LAKElife Magazine April 2020

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April 2020



Premiere Issue Casting Calls Spring fishing at the lakes Water Fun Spring Stargazing


Indiana’s Largest Full Service Marina offering the best Best Brands on the water




• Demo boats on the water • Best Prices of the year • dealer reps on hand • Over 200 In-Stock boats • Doorprizes & refreshments

720 SOUTH LAKESIDE DRIVE, SYRACUSE, IN 46567 1 3 0 1 S O U T H H U N T I N G T O N S T. , S Y R A C U S E , I N 4 6 5 6 7 T O L L F R E E 8 6 6 - 8 5 6 - 2 6 2 8 / L O C A L 574 - 457- 4 2 0 0

W W W. M A I N C H A N N E L . C O M LakeLife Magazine April 2020





contents Editor’s Letter Lovin’ the Lake Life . . . . . . . . 4

Lakers’ PhotoFun Album


Kosciusko County Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22


Readers’ Photos Celebrate Lake Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Town Profile

When the Lake is your Playground . . . . . . . . 46

Warsaw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

The Good Life

Casting Call

Lake Profile

Fisherman’s Guide . . . . . . . . 50

Nature Awakes . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Feature Story Spring Stargazing at the Lakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

LAKE LIFE T(w)o Green-ish Thumbs Container Gardening . . . . . . 16

Water Warrior Pecking Order at the Lakes . 18

Critters + Crawlers Spring Peepers . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Tippecanoe Lake . . . . . . . . . . 30 Calendar of Events . . . . . . . . 32

LOCAL EATS Plating Professionals Meet Executive Chef Kyle Manning, The Barbee Hotel . 34

Fresh Eats

HOMES Exteriors April’s Showers? No Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Interiors Clutter Busters, Organization at the Lake . . . 54

Radish + Turnip Salad . . . . . 38

Featured Home

Food Finder

Rassi’s Retreat, Go Ahead, Pull Up a (POLYWOOD) Chair . . . 56

Kosciusko County’s Dining Favorites . . . . . . . . . . 40

Locals, Laughs + Libations Meet Twin Bartenders, The Frog Tavern . . . . . . . . . . 44

REFLECTIONS Final Thoughts . . . . . . . . . . . 64



LakeLife Magazine April 2020

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Legends Group

LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Editor’s Letter

Fast as short legs propel, I’d race my purple banana-seat chariot through forest paths—to my place of secrecy.

>> We want to hear from

YOU! We love your letters—and we happily welcome them. Simply email your comments to

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LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Then, I’d meander this 9-year-old futureworld-renowned-archaeologist (not) to the water. Yes, to the lake that I, future archaeologist (not) Sue, had discovered. Heck, I never once saw another human there. Just me, nature, skies, my secret lake and quiet breeze. The only companion missing was my German shepherd, but he might disrupt my vibe. It was the most awesome escape from chores and stinky brothers. Punk little sisters think like this, you see. And when winter arrived? This pipsqueak future-not-even-close-to-an archaeologist was not deterred. I’d slap cross-country skis to the feet and venture back to Sue Lake. I’d claimed it as my own, of course. No one fought me. Win-win. But even waaaaayyyy back then, I felt something so innately therapeutic about being near water. It relaxed. It soothed. It beautified. And it still does. Lakes provide unique fulfillment for the opposites: a playground for water fun, speed and excitement, but also the most calming respite to soothe souls, calm stress and warm the heart. Yes, so awesome. And now, with spring upon us, we look with anticipation for the season yet to come. But more importantly, we notice the right here. Right now.

We see nature coming to life. Bulbs will bloom and birds will sing. Ice melts, docks + boats are readied, and the sun shines a little more brilliantly. LakeLife Magazine is centered around such things: around lake life (clever name, eh?). Yes, we’re celebrating the lifestyle we all cherish, and the people who make our world a little warmer, whether through ingenuity, a drink made, or just a smile shared for no reason at all. We celebrate beautiful Kosciusko County… we may be a new publication, but we’re not new to magazines. In fact, we’re veterans in Kosciusko County, and we live what we preach. We love the lakes. We’re your neighbors. We embrace all for which this lifestyle stands. We believe family, appreciation and the small moments are where it’s at. And above all, we recognize blessings, large and small, in this thing we call the good life. Please know: this magazine is for you. To help preserve your memories. To publish your fun photos captured. To hear your voice. Send me your photos, email a note to share your thoughts and suggestions— or just reach out to say hello. I’ll be happy to hear from you. Happy spring to my lake friends of yesteryear, and to new friends alike. Blessings,

Executive Editor-who-never-came-closeto-becoming-an-archaeologist


Deborah C. Gerbers No stranger to lake life or lake magazines, meet Deb Gerbers. A freelance writer, former managing editor for Sue, and lifelong laker, Deb lives in Fort Wayne with her amazing husband Kevin (really, he is pretty dern amazing), their three kiddos (ages 19, 16 and 8), and a rambunctious

Nathan Bosch, Ph.D. LakeLife Magazine welcomes Kosciusko County’s esteemed water warrior to our pages. Yes, meet Dr. Nathan Bosch. In 2007, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in the field of limnology (it’s like oceanography, but studying freshwater lakes and streams, rather than oceans and coastal areas; we didn’t know what that meant either).

giant Schnoodle named Bear. Deb and Kevin both grew up summering with their families on the lakes, spending sunny days swimming, fishing, boating, waterskiing and just plain enjoying everything lake life has to offer. This lifestyle has been passed along to the next generation in their family-lake-loving tradition. When Deb isn’t busily writing or wiling away endless hours wake surfing, sailing, exploring Kasota Island, having lakeside bonfires or sunrise kayaking (whew!), Deb can be found hiking local trails, cooking gourmet-ish meals, and, of course, spending time with her family. We are thrilled to welcome the life-loving, adventurous Deb to LakeLife Magazine. This new journey wouldn’t be the same without ya’, Deb.

Dr. Bosch has 17 peer-reviewed publications spanning research in the Great Lakes to smaller inland lakes and streams. He’s been awarded the ChandlerMisener Award twice by the International Association of Great Lakes Research (this signifies the most notable journal article for that year, an award many lake scientists strive for over their entire career!). Dr. Bosch is currently a professor in the Environmental Science program at Grace College and directs the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams, a research and education center based at the college. When not working for cleaner lakes, he enjoys spelunking and traveling with family and friends. Dr. Bosch and his wife have four children and live in Winona Lake. Welcome to our pages, Dr. Bosch—and thank you for sharing your expertise with our readership. We’re honored to have you aboard.

Kay S. Young REALTOR®, Broker

Selling the lakes area since 1988

574-528-1400 LakeLife Magazine April 2020




Volume 1 Issue 1 | April 2020 Ron Baumgartner PUBLISHER Sue Rawlinson-Pais EXECUTIVE EDITOR Deb Patterson EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kip Schumm DIRECTOR OF MARKETING SALES EXECUTIVES

Carrie Goralczyk BUSINESS MANAGER Jerry Long DIRECTOR OF CIRCULATION jlong Trystan Nisley GRAPHIC DESIGNER CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ray Balogh Nate Bosch Adrienne Funderburg Deborah C. Gerbers John C. Gill Kelley Graber Haiden Hibbert Tim Miller Mike Petrucelli Shannon Rooney Loren Shaum Leslie Worthy

P.O. Box 188; 206 South Main St. Milford, IN 46542 800.733.4111/Fax 800.886.3796

Oh boy, are we excited. Welcome to a brand new, shiny, colorfulsome magazine—and this super entertaining publication masthead! And heartfelt thanks are extended directly to you. Why? Because NOBODY reads the fine print anymore, and yet here you are, reading away. You’re a superstar. And, for the record, colorfulsome is not really a word. Welcome to the new LakeLife Magazine! Count on this printed gem monthly, April through August 2020. And before August, let us know if you want more months’-worth printed. If so, Sue and Ron will arm wrestle to determine if we publish more. It’ll surely be a spectacular display of brawn and sweat. Anything for you, dear reader. LakeLife Magazine is published by your area publishing icon—yes, the one founded by the Baumgartner family, and the same one that has stood the test of time (more than 80 years!). Yep, we’re talking about The Papers Incorporated, at 206 S. Main Street, Milford, Indiana, 46542, with Ron Baumgartner, sleeves rolled up, and at the reins. And he reigns, too, for the record. See what we did there? Of course you did, because you read the fine print. Our office hours are most definitely 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for the second


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Tuesday of every week. On that day we knock off early to throw back a few. As we are veterans to this publishing rodeo, we know it’s important to share this message: ‘It shall be known that all rights whatsoever are reserved and nothing may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher, who also assumes no responsibility as a result of any information or items advertised herein.’ So, there’s that. And to get consent from Ron, you’ll also have‘ta arm wrestle him with both hands behind your back. Those interested in contacting us may do so by calling 574.658.4111 or toll-free at 1.800.733.4111. ADVERTISING INFORMATION If you wish to advertise, we can be super-cool besties. We appreciate every single dern advertiser who joins our journey. THANK YOU. And for those who wish to join the rest of us cool cats, we would be happy to put your advertising message directly into the hands of fellow Kosciusko County lake lovin’ residents. To learn how we can put the power of print to work for you, please contact Kip Schumm, director of marketing, at 574.658.4111 or toll-free at 1.800.733.4111. Or, email him at

EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTIONS Editorial suggestions are eagerly welcomed! Please contact Sue at any time (she loves to hear from you!) at, or send her a text at 260.450.7736. She’ll get back with you quickly. Letters to the editor may be emailed, and must include your name. We love to hear from you! (Sue actually did a happy cartwheel once after hearing from a reader. It wasn’t pretty. Like, not even a little.) LakeLife Magazine does, indeed, contract with freelance writers, photographers and artists to create much of its content. If you’re interested in joining the journey, reach out to Sue and she’ll be in touch. Again, her email is In fact, when in doubt about anything regarding this glorious publication within your fingertips, reach out to Sue. She’s your general go-to in these here parts. Therein concludes our first, super exciting masthead… now onto the real writing… enjoy this premiere issue. And genuine thanks for reading. Yes, even the small print.

