MI Dream Home: Royal Oak 'windmill' house up for sale

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Don Quixote would probably love to hang his hat at a Royal Oak home that has a windmill and pond visible from Main Street and where one of Royal Oak's most prominent families lived.

And the historic Tudor-style house is on the market.

Located at 111 Lakeside Drive off of Main Street between 12 Mile and 13 Mile roads, the 1 1/2-story brick home is on a nearly 3 acre lot adjacent to the city's Wagner Park.

Built in 1935, the more than 1,600-square-foot house has three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and two half baths. The asking price is $1.9 million.

Mike Kramar, a Realtor with Clients First in Royal Oak, said it's the first time the house has been put up for sale since 1945. 

"The pond, the windmill and the 3-acre lot set this house apart," he said. "Those are three big things that separate it from anything else. It's probably one of the most unique properties that you'll find along the Woodward corridor."

Owner Carolyn Gabler said living in the home has been "like up north  living in the city." 

She said in addition to the trees, the land, the windmill and the pond, the house offers a lot of privacy. Gabler's family, which owned and operated Hagelstein's Bakery on Washington Avenue in Royal Oak, moved into the home in 1945.

In the late 1800s, the land around the house was a dairy farm. The house was built as a cottage for the Dondero family. George Dondero was a former Royal Oak village clerk, a former village treasurer, former school board president, the city's first mayor, and a U.S. congressman. A high school in the city was named after him until 2006 when it and Kimball High School were consolidated.

Kramar said the pond on the property is the city's only natural waterway. It's fed by a spring and well. He also said it's not unusual to see deer, squirrels and birds wandering through the property.

And the pond's partner, the windmill, was built in 1915. In 1930, a generator was installed to supply electricity to the dairy farm's big house and buildings. Thirty years later, the windmill was powered by electricity until 1974 when it was struck by lightening. The windmill was rebuilt the next year.

Inside, the home has been updated yet retains its classic trappings, including hardwood floors and original hand-carved wood beams in the ceilings on the main floor.

It has a large living room with fireplace that opens to the dining room and kitchen. Kramar said all three of the rooms provide a view of the pond, the windmill and sunsets. "The sun sets directly over the windmill," he said. 

Upstairs, the master suite also has hardwood floors as well as a full bath, a walk-in closet and a separate room that can serve as either a home office or a nursery.

In the finished basement, there's a fireplace, a second kitchen and a bathroom with a shower.

Outside, there's a heated, in-ground pool with a saltwater filtration system. A four-season sunroom provides access to the pool and a view of it from the house.

Kramar said the home has a lot of attractive features.

"It's almost like a resort or a summer paradise with the pond and the pool and all of the land," he said. "You could get out of a row boat on the pond and then walk to downtown Royal Oak."

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Twitter: @CharlesERamirez