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Turning Points Features

"What sent that electric thrill through the man to his mate?"

Why a piece of land, for only the "most perfect country house" on the shores of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, of course! Frances Kinsley Hutchinson and her husband Charles built their country home in Lake Geneva in 1901. Prominent members of Chicago's business and civic community (Charles served as President of The Art Institute of Chicago from 1888-1924), the Hutchinson's developed many acres of land into a wildlife sanctuary that attracted more than 60 species of birds. Frances named the estate Wychwood in reference to the "wych-hazel" that grew on the property. She also wrote three books about the home, including this one, Our Country Home , published in 1907, which is the only one to include photographs of the estate. In very florid and dramatic prose, Frances describes how they transformed a Wisconsin woodland into a habitat for plants and animals.

Posted October 27, 2005
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