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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-829-7076

Charming Nostalgic Fam-Friendly W/ Trout Pond, in Pretty Valley near Lk Geneva

Bedrooms 2
Space 1,200 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 30 nights


About the property

2BR, 1BA, Big Retro Kitchen, Spacious Dining Inside & Out, Pleasant Views Abound

Privacy Pretty Views Convenient Location Large Kitchen Hyper-Clean Well-Equipped Romantic Modern Amenities Galore Brook & Trout Ponds Caretaker Onsite Charming Peaceful

We have concocted a blend of subtle natural beauty, comfortable furnishings, modern amenities and a bit of nostalgia that will transport you back in time and place to the good ole simpler days.

Our CARETAKER lives just across the street in the event of an emergency and the home is fully furnished so as to make your stay as carefree as possible.

Imagine sitting in the sun-splashed breakfast nook as bird song and the babbling of the brook sigh through the window screens on flower scented breezes. The windows peek from beneath large sheltering shade trees at the soul soothing vistas of the lush Sugar Creek Valley. There's easily room for 6 in this spacious, sunny farm house. The surrounding landscape is beautiful year round and is a teeming habitat for nearly every wild creature that Wisconsin has to offer (binoculars provided).

Family and friends will gather in the disproportionately large kitchen as the aroma of hearty home cooked meals fill the air. This 'heart of the home' is lovingly appointed with reliable appliances (some cool retro/vintage ones) so you'll have everything you need to easily whip up a romantic breakfast for two or a sumptuous family feast. Dining areas inside and out are large and inviting. A fire ring allows for toasting of marshmallows or toasting with glasses held high. Ideal for a a family of 4 to 6, additional guests can be accommodated on two sleeper sofas - one in the living room and one in the sun room.

Get away from it all without all the distractions and temptations of so many so-called vacation destinations and give this magical setting a chance to work some real quiet into your heart, real relaxation into your body and real peace into your soul.

Take a mug of coffee and take in the sunrise on the deck. Laze by the pond with a book or pick a fight with a trout. Lean your back against a big tree and watch the hawks circle against the clouds. Hop on the tire swing or stroll along the grape trellis. Sit by the campfire and watch the fireflies begin their dance. Go forth and do battle with links, slopes, waves, trails - - you name it; but come back to the sweet respite of this little retreat.

The floor plan allows for adults to catch up in the kitchen and dining room while kids entertain themselves upstairs, in the sun room or the surrounding yard. The master bedroom is convenient to the kitchen but in its own corner of the house.

Just 15 to 20 minutes from the vacation hubs of Lake Geneva and Delevan along with all they have to offer there are little gems you won't want to miss like the crossroads at La Grange WI, the East Troy town square, Lauber's Old Fashion Ice Cream Parlor, Old World Wisconsin and the East Troy Electric Railroad just to name some.

Experience the gentle, tranquil beauty of an authentic, simple farmstead with a brook laughing at its doorstep leading down to shimmering trout ponds below. Walk beneath the tremendous sheltering shade trees that frame the home and the immense willows that ring the pond. Share this magical landscape made more dramatic by the valley in which it nestles; a broad, lush domain of tree-lined ridges, open meadows, and cattail marshes through which meanders Sugar Creek.

You will love our home as we do if you highly value nature, nostalgia, quirky old homes, simplicity, slowing down, self sufficiency and getting away from the city but not too removed from civilization. If you would just as soon watch a sunset as you would a TV screen then this place is for you ! Having said that, we have splurged on some key amenities like high thread count linens, satellite TV, internet/WIFI and a drenching rainfall shower head too name a few. You won't be totally on your own if the old house truly acts up as our caretaker is just across the street. We also have some gear and supplies on hand to keep the more bothersome aspects of mother nature at bay.

More Details

Mr. Frank and Mrs. Mary McCormack
Member since: 2014
Speaks: english, french
Response time:
Within 2 days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
July 9, 2018

About Mr. Frank and Mrs. Mary McCormack

We married the year after we bought this land and are blessed to have four great kids ranging from 5 to 13 years of age. We both grew up in the area and so the little farm is a good and frequent rendezvous point for our extended families.

