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

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

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Half Baths
Minimum Stay
2 nights


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 den/bedroom 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 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 porch. The upstairs porch has double-hung, dual pane windows with screens and a gas log fireplace for year-around comfort. A recliner and other comfortable seating, plus lots of books, toys and games makes it everybody's favorite favorite hang out place.

The downstairs porch is fully screened and has plexiglass panels for cold weather. It also 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
Member since: 2009
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
October 17, 2016
Call Owner

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. So far my research has not disproved it. As the house was 100 years old in 2015, we had a little celebration that 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 58 traveler reviews

Historic House with modern conveniences, twenty minutes from Spring Green.
average rating of 4.965517 based on 70 reviews

Beautiful and Impressive

  • 5 of 5

This is a lovely house in a lovely area of the state. Everything was clean and well furnished. The area was quiet and you could see a million stars!

  • Submitted: Oct 20, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Country retreat

  • 5 of 5

This is my second stay at this house; once with women friends and this time with my husband. Frankly, it cannot be matched. The house is beautiful, comfortable, well-stocked, and very clean. The kitchen has everything you need, including pantry essentials. Unlike some areas of Wisconsin, the water is very drinkable, so don't feel you need to bring bottled. Beyond the basics, though, this house has a soul. It is welcoming and warm, filled with cozy furnishings, books, games, puzzles, movies, art, and antiques. The view of the nature sanctuary from the front porch glider swing is so peaceful. I saw bald eagles during my last visit. My favorite, though, is the upstairs enclosed porch in back with a fireplace/stove, where you can curl up at night and read a good book. It does not feel like a rental home at all.

  • Submitted: Oct 13, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Solitude At Its Finest

  • 5 of 5

This was the perfect spot for our stay in southwestern Wisconsin. We spent several days touring the area on our motorcycles. We loved the scenery and little villages in the area including the Mindoro Cut, LaCrosse, Mt Horeb, New Glarus, Pier County Park, Elephant Trunk Rock and Richland Center. The house was perfect for us. Everything we needed was available. The house was very clean and Darcie and Bill were very helpful. We cooked dinner there a couple nights and found everything we needed in the kitchen. If we are ever in the area again, I would not hesitate to book this rental. It was an awesome stay.

  • Submitted: Oct 11, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Our family of seven adults had a great time together.

  • 4 of 5

Although the location was a bit out of the way, the peacefulness was much appreciated. The kitchen was stocked for home cooked meals. The rest of the home was pleasant and welcoming. We highly recommend this home for a comfortable stay.

  • Submitted: Oct 6, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Mankato, Minnesota USA

Wonderful gathering place

  • 5 of 5

What a wonderful home to gather with my cousins. There were 6 of us and plenty of room for all of us to share and sleep.

We were amazed by the amenities - the kitchen was well stocked with anything we might need, and towels and linens were aplenty.

Having 2- 1/2 baths was a plus with 6 women getting ready in the morning. The beds were comfortable and the quiet conducive to a good night's rest.

The house inside was very clean and the view outside, serene. We actually saw and heard cranes landing in the field across the road. The pictures on their posting are accurate. It is a comfortable home.

The location was midpoint between a lot of local attractions. Our destination was Taliesin one day, and Mt Horeb, another but it looks to be a similar distance to Baraboo or the Dells. The scenery is rolling and beautiful which makes a drive anywhere entertaining.

Booking was easy and the owners made the process quick and painless. I would highly recommend this rental to anyone looking for a place to stay in this area.

  • Submitted: Oct 3, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Wheaton, IL

Great Place to Relax

  • 5 of 5

We rented this property along with several of my siblings for a long weekend. The house is great. All of the amenities we needed and more. The location is convenient to many of the area attractions. The host recommended stopping at Dr. Evermore's Park near Prairie du Sac. We enjoyed our visit there. She neglected to tell us that one of his creations had found it's way to Bear Valley! Our favorite place to hang out is the second story porch, where we spent many enjoyable hours finishing several jig saw puzzles.

Hope to enjoy the house for another visit in the future!

  • Submitted: Sep 29, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 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

Rent is $135/night for up to 3 people, plus $10/person/night up to 9 people (4 people = $145, 5= $155, etc, up to 9 = $195/night). We have a two-night minimum all year, except for Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, all of which are a 3-night minimum. We have a special rate all year around of "stay 6 nights and get 7th night free." Security deposits range from $100 to $300, depending on the number of people and number of nights; $200 is our standard security deposit. Cleaning is $95 for up to 9 people; if actual cleaning costs are less after you leave, we refund the difference. One or two dogs (max) is no extra rent but is an extra $20 cleaning and $50 refundable security deposit, a total of $70.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Available arrival
Available stay (no arrival)


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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