Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Historic residence-500' to Torch Lk & walk to Alden. Reduced Spring & Fall rates

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


About the property

House, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, (Sleeps 6) Two story historical 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:
June 25, 2017

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 Torch Lake

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
  • 1 of 20


Alden House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2000 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • 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 ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • 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 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.
  • 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 linens and towels 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.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(14 traveler reviews)

Historic residence-500' to Torch Lk & walk to Alden. Reduced Spring & Fall rates
average rating of 5.0 based on 34 reviews

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.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

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: Jun 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!
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

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: Sep 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Comfortable, homey, quiet

  • 5 of 5

A lovely vacation in a comfortable, homey house set in a terrific area for swimming, boating and walking. Everything we needed to create satisfying meals was in the kitchen. Alden is a charming, unpretentious town that invites you to relax and walk along the streets to enjoy the flower gardens, tasty food and interesting shops. We spent several evenings enjoying the sunset at the harbor, taking lots of photographs. Torch Lake is amazing! So clear and beautiful! There are several places to enter the lake to swim, and we rented a pontoon one day to have the experience of lounging at the sand bar. Highly recommended!

  • Submitted: Jul 27, 2013
  • Stayed: Jul 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We're so glad you spent the week in Alden and got to the famed sandbar, too! There is so much to do and enjoy in N Michigan, and the sunsets and Torch Lake itself are beautiful. Alden is a good base-location, we have found. Thanks for coming all that way from Cincinnati with your family.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 1
Muskegon, Michigan

Back Again...!

  • 5 of 5

We're back for our second, two-week stay at the Alden House, and for good reason - it's wonderful! There are two criteria that make a vacation rental great - good owners and a good property. The Alden House meets and exceeds both! Rich and Karen are great owners who show a lot of respect for us just in the way they maintain the house and keep it current; they are most accommodating at meeting the special needs of our family - especially adding wi-fi this year! The house, the location, and the lake; we've been coming to Torch for more then 20 years and we feel like we've finally found our home away from home. Every review we've read is spot-on, the great thing about this place is you don't need to be on the water to have a great spot, great view of the lake, sunsets, and your only minutes from accessing the lake. Anyone looking for a great place in this area, with all of these amenities, great owners, and very affordable - here it is!

  • Submitted: Jul 22, 2013
  • Stayed: Jul 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Roy and family -- Your comments are very appreciated, especially as you have just begun your 2-week stay this year. We'll be equally interested in hearing how the vacation went after your vacation. Just send us a note. And, if you note something that you'd like us to address to further add to your enjoyment on a subsequent, please forward it along for us to consider. We very much encourage our guests' feedback. Enjoy the fine weather this week, and hopefully next, too. Thanks for being such great guests, to. Our Alden home loves to have your family visit it. Rich / Karen Brown
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0

Charming , cozy, romantic and well kept cottage

  • 5 of 5

Our family of six rented this beautiful cottage for a week in June 2013.We had a very pleasant stay.

The cottage is well kept ,it was very clean. Bedrooms are cozy and relaxing. it is nicely updated with many modern amenities but it still maintains that 19th century feel. Kitchen was equipped with everything you need for cooking and serving meals . As soon as we came in we opened all the windows and kept them open at night ,the breeze was wonderful ,we never needed air-conditioning. It felt very homey in a quite neighborhood, conveniently located. We walked to the town every morning .and enjoyed the beauty of Torch Lake. It is especially enchanting to see the Lake at Sunset ,through the cottage window. That was my favorite time of the day, when the entire house would come to life in that glorious sunset light. My children loved the terrace swing so much , and the old trees that surround the house. The only thing that worried me with 4 children there, was that the cottage didn't provide washer, but after all ,that was a big plus ,it gave me a much needed break from doing laundry every day , Our stay was very enjoyable and we will come back .I also wanted to mention that Paradise Property staff is very kind and helpful.

  • Submitted: Jul 5, 2013
  • Stayed: Jun 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: What a great time you and your family (the kids especially?) must have had. We're so glad you enjoyed yourselves and our Alden get-away. No way, though, to get away from the laundry at some time! You were great guests. Thank you for the compliments.
Did you find this review helpful?
1 0


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.


Rates & Availability

Alden House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Jun 3 2017 - Jun 30 2017
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Jul 1 2017 - Sep 1 2017
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Sep 9 2017 - Nov 3 2017
3 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay

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.
Contact Owner