Renovation

The Cabin That Keeps On Giving

A bygone era's fishing shack grows into a family retreat

By Gina Chiodi Grensing
By Pat Faherty
Published: June 1, 2008
Lakeside 53
Photo by Rick Hammer
With its rambling shoreline, scenic Bay Lake, Minn., was fittingly named. Its moniker is linked to an Ojibwa word meaning “every which way lake.”

How appropriate then, that construction of Ruthann “Chi Chi” McDermott’s summer home – which is located on Bay Lake – also took a meandering path. It developed over time on an evolutionary track from fishing shack to summer home.

Originally, Chi Chi’s cabin featured the typical “add-on as needed” style of construction that caught up many post-World War II lakeshore cabins, as they morphed from weekend fishing shacks to summer getaways and vacation homes.

The challenge for the owners of these types of places became this: How to update into a more comfortable and usable place for a growing family – while keeping the charm, complying with current codes and taking advantage of the natural setting.
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