St Paul Chateau / Country House Rental Photos and Description
One of Afton's Original Homes nestled in St. Croix River Bluffs in Kelle's Coule
13 private acres - 5 minute walk from Afton Village
natural beauty. site.
Many visitors feel they might be lost when driving down the 1000 foot driveway to our sweet home nestled in the coulee. Although right outside of Afton Village, the private driveway winds between tall bluffs on the left and a small creek on the right...before revealing a large grassy lawn and the home.
This home was built in 1900, and renovated extensively in 1990.
I've been told it was a originally a farmhouse but the farm must have been small! I do know that it was once owned by Mike Kelly, the owner of the Minneapolis Millers (1940s? professional baseball team) and he used it for his summer cottage. Back then he had two professional gardeners. You will notice that gardening is not my forte but the natural setting is fortunately stunning.
The home rests on 13 acres; two or so are lawn, and the remainder include tall almost-mountains, bluffs and winding creek beds. Feel free to explore, or sit on the porch in peace and seclusion. ... or walk the ten minutes to the small town of Afton, the beach or marina, or a 20 minute drive to St. Paul.
The home is modest but with large open spaces for entertaining Large dining room, open kitchen. Three full bathrooms.
If you request a date more than a couple of months out, I may decline because I need to be sure of my own schedule prior to booking yours.
The home is very nice, but keep in mind that it IS an older home (and it's a home, not just a vacation rental- me and/or my family do sometimes actually live here)- so think more 'cabin up North' than McMansion with all the amenities, and while I do my best to keep everything tidy and clean, it's always harder in an older home. I am currently renovating the shared bathroom; it should be complete by April. In the meantime-- well it has seen better days but is very usable. There is Air Conditioning, WiFi, small stereo, wall TV with Netflix (and sometimes cable), and whatever good company you can bring! Lots and lots of outdoor activities.
OF course there is a wood burning stove in the living room so in winter you will want to snuggle up with a book (you can read any of mine) or your computer.
Two primary bedrooms include a queen size bed in the large lovely light loft, and full bed (for two) in original house portion. There are other rooms available with single beds if needed. Lots of parking space
We also have a cat.
You are welcome to bring a dog if it's a good one.
Other special requests? Let me know and we'll see what we can do. Hope you love this place as much as I do.... I raised my family here, live here but vacate the premises when I have guests.
I keep the house uncluttered, dressers and closets are cleared for your use, and I make sure the house is as clean as I can make it before your arrival...... I am neat but not fastidious so you may see some cobwebs, windows that need cleaning, other smudges that have somehow been missed. I am not trying to scare you off, but if you are a particular neatnick you might not be happy here. On the other hand, you won't have to worry quite so much while you're here, either.
- children welcome
- limited accessibility
- non smoking only
- pets considered
About Erin McDowell
(NOTE: The photo is one of the few I had on my computer. That is NOT my home. It is, in fact, Hobbiton, which isn't even a real place- being where Hobbits live (Lord of the Rings). The photo is from a trip I took to New Zealand. My daughter-was taking a school semester there--- and really really really wanted to see the movie set.) Sorry to say, you won't get the pond or the nice thatched mill that is in the background of my photo)
I work at 3M which is 20 minutes from this property; love to travel, and really enjoy the outdoors, including visiting State Parks (I visit the one in Afton every week!), biking (you can borrow my two bikes), skiing. I have two daughters who are now away from home. Love pets, have a cat which stays at this property but stays out of the way. He is sleek, black, Manx and name Severus.
Erin McDowell purchased this chateau / country house in 1990
Why Erin McDowell chose St Paul
We moved to Minnesota from the Washington DC area. We loved that area because of it's cosmopolitan nature and proximity to Chesapeake Bay and the ocean.
I was hesitant to move to Minnesota because I thought it was all flat (I had no idea! and I was young) but this property was the deciding factor. When my husband and I walked into this house, the headache I brought in melted away. It's a very relaxing spot. AND it's right by the St. Croix River. We have spent many many weekends on the river or on the beaches with our small children. It's clean, warm, slow.