I grew up on a farm raising hogs, sheep, chickens, and horses while exploring the surrounding woods and fields filled with foxes, racoons and deer; so this land is a touch stone for those busy sun burned days of my youth.

My Dad and I best connected while fishing which motivated me to dredge the ponds and re-stock them with fish. Now we go down to the pond to wet a line whenever we can.

Mr. Frank and Mrs. Mary McCormack purchased this house in 1996

Why Mr. Frank and Mrs. Mary McCormack chose Elkhorn

From time to time as a young man I would find myself driving down into this valley which drops abruptly from the surrounding prairie as if it was an afterthought of the great glacial 'landscapers'. The dramatic sweeps of the willows, the silent vigil held by the old barn, the road as it wound across the valley floor and over Sugar Creek all lent an enchanted air to the land.

What makes this house unique

The home is fairly simple and unpretentious although it has a few features like knotty pine in the sun room and the archway between the kitchen and breakfast nook that speak to the embellishments previous owners strove to adorn what was essentially a hard working farm house. The kitchen is larger than one would expect for a similar sized home speaking to the meals served to family and farm hands alike. When our late neighbor and life long resident of the valley, Loren Barker passed away recently at 92 he said that as long as he could remember there was a house standing on the present site.

The place now boasts updated or new items: furnace, septic, major appliances, flooring, carpeting, siding, deck, bathroom, interior paint and finishes. Brush has been cleared, ponds dredged and re-stocked and the grape arbor re-vitalized.

My brother found a stone axe head down near Sugar Creek which experts date back to 500BC which means this ground has been an inviting home for a long long time indeed. The land is quite wild; at nights coyotes can be heard howling up the valley while beavers try to dam Sugar Creek and sand cranes make their prehistoric cacophony overhead.

The home is inseparable from the setting with a zen like juxtaposition of a simple frame building with the complexity of the varied landscape on which it sits.

Amazingly this enclave of nature and wilderness is convenient to Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and Rockford/Beloit not to mention a stone's throw from Lake Geneva and Delevan.


Elkhorn House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Included
Floor Area:
  • 1200 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets considered
  • Non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Rural ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • Full bath, recently refurbished with both massage wand and rainfall shower heads.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Master - 1 queen , On 1st floor, 2 dressers, mirror; West & North windows
    Upstairs - 2 twin/ single , Matching dressers, bedside tables & lamps, South window
  • Master Bedroom has bedside flat screen TV, tables & lamps with alarm clock and i-pod dock. Foot locker contains additional comforters. A plush memory foam mattress topper is on the bed but if too soft may be stored in foot locker. Sofa sleepers in living room and sun room provide sleeping for 4 more adults in a pinch. All beds have personal oscillating fans for the rare sultry night. Futons available for upstairs and a sleeper sofa each in the Living Room and Sun room
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Game Room ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair accessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Hot Tub ...
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • coin laundry
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • water parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • sailing
  • skiing
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
The trout ponds are beautiful to look at and are stocked with trout which are also beautiful to behold - - especially at the end of a fishing line ! No license required but limit of one per day please ! Fish from the pier but use caution as there are no rails and the water is COLD (therefor quickly debilitating).


Excellent! 4.6/5 -
(15 traveler reviews)

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Charming Nostalgic Fam-Friendly W/ Trout Pond, in Pretty Valley near Lk Geneva
average rating of 4.6 based on 15 reviews

Charming Cottage Getaway

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I loved leaving Chicago behind to enjoy a weekend in Elkhorn. Our cottage was tucked away, and felt very out of the way even though it was in a neighborhood with large homes. We couldn't see them when we were enjoying a glass of wine on the deck overlooking a pasture and hilly treetops. Our hosts, Frank and Mary, gave clear directions for "how to use the house", making it easy for us to enjoy the cottage and its' environs, including a late night outdoor fire in the fire ring, and fishing from the dock. The house is charming and comfortable. Grocery stores, restaurants were all close by and easy to get to. The front porch had a strong mildew smell (to be expected in a low lying cottage near the water), and the living room furniture was a bit tired. But everything was clean, comfortable and welcoming.

