For James Green, the property his grandparents, John and Kate van Schravendyk, homesteaded in 1902 at Camp Bay on Lake Pend Oreille is a very special place. But after 116 years, it is time for someone else to enjoy it. And whom ever is fortunate to purchase this property will be treated to one of the most unique and beautiful places in not just North Idaho, but throughout the country.
“It is very unique both from a geographic standpoint and the fact that I’ve been told it’s one of the largest privately owned properties on the lake,” says Green.
The 407-acre property, which is listed for $13.5 million and borders the national forest, has 3,000 feet of shoreline and is in an area that is one of the deepest parts of the lake. The view is across one of the largest expanses of Lake Pend Oreille with the Cabinet Mountains in the distance. “The most incredible views, in my opinion, are in August and September when those harvest moons come up over the Cabinet Mountains and shine on the lake,” Green says.
Green shares that it was his great uncle, Henry van Schravendyk, who brought the family to the area. He homesteaded what is now known as Pearl Island, and his daughter, Lorraine Haecker, eventually turned the property over to Idaho Fish and Game in 2009 to use as a bird sanctuary.
With 3,000 feet of shoreline to call one’s own coupled with the depth of the lake in that area, Green says the property at Camp Bay can at times feel like you are at the ocean with waves lapping against the shore. And, the landscape is also very different from other areas on Lake Pend Oreille.
“You can really see the effects of glaciation,” explains Green. “The topography is unique and is stacked up in layers, almost like a big amphitheater.”
In addition to 14 leased homes on the estate, which are on a year-to-year lease and can be terminated at their completion after the property is sold, there is also the original home of Green’s grandparents.
“We did some logging back in 2013 and 2014 and now have 30,000 seedlings growing on the property,” he says.
But it is much more than the land that Green has been working on; he has also been transcribing his grandmother’s diary she kept from 1941 to the time she died in 1964. “Her diary was 400 pages of cursive writing that I’ve managed to have converted to text. It did require a good deal of time for proofing, but I think it is now an accurate representation of what she wrote, although some words were not legible. It is a journey of family living in a very different time,” says Green. He has enlisted the help of North Idaho College to format and integrate photos into the diary.
It’s a unique and interesting read, not only to learn about life back in the early 1900s, but also for a bit of a history lesson as well. Here is just a glimpse of the excerpts below:
Monday, March 30, 1942 - “Today Mrs. Smith told me the government has bought 5,000 acres at Bayview and will put in a naval station there, as well as an airfield. Wonder what that will do to this region?”
June 6, 1944 - A big lapse of time! Our 22nd wedding anniversary – and today the big invasion of Europe started (D-day) – or rather it began last night, and news reached us this morning. On June 4, Rome fell. All day we have been listening to radio news of advances made. Philip – Margaret’s son – is in England, and I am wondering if he is in it and hoping for his safety.
The crisis of war is fast approaching. Tonight, at 7 P.M. Pacific War Time, President Roosevelt is reading a prayer he composed over the radio.
It is rare to have not only such a detailed history of one’s life but also to have this unique property be in the family for over a century. But, as Jim Green says, it is time to move on.
According to listing agent Eric Skinner of Century 21 RiverStone in Sandpoint, the possibilities for the land are endless. With so much land and valuable beachfront, one could divide it into eight 50-acre waterfront estates or a higher density Planned Unit Development. Whoever purchases it will surely have a rare gem.
As for Green, he describes who he feels is the perfect buyer: “Someone who is respectful of the heritage.”
For more information on this property, contact
Eric Skinner Associate Broker / Owner
Century 21 RiverStone
316 N. 2nd Avenue in Sandpoint