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Lee Olivier

Member since: 2009
Call Owner
Speaks: english

Historic House with modern conveniences, twenty minutes from Spring Green.

49 Reviews
Bedrooms 4
Half Baths1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights

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Plain House Rental Photos and Description

4 bedrooms + den with futon. 2.5 baths. Sleeps 9

Two of the perpetual joys of visiting southern Wisconsin are the scaled-down pace and the sheer beauty of the surroundings. Bear Valley Vista is in Wisconsin's Driftless Zone, an area of rolling hills that were not touched by the last two glaciations.

Our ‘stone’ house was built in 1915 and updated in 2005 with all modern conveniences. Upstairs are 4 bedrooms and1½ baths. Both bathrooms are accessible to all bedrooms and the full bath has a jacuzzi tub. A twin Aerobed with bedding is available by prearrangement, to accommodate a maximum of 9 people.

Downstairs are a bedroom/den with a futon that converts to a double bed and a second full bath with a level-in shower. Access to full-house broadband Internet (including WiFi-5G) is at the built-in desk. The dining room table expands to seat 10. The living room has a recliner chair and other comfortable seating for 6 and a satellite TV with DVD player and ROKU. The kitchen's built-in banquette has a rotating table for easy access. There is central air conditioning and heating, plus an energy-efficient washer/dryer.

The back of the house is a large two-level screened porch, with plexiglass windows in cold weather. The upstairs level has a gas log fireplace, a recliner and other comfortable seating, plus lots of books, toys and games. The lower porch has a pass-through kitchen window shelf and a dining table for convenient outdoor meals on warm days. A charcoal BBQ is just outside.

The front porch with its Amish glider and Adirondack chairs is a perfect place from which to see birds and other wildlife. The house is set in an acre of professional landscaping with large grassy areas for outdoor games. There is a fire pit in the east yard. Our manager next door offers a wheelbarrow of wood for $10 to start you off.

Across the street is the 750-acre Bear Creek Sedge Meadow State Natural Area, which is protected public land with nesting Sandhill cranes and other species of birds plus a good trout fishing stream. The valley is perfect for hiking and biking. Five miles away is White Mound County Park with a 100-acre lake for swimming and boating when it's warm, and cross-country ski trails when there's snow. Our Lady of the Fields Shrine is near the park's entrance.

Ten minutes east is the Cedar Grove Cheese Factory in Plain. Oakwood Fruit Farm is 10 minutes southwest and open in the fall. 20 minutes north near LaValle is the Carr Valley Cheese Factory. Ten minutes north on St Hwy 154 is an Amish community with a general store and other shops, plus a summer roadside stand with picked-that-day fruit and veggies.

Area attractions within about a 30-minute drive include: American Players Theater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen, Unity Chapel and Hillside School, the Spring Green Art Fair, the lower Wisconsin River, Global View, the Fall Art Tour, House on the Rock, Gov. Dodge State Park, Natural Bridge State Park, Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue, and the Mid-Continent Railway Museum. Spring Green is 20 minutes south via County Rd G.

Other area attractions include: Mineral Point, Baraboo, the Circus Museum, Devil's Lake State Park, the International Crane Foundation, the Wisconsin Dells, Mt Horeb, New Glarus, Wollersheim Winery, Cave of the Mounds, Dr Evermor's Sculpture Garden, Gays Mills, Kickapoo River, and Viroqua. Madison is 50 minutes east via Hwy 12.

More Details
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible
Lee Olivier (Owner)
Member since: 2009
Call Owner
Speaks: english

About Lee Olivier

Jonathan and Lee live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lee is a retired librarian who grew up in PA. Jonathan is a community college math teacher from Chicago with family in Sauk County.

Lee Olivier purchased this house in 2004

Why Lee Olivier chose Sauk City

We bought our Wisconsin home in 2004 so we could spend part of each year near our Midwest family.

We did extensive remodeling the first year: we designed and replaced the existing kitchen and bathroom, and added an additional bath and a half, as well as the two-level porch.

Much of the house is original: the woodwork, floors, staircase, doors and hardware, dining room buffet, cut glass windows and front porch.