  • Submitted: Apr 14, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Peaceful and cozy cottage w fall-colored scenery

  • 5 of 5

Thank you for providing a beautiful fall setting while staying at your adorable cottage. My sisters and I gathered for a three day weekend, to reminisce, since our mother had recently passed. We enjoyed cooking in the nostalgic designed kitchen, admiring the autumn scenery (especially the large valley, viewed from the deck), hiked nearby Price Park (gorgeous!), dined at Ivan's, shopped at 2894: farm-to-table (both in East Troy, a 5 min. drive), lunched at Simple Cafe: another farm-to-table, and perused downtown Lake Geneva. Your cottage was just what we had hoped -- peaceful, take time to reflect scenery, cozy, fully stocked, short-trip access to decent restaurants, WiFi, and a bonus: decorated with cool vintage items that made for fun discovery and discussion. I'll bet every season offers its own beauty on this property; I'm considering renting again with my family during ski season since Alpine Valley is a stone's throw away. Thank you Frank and Mary. Oh, and I appreciated the quick responses to my questions prior to our stay. Glad you had a coffee bean grinder. ;)

  • Submitted: Nov 12, 2016
  • Stayed: November 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Buyer beware - not so charming just old and run down

  • 1 of 5

We have visited many charming, quaint properties through Wisconsin and Michigan, this is our first negative review but we don't want others to fall for the pretty, well maintained pictures featured. We were very excited to have a family get away with our 2 small children. We were so disappointed to arrive to the property, we literally drove by twice when our google maps announced "you have arrived at your destination" we just couldn't believe it was the property, we even pulled up the pictures and the tiny rusted tubs was the reason we knew it was the house. It was a poorly maintained property, paint peeling on the sides and windows, plastic covering the windows, and weeds everywhere - 2 ft tall and taller, so much so you couldn't see the trout pond that they had in the listing. When you walk inside you are overwhelmed with a musty smell and a six foot tall broken 1970's arcade game that is waiting to be taken to the dump. The inside is clean but you can't get past the smell. We respectfully reached out to the owner saying we didn't feel the property was portrayed accurately in the post. We were told maybe we were not the kind of people who would be happy renting a place like this anyway and maybe we shouldn't have picked this type of property....not sure what that means as we have rented multiple quaint, charming, old farm type homes. We didn't end up staying at his house, and despite this, he refused to give us our money back. We have tried to attach photo's of the house, and yard, to show the misrepresentation but were not able to post pictures. If you would like to reach out to us we'd be happy to share the photo's with you.

  • Submitted: Nov 12, 2016
  • Stayed: October 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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north Riverside


  • 5 of 5

Outside of the musty odor when you walk in, it was nice. We enjoyed the old nostalgia of the cottage. Would highly recommend.

  • Submitted: Sep 16, 2016
  • Stayed: September 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Great to stay for a vacation

  • 5 of 5

We stayed for 2 nights and everthing was great. This house had almost everthing that we needed. I liked the house with the vintage style. When you go to back yard, you can see beautiful scenery. Lake Geneva is about 20 mins far and grocery store is about 10 mins far. Thanks for welcoming us, we had great time.

  • Submitted: Aug 15, 2016
  • Stayed: August 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Quiet and relaxing

  • 5 of 5

We needed one final escape from the city before the academic year started. This home was perfect. It was quiet, relaxing, and comfortable. It afforded a slow paced weekend for us to relax as we pleased, cook as we pleased, and play as we pleased. Thanks for such a good weekend!

  • Submitted: Sep 9, 2015
  • Stayed: August 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
37 Miles
General Mitchell Airport Milwaukee
Nearest Barpub
5 Miles
East Troy House
Nearest Golf
3 Miles
Alpine Valley Resort
Nearest Train
29 Miles
Harvard Illinois
Nearest Motorway
1.4 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
5 Miles
Gus' Drive In
Nearest Ski
3 Miles
Alpine Valley Resort
Nearest Beach
13 Miles
Lake Geneva
Car: necessary

Convenient to Chicago, Rockford, Madison and Milwaukee the rolling hills North of Lake Geneva are home to lakes, rivers, quaint towns, farm fields, oak forest, substantial parks and friendly folk.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $60
Pet Fee $40
Refundable Damage Deposit $150

Rates are subject to change until reservation is confirmed.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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