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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

REDUCED RATES LATE AUG/FALL WEEKS- Historic home-500' to Torch Lk & walk to town

Bedrooms 3
Space 2,000 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 7 nights


About the property

House, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, (Sleeps 6) Two story historic Alden Victorian

Walk to downtown Alden, to the historical Train Depot Park and Museum, up and around the preserve on Coy Mountain, and walk to the stunning Torch Lake shore and the nearby beach -- all from this circa 1870s historic Victorian home. Enjoy the amenities home in this three bedroom, two bath, two story Alden village house.

The exterior colors will remind you of the power and depth and beauty of Torch Lake itself. If it's been a few years since you've rented the home, welcome back to the 'new look' of our vacation home in quaint Alden.

You will be located just across the main east-shore road from Torch Lake. Locals and visitors know what a great lake Torch is for vacationing, sight-seeing, water-sports (including swimming, boating, tubing and more). You'll be just a couple blocks from charming downtown Alden itself and its marina, unique shops and restaurants. And you are at the foot of the 17-acre preserve that is 'Coy Mountain'.

Experience beautiful sunsets and Torch Lake views from the kitchen and living room and from the west-facing porch on its settee or swing. Swim in Torch Lake and the connected chain of lakes, Boat through the lower 'chain of lakes' (Torch, Bellaire, Elk, Clam, Skegemog). This smoke-free home is very close to area pro golf courses, Traverse City shopping and the wineries of Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau County. Boyne, Petoskey and Harbor Springs are pleasant round-trip same-day excursions.

You will be staying in what long-time locals still call 'the Chapelle' house, which in the late 1800s and early 1900s was the rooming and guest house for visitors from downstate and from Chicago and Ohio. The home was even larger then, with a 2-story guest room area, connecting at what is now the French doors in the formal dining room. In fact, you'll find the postcard of the home circa 1910 in the postcard collection at the Historical Museum, just across the main road from you, toward the Lake.

The double corner lot provides room for children of all ages to play right in your yard, if you and they prefer.

Alden is just 25 minutes northeast of Traverse City and the Old Mission Peninsula (and its great wineries) and just 15 minutes southwest of Shanty Creek and Bellaire. A little further west past Traverse City's dining and shopping pleasures are the wineries of the Leelanau Peninsula.

Alden is on the southeast shore of beautiful Torch Lake. Your boat will slip easily into and out of Torch Lake at the public marina and slips in town. Then, the entire chain of lakes lie ahead of you to explore and enjoy. No boat of your own? Rentals are available at your choice of local marinas. We can provide their contact numbers, if you wish.

If you prefer to stay home some day or evening, prepare your dinner on the Weber charcoal grill and enjoy it in the dining room or as a picnic on the porch or in the nearby park, or up on Coy Mountain.

Quiet evenings in on the porch or watching videos or TV are also your entertainment options. Cable TV service is provided with basic 'network' channels.

Need to work or keep up with emails? (We know many have to do that) Our High Speed internet modem is provided for your use. Free, secured WiFi is provided. Or you can connect by Ethernet. If you do not have your own connecting cable, please borrow ours.

Keywords: Vacation House, Summer home, Victorian home, Historic home, Alden, Torch Lake, Traverse City, Bellaire

More Details

Rich and Karen Brown
Member since: 2005
Speaks: english, french
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
February 26, 2018

About Rich and Karen Brown

Rich and Karen are just the third family to own this historic home. In the early 1900s, it was a guest house and even had a 2-story addition off the back to take summer visitors who would come to Alden by train from Chicago and along the west coast of Michigan. Its history is found in every room, including being preserved in those we've renovated and updated from what the Chapelle family originally built. We bought this as a family vacation home when our kids were young, and would make regular visits from 'downstate'. Now we still make regular visits (as do the adult 'kids' and now the grandkids!) and we are pleased to share the home with others.

Rich and Karen Brown purchased this house in 1984

Why Rich and Karen Brown chose Alden

Alden is an ideal get-away, a small town with features we've come to enjoy -- inviting shops, friendly shop owners and nature trails and Torch Lake shorelines to explore. The home, whose original rooms date to the 1870s, is a similar ideal get-away. We've treated 'her' gently during the over 30 years we've owned her, and know that our guests will do likewise.

What makes this house unique

Relax on the front-porch swing, and sip that wine (stemware provided) and enjoy. Watch those SUNSETS from your porch. Ceiling fans in all bedrooms and most other rooms will comfort when needed. Enjoy the selection of board games and DVDs; also bring your favorite CDs and DVDs. The fully-equipped kitchen is for your dine-in pleasures. Formal dinners (they are allowed and fun, even on vacation!) in the dining room and casual at the kitchen table.

Please use the maps we've provided in your living room to decide what to do around Alden and the area. Wineries are particularly special, we thing, and the enternainment in Traverse and toward Shanty Creek and Charlevoix and Petoskey.

For outdoor pleasures, walk along Spencer Creek or the Torch Lake shoreline. Or, hike the Indian Trails up Coy Mountain, whose path virtually begins at your doorstep, on Valley street. This 17-acre preserve (thanks to the Coy family) has a wonderful array of wildlife, bird species and several native wildflowers. Benches welcome you to rest along the one mile maintained trail.

