The House of a Preacher

Mount Hood is the name of the house owned by the evan­ge­list Billy Sun­day and his wife, He­len. They built it in 1911 in Wi­nona Lake, In­di­ana. by pa­tri­cia poore

Arts and Crafts Homes - - CONTENTS -

The evan­ge­list Billy Sun­day built an un­usual bun­ga­low in Wi­nona Lake, In­di­ana, in 1911. Its in­te­rior sur­vives, an in­spi­ra­tion with orig­i­nal sten­cils. by Pa­tri­cia Poore


town of wi­nona, In­di­ana, got its start in 1881, when the Beyer broth­ers bought land around Ea­gle Lake (later Wi­nona Lake) and its nat­u­ral springs. They cre­ated a re­sort called Spring Foun­tain Park in 1887, which was also a Chau­tauqua site, later to be a Pres­by­te­rian Assem­bly. (The sum­mer-camp move­ment that started in Chau­tauqua, New York, in­volved fam­ily re­treats stress­ing health in ex­er­cise, en­ter­tain­ment, and mat­ters of the spirit.) The Assem­bly’s board of di­rec­tors would in­clude H.J. Heinz, John Stude­baker, and Wil­liam Jen­nings Bryan.

Many cot­tages and year-round homes were built, and ed­u­ca­tion flour­ished with the found­ing of the Agri­cul­tural In­sti­tute, the Tech­ni­cal In­sti­tute, and Wi­nona Col­lege. Sum­mer at­ten­dance in Wi­nona reached 250,000 at its peak dur­ing the pe­riod 1905–14.

Since the 1920s, through eco­nomic ups and downs, the town earned renown as a Chris­tian cen­ter. Grace Col­lege and The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary are here, along with head­quar­ters of other church or­ga­ni­za­tions; Wi­nona Lake was called “the world’s largest Bi­ble con­fer­ence.”

Back in 1899, the evan­ge­list Billy Sun­day and his fam­ily vis­ited Wi­nona Lake, rent­ing rooms in a board­ing­house. They en­joyed the new re­sort enough to buy their own sum­mer cot­tage here. A decade later they moved the old cot­tage across the street and built an Arts & Crafts Bun­ga­low on its orig­i­nal site. Mount Hood, as they named it, be­came their year-round home. Sun­day and his wife, He­len, raised four chil­dren. He­len out­lived ev­ery­one in her fam­ily, and in 1957 asked that the house re­main un­touched as a tes­ta­ment of her hus­band’s min­istry. It sur­vives to­day as a time cap­sule of Arts & Crafts dec­o­rat­ing and early 20th-cen­tury life.

top The one-and-a-half­s­torey bun­ga­low has a porch and foun­da­tion of pressed con­crete block that was made by a local com­pany. right Un­der a re­verse-cove ceil­ing, the painted sten­cil de­sign on walls is clearly Art Nou­veau. op­po­site A vari­ant on those in...

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