“Life is better at the lake.” LongLive Summer Time

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LakeLife Magazine April 2020


PhotoFun Ah, yes. Spring has sprung, the breeze is breezin’ and temperatures are warming throughout Kosciusko County. An energized lake season is just ahead—and we treasure each warm moment of today. Enjoy this issue’s PhotoFun selections, as submitted by LakeLife readers. This spread is for YOU, so keep the pics coming! Please e-mail your lake moments to:

s ia. Princes e L s s e c in r P Move over f Dewart Lake is Elizabeth o utiful hair buns evenh! makin’ beaHello, sweet Elizabet more fun.

of your shell, t u o n o ’m C . y y y Ohhhh… it’s oka ne is watching… well, only this baby turtle. No o rinch. But no one else. Really. inquisitive little G


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Big brothe a fish. Shh r Grant shows Kellen remain ins whhaat? Kellen’s ha how to unhook thank you. ide the cozy, slime-fnds shall ree towel,


nsets. ‘Nuff said. u s e k la e k li e it u q There’s nothing

Hi, Miss K excellent de elley Jae. Purveyor of fine wine. sign and, yes, even

The best kin Cool Man L d of lounging? favorite po ane, the lake, and h och. is

Look, Mom! One Kneeboarding funhand! Dewart Lake… on perstars. u s le t t li t e ks and swe Silly faces la and Maddox. ThaneLife Meet Zaiy o much fun at a Lak for being s photoshoot! Magazine LakeLife Magazine April 2020


The Good Life by Sue Rawlinson-Pais


pring has been busily at work, working her magic—both within the ground and high above in the skies. And now in April, her hard work becomes beautifully apparent to the eye—adding vibrancy to our surroundings with hues of green slowly spreading and brilliant colors beginning to bloom. Yes, spring is now energizing everything—including the air we breathe. Fresh scents burst to life; they’re inescapable and worthy of appreciation. Notice. Breathe them in.


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

The Good Life

Sounds of nature are, again, making music. Songs of birds dance about the spring air, baby ducklings swim, innately following their mothers, and spring peepers make their presence audibly known.

Yes, it’s a time of anticipation for a great lake season to come. It’s a time of new energy, when the outdoors reaches refreshingly comfortable temps, and we overtly seek out colorful signs of spring. Daffodils bloom and tulips stretch open with brilliantly colored blossoms to brighten our views. Docks are readied for a busy season ahead— to hold steady and strong, bare feet large and small, impromptu dancing, drippy popsicles, lounging Adirondack chairs, sunset wine glasses and so much more. Outdoor settings come to life, prepping for water and relaxation, family, fun, friends and love. Yes, April is a wonderful time of rebirth, of appreciation, of re-energizing the soul—and anticipating a heartwarming season of celebration.

It’s how we live ‘the good life’ in Kosciusko County. And a good life it is, indeed. LakeLife Magazine April 2020


at the lakes by Tim Miller 12

LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Feature Story Night Sky

Here’s to new beginnings! The beginning of a new outdoor season, that is. After a winter of snowy days and scraping ice, we can, at last, break out the shorts, assemble docks, and launch boats. And, we can again sit outside at night, wine glass in-hand, watching the stars and moon move across the sky. And if sitting on the water’s edge? It’s even better. The sky and its reflection come together creating an endless and fascinating panorama of dark and light. What this must have looked like to ancient mariners, beginning their voyages and steering by the stars! While we may no longer need stars for navigation, the night sky remains incredibly fascinating and beautiful— and it doesn’t take expensive equipment or sailing ships to appreciate their brilliance. In fact, quite the opposite. “Start simple and have fun,” is the advice of Kurt Eberhardt, president of the Warsaw Astronomical Society. “Many astronomical objects and events may be observed without any equipment if you know when and where to look,” Eberhardt said. “Throughout April, just after

dusk, look west to see the bright planet Venus, and southwest to see Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky,” he advised.

Super Full Moon

Another unique event in the night sky this spring is something called a Super Full Moon. The moon’s orbit around the earth is elliptical, not round. So at some times during orbit its distance from the earth varies. A full moon, when it’s closest to Earth is called a Super Full Moon. In 2020 that happens on both March 8 and April 7. We won’t have another until April 26, 2021—so mark your calendar for April 7. Interestingly, the supermoon will also create extreme high and low tides on the coasts.

“A good pair of 7×50mm binoculars, a red flashlight, and a basic star chart can go a long way.” LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Shower Me With Meteors

Two meteor showers will be visible in coming months. “The night of April 22 and the morning of April 23, the Lyrids meteor shower will be at its peak,” Eberhardt said. Meteor showers are named for the constellation in which they seem to appear. As such, the Lyrids meteor show will appear from the constellation Lyra. The second meteor shower, Eta Aquarids, will appear in the constellation Aquarius in late April and early May, peaking around May 5 and 6. Should you wish to see more than is visible through the naked eye, be careful. “Do your research before buying any equipment,” Eberhardt warned. “There is a lot of junk out there that will only frustrate and discourage a beginner. A good pair of 7×50mm binoculars, a red flashlight, and a basic star chart can go a long way.” Why the red light? A red light can illuminate your way but does not destroy your night vision, so it won’t impede upon your stargazing.

Want to learn more?

The best way to learn is from others who are involved in the hobby. The Warsaw Astronomical Society is there to educate people. More information can be found on their Facebook page, as well as their observatory. There are also observatories operated by the Calumet Astronomical

Society in Lowell, and one in New Haven operated by the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society. “Amateur astronomy appeals to people in many different ways,” Eberhardt said. “Some enjoy the peace of a still night, some the challenge of observing faint objects or seeing celestial events unfold before them. Others enjoy making telescopes…and still others enjoy photographing the heavens.” Whatever your interest, there is something up above for everyone. So grill and fish by day, but take a few minutes this spring to appreciate the beautiful night sky.

To learn more:


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

New Pier & Lift Sales “Call the Pierfessionals”



“When it comes to buying or selling your home, don’t settle for sub par . . . go fore the best!”

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Resident of Syracuse Lake

Call Becky Today! Cell 574.457.9045 LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Lake Life T(w)o Green-ish Thumbs

Can Hardly Contain Myself Container Gardening by Leslie Worthy

Ah, spring… It’s time to put away bulky clothes and think about warm weather, waterside picnics—and, yes, freshly grown vegetables.


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Planting and growing vegetables is a wonderful, therapeutic pastime. Sure, we could go to the grocery store, but there’s just something marvelous about getting your hands into the dirt, planting a seed and growing something! Do you dream of growing your own vegetables, yet feel you either don’t have the space—or the inclination for a full garden? If so, there’s good news. Plant and grow your own custom-sized garden and veggies by utilizing containers. Yes, it’s less space. Less time. No need for heavy equipment. But still, a great harvest of produce. The advantages of container gardening? Containers require very little space, they produce virtually no weeds (yippee!), and mobile plants allow for more control over moisture, temperature, and how much sunlight the plant receives.

Containers allow for great creativity, too. From 5-gallon buckets to fancy planters to burlap-grow-bags, there’s an option for every desired look. And, these versatile containers make it possible to grow produce in spaces such as a balcony, patio, deck, dock, or a very small yard. Keep in mind, in Kosciusko County, the growing zone is 5b—and the last day to expect potential frost is May 10. Most plants must be in the ground after the last frost date, so while we are in April, it’s time to plan and prepare. That said, however, April is the perfect time to plant cold-loving plants! Direct-sow several hardy vegetables at the beginning to mid-April. Some of these include lettuces, radishes, beets, carrots, peas and onions, to name a few. These thrive in cool weather… and are ready for harvesting within just two months (late June).


Ree dy


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What you will need: • A container, to hold your growing vegetables • Loose stone for the base of your container, to help with drainage



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6. Place the container(s) in a sunny spot.

It’s that easy. Before you know it, you’ll be growing your very own container garden—and experiencing the joy of eating your own, homegrown vegetables.

Selling Kosciusko County Lakes Since 1966 LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Lake Life Water Warrior

It’s A Pecking Order (at the lakes) by Dr. Nate Bosch, director of the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams

Primary Producers: The Lowest Rung on the Pecking Order Algae and weeds, fed by nutrients, comprise the bottom of the food chain. Aquatic plants are essential for a balanced underwater ecosystem. The nutrients feeding them result from many sources, including soil erosion, lake-bottom muck, fertilizer spread on lawns and farms, and animal waste from pets or livestock. Nutrients are good… but only in limited amounts! In lakes throughout Kosciusko County, phosphorus and nitrogen cause most of the aquatic plant growth. These nutrients are washed into the water from our yards, streets and crops, and they often cause algae blooms and excessive weed growth. Primary Consumers: Herbivores that Munch on Algae Zooplankton comprise the next level of the lake food chain; they eat the algae. Swimming zooplankton are barely visible to the naked eye. A couple of common types in our lakes are cyclops, daphnia, and a variety of freshwater mussels, including zebra mussels. Zebra mussels snag algae out of the lake like mini water filters, but unfortunately will not eat the blue-green algae. This algae can produce toxins that can be harmful for people and pets who enjoy our lakes. Secondary Consumers: Small Fish that Make a Big Impact The upper layers of the food chain are primarily composed by fish. The smaller fish found in this level, planktivores that include bluegill and yellow perch, eat


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

zooplankton. These small fish are stuck in the middle of the food chain, affecting and being affected by the levels above and below them. For example, if there are many small fish in a lake, they can substantially reduce the zooplankton populations which can allow the algal populations to increase. Tertiary Consumers: The Dominating Trophy Fish The top of the food chain, the fifth level, is dominated by piscivores. Examples of piscivores include northern pike and largemouth bass… fish that eat other fish! They rely on the lower rungs of the food chain, but if the piscivore population is too high, the population of smaller fish will shrink. That allows for more zooplankton, which ultimately reduces algae populations. Every food chain level is important for a balanced and healthy lake habitat. To learn more and stay informed, sign up for the Lilly Center’s e-newsletter or check out our Field Notes blog. The Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College conducts research, provides resources, engages and educates residents, and collaborates with local organizations to make the lakes and streams of Kosciusko County clean, healthy, safe and beautiful. To date, the Lilly Center has conducted scientific research on over 30 streams and 40 lakes. The Lilly Center is driven to create a legacy of stewardship by equipping community members, visitors and future generations to understand and enjoy the county’s natural beauty. For more information, visit

Primary Producers Algae

Primary Consumers Zooplankton

Primary Consumers Zebra Mussels

Secondary Consumers Small Fish

Tertiary Consumers Large Fish

There’s a pecking order in our lakes. It’s a ‘who-eats-who’ directory that results in organisms eating or aiding other organisms in sometimes unexpected ways. In ecology, we call this a food chain, or a food web.

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LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Lake Life Critters + Crawlers

Critters + Crawlers

Spring Peepers by Adrienne Funderburg

Those living near lakes, ponds or wetlands likely hear the season of spring as much as it is seen. Frogs and toads make up much of the chorus, yet none announce the season more emphatically than spring peepers. From March to June, the spring peepers’ high-pitched calls echo from temporary woodland waters, called vernal pools, where they meet to mate and lay eggs. Their collective voices are reminiscent of a plethora of tiny toy car alarms in high-pitched ‘beeps,’ a fleet of squeakywheeled shopping carts or the very top range of a slide-whistle. Maybe these sounds aren’t typically associated with ‘springtime,’ but take an evening walk near a pond or wetlands, and their persistent peeping might make you notice otherwise. These tiny locals fit well into our ecosystem around the lakes. They eat insects of all kinds, controlling the populations of whatever bugs fit into their mouths. They are also the prey


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Spring peepers are hard to find, but easy to recognize. Their most prominent features: • Paperclip size, or smaller • Tan, brown, olive, or reddish color which camouflages them against leaves and logs

of other native species, feeding birds, salamanders, snakes and carnivorous insects that can’t fit into the peepers’ mouths. The spring peeper is small but mighty; a herald of spring and champion of the wet, low-lying areas common to lake communities. Lake life affords the unique opportunity to hear and see these tiny amphibian neighbors as we welcome the warmth and color of spring.

