"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

24 June 2016


Hobbitland … mushroom homes … elf space … gnome houses … Smurfsville … the creations of Earl Young are known world-wide.  And the only place you can see them is Charlevoix.  Here you can see some of the most famous, and most beloved, work of long-time Charlevoix resident, Earl Young, homes he built or remodeled beginning in the late 1930s, and culminating in the construction of the “mushroom house” in the 1950s.

Earl Young built a number of homes in the Charlevoix area, and each reflects his unusual style.  The Ludington Daily News in October 13, 1971 issue said it this way: “Sometimes the rooflines sweep so close to the ground that side windows are cut into them. The homes feature large fireplaces, generous use of stonework, and creative landscaping which helps the houses blend and snuggle into the hillsides.”  Young told the newspaper’s writer, “I always build the roof first, and then shove the house under it.”

Following the manner of Frank Lloyd Wright, who argued that houses should blend organically into their surroundings, Young designed each home to fit its site.  His signature style included liberal use of stone, including stone fireplaces, curved cedar shake roofs, and unusual chimneys that look like they come from fairy tales.  Unlike Wright, it has been argued, Young’s homes have a warmth and whimsy that makes them a pleasure to live in, in spite of their obvious size limitations.  And with one exception, the only place you can find a Young home is in Charlevoix.


Thanks Mum!

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