Arcadia House was built in 1910 by well known local builder brothers Paul and Leo Tondu. Although not officially a two family home, Paul and his wife Lulu resided on the main floor while Leo and his wife Elta used an outdoor back staircase to the upstairs living area. It was one of the first homes in Arcadia to have both running water and electricity. The running water, however, consisted of a horse trough in the attic serviced by a hand pump and gravity fed to 2 sinks in the home.
Early in its life, the home was purchased by Charles P. Matteson, youngest son of one of Arcadia’s founding pioneers, Henry Clay Matteson. Charles and his wife Ada set up and operated the general store next door. (The store building still exists today and is currently enjoying renovations). The Matteson’s converted the home to a single family residence and added much of the custom woodwork including the fine central staircase. Arcadia House was their home for nearly 50 years, and they were its longest term residents. Over the years, Ida became famous for her delightful afternoon tea parties.
After Charles’ death in 1965, the Perry family used the house as a summer home until 1992 when it was purchased from Helen Perry by Phyllis & David Baldwin of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Over the period of 5 years, the Baldwin’s took great care in their thorough renovation and enlargement to convert the home to a five suite Bed and Breakfast Inn.
In 1995, a large shed addition was added the full length of the center beam of the second floor. An enlarged kitchen and attached owners’ quarters were built in 1997. This renovation restored the ceilings to their original height, rebuilt new walls throughout, updated the cloth electrical wiring and installed all new infrastructures. The original woodwork was preserved and its finish restored. New woodwork was finished to match the old. The first floor retains its original flooring as do two of the upstairs bedrooms. The fireplace and the entry vestibule are new additions on the first floor. New to the second floor are the four modern bathrooms, two balconies, and enlarged sitting room with its imposing bay window.
In November 2003, Greg and Patrice Wisner of Kentwood, Michigan purchased the Inn to continue and improve operations as a Bed & Breakfast. In December 2003, an outdoor garden hot tub/Jacuzzi with main floor access was added as a guest amenity and individual dining tables made by a local woodworker replaced the single large dining table facilitating a breakfast time of the guests choosing. In an effort to provide family accommodations, in July 2006, the 2 story garage on the property was converted to a modern “Carriage House” rental for weekly guests. In June 2007, the downstairs bedroom was converted to a full time “Mini Spa” for guests to enjoy massage, manicures and pedicures by appointment with Patrice. Throughout their ownership, the Wisner’s have fully embraced the relaxing atmosphere of the area so valued by the guests.
Gracious and comfortable, the wall coverings, window treatments, furnishings, and accessories all combine to create a feeling of Art Nouveau freshness and ease. Antiques throughout the home contribute to the Edwardian elegance appropriate for such a fine 1910 home. Arcadia House Bed & Breakfast presents an excellent picture of gracious living in beautiful Northwest Michigan.