For local history, be sure to take in the Alden Depot and Park Museum. Located in the authentically restored Alden Depot, dating to 1908, this part of Alden's history (open Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend) features photographs and memorabilia recalling the community's past, including model trains and related items and many photographs of the area through the years.

ENJOY all these reasons to be 'up North'.

When other entertainment has been exhausted (that may not happen), TV may be your or your children's option of choice. Cable service is provided with basic 'network' channels.

Work or emails calling you? That happens, we all know. High Speed WiFi internet is here for you. Or connect via Ethernet. If you did not bring your own connecting cable, please borrow ours.

Guestbook comments from the owner

Dear Karen and Rich, We enjoyed ourselves, beautiful early fall weather, art galleries and countryside, wonderful food and delicious wines! Thank you very much for sharing your home in Alden with others.
Sep 2016
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Alden House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2000 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 9:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed ...
  • Non smoking only
  • Will consider a pet: 1 mature dog under 20 pounds.Tell us about your pet-type, age and weight. Added rent of $50 & cleaning of $50. No cats.
  • Children VERY welcomed; lots of room to play on the double lot. Home is on a quiet no-outlet quiet street. Highchair provided.
Location Type:
  • Beach View ...
  • Downtown ...
  • Lake View ...
  • Village ...
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Broadband Access ...
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Freezer ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , Downstairs bath accessible from the kitchen & master bedroom
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , Upstairs bath has 2 doors for access from both bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms - one upstairs with a shower, and one downstairs with a tub / shower combination. Guests have expressed that they prefer to use their own, so linens and towels and bathmats for the bathrooms and towels and dishcloths kitchen are not provided AND GUESTS BRING THEIR OWN. But these may be made available --- QUEEN $13 ea. TWIN $10 ea. Towel sets (2+wash cloth)$8.25 ea. Beach Towels $5. Kitchen Towel&cloth(2ea):$4. Reduced price of $80 for all for party of 6. All are white & unbleached. There is a non-refundable service fee of $12 for renting linens and towels.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , Downstairs 'master' bedroom adjoins living room & bathroom
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , Larger upstairs bedroom (once was 2 bedrooms)
    Bedroom 3 - 2 twin/ single , Upstairs bedroom, in front of house.
  • Queen size Beds (2) Two QUEEN beds. One is in the main floor bedroom (has 24" flat screen TV), with a bath adjoining. A second is in the larger upstairs bedroom (has 24" flat screen TV), on the front of the home., Twin or Single Beds (2) The 2 TWIN beds are in the other upstairs bedroom, also on the front of the home. Guests have expressed that they prefer to use their own, so bedroom and kitchen linens and towels/washcloths and bathmats are not provided, but may be made available --- QUEEN $13 ea. TWIN $10 ea. Towel sets (2+wash cloth)$8.25 ea. Beach Towels $5. Kitchen Towel&cloth(2ea):$4. Reduced price of $80 for all for party of 6. All are white & unbleached. There is a non-refundable service fee of $12 for renting linens and towels.
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • VCR
  • Video Library ...
  • Boat ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Porch / Veranda ...
  • Tennis ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • gambling casinos
  • miniature golf
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • parasailing
  • pier fishing
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • wind-surfing
Long and covered front porch - the old-fashioned type with a railing and a swing, High Speed WiFi (secured) or cable internet access to keep in touch with the outside world (please bring your connecting cable or you may borrow ours), enjoy our cable 32' HD TV with 'basic' plus family channels, Also, if you do not have your laptop, there is WiFi internet access with available PCs at the local library (1/2 mile through town). Folding lawn and beach chairs are provided for your enjoyment in the yard and at the beaches.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(17 traveler reviews)

94% Complete
5% Complete
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REDUCED RATES LATE AUG/FALL WEEKS- Historic home-500' to Torch Lk & walk to town
average rating of 4.9411764 based on 37 reviews

Charming, spacious Victorian home

  • 5 of 5

We enjoyed a delightful fall weekend in Alden and surrounding areas. The home is charming with all the amenities, flat-screen Tv, wi-fi, etc. for a relaxing stay. Lots of room-even a "formal" dining room!

A very short walk to Torch Lake and downtown Alden. All the charms of Traverse City are nearby as well as Bellaire.

The property is very well-maintained and welcoming. We'll be back!

  • Submitted: Oct 25, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your review of your stay in Alden and your compliments of the home and area. .... Torch Lake and the area is so beautiful (and less crowded) in the early fall, and we love to go north ourselves to see the gorgeous colors in October as well as the sunsets across Torch Lake. You and your friends are certainly welcome back!
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Loved the house. No place to read at night however..

  • 4 of 5

I left a shopping bag there from the kitchen store in Alden. Is it possible for you to send that to me? The cost can come out of my deposit. It was nice walk to town .Susan....