It may look like stone outside but the formed “stones” were made from fine grained cement poured on site by local workmen in 1915. Neighbors tell me that it is a Sears kit house. I have begun research to see if that is true, and I have learned that it probably is. As the house was 100 years old in 2015, we had a little celebration during the summer.

We added the front sidewalk and fence, as well as the back patio and stone wall. We planted more than 70 trees and shrubs.

What makes this house unique

Relaxation is easy in this house: beautiful views from every window give a strong sense of connection to the land and its seasons, terrain and wildlife.

Bear Valley Vista has plenty of space inside to gather together, as well as lots of places for time alone.

Guestbook comments from the owner

"We're still bragging about the house to our kids...The house is such a warm retreat, especially with such cold and clammy weather. Kitchen is so easy to use---better than most rentals! You've done a lovely job with the house."
Mar 2011
  • 1 of 12


based on 49 traveler reviews

Historic House with modern conveniences, twenty minutes from Spring Green.
average rating of 4.979592 based on 61 reviews

What a wonderful spot for a Get Away!

  • 5 of 5

This was such a great find for our 10 Year Girlfriend Get-Her-Way! The house is beautiful, private, clean and well stocked. Love the porches!

Great location to Spring Green and Plain for day trips. Our group of 8 would like to return some day!

  • Submitted: Aug 18, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Great house for family stays

  • 5 of 5

Amazing that the owners were willing to put so much work and money into making a very old house such a wonderful place to stay. Even the basement looked clean enough to eat off the floor (we didn't). Huge stock of games, puzzles, toys, books, movies in case of rain. Huge stock of brochures and maps for every attraction anywhere nearby. Kitchen supplied not only with pots and pans and utensils and dishes, but also spices and condiments, all labeled. Sample toothpaste and floss in the bathrooms, boxes of tissues in every room, more towels and blankets and pillows than you could possibly use; lots of fans stashed in closets made life manageable for our crowd who had different opinions as to the optimal ambient temperature. Really quiet country roads made for great walks, with sandhill cranes bugling and posing for photos. County lake an easy drive. Whirlpool bath upstairs. Really the best supplied rental home we've ever stayed in.

  • Submitted: Aug 6, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Very nice home, pleasantly surprised

  • 4 of 5

We were very happy with the home. We reserved on line and had some concerns, but the house is extremely well done and interesting and relaxing. Over all very nice location with lots of nature around. The owners have paid attention to every detail. It is about 10-15 miles to Spring Green and about the same to Richmond Center. Slightly inconvenient to grab something quickly, but quite frankly everything we needed was pretty much there other than groceries.

We did this with another couple as a half way meeting location. We all agreed we would do it again if we get the chance.

Great value for the money.


  • Submitted: Jul 30, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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A remote, beautiful, spacious home.

  • 5 of 5

We came here serendipitously after looking for hotels in the spring green area that would allow dogs. We found this place online and booked it because it was only slightly more expensive than staying in a hotel with dogs. That, however is selling bear Valley Vista short. What we discovered is that this patient's house has everything anyone could need, except in groceries, and those are easy enough to find. The scenery is beautiful, you can see stars in the sky at night, there's no noise, the people in the area are friendly, the house has everything you need except groceries, but those are easy enough to find. The house is stocked with lots of spices, cookware and great appliances, and a very nice kitchen, so if you don't want to go out to eat, no problem. The scenery is beautiful, you can see stars in the sky at night, there's no noise, the people in the area are friendly, and there's a lot to see and do in the area.

We weren't sure what to expect, but when we arrived, the house was immaculate, there's plenty of room for anywhere up to 8 to 10 people, plenty of moving space plenty of things to do around the house or just be quiet if you want to. I can't say enough good things about bear Valley Vista, except that we will definitely be back again.

  • Submitted: Jul 28, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Milwaukee, WI

Cozy and beautiful home!

  • 5 of 5

Lee's house is wonderful, we felt at home as soon as we arrived. It was fully stocked with everything we could have needed during our two day stay. Beds were comfy, bathrooms and kitchen were spacious and clean. Loved the two screened in porches although it was way too hot to use them while there. Instructions were very clear and we had no hiccups at all. Lee was incredibly easy to communicate with. Overall, I highly recommend this home, wish we could have stayed longer!

