A home with a viewLaura Stone bought her Knife River home, a former fish house, in 1986 and moved their full time in 1994.
By: Catherine Hannula, Lake County News-Chronicle
The view of Lake Superior from Laura Stone’s Knife River home is incredible — and Stone loves it. “This is a very important place to me,” said Stone.
Stone used to teach drawing at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., which is located about an hour outside the Twin Cities. But after she visited Duluth for the first time, she fell in love with the area. “I thought places like this were in Maine or the Northwest,” Stone said. “As soon as I got here, I was hooked.”
She began to visit frequently on weekends and stayed for summers at local resorts. Stone bought her house in 1986 and moved here full time in 1994. Before that, fish had been the house’s residents — originally, it had been a fish house. Stone’s art studio was first used as place for the nets to dry and sat next to the fish house. Stone said that there also used to be a hundred foot concrete dock outside where the boat The Crusader II had docked and christened by Prince Olaf of Norway in 1959.
At first there was a slight complication with buying the house. It was being sold in conjunction with the resort currently known as the Island View Resort. Luckily, another buyer only wanted the resort and Stone was able to buy just the house. In 1989 she first remodeled the house and turned it into a livable space by insulating it and adding new windows and plumbing among other improvements. But in March of 2010 Stone decided to add on an addition that would serve as her father’s wing of the house.
She received some help from her father Vernon Stone, a retired architect and professor of architecture who originally made as many as twenty drawings of the house’s expansion. “He was trying to come up with a solution that would fit all of the requirements,” Stone said.
Zoning regulations, height limitations, and the shape of the lot presented challenges. “If you start limiting the yards — the front yard, the back yard, and the side yards — it’s possible that you can wind up with no building space,” Vernon Stone said.
But the addition was completed in March of 2011 by Dale Torgersen’s construction crew which included Wayde Marble, Seth Christiansen, and Travis Metzger. Stone’s studio was moved to another part of her property. That summer she went to work on landscaping. Now Stone is completing some projects in her studio.
She said that her work on her house was an act of love and that it inspires her. “This place is a blessing,” said Stone. “Every day is good.”