Loved being right on Lake Sara.

The sad part is this place needs lots of TLC. Lots of stuff very neglected. The list of amenities says TV, but failed to say it was for movies only and it was in the upstairs bedroom closet! A list of instruction for things to operate or us would have been nice.

We stay in a cabin in the woods every year. This was the most expensive one we've stayed in and the worse maintained!! I wish I could go back and fix everything that needed fixed because it is such a little piece of heaven that has been ignored!!

  • Review Submitted: 11-May-2018
  • Date of Stay: May 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We'd like to thank this guest for their open and honest review. We're glad that they think our cottage is amazing, despite the problems they found. We apologize that we did not make our TV situation more clear on the website [more on this below], though we have discussed it at length in previous posts. We're never happy to have guests who are disappointed in any way, so we're very sorry that they were at all displeased with our Lake Sara home. We will be very happy to refund their entire payment for their stay if they will agree to send us their list of our needed improvements. It will be good to know where to start. I only object to the use of the word "neglected". We will always have little repairs to do, and thank our guests for letting us know what needs attention. However, I do need to rise to defend our beautiful little cottage. We know it is not perfect, as it is nearly 50 years old and (like its owner) needs a lot of maintenance. But we can assure you that we have invested every dollar we have received in 5 years of business on improvements for our home. First, our professional housekeeper does a marvelous job of keeping the place spic and span and in general good order. Previous guests attest to this. We know we need to remodel our little kitchen, but that's a large project that will take some time. But we keep it clean and well-stocked, with 5 ways to make coffee. Meanwhile, we have significantly reduced our carbon footprint by re-insulating the house from crawlspace to attic, by moving to cleaner natural gas, and by buying all new HVAC equipment. In just the last two years we have two new decks, new bikes, all new king mattresses, new kayaks, new antiques [an odd phrase], new art, new bedding, new yard games, 4X-improved wifi, and miracle of miracle, even a new big-screen TV! And 1000 books and dozens of games for families to enjoy. Now we admit that it's odd and old fashioned of us to hide our TV in our large master bedroom closet (where it can be watched from the bed). But, we consider that one of our biggest gifts to guests with children. It the kids never see it, they may not whine to watch it. And perhaps that family will have a wonderful face-to-face vacation that is unexpected, and delightful. We don't plan to change on that point. [The TV is light and any guest is welcome to haul it to the location of their choice if they wish.] We're sorry to upset any guests about this. But my Mom never had TV here on the lake & she was very wise.
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Loved everything about this cottage, By far the best rental for the money.

  • 5 of 5

Everything about this cottage we loved, view, beds, deck, everything you need for a great get away. We will definitely be back.

  • Review Submitted: 29-Apr-2018
  • Date of Stay: April 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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firefly grill
Martin's IGA Plus
El Rancherito
Village Wine & Gifts
Cameo Vineyards
Tuscan Hills Winery
Rural King Supply
Nearest Airport
40 Miles
Coles County Memorial Airport
Nearest Barpub
3 Miles
Witts' Barbecue; Larson's Landing on the Lake
Nearest Golf
5 Miles
Cardinal Golf and 4Ways Golf Courses
Nearest Train
10 Miles
Amtrak Chicago-New Orleans line stops in Effingham
Nearest Motorway
7 Miles
Interstate 57 (N/S) and 70 (E/W) meet in Effingham
Nearest Restaurant
5 Miles
Witts' Barbecue; Zona's on the Lake
Nearest Beach
Private beach on property.
Car: necessary

Located in the heart of central Illinois, the Redbud Cottage at Lake Sara is a great destination for families and friends, or a perfect stopover for a trip through the Great Midwest. With your own swimming beach and diving raft, a beautiful wood-burning fireplace, a dock for fishing, and a large deck for sitting in the sun, enjoy the peace and quiet of our little wooded cottage on the lake.

Every season is beautiful on Lake Sara, with Spring and Fall being particularly pretty and quiet. Winter is wonderful with wood fires, quiet woodland walks, and plenty of books. The Summer water is great for swimming, and warm from May through September. Wake boarding, tubing, and water skiing are local favorites. There is good fishing for bass, crappie, catfish, and blue gill. Lake Sara sets aside special quiet hours for fishermen.

Lake Sara is situated in the middle of great Midwestern attractions, just off Interstates 57 and 70 outside Effingham, Illinois. We are 50 minutes from the horse-drawn buggies, antiques, and handmade furniture and quilts of Amish country in Arthur, Illinois. Just 2 hours north is Illinois' Capital and the new Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield.

St. Louis, with the Gateway Arch, its famous Zoo, the lovely Missouri Botanical Gardens (where our daughter was married), Busch Stadium, and Forest Park with Muni outdoor theatre, is 1 and a half hours west. The city with its local sites--including Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site--and wonderful restaurants are an easy day trip from Lake Sara.

Just north of St. Louis is historic Grafton, Illinois. The city is at the center of the region’s Bald Eagle watching area and proudly calls itself 'The Winter Home of The Bald Eagle.' Main Street is lined with restaurants, some antique, craft, and wine shops, and various other attractions, which makes Grafton a popular stopping place for bicyclists on the Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail or for visitors in search of fall foliage color and Bald Eagles. During the warmer months, visitors can take advantage of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers with boating, canoeing, and parasailing activities. There are two interesting river car ferries in the Grafton area. Five miles west of Grafton is Pere Marquette State Park, which is Illinois' largest and most popular state park.

Just 2 hours south is the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge outside Carbondale and the Shawnee National Forest. Chicago and all its sites is 3 and a half hours north, and Indianapolis 2 hours to the east.

The Corvette Fun Fest is held in Effingham each Fall. This year's dates, for the 20th Anniversary of the Fest, are September 19th through the 22nd. Stay with us and park your treasured Corvettes in our clean two-car garage.

Restaurants abound in Effingham. Thelma's Restaurant and The Firefly Grill are excellent for fine dining. Niemerg's Steakhouse is a good, inexpensive local favorite. El Rancherito and other local Mexican restaurants shine. And fast and slow chain restaurants of all types are available along the Interstates. There are also plenty of interesting local bars and a few very good wine shops to suit any tastes.

Effingham, at the center of a budding Central Illinois wine industry, is home to Tuscan Hills Winery, and the following wineries are within 50 miles.

Berryville Vineyards - Claremont, IL

Cameo Vineyards - Greenup, IL

Forsee Vineyards - Coffeen, IL

Fox Creek Vineyards - Olney, IL

Niemerg Family Winery - Findlay, IL

Orchard View Winery - Alma, IL

Pioneer Winery - Palestine, IL

Vahling Vineyards - Stewardson, IL

White Owl Winery - Birds, IL

Willow Ridge Vineyards & Winery - Shelbyville, IL

And finally, Effingham is the site of the World's Largest Cross. It rises 198 feet from the prairie, unobstructed, at the southern junction of Interstates 57 and 70.


Prices & Availability

Ask Owner a Question

Additional pricing information

Cleaning Fee £52.76
Pet Fee £150.74

We're sorry, but our rates are higher for these special Holidays and weekends. We regularly have high demand to rent on Lake Sara during these Family Holidays. PLEASE NOTE: We have a STRICT NO PETS POLICY. Sorry. The pet fee listed will be applied if we find that guests bring their pets uninvited. We don't mean to be rude--we have pets ourselves--but we don't share them with others.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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