Lochnaiar Inn (1915)
John Reid Jr. succeeded his father-in-law, Frank K. Bull, into the presidency of the Belle City Manufacturing Company in 1914. He and his wife, Jeanette, engaged the local architectural firm of Guilbert and Funston to design their house in 1915. Half-timbering and stucco were used to simulate the wattle and daub exposed timber structures of the late Medieval Period. The pattern of stucco and timbering is variegated: “tree and limb” within the north gable and a diamond pattern on the south side. The prominent asymmetrical front gable, irregular rooflines, elaborate chimneys, multi-paned windows, and the upper stories overhanging the first-level brick walls were combined to present a fine example of English Tudor Revival style. The interior plans and materials were also exceptional. There are six fireplaces in the house, and it retains the original quarter-sawn oak floors. The top floor of this four-story house was given over to an apartment for the staff. With the exception of porches having been enclosed, the exterior has remained quite true to the original plans.

Until plans for the formation of Samuel Myers Park were instituted in 1969, the back line of the property ended at the top of a steep cliff, below which lapped the waters of Lake Michigan. The lowest lakeside level of the house opens onto the rear terrace. At the end of Eleventh Street a steep set of stairs, painted green, provided access to the beach at the base of the cliff. Reid, seemingly inspired by this location, had the word Lochnaiar, which has been attributed to Gaelic words meaning near the lake, inscribed in the leaded glass within the front door window. The large anchor that rests on the front lawn is said to have come from the Lake Michigan coal steamer, Rudolph.

John Reid Jr. died in 1925. From 1927 until 1965 this was the residence of Leon and Agnes Clausen. Clausen served as president of the J. I. Case Company until 1948. The garage was most likely added by the Clausens. Pewabic tile, used in flooring in the interior of the house, was incorporated into the basin and fountain on the exterior west wall of the garage. In 1969 the law firm of Brown, Black and Riegelman (later adding Kreul) purchased the property and remained there for nearly two decades. In 1989 Dawn and Ed Weisbrod turned the building into a bed and breakfast inn called The Lochnaiar Inn. Subsequent owners/operators of the inn were Craig and Alice Geisler followed by Shea and Ricky W. Leech. Concern for the demolition of the building and questionable redevelopment of the site followed. Sandra H. Young stepped in to protect the property in 2007 and attended to needed maintenance. Her intervention can be credited for preserving this lakefront landmark. In 2015 the Lochnaiar Inn was acquired by Dr. Howard and Sandra Johnson. It reopened as a bed and breakfast and meeting center after renovating and redecorating.

Preservation Racine is grateful for the opportunity to share the history and charm of this site — “Just Around the Corner.”