By Anne Morrissy | Photography by Clint Farlinger
Lake Geneva natives Don and Joyce Huml were living on the East Coast in the 1990s, watching the home improvement program This Old House, when they decided they wanted to return to their hometown and start a new project. They purchased a historic farm, just north of Highway 50 in Lyons Township near the White River, from a descendant of the original German immigrant family who homesteaded the land in the 1840s, and set about preserving and restoring the barn and original stone farmhouse.
According to Joyce’s research, the house is one of only 1,000 surviving in the U.S. that were built with stones deposited when the last glacier retreated. The 175-acre farm contains several structures, which the Humls have spent the past 20 years restoring with the help of architect Ken Etten of McCormack + Etten LLC in Lake Geneva, demonstrating their passion for conservation and historic preservation. Now they are able to share their dream home with their children and seven grandchildren. “We just love it,” Joyce says. “It’s worked out really well for us.”