A Bit About Us…
The first Swedish settlers came to Center City in 1851. High above the sparkling waters of Ki-Chi-Saga (North Center Lake), sits their handiwork, a beautifully preserved concentration of late nineteenth and early twentieth century homes that reside on the National Registry of Historic Places. One of the unique features is that the original plat called for all the houses to face the lake.
The 100+ year old Summit Inn sits high atop the bluff. Quaint limestone paths and an English cottage garden reminiscent of the Victorian era in which the home was built are features meticulously maintained by Innkeeper Elaine Sommer. The Inn was originally built in 1905 by the woman next door as rental property and since that time, only three families have occupied the residence, including the current innkeeper.
The first occupants were Dr. Gunz and his wife Inga. Inga was well known in the New York metropolitan area as a talented opera singer. Dr. Gunz saw patients in his second floor study. It is rumored that the doctor had been overheard commenting that “if the people were too sick to make it up the stairs, they were probably too far gone anyway.” A sense of humor is never bad medicine.
S. Ben Wennerberg and family moved into the home in the mid 1920’s. The second occupants were responsible for some extensive renovations; including adding the beautiful craftsman-style front entrance and sunroom. Neighborhood children, it is rumored, were devastated by the loss of “the best climbing tree in the county”.
Mr. Wennerberg was a highly respected and well known attorney. He even made a bid for public office running for State Attorney General. A man of fine taste, he imported crystal chandeliers from Europe and maintained a staff of house servants. The sound of Mrs. Wenneberg’s piano lessons echoed though these halls for nearly 50 years.
The home then came into the possession of the current innkeeper and her energetic family. It has remained in their hands for over 40 years. From quiet and sedate to the sounds of running feet and laughter, the home has basked in the warmth of love and family. Come stay at the Summit Inn. Be welcomed, rest, and leave refreshed.