Exploring history for a cause: Wabeno lumber baron's mansion open for tours to benefit humane societySubmitted: 12/13/2017
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Exploring history for a cause:  Wabeno lumber baron's mansion open for tours to benefit humane society
WABENO, CRANDON - Donna Ver Voort calls her mansion "the most beautiful property in Forest County."

The Wabeno home, built in 1908 by lumber baron M. J. Quinlan, is now Ver Voort's Crystal Bell Inn and Spa. Ver Voort has owned the bed and breakfast for 21 years.

"Even on the outside, it looks large, but when you come in, you are blown away," Ver Voort said of its 6,500 square feet.

Now, Ver Voort wants to show off her 27 rooms, three fireplaces, and third-floor ballroom which used to be a basketball court. For the next week, Ver Voort will give five-dollar tours of the mansion.

"It's the best five dollars you'll spend in a very long time," Ver Voort said.

All of the money will go somewhere important to her--the Forest County Humane Society.

"We're puppy rich. If puppies were gold...," said Humane Society President Jay Schaefer, trailing off.

The Humane Society can use all the financial help it can get. Schaefer will put money from the tours toward vet bills for dogs and cats in his care.

"Things like what the Crystal Bell is doing are just huge," Schaefer said. "That's what makes the difference so that when we have an animal that needs veterinary care, we can do it."

Van Voort is excited to help--and show off 109 years of history under her roof.

"You will be amazed at how gorgeous she is today, and you'll help out a great organization too," she said.

Five-dollar tours at the Crystal Bell are offered 1 p.m. through 6 p.m. until December 20. Because of a large cat population, the Forest County Humane Society is charging just five dollars for cat adoption, as well.

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