Established 1987

Beginning in my early childhood, my parents would come home from work on Friday evening, begin packing the car and the family would head out for our place in the country. Years later, my wife and I began the same tradition of packing the kids, dog and whatever we thought we needed for the weekend or vacation and headed for the country.  Like most young couples with kids, car payments and a home mortgage we couldn’t afford two home mortgage payments.  So, we rented or leased our places away from the city. We really loved the last area we rented with the hills, crystal clear water and forests. Remote and yet just a little over an hour drive from our home in St Louis, we began looking for a place we could call our own. We were truly blessed the day we stumbled across what is now known as The Martin Retreat. While driving the gravel roads on a rainy Sunday my wife spotted a for sale sign that was knocked down close to a drive with 3 mail boxes.  We decided to take a look. The driveway was very narrow, lots of pot holes and more dirt than gravel, but we had a Jimmy 4X4.  Pressing ahead we tried to find anyone that could tell us about the land for sale. We drove very slowly for the next half mile, which seamed forever.  Finally we spotted a local standing close to the path, in front of an old log cabin to ask if he knew about the place for sale. He said that he wasn’t sure, but it could be the place another half mile down the hill. Continuing forward there was nothing but a mud path that finally turned left at the bottom of the hill, through a rusted steel pipe gate that was open, with a no trespassing sign. Since there was no place to turn around, we kept going.  Suddenly the path opened up to tall weeds, cedars, scrub oaks and continued south. We carefully kept going in four wheel drive for another 400 yards and there it was – the most beautiful lake site we’d ever seen.

Beautiful Acres

Acre Private Lake

Years In The Making

We parked, walked down to the lake and fell in love. To say we were in awe is an understatement.  We couldn’t believe that someone would sell this breath taking piece of property. Our next thought was this must be the wrong place. We drove to the closest pay phone and called the realtor and described the property we’d looked at.  She confirmed that heaven was for sale. That evening we wrote an asking price contract. A few weeks later at closing the petite lady realtor gave us a hand carved sign The Martin Retreat We quickly discovered that leaving our paradise retreat was much more difficult than we had imagined and began talking about living there.  We began a to-do list – schools, building a house, road, commuting/changing occupations, creating an entire infrastructure. Now, nearly three decades later after sharing our beloved country place with hundreds of family, friends, family’s friends, friends of friends and the kids of friends and families … it’s your opportunity.


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