• Smooth, damp skin • Dark “X” pattern across their back

Adrienne Funderburg is the research program specialist at the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams, an enthusiast of all Indiana wildlife, but especially amphibians.

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For those looking for their lake escape.

After Encore Sotheby’s International Realty’s successful acquisition of Reecer Properties in 2019, Lynn Reecer and her talented team of functional experts continues to lead the market in real estate sales volume in North East Indiana, since 2013. With an average sales price of nearly $450,000, The Lynn Reecer Team helped more than 85 clients in the sale or purchase of real estate in 2019. Listings successfully sold by Lynn and her team also spent an average of just 40 days on the market.* As we look forward to 2020, The Lynn Reecer Team is excited to help clients throughout Northeast Indiana with the best possible service, an unparalleled marketing footprint, and access to discerning buyers throughout the world. Contact Lynn today to learn more about how she and her team can best serve you. *

Source: 2019 Indiana Regional MLS

Lynn Reecer The Lynn Reecer Team 260.385.9866 FB: The Lynn Reecer Team IG: @thelynnreecerteam

NE Indiana Lakes Office 950 S. Main Street, North Webster, IN 46555 Fort Wayne Office 5750 Coventry Lane Suite B1, Fort Wayne, IN 46804

©MMXVII Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. All Rights Reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office is independently Owned and Operated. Sotheby’s International Realty and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered (or unregistered) service marks licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.

LakeLife Magazine April 2020


County County Overview SYRACUSE MILFORD






County Profile

Kosciusko County Formed in 1836, Kosciusko County offers something wonderful for everyone—whether it’s exploring outdoorsy + water-loving interests, fulfilling an angler’s dream with plentiful fishing, soaking in arts + education, intriguing history buffs or satisfying souls in search of respite with gorgeous sunsets over the lakes. Yes, Kosciusko County has it all.


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Exemplary for living a culture of oldfashioned lake living and dotted with quaint, charming lakeside towns, the depth and breadth of offerings within Kosciusko County’s communities epitomize how we can simultaneously evolve, celebrate natural beauty and preserve rich history of an era long gone. For it’s here, in Kosciusko County, where main streets are still lined with historical buildings, museums, familyowned shops and locally-owned diners—all in addition to breweries, wineries, boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, local festivals + so, so much more.



Etna Green, Leesburg, Mentone, Milford, North Webster, Pierceton, Silver Lake, Syracuse, Warsaw, Winona Lake


With more than 100 lakes, Kosciusko County is rich with beautiful lake venues. Here are the largest and deepest of the lakes: Lake Wawasee, Tippecanoe Lake, Syracuse Lake, Webster Lake, Winona Lake. Pals Court and Audie chilling on Webster Lake.

HIT THE TRAILS What’s better in spring than to get outdoors? Inhale fresh air, notice the scents of spring, get the bod’ moving and maybe even work up a sweat. Or, peacefully meander, noticing nature’s new spring arrivals and hearing birds sing their cheerful songs. Lucky for us in Kosciusko County, we don’t have far to roam to capture it all. So lace up the sneakers for a walk, run, or bike ride—or get ready to giddy-up and enjoy horseback riding on the trails this spring.

Saddle Up

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Lace ‘Em Up

Beyer-Farm Boardwalk Trail Warsaw 1013 E. Arthur St. Heritage Trail-Winona Lake Trail System Winona Lake 1001 E. Canal St. 574.267.2223 Old Chinworth Bridge Trail Warsaw 3495 W. Old Rd. 30 574.269.1078 Syracuse-Wawasee Trails Syracuse 1013 N. Long Dr. 574.675.6433 LakeLife Magazine April 2020


County County Overview, cont’d MUSEUMS A county this rich in history, embraces and cherishes its unique past. Learn more about our area at the following museums…

Billy Sunday Museum, Winona Lake 1111 Sunday Lane, 574.372.5193 Kosciusko County Historical Society + Genealogy Library + Old Jail Museum, Warsaw 121 N. Indiana St., 574.269.1078 Lawrence D. Bell Aircraft Museum Mentone 210 S. Oak St. 574.353.7318 Pound Store Museum,Oswego 2932 E. Armstrong Rd., 574.269.1078 Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum, Syracuse 1013 N. Long Dr., 574.457.3599 Winona History Center Winona Lake 105 9th St., 574.372.5193

SHOPPING Both plentiful and various, the shopping available to Kosciusko County abounds. Antique lovers can enjoy a stroll through downtown Pierceton. For the extra unique and handmade gifts, check out Warsaw Cut Glass Company, where true artisans create crystal beauties. Visit downtown Warsaw for jewelry, fashion and homemade goods. Visit North Webster’s historic Pilcher Shoes, and don’t miss the home and apparel shops in Syracuse. Check out Absolutely Apparel + Gifts and The Gift Shop at Wawasee. And of course, make a special, full day of fun at the Village at Winona shops. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this former summer retreat is a bustling, vibrant shopping destination with an array of unique


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

retail and service shops, sure to please any shopper. Directly on the shores of Winona Lake, it’s a perfect place for relaxed shopping, and unique stores and boutiques bursting with creative, artistic and nostalgic items for sale. Warm spring’s chill with a cup of coffee, or enjoy any of the various

restaurants and eateries at the village. Too, preserving its history as a location for public gatherings, events abound year-round—and it’s a perfect place for enjoying nature at its finest. From water fun to relaxing in park-like settings to hitting the trails for fresh air and exercise, it’s all here for the entire family, right at Winona Lake.

County Claims to Fame • Milford is home to one of the largest commercial duck farms in the U.S., Maple Leaf Farms. • The Barbee Hotel, today a dining destination maintaining its historic name, has a colorful history of hosting both famous and infamous clientele—from movie stars Carole Lombard + Clark Gable, to mobsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Al Capone. • Largest natural lake in Indiana: Lake Wawasee • Deepest natural lake in Indiana: Tippecanoe Lake • The first original projection screens were created by Warsaw’s Da-Lite Screen Co., founded in 1909. Even today, they’re the world leader of producing high-quality commercial and residential projection screens. Talk about staying power! • Mentone’s 10-foot-high, 3,000-pound egg may not be at the top of bucket lists, but who isn’t intrigued by the unique claim to fame? Signifying the town’s claim of being the ‘egg basket’ of the Midwest, we’d say it’s clever.

Climb Aboard for Cruisin’ Climb aboard the Dixie, the oldest stern wheel paddleboat in Indiana. Now more than 90-years-old (constructed in 1929), the two-story Dixie, once a floating blacksmith, lumber and grocery ferry, continues her cruises along the perimeter of Webster Lake. Or, clamber aboard the S.S. Lillypad II on Lake Wawasee, parked just outside the famous laker staple, The Frog Tavern, in Syracuse.

Ski Shows Look forward to this summer’s ski shows! Yes, cheer on area ski teams who work hard to present spectacular shows. • See the family-lovin’ Ski Bees, who’ve been entertaining locals since 1953. The Ski Bees perform on Webster Lake, Saturdays throughout the summer. For their schedule, see • Enjoy the competitive water ski show team, the Lake City Skiers, performing free water ski shows for the public on Hidden Lake in Warsaw. For an up-to-date schedule, see

• Preacher and professional baseball player, Billy Sunday, considered one of the most influential American evangelists during the early 20th century, lived in Winona Lake during the height of his evangelistic career. It’s recorded that 250,000 people would crowd the shores of Winona Lake, not only to enjoy the cool waters flowing from springs coursing underground—but to hear his sermons. • Helen Keller, Will Rogers and John Philip Sousa all spoke (or performed) at Winona Lake events. • Oral Roberts, the nationally-known minister who founded Youth for Christ, headquartered his organization at Winona Lake. • Steve Hollar, who played Rade Butcher in the movie Hoosiers is from Warsaw. • Rick Fox, former NBA basketball player is from Warsaw. LakeLife Magazine April 2020


County Town Profile

Town Profile

Warsaw Warsaw, the county seat of Kosciusko County, is a thriving city whose historic downtown is centered around an Italianate 19th century courthouse. (Yes, gorgeous!)


arsaw has no shortage of natural beauty, family fun, great shopping and food, quaint parks, rich history, creative talent—and it has been home to lifechanging entrepreneurs. Known as the Orthopedic Capital of the World, Warsaw is home of both implant giants Zimmer-Biomet and DePuy-Synthes. See this issue’s county profile for more on its entrepreneurial and celebrity Warsaw residents and famed visitors.

Natural Beauty

Whether the lake is your playground for fast tubing fun, waterskiing, lazy pontoon rides, or a relaxed day of fishing, in Warsaw, there’s a lake for you. Warsaw lakes: Big Chapman Lake, Center Lake, Little Chapman Lake, Little Pike Lake, Pike Lake, Shoe Lake, Tippecanoe Lake, Winona Lake LakeLife Magazine April 2020


County Town Profile, cont’d

Center Lake Park, located in the center of town, is a popular venue for events and activity, complete with beach and play area for children. Too, The Warsaw Biblical Gardens are here, providing opportunities for a peaceful stroll through beautiful masses of plantings— plants specifically mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments. For those who enjoy trekking the trails on-foot or bike, Warsaw is the place to be. Enjoy the view of the Tippecanoe River on the 1.9-mile Chinworth Bridge Trail. The bridge, built in 1897, is part of the Lake City Greenway, which also includes the Heritage Trail of Winona Lake and the peaceful Beyer Farm Boardwalk Trail of Warsaw.

Theatre + Arts

Get your arts on in Warsaw! Enjoy live performances at the premier arts center, Wagon Wheel Theatre. There’s always something enjoyable and exciting happening at Wagon Wheel. For it is here where you’ll see some of the best talent in the country with Broadwayquality shows. Mark your calendars for Sat., April 18 to enjoy their professional orchestra at the “Symphony of the Lakes Celebration.” Held at the Winona Heritage Room at 7 p.m., tickets are just $10 each. Check out their website for full details—and their exciting summer schedule. Rich in history, Warsaw also offers the Kosciusko County Historical Society + Old Jail Museum to peruse. Within its walls, too, residents may take advantage of the wisdom and archives available within its Genealogy Library.


From specialty gifts to jewelry, housewares and antiques to apparel galore, great shopping abounds in Warsaw. Warsaw Cut Glass has been a town staple since 1911. With products hand-crafted by master glass artisans each crystal piece is as unique as it is beautiful.


