Dean P. Wiltse
About Dean P. Wiltse
As owner and operator of a very busy restaurant and brewpub in Oscoda Michigan since 1979, we began looking for a quite escape where one could regroup and recharge far from the madding crowd. Born in Northeast Michigan, I grew up with a deep love of all things outdoors. Birdwatching, hunting, fishing, canoeing, boating and a love of the natural environment are all part of my life's endeavors. Oh, did I mention the love of great beer and wine also? lol
Dean P. Wiltse purchased this Cottage in 2007
Why Dean P. Wiltse chose Au Gres
As fate would have it, my brother and his wife, Bob and Karen Wiltse, purchased the 400 acre Charity Island in the middle of Saginaw Bay in 1992. Bob and Karen built an inland marina and planned to sell a few exclusive lots and preserve the rest of the Island including the lighthouse tower and lighthouse keepers home. Soon thereafter, the Nature Conservancy got involved and the Island was purchased and placed into public ownership managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Bob and Karen kept the lighthouse property and a total of four parcels were left in private ownership. In 2007 Charity Island Lodge was constructed and the lighthouse keepers home was rebuilt. In the end, we got the dream getaway we worked a lifetime for and Charity Island got a couple of stewards to make sure she preserved in her natural and glorious condition.
What makes this Cottage unique
Located in the middle of Saginaw Bay, at the mouth of Lake Huron, Charity Island is over eight miles from the closest points of land. Charity Island was named for it's safe harbor in the middle of what can on occasion be an angry sea. When spending the evening on Charity Island, there is nowhere else in the State of Michigan where you may be further than seven miles from the next human being. Passing freighters, a brilliant night sky, lapping waves and the comfort of knowing you are truly getting away from it all makes this property a one of a kind in Michigan.
100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
We had an amazing time! It was so nice to unplug and spend quality time together! Dean was so friendly and helpful with all questions we had. Thank you for an unforgettable time!
A Wonderful Adventure
The property was well kept and clean. The owners were wonderful as well. It was so peaceful and quiet. We were there right when the baby frogs were emerging and they were everywhere along the shore by the lighthouse. When the breeze came in toward the cabin the surrounding area stayed cool and bug free I enjoyed a nice rest in the hammock. The water was stunningly clear and crisp. And great fishing if that is something you enjoy. I hope to visit again one day.
Rustic location. Comfortable accommodations!
This is the kind of vacation dictated by the weather. Windy days are best as the black flies can be brutal. Fortunately it’s almost always breezy. Trail directly to the beach was nice. Used the mule to cart out beach stuff within 50 feet of the water. Views were fantastic but overcast every night so no star gazing. Kayaking was limited to the calm mornings for us but a younger crowd could go any day. Gas lights were convenient and bright. Grilled every night, campfires as well. We had to leave a day early due to 7ft waves on our scheduled departure day but that’s an island vacation! Great variety of flaura and fauna and warm water in August. Got to do it at least once!
Beautiful location. Beautiful cabin. Peace and quiet. Opportunities for adventure. All the comfort a person needs. Let your cares float away. Do bring drinking water and a book. You may not want to run the generator to recharge your phone or tablet. This is not your run-of-the-mill rental. A few days here will provide a lot of happy memories.
Relaxing and peaceful!
We stayed for four nights in late June. First of all, the trip was logistically much easier than I was expecting -- the house is stocked with the basics like drinking water, paper products, and even some toiletries, condiments, and spices. The prospect of having to think of everything to bring should not deter you from booking this place! Captain Greg, who took us there and back, was awesome, and even helped my son pick out fishing supplies before we headed over and showed us how to work everything in the house. Dean supplies a golf cart, cornhole, board games and books, kayaks, life vests, firewood for the fire pit, and grill. There is a dinner cruise on weekends that ends at the lighthouse, and we joined for hands-down the best perch dinner ever (additional cost) and an interesting history of the island (look for the Wikipedia entry on Charity Island for the basics). We kayaked several times a day, even kayaking around the island one afternoon (it's about 3 miles). The sunrises from the porch are stunning. The only drawback was the bugs. We tried a variety of sprays and some worked for a while, but the bugs were a challenge on some parts of the island/some times of day. And they affected us differently (one kid got particularly swarmed). Dean and the captain were responsive and made everything easy for us. We'll be back!
Very secluded, rustic setting with private rocky beach out in the middle of Saginaw Bay.
Enjoyed a long weekend in a rustic cottage on the mostly deserted island. Cottage had all the amenities, but with electric generator and water tower it required some know-how to tend. Loved use of single kayaks for exploration of the coast and off road vehicle for runs to the lighthouse for sunset gazing. Brother of owner operates a dinner cruise to the island lighthouse and was on site for advice and supplies as needed. His knowledge of the island's history was impressive and added much to our appreciation of the site. For those who love secluded and quiet natural settings, it was an island paradise, with no large mammals to dodge. Birds, frogs, snakes, butterflies, and chipmunks added to the charm. Insects were ample, too, but winds off the lake kept them down. Watched meteors one night from the completely dark shoreline. Owner and brother were very friendly and responsive to any needs we had.