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Chassell ‘Home for the Holidays’ home tour turns 25

December 9, 2008

CHASSELL - In its 25th year, the Chassell "Home for the Holidays" home tour and gourmet tasting shows no signs of slowing.

Sponsored by the Chassell Improvement Association, the home tour is part of the Old Fashioned Christmas in Chassell celebrations running Wednesday through Saturday.

The Home Tour runs from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, with five homes featured.

Bill and Nancy Leonard's home on Half Moon Beach will be on display during the tour. The house is described as an intriguing blend of a rustic 1940s log cabin and a more formal addition built in the early 1990s.

Mary Beckley's home on Creamery Road is situated on two acres on the edge of Chassell. Organizers say the home "reflects Mary's Copper Country roots and her love of nature."

While Mary calls it a work in progress, she welcomes all.

Judy Pleshe welcomes the public to her retirement home by the lake, built in 1997. Pleshe said she thought about her golden years, adding in-floor heating and wide doorways for ease of access.

Paula Olson's home on Fifth Street has a varied legacy. Built in 1949 by Paula's father, different families put their stamp on the home over the years. In 1996, the house suffered a fire and had to be gutted down to the frame. Family and friends helped to rebuild the home, Paula says, as well as the lives of her family.

Built in 2004, the home of Ken and Kristin Kytta is the most recently constructed home on the tour. The custom crafted home features a panoramic view of Portage Canal and a finished basement for the couple's four sons to run around.

Ken built the home with the help of his father, and said a lot of thought went into the two-story floor plan.

"We wanted to keep the footprint down, have a lot of room for the boys, while keeping the view at the forefront as much as possible," Ken said.

Ken said he and his father did as much as they could themselves.

"We couldn't do the excavation or masonry work, so that was another factor in the decision for the final plan," Ken said. "That's really why we went up instead of out, to keep some of our costs down."

Ken said he was pleased to be asked to join the Home for the Holidays tour.

"Chassell is a great community and we're proud to do our small part to give back a little," he said. "We hope people come out and enjoy what we've done here."

As is tradition, each home featured on the tour will have accompanying food samplings. Food has been donated this year by the Library Restaurant and Brew Pub, Armando's, the Lunch Bag, Pat's Foods/Festival Foods and the Chassell Women's Club.

Guests will also have a chance to win door prizes at each of the five homes.

Tickets for the Home for the Holidays home tour and gourmet tasting are $10, available at the Einerle gift shop in Chasselli, the Chassell Heritage Center and the Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau in Calumet.

Jane Nordberg can be reached at



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