Vatten Hus Cottage Holds Rich History and Unique Story

Amy Adamle
Updated: July 19, 2018 08:54 AM

A cottage that's surrounded by a rich history, full of timeless stories of the North Shore, has a story of it's own.


"The history of the property goes back quite a ways," Mike, a co-owner, said. 

The land became part of the family and they're carrying on the legacy.

"My parents purchased a large parcel of property here in the 1960's from a deceased Norwegian fisherman and it's been in the family ever since," Mike said. 

Owners, Rosanne and Mike decided to follow in his parents' footsteps, creating something of their own at the same time.

"They retired here and we wanted to basically do the same thing," Mike said.  "We built in 2000 and we have been here for almost 20 years now and it has been wonderful."

They wanted to keep what they were building small and agreed on an Asian-influenced, one story design.

"Small, comfortable, efficient, intimate," were the words they used to describe their place.  "And sweet, very sweet," Rosanne and Mike added. 

They call their North Shore cottage, Vatten Hus, Swedish for "the water house," paying homage to the great Lake Superior.

"Because of the big blue, it is right outside our window," Rosanne said.  

As owners, not only did they open their doors for the tour, but they enjoyed going along and taking in other people's homes as well.

"The interesting thing for us is, every cabin that you go to is different and the relationship every cabin has to do the shore is different, and so it never gets old to visit a new property," Mike said.  "Everyone of them is different in its own way."

What gives their home character is something that wasn't planned.

"We have cement floors and there's a big crack in that floor," Rosanne said.  "It is not going to go away, if we filled it, it will crack somewhere else, so I decided to turn it into Highway 61."

That's right, the crack is now an iconic roadway, a fitting tribute for a cottage and site hugging the water and the roadway.

"From Duluth all the way to Canada," Rosanne said. 

The jagged, slender crack shows all the stops along the way, that we know so well.

"We have little markers for different towns along the crack," Rosanne said.  "We have a nice little marker for 'You are here' and its become kind of a joke."

"I think that is pretty creative solution," one tour-goer said. 

They took something slightly broken and made it beautiful. Up where the waves crash along the shore, and the wind rustles the leaves, it's easier to take everything in stride.

"We love our cabin, we love being here," Mike said.  "We love the shore too, it's a wonderful place for us."


Amy Adamle

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