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

ST Or, if fashion and glam is your style, don’t miss downtown’s appropriatelynamed Glam Boutique. Their staff makes each shopping trip a welcoming, warm experience—and for fashionable, comfortable clothing, they’ll have you covered.








Favorite Local Food

Home to small, quaint restaurants, hometown diners, exotic eating destinations and foodie-favorites alike, there’s no shortage of excellent food in Warsaw. Fresh fish is shipped three times weekly to Noa-Noa Wood Grill & Tiki Bar for a fun, delicious, tropical experience. Or, stop at the unmistakable shiny silver building on Route 30, Schoop’s Hamburgers, for a ‘50s type dining experience. Don’t miss American Table Restaurant, Rua, One Ten Craft Meatery, La Troje—a local favorite for Mexican food, or if seeking an amazing breakfast, say good morning at Creighton’s Crazy Egg Café. Care for a brew with your food? Visit Oak and Alley for excellent burgers, sweet potato fries and craft beer. And we would be remiss not to mention another Warsaw staple: Mad Anthony’s Lake City Taphouse. Or if prime rib makes the mouth water, head to The Barbee Hotel for their famous prime rib, lasagna, signature cocktail, brews, and uniquely historical surroundings.


Cruise Schedule: Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day

Welcome to the lakes!

For lake living, excellent food, shopping, history, entertainment, festivals—and an abundance of outdoor fun, Warsaw is home to it all.

260-894-7141 | LakeLife Magazine April 2020


County Lake Profile

It’s always fun on Tippy. Photo provided by The Watershed Foundation.

Hello, Tippy

Tippecanoe Lake by Haiden Hibbert

Home to summer getaways, historical properties and family cottages, Tippecanoe Lake is a glacial lake that’s quaint and tranquil, as well as a prime spot for recreation and warm-weather activity. Tippecanoe Lake is fueled by its rich history, and has maintained its reputation over the years. In fact, “Tippy” was named the No. 1 Best Lake in Indiana by 30

LakeLife Magazine April 2020


ocated in Leesburg, Kosciusko County, Tippecanoe Lake is recognized as Indiana’s deepest natural lake, running at least 122 feet deep according to sonar research done by the Department of Natural Resources; however, other resources believe its depth could be even greater. According to Patona Bay Marina & Resort, “Several locations [on Tippecanoe Lake] still have the natural glacial sand bottom deposited by the glaciers of years ago. With the high wooded shores surrounding most of the lake, it is considered one of the most beautiful natural lakes in the middle west.” In fact, the way the lake was formed has a lot to do with the clear, clean water residents enjoy today. Tippy Lake is just a short drive from Warsaw, South Bend, and Fort Wayne. And though the 851-acre lake is large on its own, there are several nearby lakes that connect to Tippy. Tippecanoe River joins the lake and the Barbee Chain, a group of lakes including Barbee, Little Barbee, Kuhn, Irish, Sawmill, Sechrist and Banning. Many people associate Tippecanoe Lake with the historic Tippy Dance Hall. The dance hall was open for more than six decades and several prominent artists like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong performed at the venue. In more recent

years, the former dance hall served as a music venue and teen dance club. A lake full of history has evolved into a peaceful getaway with plenty of activity, from fishing to boating and socializing at the sandbar. During time off the water, residents and visitors can enjoy a variety of dining establishments and bars, as well as the prominent country club, golf course and public beaches. Tippecanoe’s marinas include Patona Bay Marina and Resort and Tippecanoe Boat Co., Inc, both offering public access to the lake. Fishing is also an important part of life on Tippecanoe Lake. Residents often spend time fishing on their properties, but there are plenty of public places to catch largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, northern pike, and yellow perch—some of the lake’s largest populations of fish. If fishing isn’t your cup of tea, Tippy’s open, spacious waters allow for all kinds of boating, skiing, kayaking, jet skiing and swimming. In addition to the main resort on the lake, Patona Bay Resort, and give visitors the chance to live a day in the life of a Tippecanoe resident, showcasing some of the lake’s oldest and most beautiful properties, as well as many newly renovated, stylish homes.

LakeLife Magazine April 2020


County Events

Kosciusko County

Calendar of Events by Ray Balogh

Do YOU have an upcoming event? Great! We’re happy to share the news. Email event information to our pal Ray, at: Please send information at least six weeks prior to the scheduled event. He’ll be happy to hear from you!

Note: Every effort is made to ensure accuracy to events listed. As schedules sometimes change—and particularly due to developments with the COVID-19 virus—please confirm details prior to attending.

Monday, April 20, Paint with Carl Mosher, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Painting workshop for ages 15 and older. $20 covers cost of instruction, acrylic paint and supplies to complete an 11”x14” canvas.


Wednesday, April 22, Make It Take It Crafts: Wool Nesting Suet Cages, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Fill a suet cage with repurposed wood felt pieces to help birds build their nests. Registration required.

Friday, April 3, Lake City Piecemakers Quilt Club, 9:15 a.m.12:15 p.m. Learn new stitches and blocks. All skill levels welcome. Monday, April 6, Rachel Kruger Needle Felted Bunny, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Learn how to make needle felted bunnies. $20 due at registration. Wednesday, April 8, Tech Tutor, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. One-on-one help with tablets, computers, e-readers, phones. Monday, April 13, Cookbook Club, 11 a.m.-noon. Monthly club to learn new recipes and share favorites. April’s topic: “CityThemed Recipes.”

Friday, April 24, Five Sneaky Causes of Weight Gain & Keeping a Healthy Weight, 3 p.m.-4 p.m. Learn about pitfalls and how to maintain a healthy weight. Registration encouraged. Wednesday, April 29, Tech Tutor, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. One-on-one help with tablets, computers, e-readers, phones. Classes are free except as otherwise noted. 310 E. Main St., Warsaw. 574.267.6011,

Tuesday, April 14, Hypertension, noon-1 p.m. Learn about hypertension and how to treat it. Presenter: Jennifer Hoover. Sponsored by Walgreens Pharmacy. Registration required.


Wednesday, April 15, Sewing Station, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Bring your project, questions, troubles for help on sewing projects. Sewing machines and tools provided.

Cardio-Pilates on the Ball classes, 9 a.m.-10 a.m. Monday and Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Thursday. Instructor Norma Monik. First class free, thereafter $5/class or $40/12-class punch card

Thursday, April 16, Chair Yoga, 11 a.m.-noon. Videos will guide participants through gentle and gently challenging workouts.


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Yoga classes, 9 a.m.-10 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays. Instructor Norma Monik. $5/ session

301 N. Main St., North Webster. 574.834.1600,


Lakeside Park, 1013 N. Long Dr., Syracuse. Syracuse Knights of Columbus Council annual Easter egg hunt for children fifth grade and under. Photos with the Easter bunny, lunch, other activities in the Syracuse Community Center. Rain date April 11. Hunt starts at 10:30 a.m. sharp. Free admission. 574.457.5296


Winona Heritage Room, 901 Park Ave., Winona Lake. Concert celebrating Ludwig von Beethoven’s 250th birthday. Artist Christi Ziebarth will paint live on stage during music selections. 7 p.m. $10. 574.267.8041,


Green Earth Multisport, 1009 E. Canal St., Winona Lake. Support Earth Day with a run/ walk along Winona Lake Trails, past Grace College and along Winona Lake. Chip timed, awards for age groups and overall male and female. Registration 7:30 a.m.-8:45 p.m., race starts at 9 a.m. Free. 574.306.2004,


Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, 610 Wooster Road, Winona Lake. Elizabeth Smart tells her inspiring story of courage, forgiveness and triumph over trauma. Sponsored by CASA of Kosciusko County, Baker’s Youth Club and Joe’s Kids. 6 p.m.9 p.m. Free. 574.372.2401,


Wagon Wheel Theatre, 2515 E. Center St., Warsaw. Murder mystery with audience participation. Great for individuals or for an office team building event. Call ahead for wheelchair accessible seating. 7:30 p.m. $20/person, $150/ team of eight. 574.267.8041,


Winona Lake Park Department, 1590 Park Ave., Winona Lake. Run the 5K or get splashed with colorful powder paint on the 1-mile walk/run. Hosted by Joe’s Kids. 9 a.m.-11 a.m. $30/participant. 574.376.2316,

Unplug and recharge outdoors

Looking for a way to relax, recharge, and unplug with family? The answer is in your own backyard. . .transformed. Unleash your imagination and let Kuert Outdoor Living help make your vision become a reality. Build a patio, create a customized outdoor kitchen, or add a pergola, outdoor fireplace and seating area. Our design team can help make your outdoor space an extension of your home and personality.

2129 W. Wilden Ave., Goshen, IN 46528


Kitchen is Open til 10 PM, 7 Days a Week 1201 S. Huntington St. • Syracuse


Build Your Own Bloody Mary Buffet! Every Sunday Starting at 11 AM

574-457-3855 LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Local Eats Plating Professionals


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Meet: Executive Chef Kyle Manning by Sue Rawlinson-Pais

The Barbee Hotel 3620 N. Barbee Rd., Warsaw 574.834.1111

Executive Chef Kyle Manning, a year-round laker through both heart and residence, acquired his affection for culinary arts in the most homegrown way. Yes, through his mom. As such, his love for cooking blossomed as naturally as did his affection for the lake-centric outdoors. According to Chef Manning, cooking is more than a job. “When I cook, I put all of myself into a dish. It’s a very personal career,” he said. Yet, aside from blending flavors and exerting creativity in beautiful plating, the best part of a fine meal? According to Chef Manning, it’s sharing it with friends and family. In his free-time, you’ll find him reading, spending time with friends, enjoying the outdoors—and growing his own food. But most often, he’s cooking, feeding his creativity + serving up dishes for guests. Fueled by inspiration from the many locals dining with him at The Barbee Hotel, what inspires him most, he said simply, “Life itself should always be an inspiration.” We agree. Right on, Chef Manning. LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Local Eats Plating Professionals, cont’d

Tell us about working at The Barbee Hotel. The Barbee Hotel is a great place in our little lakes community! I’m all about keeping things light and fresh, and trying to add a new twist to classic dishes. Being a chef requires a lot of creativity and the need to be flexible with the seasons.

What can patrons expect with you as head chef? I have not been the head chef long. So, my goal is to keep all our regulars happy with the food they expect, while also mixing up new dishes and flavors. We are currently working on revamping our menu—so look out for new and exciting dishes to come.

What are your personal ‘rules’ when plating for guests? They say you eat with your eyes first, so I always try to focus on having a colorfully vibrant and fresh presentation.

What is a ‘favorite’ meal ordered at The Barbee Hotel?

Give us a pro chef cooking tip to use at home.

We are famous for our prime rib, which we serve every weekend. Also, our lasagna is a huge hit!

Plan your meals around a cut of meat that is both (1) inexpensive, and (2) goes well with in-season vegetables. Given enough love, even the lesser expensive cuts of meat can taste great in your kitchen!

