Town + Country’s founder, Bernie Kondrat, was raised in Northern Michigan alongside the area’s many lakes and forests. By the age of eight, Bernie was a regular in the woods with his grandfather, getting paid to make fences using Pine, Spruce, Tamarack, Balsam, and White Cedar trees.
Through the years, Bernie noticed that the Pine, Spruce and Balsam posts they used severely deteriorated over time but the White Cedar log posts remained healthy and strong. When he returned from fighting in WWII, Bernie remembered that observation from his youth. With a $200 G.I. loan, Bernie and his friend Ben Organek, decided to start a fence building company.
They hitched up two horses and headed into the woods to harvest White Cedar. Each piece of wood was hand-selected and cut from Bernie’s farm. But, because cattle in the area were free-range, fence-building jobs were few and far between.
Cutting their losses, Bernie and Ben decided to leave fence posts behind and try their hands at building custom Cedar log houses. With a $35 investment in their first mill and a bell saw, they built their first home—a 22’ x 22’ structure. The home was built using White Cedar hauled from Bernie’s farm to Ben’s mill. Its exterior took a unique twist on the traditional log home with vertically cut White Cedar logs. The whole thing was built for just $475.
With the completion of their first home in 1947, Boyne Falls Log Homes was born.
Over the next two decades, Ben and Bernie established a reputation as superior custom log home builders. During the 1950s, they built a series of chalet-style custom Cedar homes in the Poconos Mountains, and in the 1960s they landed a contract to build a one-of-a-kind, low-maintenance housing resort called Breezy Point in Minnesota. One of Town + Country’s most well known structures is the Boyne Mountain Ski Lodge. Everett Kircher, the intrepid founder of Boyne Mountain, hired Ben and Bernie to design and build an iconic ski lodge that is still in use today and stands as a landmark in the Boyne Mountain Village.
In 1983, Boyne Falls Log Homes was renamed Town + Country Cedar Homes. Today, the innovation and quality that Bernie and Ben brought to building log and timber frame homes continues. We pride ourselves on crafting homes that exceed the expectations of our customers and we take pleasure in the joy these homes bring to families for generations to come.
And, by the way, client #00-0001 still stands today…
Celebrating 70 Years!
I have more questions and concerns about getting an oil-change than I do about this project.~ Tom H.