  • Submitted: Sep 16, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Susan, that you for your review. Yes, the walk to town is a short one. We're sorry that you found no place to read at night. I'll contact you separately and learn what your problem was and we will have that remedied when we're there in a couple weeks. No prior renter has expressed that concern and we've not had it. Thank you again for being our guests -- and as we've emailed separately, the bag was found the next day and it will be sent to you. With our best regards, Rich and Karen
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A time to relax and reconnect!

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I, our 19 yr. old niece and our 6 yr. old Chi-Weinie dog called this cozy place "home" for a week. This was our third year of being in the area and our first time staying at this historic Alden residence. We LOVED everything about our stay! Although the weather didn't cooperate ~ it was rainy and too cold to go swimming in the lake~ we discovered so many other things to do. We took several day trips to nearby the cities to shop and sight see, took advantage of the nice days and took a picnic lunch across the street at the Depot and sat by the water, we walked the short distance to "downtown" Alden to shop, eat and enjoy the Thursday evening Farmers Market and entertainment and spent one morning at the GrassRiver Nature Center exploring. Since the kitchen was well stocked and I love to cook, we often ate dinner at "home". The porch got a lot of use~ we had our morning coffee there, my husband often napped while our dog "kept watch", and I liked to end our day with a glass of wine from the local wineries. We ended our nights sitting around the kitchen table talking, laughing and playing games until after midnight! This vacation was truly a time to relax, refresh and reconnect!

The Browns were wonderful to deal with and very accommodating and we plan to go back next year!

Donnie, Lisa and Kylie (and BabyGirl)

  • Submitted: Jul 9, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Lisa and everyone .... hello once again and thank you for being such great guests. You and family and "baby girl" are welcomed back always. We share you passion for the porch and the relaxed time there, and we're so pleased to share it with others. Until next time..... Rich and Karen Brown
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Relaxing, low-key stay. Great for a recharge in life!

  • 5 of 5

I loved this property for a week in the area with my three teenage fellow travelers (two of my own, plus a friend)!

No, we didn't have (nor need) motorsport access to the lake, but that was almost a plus. Less to worry about. The house has great charm, and everything works wonderfully well for a 140 year house. Shade and fans kept us cool, and the front porch was big enough for all of us to enjoy. Quick day trips to Traverse City and to Sleeping Bear Dunes, live music at Short's in Bellaire and karaoke at the Alden Bar & Grill made for an ideal mix of nature and downtown.

The cottage has everything we needed, and almost everything we wanted (a pint glass to pour a cold beer into would be great). The kids enjoyed having separate rooms for the 19 year-old and for the 2 thirteen year-olds. Situated at a very short walk (8 minutes) to town gave everyone an easy out when we needed it.

Overall, a great place to call home during our stay, and we'll definitely be back again next summer (maybe even a return trip in the fall).

  • Submitted: Jun 17, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: You and the teens certainly enjoyed your get-away --- all the way from Iowa, even. We will equip with beer pint glasses and coasters, even. Promise. Thanks for leaving the home in such nice clean condition, too --- great accomplishments for 3 teens staying!
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Beautiful Home, Amazing Time!

  • 5 of 5

I want to thank Mr. & Mrs. Brown for allowing us to stay in their beautiful home on torch lake! Their home was very clean and comfortable! This will definitely become my family's first choice when visiting northern Michigan!

  • Submitted: May 30, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Alexis and friends, thank you for the compliments of the home. It has undergone quite a transformation from when we purchased it over 30 years ago -- it actually had been a summer "cabin" and not really been lived in for the 40 years before that. You were great guests and we enjoyed coordinating with you. It sounds like the 2017 summer season got off to a very good start with your stay. You are certainly welcomed back anytime.
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Twenty-five wonderful years!

  • 5 of 5

This lovely home has served us extremely well for 25 years! We ladies counted last weekend - where do the years go? We women from different walks of life meet and enjoy the house once a year at our hosts invitation. We visit the town, lake, shops, restaurants, and area features we choose when we get there. Most of all, we enjoy reconnecting with each other. The peace and quiet of the area allow us to drop out of our busy lives for a short time to recharge our batteries.

  • Submitted: Sep 18, 2015
  • Stayed: September 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
25 Miles
Traverse City
Nearest Barpub
0.3 Miles
Alden Bar; others in Bellaire and Elk Rapids
Nearest Golf
10 Miles
Shanty Creek, Bellaire; many others in the area
Nearest Restaurant
0.3 Miles
Several in & near Alden-Muffin Tin; Mama's Kitchen
Nearest Beach
0.1 Miles
3 local ones in Alden. Famed Sandbar 5 min drive

Petoskey Stone hunting is along the shore of Torch Lake, including on the beach by the historic Train Depot and museum and accompanying play-park, which are all across the main street, a block from your vacation home. Trail walking is on 17-acre 'Coy Mountain' a block from your home - please see more on this under 'unique benefits' below. Winery visiting and tasting are just 1/2 hour west on Old Mission Peninsula or just a bit further in the Leelanau area. Petoskey and Harbor Springs and their pleasures are to the Northeast.




Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee $50
Refundable damage deposit $250
Tax Rate 6.0%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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