If you’ve ever been to Holland in the southwest corner of Michigan, you were probably struck by the beauty of the area and its old-world feel.  If you ventured into the history of the area you would have learned that if it hadn’t been for the Holland Furnace Co., once the city’s largest employer, the town may not have survived the Great Depression.

Among it’s most popular landmarks is the famous Hazelbank estate that sits on a 38-acre plot with 885 feet of shoreline along Lake Macatawa’s Pine Creek Bay.  Once an elegant retreat for the wealthy founders and owners of the Holland Furnace Co., the estate is now being touted as the most expensive listing in the West Michigan real estate market.

Current owner Holly Palmer, widow of P.T. Cheff, the former president of Holland Furnace Co., put the property up for sale recently after she decided that she wanted to simplify her life.  “It’s an awfully big place for one person,” she tells reporters.  Her husband, who passed away in 1991, left her the sprawling estate as well as another 16.5-acre wooded lot she has also listed for sale.

Listed at $18.9 million, the 12,000-square-foot home boasts everything from terra cotta tiles rescued from a French chateau to a horse barn and two paddocks.  Palmer spared no expense when designing the mansion, explaining that she picked materials that would give the home a warm and “cottagey” feel.

Although the sale of the Hazelbank property is being called a closing chapter on the Holland Furnace Co., Palmer is looking at it as a chance to let someone else enjoy she had so much fun designing.

Source: mlive.com, “For $18.9 million, ‘Hazelbank’ offers an elegant piece of history on Lake Macatawa’s Pine Creek Bay,” Jim Harger, April 27, 2013

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