Mail to Soldiers
I just received a mailing address for 1st Sergeant Ron Gregg. If anyone would like to send him a letter there are a few important mailing restrictions:
1SG Ronald S. Gregg
B Co, 2-327 IN
APO AE 09325-6024
With all that said, I'm hoping that others who have been deployed will also have addresses where we can send them letters from home.
Every time I see Jon and Sally Fogg two songs quickly run through my mind; Disney's "When You Wish Upon A Star Your Dreams Come True" quickly followed by the memory of Dusty Springfield singing, "Wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'; plannin' and dreamin'" I can't seem to help it because this island couple are having their dreams come true. After years of hard work the culmination will be the grand opening of their bed and breakfast log lodge, Deerwood, located off the Darkytown/Barney's Lake Road.
The Fogg family has been connected to Beaver Island for many years. Jon attended school here in 1965 and was a summer resident both before and after that. Sally never had a chance as Jon has had the sand of the island in his shoes since childhood. Luckily for Jon, and now for Deerwood, Sally loves the island and both of them are a terrific addition to the community.
Back on November 5, 2001 I had visited Deerwood and written about it here. There's been some amazing changes from the very rough outside that existed then. Although not quite finished, it's easy to visualize what the end result will look like and to see just how unique this bed and breakfast will be.
Why is it unique? It's because on an innovative style of construction instituted by Mike Crawford, Fogg's log engineer. All the logs, except two white spruce logs in the main room, are Beaver Island cedar and were cut here on the island at Bob Graves sawmill on Sloptown Road. From Graves' mill, they were hauled to Applewood, Fogg's 60 acre parcel located at the top of the hill at Barney's Lake and directly across from the entrance to Deerwood. The logs were cut in half except for the last four feet, which was left whole. The half pieces were fitted together and then bolted to the side of the framed building while the matching half was attached to the interior and all the electrical was placed between the logs within the framed area. Crawford is the one responsible for the specialized notching and piecing together of each and every timber used in Deerwood. Once the logs arrived at Applewood, did all the notching and numbering of each log so that when it was transported to Deerwood it was easily reassembled. Ron Wojan, General Contractor, and his crew were the over-seers for the entire job.
Deerwood is located on 228 acres of wooded land that encompasses hardwood cloaked hills and a secluded, private half-mile beach. Bud Martin and sons blazed a 3/4 mile driveway back which is a delightful drive with curves and hills each with a different vista for the eyes. If you look carefully you may see deer, fox, turkey, or whatever critter is out and about. Tracks through the snow led me to believe that the woods were quite active. In November of 2001, there was no snow on the ground and the drive had not been paved yet. It now is, and you will encounter not a single pothole along the way. With the leaves off the trees, one is able to see far back into the woods and enjoy the complete privacy that is offered here.
At last you make the final turn and there it is... Deerwood, the huge lodge made of logs. The building itself is 8,500 square feet, not counting the basement. It sits close to the western shore of the island, but far enough away that a fringe of cedar trees grow between it and the beach. I was absolutely amazed at how much has been accomplished here since my last visit about 15 months ago when it was a rough shell.... still impressive, but a shell that only offered what "might be" not what "will be". It's very clear that Jon and Sally Fogg knew exactly what they wanted to accomplish and they've almost completed what they set out to do.
One enters this edifice though huge white cedar double doors and the first thing that grabs your attention is the immense multi-windowed wall facing the lake and the massive fireplace constructed entirely out of rocks found on the property. Look carefully at the fireplace and you may see Sally's heart shaped rock.
Throughout the building you'll come across unique artwork, like the memorable old 'Smokey the Bear' posters that the Fogg's purchased on their many travels; Mary Scholl has hand-painted tiles in each of the suites showers and "Skip" Duhamel has produced wonderful whimsical newel posts at the beginning and ends of the stairways. Deerwood has five suites but will be renting only five of them to guests with rates from $200 to $350 a night. For that, you'll be treated as a king or queen. Each guest room has a specific theme: Birch room, Cedar Room, Oak Room, the Deerwood Room, the Field and Stream Room.
