The house was started in 1880-81 and became the summer home for Mr. Gustav Fleischmann, a wealthy distiller from Buffalo N.Y. and member of the famous Fleischmann's yeast family. Originally named "Clarette" (in tribute to his two oldest daughters, Clara and Thornetta), the house stood on the entire 4-acre block with gardens and stables at the rear. Staff cottages and a guesthouse can still be found on properties adjacent to the original manor. In 1912, Clarette was purchased by Conrad Wettlauffer, a Buffalo physician, who carried out extensive alterations. The home has glorious views of North America's oldest golf course, where play started in 1875. Even then people wanted to build a home on a golf course!
Over 100 years later, Jane had a dream that changed both our lives and the destiny of this manor. Jane recalls: "I saw myself in the home in which I would grow old! In this dream I saw my eldest daughter as a young mother, children in tow, walking up a garden path lined with peonies with myself and Steve standing on a large white verandah, welcoming them." The search was on! Several months later, while cycling through Niagara-on-the-Lake, the then empty house was discovered and the conversion to Lakewinds began.
Starting in early 1994, Lakewinds underwent extensive restorations. Great care was taken to enhance all that could be preserved. Original curved glass windows and mouldings remain. Antiques and other period furniture are blended to create a wonderful year round living environment. In fact, every surface in the house, inside and out, was restored.
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