We were in the area for an estate tour at Taliesin, and it was awesome -- even though we got soaked! Bring an umbrella or coat even if there is a chance of rain. We ate both nights at Freddy Valentine's in Spring Green, a fun restaurant in an old bank - great food and service. The bookstore in town, Arcadia Books is a gem too with takeout sandwiches, bakery, coffee and outdoor seating (we had our dog with us so this was especially great.) Took the dog for a walk in White Mound Park which is a beautiful place with a lake and playground that is within a few miles of the house. Thanks for a fabulous home base, hope to return again!

  • Submitted: Jul 25, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beautiful House

  • 5 of 5

This is the second time I've stayed at the Bear Valley Vista and I loved it each time. You really get away to what feels like the middle of nowhere for rest and relaxation in the beautiful countryside. Still, there is plenty to do and see with places like Richland Center, and Spring Green less than half an hour away. The House on the Rock is only about half an hour drive and there are several large county and state parks close by. The price beats any hotel room and you get so much more than just a room to stay in. I think the house itself is an attraction and you will enjoy lounging on one of the several porches while you take in the scenery.

  • Submitted: May 23, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
50 Miles
Nearest Barpub
0.5 Miles
Nearest Ferry
25 Miles
Nearest Golf
10 Miles
Nearest Train
30 Miles
Nearest Motorway
25 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
10 Miles
Nearest Ski
0.1 Miles
Nearest Beach
5 Miles
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Plain House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
All Season
Jul 11 2015 - Dec 31 2016
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 3 guests; add $10 per night, per additional guest
All Seasons
Jan 1 2017 - Dec 31 2017
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 3 guests; add $10 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $200
Pet Fee $70
Cleaning, 1-9 people $95

$135/night up to 3 people, plus $10/person/night up to 9 people (4 people = $145, 5= $155, etc, up to 9 = $195/night). Nov to Apr = stay 6 nights and get 7th night free, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Security deposit can range from $100 to $300, depending on the number of people and number of nights; $200 is an average security deposit. Cleaning is $95 for up to 9 people; if cleaning costs are less, I will refund the difference. Dogs are no extra rent but we add an extra $20/dog cleaning and $50/dog refundable security deposit, a total of $70. Maximum is 2 dogs

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Plain House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2100 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Mountain View
  • Rural
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Bottled Water
  • Broadband Access
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Filtered Water
  • Gas Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Mobile Phone ...
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Shampoo
  • Telephone ...
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Water Cooler
  • Wireless Internet
  • fax
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , Downstairs
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower , jetted tub , Upstairs
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , Upstairs
  • All upstairs bathrooms ( 1full bath with jacuzzi tub and shower and one 1/2 bath) are accessible to all bedrooms. Downstairs full bath with level-in shower is off the bedroom/den.
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 9
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king , Upstairs
    Bedroom 2 - 2 twin/ single , Upstairs
    Bedroom 3 - 1 twin/ single , Upstairs
    Bedroom 4 - 1 double , Upstairs
    Bedroom 5 - 1 double , Downstairs
  • Upstairs are 4 bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths. A bedroom/den and a 2nd full bath are downstairs. There is one single Aerobed with bedding available at no extra charge, if needed.
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books ...
  • Books for Adults
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Game Room
  • Games ...
  • Games for Kids
  • Music Library
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • VCR
  • Video Library ...
  • Beach Towels
  • Binoculars
  • Deck / Patio
  • Large Cooler
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Patio
  • Porch / Veranda ...
  • Screen Porch / Veranda
  • Small Cooler
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • 8 garden chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered ...
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Whirlpool
  • Whirlpool
  • jetted tub ...
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • coin laundry
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • miniature golf
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • rafting
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • spelunking
  • swimming
  • tennis
Washer and dryer are in the basement laundry; detergent is provided. Broadband internet access is via wireless; ethernet cable provided; WiFi-equipped (5G) . Wheelchair/walker access is through the downstairs screened porch to the first floor. Driveway parking for 6 or more vehicles. Free long distance in the US from home phone. Fire-pit is in the yard just east of the front door; yard chairs are on the front porch.

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