Which menu item is an ‘undiscovered gem?’

The pan-seared scallops Rockefeller are amazing. They’re served with a rich lobster sauce and anisette sauteed spinach.

How do you feel about the lake lifestyle? The lake lifestyle is fantastic! With all the hustle and bustle of the summer, and the nice, relaxed pace of the winter, we get the best of two worlds.

Is there a motto you live by? I have forever loved the famous poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. He said, “Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self.”


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Which meal of the day is your preference? I think this is true with a lot of chefs, but I tend to eat very small portions throughout the day. When I do get the opportunity to sit down for a meal, though, my favorite is any meal I get to share with family and friends. That’s the most important part; food bringing us together.

Total Property Management Landscaping & Hardscaping Lawn Care

The Barbee Hotel A destination location of America’s famous and infamous, The Barbee Hotel stands refreshed, renovated on its exterior, and indeed, it houses incredulous history dating back to 1897.

ToTal properTy care

Once a resort locale for high society and celebrities, it has endured extreme ups and downs—and eventual rebirth and revitalization. What a story the walls could tell. Yes, The Barbee Hotel has, in one way or another, endured both the beauty and wrath of time. Once frequented by notable guests such as Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, it also housed the infamous in history— acting as a hidden gem for gangsters Al Capone, John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and others. (Sidenote: It’s reputed that, even today, Capone’s cigar smoke will periodically waft beyond his former hotel room No. 301—cool, right?). No longer an accommodation for overnight guests, The Barbee Hotel is now reputed as “one of the best fine dining restaurants in the area,” serving guests with excellent food (and libations!) in its lower level. Photos and memorabilia of well-known guests of yesteryear adorn the dining establishment’s walls—in a unique atmosphere where locals and out-oftowners alike frequent for fine food, signature cocktails, craft beer on-tap and the mystique of rich history held within its walls.

Make Your Neighbors GREEN With Envy •


LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Local Eats Fresh Eats

Radish + Turnip Salad

1 cup red radishes, scrubbed, greens removed, sliced thin 1 cup white turnips, scrubbed, greens removed, sliced thin 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, if desired

by Loren Shaum Lake Country Fresh Eats will appear in each issue of LakeLife Magazine. Columnist Loren Shaum is an automation engineering consultant, retired pilot, author, sometime professor, home gardener and an occasional chef. He and his wife, Gayle, reside in Syracuse.

¼ cup packed, fresh mint, snipped ¼ cup goat cheese Sea salt (Maldon’s sea salt, preferably), and fresh ground pepper

Radishes and turnips can be planted as soon as the ground can be tilled in early spring. Once planted, they’re both typically ready for harvest within four weeks. I particularly like the small, white, hybrid Hakurei turnips, and the French Breakfast radishes. Both make this unusual salad a hit — especially served with grilled burgers or brats. In some Germanic countries, this salad is more often served by adding two tablespoons of mayonnaise to the dressing. Save the radish and turnip greens for braising. Serves two. 38

LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Place radish and turnip slices in a serving bowl. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice. Add mayo, if desired, mint and season with salt and pepper to taste. Combine thoroughly. Adjust seasoning if necessary, and then top with crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle a bit more olive oil and serve.

Join U s For Dinner!


10201 N SR 13 | SYRACUSE | 574.337.1308


BARBEE HOTEL An Institution Since 1897

Handcut Steaks • Signature Cocktails

PASTA • SEAFOOD • PRIME RIB “We Are The Standard”



PIZZA • SANDWICHES • WINGS • SALADS Open for lunch and dinner

Great food and drink specials New Look Nightly Entertainment

3620 N. Barbee Rd., Warsaw (574) 834-1111 ext.2 (574) 834-1111 ext. 1 Reservations Recommended

Located upstairs at The Barbee Hotel LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Local Eats Food Finder

Food Finder There’s no shortage of excellent food in Kosciusko County. We’ll do our best to keep the list updated… if you see need for an addition or change, please contact us at

The River Coffee House

Eye-opening coffees, plus cinnamon rolls, soups—and, yes, uh-mayzing panini. Check them out! 127 S. Main St., Ste D., 574.834.1488

Webster Pub

LEESBURG HopLore Brewing Handcrafted ales brewed in an historic setting, accompanied by locally sourced foods. In the old Leesburg Mill. Menu of snacks and starters, daily brisket, tacos + more as well as kid’s menu. Specializes in craft beer. 100 S. Old SR 15, 574.453.3295

Stacy’s Restaurant + Family Dining

Family-owned restaurant and lounge since 1972. Wide selection of dining options and cocktails. Family-friendly. Serving steaks, seafood, sandwiches and pizza. Known for prime rib on Fridays and Saturdays. 309 S. Main St. (SR15), 574.453.3071

Tippy Creek Winery

Kosciusko County’s first farm winery in the countryside. Delicious red and white dry wine, sweet and semi-sweet wine, and sparkling wine and juice. Wine slushies. Events held throughout the year. 5920 N. 200 E., 574.453.9003,


Teel’s Family Restaurant

Family-friendly—and seriously delicious home-cooked food. Great breakfast—try Farmer’s Early Bird Breakfast. Nice, quaint, relaxing, yet busy spot in downtown Mentone. 108 E. Main St., 574.353.7979


Little New York Restaurant and Lounge

Kid-friendly dining establishment that serves something de-lish for everyone! From stuffed pizza to ribs, and now even Mexican food, it’s a little slice of heaven at Little New York. 407 Himes St., 574.834.2601

Lucky’s Tavern

A local’s favorite local bar with ice cold beer mugs, good food (it’s a cheeseburger paradise), pool tables and jukebox. 560 S. Main St., 574.834.7433

Maria’s House of Pancakes

Breakfast all day, big portions, good coffee… and much more than just pancakes. Skillets, omelets, crepes—and a full lunch menu with great burgers, tenderloins + much more. No frills, just good ‘n hearty food. 104 Esterbrook Dr., 574.834.4400

Pizza King of North Webster

Get your pizza-fill here, or choose from subs, salads, wraps, wings and sides—all the while gazing upon the mighty Dixie Sternwheeler, dock side, of course. 405 S. Dixie Dr., 574.834.2565,

Sheila’s Sweet Treats Ice Cream Parlor & Diner

You had us at ‘sweet treats.’ Proudly serving North Webster. 511 S. Main St., 574.834.7550

The Happy Wok

For dine-in or their ever-popular carryout, The Happy Wok features a large menu offering all the Chinese favorites you’d expect, and a happy bit more. Try their Chinese doughnuts! 621 N. Main St., 574.834.2990


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

It’s a local’s fave. Get your fill with their all-you-can-eat fish ‘n chips, and enjoy some find food and libations! 207 W. South St., 574.834.4251


Old Train Depot

A dining experience in a truly unique location. Dine in Pierceton’s old train depot for a modern menu, amazing salads and other delectable goodies. 115 E. Market St., 574.594.2090


The Igloo Ice Cream Shop

Over 30 super premium handdipped flavors, 3 soft serve flavors (chocolate, vanilla, lemon), handmade waffle cones, shakes, and sundaes. We are so there. 108 W. Main St., 260.352.0999,


Channel Marker

Full-service bar and family dining, fresh seafood, prime rib and sandwiches. Fun outdoor Tiki Bar is great place for dinner or drinks waterside. Live entertainment. Check out website for schedule. 5793 E. Pickwick Rd., 574.457.5900,

China Star

Order off the menu, or enjoy the buffet. Good prices and good Chinese food. Good deal. 734 ½ Huntington St., 574.457.8070

Chubbie’s Pub & Grub

Voted best restaurant by SyracuseWawasee Chamber in 2016. Burgers, prime rib, pizza, wings, fries—and best yet, they have Tenderloin Tuesdays. Multiple beers on tap daily + watch sports on the tvs. 1201 S. Huntington St., 574.457.3855

Coffee Depot

A rare find… it’s an excellent drive-through coffee shop, also offering HUGE breakfast sandwiches. Friendly staff + de-lish coffee and chai. 109 N. Huntington St., 574.457.2155

Down Under Bar & Grill

Gazebo entrance, downtown Syracuse, down winding staircase to enter underground bar and grill for juicy prime rib, seafood, pizza and so much more. 801 N. Huntington St # 12, 574.457.3920

Huntington Street Bar & Grill

Cool rock ‘n roll décor and memorabilia makes any dining experience just a lil’ more exciting. Add to the atmosphere great burgers, Caesar salads, excellent bar food, beer on tap, live music and good times, and we’d say it’s a rockin’ good time. 704 N. Huntington St., 574.457.3399

Kiyomi Japanese Cuisine

For big-city quality sushi and truly authentic Japanese food, look no further than Kiyomi on Huntington Street! With fabulously fresh fish, friendly service and an owner who is virtually always there, this spot is a can’t-miss. 404 S. Huntington St., 574.529.5025

Louie’s Bar & Grill

Known for great good, great memories, and great times. Sounds great to us. Open since 1963 and still serving customers with the same friendliness as 57 years ago! A welcoming home for food lovers and beer drinkers. 209 E. Bowser Rd., 574.457.3944,

Man Cave Brewing Company Local brewery with full bar and restaurant. Menu features salads, sandwiches and entrees. A local favorite for pub burgers, steaks and craft beer. Sign. Us. Up. 10201 N. SR 13, 574.337.1308,

Pat’s Chicago Dogs

Thank. Goodness. A place to get real Chicago Dogs. Go Cubs, by the way. Enjoy this hot dog lover’s heaven— but they also serve up tasty tenderloins and chicken breasts. 601 S. Huntington St., 574.457.5586

Peterson’s Fish

It’s getting fishy in here. But in a good way. Enjoy some excellent white fish, shrimp, scallops and clams broiled, deep fried or in their famous “our” recipe at this locally owned, local fave. 1009 S. Huntington St., 574.528.5000

Sleepy Owl Supper Club

Located near Lake Wawasee, enjoy the finest in steaks, seafood, pasta, pizza, tenderloins and more. You’ll only be sleepy after you eat. 11374 Indiana 13, 574.457.4840,

The Frog Tavern

It’s a self-proclaimed “Institution… of sorts.” And indeed, it is! Serving food, fun and drinks to Lake Wawasee for almost 90 years. Arrive by boat, enjoy live entertainment and a menu full of flavor. And for added fun, board the 70-foot S.S. Lillypad houseboat for a cruise, or rent it for events or corporate functions and cruise around Lake Wawasee. 1116 S. Harkless Dr., 574.457.4324,

The Pier & Back Porch

Lake Wawasee dining at the Oakwood Resort is a local favorite. Dine with family and friends (it’s open to the public)—and watch gorgeous sunsets as you also dine in casual elegance. Offering live entertainment on weekends, and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. 702 E. Lakeview Rd., 574.457.8700,

