A Northern Michigan castle where animals rule the roost
Whether you're an animal lover, or simply love to display your prized pieces, to say this Northern Michigan home is the cat's meow, is an understatement!
"Well these are kind of different animal heads," says Mary McNabb, owner of "The Eagle's Nest," as she looks up at her collection of trophy animal heads.
"We love animals, so we have all kinds of critters," says Doug McNabb, owner and designer of the home.
Spread across 345 acres on a private lake, this castle in Fife Lake is more like a village. A village where animals rule the roost. At $5.2 million and more than 8,000 square feet, it's the one-of-a-kind construction that's the most eye-catching.
"It's quality built," says Cindy Anderson, Senior Associate Broker at Coldwell Banker. "When you look around, you look at the chinking, you look at the stonework, you look at the tile work, you look at all the detail that they put into this home."
With a name like "The Eagles Nest," it's owners capture the Northern Michigan experience in every room with each unique piece inside.
"We found this piece of property and drove out here and just fell in love with the property," says Doug McNabb. "It had a small cottage on it, and we always wanted to build a log home, so we decided this is the perfect area."
Built from scratch from 2004 to 2005, from the wood, to stone, to granite, it has one common thread: natural, Michigan-made products and contractors.
"One contractor did all the stonework," says McNabb. "It took him about a year and a half just to do the stonework, so it was quite a project."
The stained glass door: from a church in Petoskey going back more than 100 years. And as you step through time, you see a mix of bronze, crystal and even art deco, with the McNabb's memories of their travels as a museum exhibit. This full-log home features a 20-foot granite waterfall, field stone fireplaces, 34-foot high cathedral ceilings, hardwood and limestone floors, and a little bit of sparkle, of course.
"It's a rustic home, with elegant touches," says "porter Blattenberger, realtor at Coldwell Banker. "There's a 600 lb. chandelier hanging from the ceiling, so, uh, it's safe," he says with a smile.
"That's Doug," says Mary McNabb. "He's a great shopper, and a great decorator. He gets it from his mother!"
And besides a few wandering eyes, it's as private, as you can get.
"We wanted a rural area. This is just like a permanent getaway," says Doug McNabb.
With no one to bother you, you can take a relaxing bath in an old-fashioned wash tub, loosen up in a sauna, or lay down for a catnap in a bed built for a king with another cozy fireplace. With a master bedroom and two bedrooms furnished for the little ones, each has it's own bathroom and laundry area.
Now walk to the balcony with forged iron spindles and railings. There you'll find Tigerwood floors, more furry faces, a game room to keep the kids entertained, and in case your feeling a little thirsty, the streaming waterfall. Head downstairs to the heart of the home: the wide open kitchen.
"When you have a dinner party, where does everybody end up? They end up in the kitchen," says Anderson.
A hammered copper sink with hot water handy, hand-crafted cabinetry, a carved, cottonwood counter, and with any Northern Michigan winter, heated floors are a must.
"An interesting feature with this home, you don't normally find in a home that's 8,000 square feet with the ability to heat it with wood, which the owner does, says Anderson. "And I'm nice and toasty warm today."
Toasty warm, now bundle up to take a ride outside to the 11 other buildings on the property. There's a guest house propped on a private lake, and if a few extra friends stop over, they can stargaze in a teepee! Now hop back in and take a drive to the wild side of the property.
"We built a small barn for our animals, says Doug McNabb. "She's got some goats and a donkey -- a very old donkey."
Old donkeys, a chicken coupe, and peacocks strutting to a beat of their own. Don't forget their maple syrup sugar shack, their shooting shack, and their personal favorites, their horses.
"That's really how we met -- in the horse industry," says Doug McNabb. "We still ride horses a lot and enjoy that."
Either way this wild ride continues inside and makes this house one-of-a-kind. As you say your goodbyes, you may still have a few friends looking back, patiently awaiting your return!
Tune into Upnorthlive tonight at 6:30 p.m. on ABC 29&8 next week for the next Northern Michigan castle! This one is in Empire, and it's so high up, you have to take a tram to get in!
To contact Cindy Anderson click HERE.
Porter Blattenberger: 231-929-2300