For those familiar with the beautiful boathouses of Round Lake in Charlevoix Michigan, the famed Winn Boathouse is the absolute peach of the neighborhood. Cruising by on a lake tour, I always try to catch a glimpse of the elaborate and beautiful interior through the massive boathouse doors. With nearly 30 boats inside the boathouse, nautical vessels seem to grow out of the walls! Constructed over top of an old marina, the Nantucket-style home is absolutely breathtaking.
Home owner and founder of Four Winns Boat Company, John Winn, had the boathouse built by Andre M. Poineau of East Jordan Michigan. This truly one of a kind home shows all of the craftsmanship and pride of a true yachtsman. It is a testament to the sacrifices and entrepreneurship that John and the founders of Four Winns demonstrated early in their careers. Purchasing the business originally meant great sacrifice and was by no means a sure payoff. With Jimmy Carter in office, high fuel prices and inflation seemed as though they were around to stay. Despite the odds and in true American entrepreneurial fashion, the Four Winns Boat Company prospered...
“We got a couple of SBA loans and sold our homes – the guy who bought mine offered me an extra $15,000 if I left it furnished, just took my clothes and photos,” John said. “By the end of that day, I didn’t own a fork, toaster or towel. We sold everything we could, rolled the dice, put it all back in the business, and in 1979, constructed a new manufacturing warehouse and facility in Cadillac.”
Congratulations on your achievments at Four Winns. We can only hope the next residents at Winn House will share in the legacy you have created!
Read more about the Four Winns legacy at there website in an exclusive article originally published in the June 2007 "Michigan Blue Magazine"