Tour of Homes

Published 9:39 am Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gene and Rosalyn Fossum, 72257 220th St. -- Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

The Albert Lea branch of the American Association of University Women has again planned the Tour of Homes.

The tour is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 the day of the tour. Proceeds from the tour go to the AAUW’s scholarship fund.

“We started planning in the early spring to get homes lined up,” Peggy Newell said.

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Newell said the tour attracts anywhere from 300 to 400 people. People drive to the homes during the set hours.

There are five homes on the tour this year and descriptions of the homes are as follows:

Gene and Rosalyn Fossum

The Fossum’s home is at 72257 220th St., northwest of Albert Lea. The home is 16 years old. Gene and Rosalyn are both retired educators and designed the home to reflect their personalities. The home has 3,600 square feet of living space and was featured in the January-February issue of Log Home Living in 1998. Rosalyn has collected bear-themed items in 1984. She has more than 200 stuffed bears. Other bear items she has include silverware, sheet music, dishes, planters and cookie jars. To display their bear collection, Rosalyn and Gene have collected antique pine and oak furniture. Other family heirlooms include quilts and a sampler from 1885. In their great room there is a Norwegian trunk from 1837, and in the main floor bedroom there is an antique spool cabinet and another antique trunk.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Rosalyn said. “We’re just hoping for nice weather.”

Richard and Faye Madson

The Madson’s home is at 22169 720th Ave., northwest of Albert Lea. After 40 years of farming, the Madsons sold their farm in Hayward in 2004 and began working with builder Bill Nicholson of Northwood, Iowa. He helped the Madsons design their 5,250-square-foot home on the top of a hill overlooking School Section Lake. Richard is retired and spends his days manicuring a beautifully landscaped yard. Faye is the office manager at Alamco. The house, with the exception of the sunroom, was built with 6-inch walls of poured cement. The siding is fiber cement board. The lower-level floors are stamped cement. Richard said the best thing about the house is the very efficient geothermal heating and cooling system. The home is handicap-accessible. Faye and Richard tastefully decorated the home in a country/antique style that makes use of the beautiful oak furniture they have collected over the years. The photos and family heirlooms of generations past show Faye’s appreciation of family history.

Jan and Darlene Reed, 1705 Hale Drive -- Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

Jan and Darlene Reed

The Reed’s home is at 1705 Hale Drive, near Green Lea Golf Course. After deciding to move to a smaller, one-level home the Reeds found this townhome. Built by contractor Jared Dawson, the Reeds helped design the floor plan and enlarged the garage, sunroom and master bedroom to fit their lifestyle. There are 1,925 square feet of living space, plus 600 square feet in the garage. The home was built in 2002, with Jan making a visit every day to make sure things were being finished correctly. From the three lazy Susan cupboards in the kitchen with almond appliances to the wheelchair-accesible shower in the master bath, they have created a space for comfortable living. The Reeds enjoy the view from their favorite room — the sunroom —with a view of Hole 11 on Green Lea Golf Course. Darlene golfs frequently, so the location is convenient.

Dennis and Georgia Wentzel

Dennis and Georgia Wentzel, 1804 Crystal Drive -- Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

The Wentzel’s home is at 1804 Crystal Drive, near Green Lea Golf Course. The Wentzels are new to Albert Lea and moved here in March. With the help of developers, Jared and Shanna Dawson, they have created a customized single-level twin home that reflects their unique personal style while meeting their needs. The home is located in the quiet Summer Dale Golf Course Community on Green Lea Golf Course. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom home has an open and spacious layout and is good for entertaining. Their red mahogany baby grand piano also has a perfect spot in the sunroom. Other features of the home include a winebar, quartz kitchen countertops and two niches that make a wonderful art display. The Wentzels also designed a unique fireplace mantle with Sue Smith of Christianson Interiors of Lake Mills, Iowa. The large garage also has four-foot storage closets. The Wentzels have lived in the home for six months and have found the home to be all they desired.

Ron Steckman, 78389 180th St. -- Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

Ron Steckman

Steckman’s home is at 78389 180th St., south of Albert Lea near South Shore Drive. Steckman has always enjoyed the outdoors and found the perfect spot to build his home. He helped design the 4,800-square-foot home, which was built in 2002 by Lembke Construction on 34 acres, containing 850 feet of lake shore. The home has all cedar woodwork for the ceiling, floors and cabinets. There are many large windows and glass doors to enjoy the view. Two large decks provide more space to entertain and relax. Steckman has some of his favorite hobbies on display including naval and Civil War memorabilia. His collection of tractors is in an outbuilding, though. The large backyard is filled with decorative sculptures and two waterfall gardens. There is a cedar gazebo and large pole shed with a heated floor on the property. Steckman said what he enjoys most of his acreage is the wildlife. Deer, turkeys, eagles and pelicans visit regularly. He said he was pleased to be asked to be part of the tour.

“I hope they like the effort I put into my waterfalls,” Steckman said.

If you go:

Tickets for the tour can be bought from any member before the show for $13. Tickets can also be bought at Ben’s Floral & Frame Design, Doyle’s Hallmark, Thorne Crest Retirement Community, Celebrations Party & Gifts and Addie’s Floral & Gifts for $13 prior to the day of the tour. On Saturday tickets can be purchased for $15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Theatre.

Rules of the tour include no smoking, no cameras, remove shoes when entering homes, must have cotton socks, no children under age 12 allowed, closed doors should remain closed and guests should not touch furnishings.