Westmain Kitchen

American food with a changing menu that offers everything from hand-cut filets to various pizzas, pork, chicken, spaghetti and more. With farm-to-table fare further complemented by a variety of beers on tap as well as wine and liquor, we’d say there’s something for everyone. 201 W. Main St., 574.457.2828


American Table Restaurant

Known for variety of over 100 made-to-order quality menu items. Serving generous plates for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Serving Warsaw for over 30 years. 3575 Lake City Hwy., 574.267.8171

Barbee Hotel Restaurant and Danny’s Sports Bar

The Barbee Hotel offers the highest quality around, serving prime rib, steaks, Walleye, ribs, seafood, pasta. Danny’s, on the 2nd floor, serves pizza, sandwiches and more. A laker’s institution since 1897 (that’s not a typo). Enjoy signature cocktails, local craft beers and great food. 3620 North Barbee Rd., 574.834.1111,

B-Mac’s on Buffalo

Yep, it’s yummilicious American food at this downtown diner. Considered a bit of a hidden gem, the service is friendly, food is served fast, the B Mac breakfast will get the blood pumping, and the burgers? Killer. Give ‘em a try. 114 N. Buffalo St., 574.267.2622

China Palace

It’s good Chinese food served on a small, but hot and fresh buffet. Enjoy wonderful egg drop soup and unique egg rolls, too. It’s a buffetstyle dining, but menus are available as well. Super friendly staff. 3628 Commerce Dr., 574.269.5821

Creighton’s Crazy Egg Café & Coffee Bar

Coffee bar and excellent breakfast—a local favorite ye’ might say. Enjoy fresh-to-order breakfast + lunch in the café, along with baked goodness, handcrafted coffee drinks and gifts. The Roost banquet room also available. 4217 W. Old Road 30, 574.267.3549,

Downtown Eatery & Spirits

Join the downtown crowd at this well-known tavern. Offering a wide assortment of American food and excellent cocktails, it’s a popular spot for date night, or just a casual bite ‘n beverage. Live music and outdoor seating to enjoy spring’s warm weather. 205 W. Center St., 574.267.6000

La Troje

Mexican meals. Tropical margaritas. Te amo. 115 S. Buffalo St., 574.376.4234

Latte Lounge

Ready to relax? Or, need a cozy spot to tap away on the laptop? Look no further than to lounge with a latte at Latte Lounge (see what we did there?). With excellent selections of coffee and chai products, a friendly staff and just some good dern coffee, we think you’ll love it at Latte Lounge. 108 N. Buffalo St., 574.268.1616

Mad Anthony’s Lake City Taphouse

Locally made handcrafted beers, deep dish Chicago-style pizza, large vegetarian menu. Private banquet room and family-friendly dining room. 113 E. Center St., 574.268.2537,

Maria’s House of Pancakes

Breakfast all day, big portions, good coffee… and much more than just pancakes. Skillets, omelets, crepes—and a full lunch menu with great burgers, tenderloins + much more. No frills, just good ‘n hearty food. 3865 Lake City Hwy., 574.258.0600

Noa Noa Wood Grill & Sushi Bar

Simply. De-lish. Noa Noa’s seafood and sushi, that is—all served with a tropical theme, extensive menu, and check out the attached fish market. 310 Eastlake Dr., 574.372.3224,

Oak & Alley

Burger bar with gourmet patties and craft brews. ‘Nuff said. 2308 E. Center St., 574.387.6114,

One Ten Craft Meatery

Graze local, folks. At least that’s what they say. Restaurant, meat market and banquet facility located in historical downtown Warsaw. Specializing in unique wines paired with locally sourced, Midwestern seasonal menu. Win-win. 110 N. Buffalo St., 574.267.7007,

Palette, an American Eatery

Warsaw’s newest hip joint. Locally owned, flavorful comfort food in casual atmosphere for the entire family. 2521 E. Center St., 574.268.1733,

Red Apple House of Pancakes

Wowsa. The menu at Red Apple offers everything a taste bud could hope for. From multiple varieties of French toast, waffles, pancakes and crepes, every egg offering imaginable, steak, biscuits + gravy, heart-happy foods, specialty sandwiches and burgers, you name it, and it’s likely served here. Hungry yet? 2616 Shelden St., 574.267.3007,

rua Restaurant

Eclectic dining, urban décor and international street food with a unique culinary flair. Ooh, sign us up. Also offering Thai and American street fare plates alongside cocktails, beer and wine. 108 E. Market, 574.267.4730,

Schoop’s Hamburgers

Enjoy a ‘50s dining experience with fresh, never frozen + cooked to crispy perfection burgers—all in a shiny silver building. So fun. Serving burgers, fries, chili, shakes & bottomless coffee. Yeah, and ice cream, too. 3501 Lake City Hwy., 574.268.9500,

Spike’s Beach Grill

To call it a unique outdoor dining experience might be an understatement. Step into this laid-back beach atmosphere right in Warsaw. Sit courtside, watch sand volleyball, all the while satisfying the stomach with amazing seafood and comfort food, and feeding the soul with good times. 310 Eastlake Dr., 574.372.3224

The Luncheonette at Zale Drugs

Step back into yesteryear. And order ice cream from the soda foundation, grab a stool at the diner counter—and/or order off breakfast and lunch menus. Nostalgia is always delicious. 1775 E. Center St., 574.267.7356,

LakeLife Magazine April 2020



Local Eats Food Finder, cont’d Yamato’s Steakhouse of Japan

Kelainey’s Ice Cream + Sandwich Shop

If amazing sushi, hibachi and bento boxes are your jam, go enjoy a Japanese lunch or dinner at Yamato’s. Dine-in or carry out, and order food online if you wish. And expect a smile with excellent service. 101 Argonne Rd., 574.267.8885,

For premium hand-dipped ice cream, gourmet sandwiches and salads—and even your fave espresso drinks, Kelainey’s has it all. Stop by while visiting the shops of Village at Winona. 904 Park Ave., 574.267.2860,


Offering the Extraordinary


Cerulean Located along the canal at the Village at Winona. Feel like some fine dining? Sushi, perhaps? Or bento boxes, wine and cocktails? Oh, yeah, they have ‘em all. You won’t be disappointed. 1101 E. Canal St., 574.269.1226,

Sales and service: 574.453.3970

Fishing or Floating- It's just all about boating...


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Light Rail Café & Roaster Visit this quaint café with open air deck seating and screened-in porch, the Light Rail specializes in coffee, pizza and sandwiches. What’s better? 1000 Park Ave., 574.269.1000,

The Boathouse Restaurant A signature staple for the Village at Winona. Enjoy views of Winona Lake while sitting on the screened-in porch, enjoying your meal of steak, pork chops, chicken, seafood, pasta, various salads and much more. 700 Park Ave., 574.268.2179,

The Garden at Cerulean It’s a dog-friendly, unique patio place with an outdoor cooking area, festive strung lights and entertainment throughout the summer. From artisan burgers and specialty plates to multiple tap selections, it’s a great place to dine—and chill out—on any seasonal night. 1101 E. Canal St. B, 574.269.1226,

Kosciusko County Luxury Real Estate Kosciusko County Luxury Real Estate

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LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Twin sisters, Megan (at left) and Lauren keep service hoppin’ + drinks flowing at The Frog Tavern in Syracuse.

Local Eats Locals, Laughs + Libations

April’s nominated bartenders: Megan and Lauren, fraternal twin sisters Story + Photos by Sue Rawlinson-Pais

About Megan + Lauren: They’re fun. They’re energetic. And they’re bartending twins. “Megs is the ying to my yang… we are the opposites who complete each other,” said Lauren, an aesthetician in a medical spa by day. Her twin sister, Megan, is a CNA who enjoys serving as much as nursing. These two hardworking moms are a dynamic duo, indeed, and yes, they are the very best of friends. “I have never experienced anything in life without her,” Lauren said, “we couldn’t be one without the other.”


ake life embraces laughter. It involves friendships, family and good times. Hey, it’s living the Good Life. And, for many, that good life also includes libations—and an accompanying atmosphere to celebrate soul-relaxing, sun-soaking, water-loving moments. And often, it’s those mixing your favorite cocktail or pouring the perfect draft who add to the fun. Cheers to that.

Location: The Frog Tavern

Describe The Frog’s clientele.

What’s the most common drink ordered?

Megan: We have many people who come in year-round who are residents on the lake, and soon will come guests we get to see more of once the weather gets nicer. All come here to have fun and relax, and it’s our job to make sure their needs are met.

What do you enjoy about working at The Frog? Lauren: The atmosphere! We host a variety of people, familiar faces and new. It is always entertaining and fun… I’ve met some great people and made lifelong friends. Some of my favorite memories were made here.

Describe The Frog to a newcomer. Megan: It’s extremely casual and laid back—with the promise of providing excellent service and food. Also we have live entertainment, the S.S. Lillypad

houseboat experience, and some of the best deals on food in town. It’s a place to just relax outside on the dock, or inside over some pool or sports on television.

Do you have ‘regular’ customers? Lauren: Oh, we have lots! Always room for more though.

Do you remember customers’ drink preferences?

Megan: It’s like I have a mental rolodex on the regulars! They come in, and I will ask to make sure they are going with the usual, and have it ready in seconds. It makes a person feel special.

What’s the most fun drink to make?

Lauren: My favorite drink to pour is Patron shots. Who doesn’t love Tequila shots?!

1116 S. Harkless Dr., Syracuse 574.457.4324,

Megan: The Frog has customers of all ages (and preferences). We go from serving gallons of brewed iced tea at lunch to ice cold drafts in the evenings, and lots of vodka + Red Bulls during the late night hours. And, our homemade frozen margaritas are pretty popular.

What else should we know?

Lauren: Lakers can come to The Frog by boat so it’s convenient after a day on Lake Wawasee. We have everything they could want! Come have a fun time at the hoppin’ Frog Tavern. Enjoy some small town hospitality… we’re ready for you! Do YOU want to nominate your favorite bartender in Kosciusko County? It’s easy. Just email Sue at She’ll take care of the rest! LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Featured Story Water Fun

2 pages

Water Fun the lake is your playground

by Deborah C. Gerbers

It’s almost here, the moment we’ve been waiting for throughout this dreary and cold northern Indiana winter… LAKE SEASON! Time to open up the cottage, put in the dock, and get ready for all the fun awaiting us on the water. Sunrise coffee on the deck, midday splashing in the hot afternoon sun, evening boat cruises while taking in brilliant sunsets, and cozy nighttime bonfires along the shore are all part of the plan this summer. From relaxed kayaking and fishing to high-adventure jet ski rides and wake surfing, plus everything in between, lake life is calling us and we couldn’t be more excited!


