A historic house went on the market July 12.

Located on the lake in Cottage Park, White Bear’s oldest neighborhood, the 1884 shingle-style home was designed by acclaimed architect Cass Gilbert, the man responsible for the Minnesota State Capitol, New York City’s Woolworth Building and the monumental structure housing the U.S. Supreme Court.

Owned by Bob and Jane Bonne for nearly a half-century, the house at 4320 Cottage Park Road has been lovingly restored by their three children with much of its period detail intact.

Susan Bonne and her older brothers Dave and Bob inherited the home from their parents. Their dad died in the ’90s and Jane passed away about 18 months ago after living in long-term care for 10 years. The home was rented to help offset those expenses.

“Time and effort” by the siblings have since been put into the home to bring it back into better condition, Susan said. She is a Realtor with Keller Williams in Minneapolis and is listing the four-bedroom, four-bath house herself. Asking price is $1,050,000. She thinks it will sell quickly.

Jane spent summers on White Bear Lake at her grandmother’s cottage four doors down as a child and always loved the area. “She was the driver to bringing the family to White Bear,” Susan recalled. “We all fell in love with the house.” Susan was a young teen in ’73 when her parents bought the property. She went on to graduate from Mariner High School and lived in the house until leaving for college in 1977. Her older brothers were already away at school so never really lived there. Dave, however, bought their grandmother’s home on the lake when she died in 1991.

The memories are bittersweet, Susan said. “My parents aged in the house and fell ill in the house, so there are hard years as well. But when we first moved there it was so much fun. It’s hard to let the house go, but that’s the way it is with every home.”

The 3,556-square-foot residence has three levels with a spacious kitchen, two fireplaces, a formal lakefront dining room and expansive sunroom. Three of the four upstairs bedrooms have lake views. Taxes are listed at $5,782.

The siblings also recently subdivided the lot. Formerly owned by the Herb Tousley family, the property was two parcels when the Bonnes bought it. One parcel had a tennis court put in by the Tousleys. The court was removed and the land just sold to Celine Carlson, owner of Key’s Cafe in White Bear Lake.

According to the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society, St. Paul attorney Reuben Galusha hired Gilbert to design the lake cottage in 1884. It is the most intact Cass Gilbert on the lake. Another interesting side note: the Cottage Park neighborhood was a gated community in 1881 and the first formal settlement.

About a half-dozen structures in the White Bear Lake area are attributed to Gilbert. Two cottages built in the 1880s on Manitou Island have been razed. The White Bear Township Town Hall, built in 1885, is being restored after its relocation to Polar Lakes Park, and a cottage built in 1894 at 2540 Manitou Island has also been thoughtfully remodeled.  

Anyone wishing more information on the home can contact Susan Bonne at 612-202-9133 or susan@susanbonne.com.

(1) comment

MaryAnn Johnson

[smile] I understand the bittersweet of leaving a home with many memories. That would be my dreamhouse/area as Minnesota is always in my heart but here I am in Texas so will not give up hope of someday getting back there. We lived in White Bear Lake and I miss it very much. Hope whoever gets it appreciates it as much as I would.

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