Nestled on the south shore of Hayden Lake is a white, two-story house, hidden by a thick hedge and surrounded by a wall of towering cedar trees. Although not famous like its neighbor the Clark House Bed and Breakfast Inn, this gem is, like the inn, a survivor of hard and changing times, and owes its existence to people who cared enough to preserve it.
This house, now the home of Pat and Gloria Lund, their three dogs and one cat, was built in 1909 by multimillionaire F. Lewis Clark for his corporate secretary and his family, and was completed a year before Clark had finished building his classical revival mansion overlooking Hayden Lake.
The mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Kirkland K. Cutter is named as the architect. It is likely that the secretary’s house was also designed by Cutter since both houses were under construction at about the same period of time.
The Lund home, along with a little more than six acres, has belonged to the Lund family since 1927, when Pat Lund’s grandfather, Spokane attorney Charles Patrick Lund, bought the estate of nearly 1,000 acres from a consortium of bankers who had planned to subdivide and develop the land under the name of Honeysuckle Estates. The six-plus acres is the only piece of the estate that still remains in the Lund family.
The bank had acquired the property from the bankrupt Clark estate after F. Lewis Clark had disappeared mysteriously in 1914 from a Southern California beach, leaving his wife, Winifred, with a fading fortune and facing financial ruin. With her husband presumed dead, she attempted to hang on but eventually lost the estate in 1922.
This property, purchased by Pat Lund’s grandfather, included the Lund’s present home, the mansion, barns, a dairy, greenhouse and a saw mill, plus a mess hall and bunkhouse. The latter two served the large, resident staff. Pat Lund says that it took 12 gardeners to care for the grounds. The complex of the original estate was very much like a town and was known as “Clarksville,” a designation that still appears on maps.
As a child, Pat Lund had spent some time living on the estate, wandering the forest paths. “I remember looking up at the trees that spread out above.” His face reflects the wonderment of his memories.
At the time he was living with his father, Robert, who occupied a log cabin that had been built on the foundation of the Clark’s greenhouse. The log building is still there but no longer owned by the Lunds.
Lund says that his father became a war casualty, missing in action and presumed dead, having vanished during the Japanese occupation of the Philippine Islands during the early days of World War II.
“Before enlisting, my dad had worked for his father and remodeled one of the barns, the bunkhouse and mess hall into cabins and living quarters that were rented out,” he says. “These buildings still stand today and are now privately owned.”
In 1950 Charles Lund sold all of the original estate with exception of 11½ acres. Lund says that with the proceeds of that sale his grandfather, for whom Pat is named, established the Cheney Telephone Co.
Charles Patrick Lund died in 1960, leaving his real estate and financial holdings in a trust. Ten years later the trust was broken, the phone company sold and the estate divided among a number of heirs with the result that Pat Lund ended up with a little more than half of the remaining lake property which included The Secretary house.
Gloria, Pat’s wife, explains, “We always refer to it as ‘The Secretary’ house.”
She says, “We lived in Southern California until 1969 and only lived in the house when we came north. When we moved to Spokane in 1969 we still used the house just during the summer.”
It was during the years when the family lived in Spokane that Gloria Lund spearheaded the move to restore the Colonial Revival house. “It was in terrible condition when we decided to do it,” she said.
“The foundation was crumbling, a center wall was sinking and the flooring buckled. We had done superficial maintenance over the years like painting the exterior and taking care of the roof but no structural work.
“The first thing we did was to put in an oil furnace so that we could keep the heat in the house constant. In the basement was a huge, wood-burning furnace, big enough to hold a 6-foot log but we couldn’t keep the place warm in the winter when we were gone.”
The lack of winter heat had been a serious problem. Gloria Lund says that the plaster and lath walls are more like lath and concrete. During the damp, winter months the walls absorbed the dampness and froze.
She recalls, “When we built a fire in the furnace, the ice would thaw, causing cracks and water ran out of the crack and down the walls. The oil furnace changed that.”
Gloria Lund, who had always been interested in decorating and design and had a soft spot for old houses did most of the hands-on work such as painting and wallpapering. Before any of that could be done, however, she had to fill the cracks and sand the repairs smooth.
The Lunds hired subcontractors to do the carpentry and structural repairs. Gloria Lund worked directly with the subcontractors after the architect found she had a mind of her own regarding anything that was done to the house and gave her his own list of subcontractors.
She was adamant about preserving the integrity of the building. When exterior, siding boards needed to be replaced, she searched to find a supplier who could provide cedar boards of the same width as the original. When adding storm windows she found an older carpenter who could duplicate, in wood, the double hung, sash windows that the storm windows would cover. The original windows still have their old, wavy glass.
With five children, she knew she needed a modern kitchen with dishwasher, two ovens and other conveniences. She resisted changing a kitchen window to make room for one of the ovens and simply lowered the cabinet and fitted it under the window with cabinets on either side at normal height.
Architectural historians say that changing windows is one of the most common mistakes people make in restoring old buildings. Such a change can disqualify a property’s eligibility for the National Register.
The remodeled country kitchen has original wainscoting and cupboard shelves made of thick, wide, clear pine from local forests – the kind of wood seldom available today.
The only change the Lund shave made to the original house plan was to attach a new garage to the house by a breezeway located at the back. The garage and breezeway have living space above. Even this new attachment has boards that match the boards of the house.
In form, the house is a traditional, Colonial Revival with a triangular pediment over the front entry that opens into a central hall with the dining room, pantry and kitchen on the left and a living room with fireplace on the right. Stairs rise from the central hall with four original bedrooms on the second floor. There is a screened sun porch on the east side of the dining room.
The landscaping is simple but with enough broad leafed plantings to attract deer. Gloria laughs and says, “We were away for a week, and although someone stayed here and because the dogs and cat are in the house at night – the deer ate whatever they liked.”
The Lunds have made a warm and comfortable home for themselves and their now-grown children and grandchildren who come to visit, but they also have preserved, intact, a piece of Idaho history and family history and provided, through the house, a connection with a piece of the past that otherwise might have been lost.
It is obvious in talking with them that they are proud of what they have accomplished and enjoyed doing it.
“It’s a great place to have supper on a summer evening,” Pat Lund said.
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