In the “things I found while looking at other things” category comes Quirky cottages in Charlevoix are winter delights from the Detroit Free Press.
Earl Young tourism is a Charlevoix specialty. The quirky builder erected 30 stone homes in town between 1918 and the 1950s, all so unusual they are often compared to works of art. Some look like mushroom houses, with undulating roofs capping boulder walls. Some are tiny. Some are enormous. Most have incredible detail — doorways of stone, window frames made of boulders, chimneys that look frosted by a giddy cake decorator. The early houses are arts and crafts or chalet style, but the later homes are rounded and organic, part Tolkien, part Keebler elf.
More about Earl Young’s cottages at the Freep including a number of Earl Young houses that are available as vacation rentals including Charlevoix’s fixture The Weathervane. View more Earl Young House photos from the Charlevoix Historical Society, check out the Earl Young Guidebook and take a video tour of the Earl Young Hobbit Houses in Charlevoix with MyNorth.
The best resource is the Earl Young Collection at the Charlevoix Library. With everything from the ad for Earl’s first development, Boulder Park and the opening of the Weathervane to an article on his book Charlevoix the Beautiful, there’s some great stuff to be explored! Let’s close with a bit from another article from the Freep on Young, this one from July 29, 1973 that begins:
Stone houses seem to sprout as naturally as dandelions from the soil of this pleasant Lake Michigan resort community.
And they do because of an already legendary 84-year-old man named Earl A. Young, who built them all.
For more than half a century Young has combed lonesome fields and dusty quarries searching for the odds and ends of nature. He blends stones and timber with an architect’s skill and a geologist’s respect for his raw material, and so far he has fitted more than 40 local landscapes with his art.
“l have a very strong feeling for stone,” Young explained recently as he sat in his wood-paneled office on the lower level of one of his most flamboyant creations, the Weathervane Inn, a local restaurant.
“Stones have their own personalities. People say I’m crazy when I say so, but they really do. Why I found a stone that weighed 160 tons. It was formed 350 million years ago at the bottom of a warm sea and was carried here 10,000 years ago by glaciers.”