300 Park Ave
This house was once the home of Harvey Lee Iddings, elected Charlevoix’s first mayor in 1905. Mr. Iddings owned a hardware store downtown. He was reported to have stood in a window with a telescope watching for the ships delivering his goods to come in from Lake Michigan.
Local builder Earl Young bought it in 1944, named it “The Pines,” and remodeled it in 1961-1962 with the addition of much stonework.
Author Bill Ratigan and his family lived here when they first arrived in Charlevoix shortly after the end of World War II. Mr. Ratigan, while working in Hollywood as an editor for NBC radio news during the war, had written to realtors up and down the Lake Michigan coastline regarding the availability of rental properties with a Lake Michigan view. Earl Young was the only realtor who responded to his inquiry, and the Ratigans moved in a few months later.
Ratigan’s daughter, who still summers in a different home on the Park Avenue Prowl, tells us an interesting story about their time in the house, which they called “The Spider House” and not “The Pines.” When the family arrived in February, they found the house without heat. Apparently Young had failed to inform them of this slight deficiency. They quickly made the decision to move across the street to a rooming house/tea room, and later bought another house nearby.
Copyright 2011 by Charlevoix County History Preservation Society. All rights reserved.