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Whether you’re a lifelong laker or have recently been wooed to the water, there are endless summer activities for everyone to enjoy. Kayaks and stand up paddle boards are perfect, low-key fun for just about anyone. You can set your own pace, bring along the kids, snap some awesome photographs, and maneuver into narrow waterways and bays unlike larger watercraft and speed boats. Don’t own your own board or kayak? No worries. The Lake House surf shop on Winona Lake offers kayak and paddle board rentals for $20/hour and $65/day, with a $30 pickup/delivery option. The stand up boards come in 9-, 10.5- and

Interested in putting in for the day? The Lake House rents a 21’ luxury edition pontoon for $300/half-day (4-6 hours) and $550/full-day (12 hours). In the market to buy one? Pro Wake Watersports in Syracuse has a variety of inventory to peruse. They carry several models of Sylvan pontoons for sale, with boats ranging from 19 to 25 feet long. Experienced staff can help you make the best choice for your needs and price range. As a full-service marine dealer, Pro Wake Watersports offers a complete range of services including maintenance, parts, winter storage, winterization, bodywork and much more. Looking for some full-throttle fun? A powerful speed- or surf boat might be in the cards. Popular manufacturers include Mastercraft, Moomba, Supra,

12-foot sizes, and experts are on-hand to help you make the best choice for each individual based on experience and goals. Another great option for lower-speed fun? Canoes and rowboats. Perfect for families and kids, a day of fishing, or just an adventure ride around the lake with a packed picnic lunch, these boats can also sneak under bridges, into canals, and are great for water lovers of all ages. Want just a little more speed? Pontoon boats are an all-time classic watercraft loved by many for generations. These “float boats” come in various sizes and lengths and can hold upwards of 15 passengers. There’s just enough motor power to put some wind in your hair, but pontoons are also great for a slow, evening cruise or for anchoring at the sandbar. The large surface area makes it great for packing coolers and tons of gear, plus the ample seating allows for maximum relaxation on the water.

LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Featured Story Water Fun, cont’d

and Nautique. A “surf boat” is ideal for wake surfing, which is becoming more popular each year. Ballasts in the surf boat have bladders filled with water to create a wave behind the boat, allowing riders to surf the wave without holding on to a rope, while going at low speeds around 10 miles per hour. But these surf boats are also great for pulling water skiers and tubers as well. Pro Wake Watersports has a great selection of new and used boats to fit all needs. Indeed, wake surfing is gaining the most momentum on the lake, according to local retailers like Mike Wilson of Bart’s Water Sports. “We are definitely still seeing skis and wakeboards, but surfing is the new thing,” he said. Another new “toy” gaining popularity is a hover glide, which raises the rider 24-36 inches out of the water. “You sit on it like a chair but surf on it,” said Wilson. “It’s a unique sensation!” The well-versed staff at Bart’s Water Sports can help you pick the best choice from their wide selection of wakeboards, wake surf boards, water skis, towables (tubes), life jackets and more. Want to try something new on the water but don’t have any experience? Shops like The Lake House offer wake boarding and wake surfing lessons. “We like to encourage families to have fun on the water,” said Jake England, owner of The Lake House, “and we show them how to be safe about it.” No matter which boat or activity is right for you, the lake has something to offer everyone. So, gas up the boat, break out the sunscreen, and get ready for the long summer days of fun living the lake life!


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

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Featured Story Casting Call

Casting Call

It’s picture-perfect by John C. Gill

As spring evolves, anglers gaze across open waters. Amidst the reawakened outdoors, they envision opportunities about to surface. Kosciusko’s 100 lakes and varied species make the county a haven for those seeking access to recreational fishing. Diverse lake environments, from sleepy to bustling, intersperse the area, and anglers enjoy ease of travel between them. They fish from shorelines and piers, and launch boats from public ramps, including handicap accessible sites at multiple lakes. Whatever the route, quality fishing is the destination. According to Tyler Delauder, Fisheries Biologist with Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), abundant bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie, and yellow perch—all naturally reproducing species—populate the glacial lakes countywide and elicit interest among


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

anglers. Furthermore, and bolstering the enthusiasm, the DNR stocks trout in Wyland Lake within Tri-County Fish and Wildlife Area; walleye in Winona Lake and Pike Lake; and muskies in Webster Lake, the Barbee Chain, and the Tippecanoe (Tippy) Chain. “We’re hearing good things from anglers,” Delauder reported, adding, “Tippy is known as the chain that has larger fish in it.” But hooking them entails more than mere bait and tackle. Studying lake contours, depth, and weed cover facilitates success. Both the DNR and Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams offer excellent resources, including lake directories, interactive maps, and fishing reports online at and

His findings have led Syracuse fisherman Dennis Wright to the wide and flat spots where panfish dwell in weedy, shallow water, and the deeper areas preferred by perch. On the inside turns of lakes, he pursues bass, and on the outside turns, pike. An ultralight rod and open face spinning reel combo, with flies or grubs as bait, will hook panfish. But bass anglers choose medium action rods with spinning reels, or baitcasters. Among the endless assortment of bass lures, jigs and crankbaits, and topwater frogs for lily pads, prove effective. Wright favors smaller lakes like Waubee and Chapman where light boat traffic ensures a peaceful atmosphere. Further, the lakes at Tri-County, surrounded by

woods and open only to electric motors, are idyllic. But action reigns where mighty muskies roam. “There’s definitely an adrenaline rush to catching a muskie, especially at topwater. It’s exciting,” said Chae Dolsen, owner of Webster Lake Guide Service, a catch and release enterprise. “The appeal is that you can’t catch one on every lake.” Indeed, fishing enthusiasts from across the country travel to Kosciusko County to hook muskies, which grow to lengths between 40 and 50 inches. The DNR began stocking the fish aggressively in 1979, and the population has dipped since its peak in 2006. But Delauder hopes to increase those numbers by continuing to stock at a density of four per acre annually in Webster Lake and the Barbee Chain, and one per acre in the Tippy Chain.

with 80-pound braided Spectra line, will reel them in. Dolsen recommends searching for a used rod and reel, and used lures, which sometimes cost $60 apiece new. “Use

a guide to help you make educated purchases, to show you how to rig suckers, and how to manipulate or tune a lure,” he advised. “A guide will help you do more than catch fish.” Hooking muskies, he explained, requires confidence, something anglers will welcome when bracing their trophy catches on deck for the obligatory photo opportunity. Picture-perfect best describes the fishing scene in Kosciusko County. “One thing I take away from it each day is just how beautiful it is outside,” Dolsen said. “We see eagles, ospreys, pelicans, swans, herons, sandhill cranes, even deer swimming. It’s just awesome to be out on these lakes.”

Muskies prefer shallow water and dropoffs where aquatic vegetation grows, but nothing too choky and thick. Baitcasters on eight- to nine-foot rods,

“There’s definitely an adrenaline rush to catching a muskie, especially at topwater. It’s exciting.”

LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Homes Exteriors

When April Showers,

The Rain’s No Pain

by Mike Petrucelli

The lake isn’t the only place you’ll find water this time of year. Oh, yes. Water falls from above in abundance in April, which can be a little … harsh. Hauling patio and deck furniture in and out with the weather is simply impractical. It’s important for outdoor living environments to be fortified against the elements, without sacrificing on style or comfort.


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Bryce Glock, sales manager for POLYWOOD, the Syracuse, Ind.-based manufacturer, explained that nowadays, patios, decks and other outdoor spaces are considered extensions of the indoors, and they have the look and comfort to match. POLYWOOD ( has classic and stylish looks, but, since it’s manufactured from recycled plastics, it also offers the resilience required to withstand Midwestern weather. In addition to the classic look of the company’s core design—the Adirondack chair—as well as its Edge collection (with a more modern design), POLYWOOD has some newer styles that are expected to be in high demand this year. The ‘Braxton Collection’ features an X-back design, usually found indoors, Glock said. POLYWOOD offers these chairs through all its product categories, from “deep seating” (think sturdy frames with comfy cushions) to dining counter and bar-height deck and patio furniture, to more “front porch” items like benches, swings and gliders. “It provides the look and feel of a more indoor environment,” Glock said. Homeowners seeking a serious statement piece might consider POLYWOOD’s rustic farmhouse table and bench. The design is that of a large, heirloom-style farm table that makes it clear: this is the gathering place for family and friends.

Cover Up

A large table like this may call for a similarly large cover for the wetter days of spring. A cantilever umbrella like the Boracay 10-foot cantilever umbrella (available at, can provide a lot of coverage from sun—and from the rains giving April its reputation.

Lighten Up

And as evenings are a little dark this early in the year, more styles of patio umbrellas are equipped with built-in LED lights, and are easily found at online retailers as well as local businesses. Look for more windproof designs as well, with vents and heavy bases.

Warm Up

April’s temperatures can also be fickle, so another item to consider is adding a fire table to your outdoor area. The table “extends the life of your outdoor space,” Glock said. “Come September or October, that space that wasn’t going

From Slab to Sanctuary

Beyond Landscaping in Milford specializes in hardscapes, turning what can be a plain slab into more of a sanctuary and showpiece. Joe Horacek, a landscape designer with Beyond Landscaping, said that popular looks for patios include overlaying a poured slab with natural stone and mortared joints. “The one that we like doing the most is blue stone, a harder type of sandstone,” Horacek said, adding that Beyond Landscaping will also overlay heavier flagstones as well. Based on what the homeowner has in mind, he said, Beyond Landscape

creates outdoor hardscapes to any taste, from flat surfaces to more elaborate stepped hardscapes and more. Another popular trend that began in the 1940s and has been seeing a bit of a revival of late, he said, are “live walls.” These are walls around outdoor spaces that allow for plants and flowers to grow on, in and around the wall. Live walls provide screening, but also a nice scenic space to liven a basic wall or fence section. And there’s one more thing that’s high on hardscape customers’ lists these days, he said: “Everybody wants a firepit.”

to be usable is usable,” adding that the fire can be adjusted to provide ambiance or to throw off enough heat to be warming. The tables are equipped for propane fuel and come with a conversion kit for natural gas lines.

April showers may indeed bring May flowers, but with the right space and décor, it’s easier to also bring the indoors out, rain or shine. LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Homes Interiors

Lake Livin’

Clutter Busters by Shannon Rooney

Whatever the size of your home or family, prepping for a season at the lake is no easy task. Our organizing hacks will put your house in order so you can relax and enjoy the season. Home Sweet Tidy Home

You’ve heard the saying: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Organizing the house according to that motto will make all your stuff available when—and where—you need it. Emily Fitzgerald, owner of OLS Organizing in Fort Wayne, offered a handy rule of thumb: “In a lake home or any home, I always say ‘store it where you use it’...or as close as possible.” She added that the more convenient it is to keep things tidy, the more likely you are to do just that. Fitzgerald recommends keeping items you will use outdoors near the


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

door. Make sunglasses, bug spray, hats, sunscreen, and towels easy to grab on your way out. Use containers to manage potential clutter and “make the most of vertical space” by employing shelving, said Fitzgerald. Towels can be rolled up and arranged in a basket or bin. Shelving with doors is not required, but can help cut down on the visual clutter.