As mentioned above, each suite at Deerwood will follow a theme and each contains its own jacuzzi and shower. Those on the main level will each have a private deck attached to the suite while those upstairs will each have a gas fireplace in the room in lieu of the deck. The largest suite contains a full-sized stone fireplace for those who request it.
Guests staying in suites on the upper level will cross a walk-way over the huge main room and be able to see far out into Lake Michigan. In the second floor lounge there will be a public telephone and perhaps even internet connection although the last has not been decided as of yet.
As a part of the pampering their guests, Deerwood's floors contain heat so you won't have to curl up your toes as you step out of bed on a winter morning and head for your private jacuzzi that's included in each suite. The entire building is controlled by 1/2 million BTU's furnished by two huge furnaces. For those who suffer from heat, the entire building is also air-conditioned. Deerwood is computer programed to remain at 70 degrees regardless of the weather. The air within the building is completely exchanged every twenty minutes.
The community areas of Deerwood on the main floor will be the main room and a library. This is also the floor where guests will take their meals, sitting at a table over-looking Lake Michigan, prepared by Chef Deborah Harwood in the state-of-the-art kitchen.
Besides the top-notch appliances, the little details are eye-catching here too as one notices the black beach stones that Sally collected. Here's another place that if you look closely you'll see that she found one little red heart-shaped stone. All the countertops are granite which Harwood says is any chefs favorite for working on. Harwood is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America has has been living on the island for the past several years.
The lowest level of Deerwood is not your typical basement as it will include a private theatre, shooting gallery, a pool table and a place for guests to sit and relax at the bar made from the centerboard of the Chandler J. Wells* while they drink a ice cold beer served in a pewter mug and nibble on pizza fresh from the Italian wood-fired oven. It's here in the basement level that the command center for heat and cooling resides. Tubes and pipes will be hidden in the ceilings not seen by guests who are vacationing.
This is Beaver Island and there are times when the power goes out, sometimes for a long time. Deerwood has that covered too. They will soon be installing their own generators so that upon the occasion of a downed line or whatever business will continue as usual.
One form of entertainment outside that will be available for their guests will be tours of the property or just a hayride on a wagon pulled by a matched pair of Clydesdales the Foggs' purchased from Mackinac Island. Of course guests will be welcome to hike the beach, walk the trails, read in the private library while watching the deer venture down the hill or just sit on the deck and listen to the sounds of silence.
Fogg's property covers about 98% of Barney's Lake and according to them, they plan on leaving it as a nature preserve. The only development planned for the future is a memorial pavilion on the hill top in memory of their daughter, Jennifer, who died in 1998. The pavilion would make a wonderful place to sit and reflect on the beauty of the island and it's peacefulness... a fitting tribute to a beautiful girl from her loving parents.
The Foggs' are aiming for a July 1, 2003 opening date and are planning an open house for sometime in early June. We certainly wish them the very best of luck in their endeavors and many, many years of having to hang a no vacancy sign. Obviously Glenn Miller was right when he played, "Wishing will make it so..." written by B. G. DeSylva, Jon and Sally have proved that with Deerwood.
NOTE for 3-7-03: I almost forgot a very important personality who also will reside at Deerwood, Brutus the Lodge Dog. Jon promised Brutus that he would be the #1 Lodge Dog five years ago. Brutus is ready, willing and able to perform his job greeting guests.
*The Chandler J. Wells was a wooden, 3-masted, schooner, built in 1866 by Quayle & Martin of Cleveland as a bark, that sunk off Whiskey Island Reef in the Beavers on November 20th, 1884 while bound for Manistique, Michigan with a load of lumber. Her specs were: 175 length x 33 breath x 13 draft, 549 gross tons, 521 net tons. She ran aground in the dark while picking her way though the archipelago in tow of the steamer Keystone, and then broke up in a storm that lasted from the 24th to the 25th of November. Although there were eight people aboard the Chandler J. Wells all survived. Two were left aboard as watchmen and almost perished.