iving along the shoreline of Lake Wylie is almost like living in a town of its own. Friends travel across the water to visit other friends and neighbors float around together in coves, much like suburbanites gather in cul-de-sacs. There are areas of the lake with a high concentration of luxury homes, a few areas where homes share a common age or style, and other sections where million dollar homes sit next to 50-year-old “river cabins.” Still, in many places on Lake Wylie, the old has been completely replaced with the new. However, on Concord Road there lies a grand old home that is one of the oldest, if not the oldest home, on Lake Wylie. Built in 1820, this home was originally a farmhouse that was built near the banks of the Catawba River. There is an original well on the property, which was still in use when Mark and Joyce
Shoreline Sleeper bought the house in 1990. They moved here from Ohio with their two young children, Ian and Kelsey. “Mark wanted to live on the lake,” Joyce said. “I wanted land, a big yard where the kids could play. We looked all over the lake, and most of the places we saw had steep yards, were too crowded, or out of our budget.” The Sleepers were on their way to the airport when their realtor mentioned a place that might fit, but was in really rough shape. The realtor wasn’t exaggerating. “The upstairs was just plywood and two-by-fours,” Joyce laughed. “No heating or air upstairs, no railing on the stairs. And we had a three-yearold!” But the land and the view were just what they wanted. Joyce recalls standing in the yard and saying, “We can do this.” “Give me three years,” Mark told her. Twenty-two years later, they are still working on the “three-year renovation” of their house. “We didn’t want to get burned out,” said Joyce. “So we’ve done a little at a time.” Both Mark and Joyce are very handy, and this wasn’t their first home improvement project. They refurbished a home in Ohio before Mark was transferred to Charlotte with his job as a pilot for U.S. Airways. In addition to his piloting career, Mark became a licensed contractor and started All Home Services, a renovation and repair company. Along with their business partners, Alice and Boyce Barton, they have taken on quite a few successful projects in addition to their own home. Joyce said, “When we started renovating our house, we did the bedrooms first, so we’d have a nice place to rest and get away from the mess. And we didn’t work on it all the time. We enjoyed the lake and just lived our lives.” The Sleeper’s home evolved as the children grew up, and became a place where their kids’ friends wanted to hang out. Mark remembers when their formal dining room served as a basketball court. “I painted the lines on the floor and we had a lot of fun playing in there when the kids were young. Then, as they got older, we bought a pool table and the teenagers would play for hours at a time.” Outside, the yard is large and level, and in the summertime, volleyball and corn hole are set up to play. The Sleepers have a huge sandy beach, where a dozen lounge chairs and picnic
Mark and Joyce Sleeper have made their home on Lake Wylie for 22 years.
Fall 2012 | www.LakeWylieToday.com
Lifestyle magazine covering the Lake Wylie community.