Conquering the Garage

For garages or other storage, Shelley Ross designer/owner of Closet Concepts, of Fort Wayne recommended slat wall and track systems, which she said offer “tons of accessories options for storing life

Dock boxes are a great method for storage. Available at Bart’s Water Sports.

vests, fishing poles, water skis, etc. [There is also] shelving for towels, shoes, bug spray,” and other small items. If you’re lucky enough to have a pool house or just a handy spot on the dock, there’s an opportunity to increase your storage options. Lisa Strombeck with Bart’s Water Sports recommended using a dock box. “It’s a storage box with a seat on top and you can put it down by the water or your sea wall,” she explained. “They’re good for putting skis or floats— or really anything—near the boat.”

Smith Brothers, made locally in Berne, IN

There’s a Cubby for That

With the wealth of style options and configurations available, cubby systems have become a popular storage option. “Open or closed?” Fitzgerald said that’s the first decision to make when choosing a system that fits your needs. She advised installing cubbies near a door with the goal of keeping outdoor items organized and within reach. You can keep towels on hooks, shoes in the top or bottom, and even use the highest storage area for lesser-used items. Janet Hanefield Evans, owner of Fort Wayne’s Tiny ‘n’ Tidy suggested the fouror six-cube storage available at your local Target. “The cube storage has a depth of nearly 15 [inches], plus they are designed to house the Y-Weave Basket [in plastic or metal] by Made by Design. Both the plastic and metal bins are more durable and can handle the roughest of kids,” she said. And, she advised, always remember to measure before installing any storage furniture. Finally, Hanefield Evans recommended labeling storage so everyone, including the kids, is on the same page when putting items away. “You can purchase labels off of Amazon or make your own. Labels are important for the entire family because there is zero confusion on where items go,” Hanefield Evans said. Just imagine a store that didn’t have labels, she said. “How would you know where to return an item without labels?” Apply the same principle at home to rally the troops for your organizational cause. With everyone on-board, the house will become—and stay—shipshape at the lake.

Selection at Habegger Furniture doesn’t mean more of the same. You will find furniture sure to set your home apart from the same old routine.

366 US 27 North Berne, IN 46711 260-589-2314

4004 Coldwater Road Fort Wayne, IN 46805 260-471-3001

LakeLife Magazine April 2020


Homes Featured Home

Welcome to

Rassi’s Retreat Go ahead. Pull up a (POLYWOOD) chair. by Sue Rawlinson-Pais photo captions by interior designer Kelley Graber 56

LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Porch-rocking and looking at the lake is the perfect way to wind down — in these POLYWOOD Adirondack rocking chairs with a pop of color, adding a little drama.

Anyone familiar with the Rassi family knows this: these Kosciusko County natives emit a collective, admirable, emanating strength.


nergized by lake life, invested in spirituality, and fueled with entrepreneurial inquisitiveness, this family focuses wherever their hearts may lead—be it their Lake Wawasee home, the lake community, their faith—or their Adirondack invention we’ve all grown to admire. Doug Rassi and his wife, Kristen, are as collaborative a couple as they come. Doug is the creative visionary and unofficial aesthetics extraordinaire, and Kristen? She’s the logistics expert who is queen of organization and function. Kristen makes everything ‘work,’ putting all in its place and keeping everything

(and everyone) moving as should be. And with six children (Sean, Chad, Michelle, Danielle, Joelle, Dougie) and 10 grandchildren, her work is no small familial feat. “Kristen makes our house a home,” Doug said, “I can feel the love when I come through the doors.” And their loving lake home, or ‘haven’ as Doug refers to it, built by TL Jackson Construction, Inc. is the ideal heavenly haven for this faith-based, adventurous, entrepreneurial family. LakeLife Magazine? Welcome to the Rassi home. LakeLife Magazine April 2020



Those familiar with lake life treasure opportunities that arise at the lake—like building friendships, offering solace for the soul—and, most certainly, strengthening the core of family. It’s much of what we all celebrate in lake life, and it transforms a picturesque, euphoric dream to a visual of reality. It’s the view Doug and Kristen Rassi see daily. And they know the promise it holds for each upcoming season: more memories made with family and friends. “Relational bonds are formed through experience, and the lake provides experiential adventure,” said Doug. “Whether it’s being towed behind the boat, kids in the water or simply hanging out on the pier, it’s a destination the


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

whole family wants to come to, and be a part of.” But it isn’t just summer moments that hold the Rassi heartstrings. It’s the change of seasons. The tweak in atmosphere. Living year-round at the lake is their chosen, cherished lifestyle. “Although most people are familiar with the lake during the summer with all of its activity, when the piers come out in October, peace and serenity are the new normal…sunrise on a calm, uninhabited Wawasee is a spiritual experience,” Doug said. “Then the holidays come with all of (its) busyness…with family and friends. And shortly thereafter, the frozen lake seems to lock down time and space for the winter… There is something deeply special about living by water that is soothing to the soul.”

<<< Top Left Oversized great room chandeliers are replacing the customary fans in lake homes, adding style and better overall lighting. <<< Bottom Left Built-in bunk beds are an awesome way to sleep lots of guests in a small space.

Top Left The gathering space in the music room features these wonderful swivel chairs for group discussions and performance viewing.

Top Right Glass walls surround the foyer staircase to sound-proof the music room.

Bottom Left Every lake home needs a wine bar for those relaxing lake nights, and for entertaining large crowds and family gatherings.

Bottom Right The National Kitchen and Bath Show states this year’s hot colors for kitchens are white and white. The Rassi kitchen is right on-trend.

LakeLife Magazine April 2020



And to house such depths of appreciation, this modern craftsman home illustrates a balance of simplicity while making a grand statement. And its layout? “It exemplifies lake life,” Doug said. Built under the attentive direction of Brad Jackson, CEO of TL Jackson, Brad delivered the precise vision for which his clients had hoped. “I loved working with Brad Jackson, a true man of integrity,” Doug said. “His reputation for delivery and execution is second to none.” Built specifically to cater to both the family’s needs and passions, the Rassi house defines a custom home. From the state-of-the-art in-home spa to the gorgeous in-house apartment, exercise + yoga studio, grandchildren’s play room, music room, lounging + gathering areas, bedroom lofts, offices, and even a hidden room at the home’s peak (a perfect escape to pray, according to Kristen), the home has a plethora of hidden and apparent gems. The interior décor maintains a beautiful balance of ease, simplicity and yet elegance. “We like simple décor that is large, easy to process and easy to live with,” Doug said. And this shines brilliantly true with lighting as well. Many of us know that light fixtures add aesthetics, in addition to function. And in the Rassi home, the impact of gorgeous lighting is a profound design element. Doug knew this and chose accordingly. “The lights came from Restoration Hardware and Wabash Electric (editor note: Wabash Electric is now named Kendall Lighting Center)… I think lights are a great place to add a little bling,” Doug said. “They’re probably the No.1-noticed and commented-on design touch of our home.” And as with all lake homes, the view is among the highest of priorities. The positioning of the Rassi home on its property offers gorgeous water views out every window. “It feels very interactive with the water,” Doug said.

Faith Rocks at Rassi’s

As two solid passions within the Rassi family—faith and music—their home reflects both on an energized level. A full musical set up, complete with mall glass to maximize acoustics, makes up much


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

of the home’s second level. “My love for guitars and drums go way back,” Doug said. “What teenager in the ‘70s didn’t want to be a rock star?” However, playing rock music in Doug’s childhood home was not allowed, so it wasn’t until years later when his world was truly rocked. “When I married, Kristen said I could have guitars and motorcycles and all those things… No wonder I love her so much!”

“Relational bonds are formed through experience, and the lake provides experiential adventure.” Then came children for Doug and Kristen, and a “spiritual awakening” of sorts for Doug. “Once I started playing Jesus music, all of a sudden I could play and sing. What? Yeah, seriously,” he said. “All of my kids were able to play guitars, drums, keyboards, and sing... they seemed to just naturally be able to do it. Some had lessons; others just picked up the instruments and started playing. It led to a special season of life.” Special indeed. The full band set up? Was utilized routinely by the Rassi’s youth-led church, who held weekly meetings at the Rassi home. “The kids would come to our house to rehearse… Their music worship time would go on for hours. We fed a lot of kids! Now I’m watching my little grandkids come into the music room…” Just as lake seasons come and go, it’s the memories and moments we hold onto as one year closes and another opens. So it is with lake homes as generations pass and families grow. It’s the collections of seasons that weave tightly together into the unbreakable bond of a rockin’ family at this Rassi Retreat.

Top Left Work out/play space is a must for this active family. The large mirrors help with exercise form and drama play time. Top Right Fork-pronged hooks are a stylish and practical way to display this gorgeous collection of Doug’s guitars. Bottom Left These peaceful white porcelain vessel sinks add a clean look to the spa wash space. And, what’s not to love about the wall-mounted faucets and oversized mirrors over the sinks? Beautiful. “It turns out the spa is the most popular room in the house,” Doug said. “Having this room dedicated to health and life facilitates self-care that otherwise seems to just get put off.” No details was overlooked with the Rassi home spa. Not even the floor. Within the dry infrared sauna, the floor is constructed with Himalayan salt block. “They are known for detoxing your body through your feet,” said Kristen. Bottom Right Bring the outdoors in— without the bugs. Dining outdoors is a ‘must’ at the lake. LakeLife Magazine April 2020



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About POLYWOOD The Rassi entrepreneurial spirit has paved a profound path with creation of globally-known Poly-Wood, LLC. The durable, beautiful POLYWOOD outdoor furniture we’ve seen dotting lake home piers and porches across the U.S., was co-founded in Syracuse, by Doug Rassi, a lifelong Syracuse resident. Now celebrating its 30th year, POLYWOOD began as a classic garage start-up. Today, sons Sean and Chad both work at the company in strategic roles. And to LakeLife readers? “Thanks to all of the lake property owners who have been fans and customers over the years and have prominently displayed POLYWOOD on your piers, porches and patios,” Doug said. “Your encouragement, kind words, and patronage have been deeply appreciated.”

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LakeLife Magazine April 2020

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The next gorgeous (May) issue of LakeLife Magazine is dedicated to… you guessed it… MOMS. Hey, we love our moms. And we love the lakes. It’s a beautiful fit. • • • • • •

Mother’s Day at the Lake Wineries Paddle Power Pretty Perennials Home Interiors Summer Camps for the Kiddos


Kelley Jae Interiors, Inc. 5198 Pigeon Creek Court, Fort Wayne, IN 46825 |

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LakeLife Magazine April 2020



Take your child fishing… after all, children don’t remember their best day of watching television.


LakeLife Magazine April 2020

Come Home to Quality For nearly 40 years, the T.L. Jackson family has been making dreams a reality on time and within budget. Whether building or renovating, we listen carefully to your needs, design the perfect solution and deliver a quality built home you’ll love for many years to come. • 574-457-5417 11273 N. Syracuse-Webster Rd. Syracuse, IN 46567

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