Elisabeth von Ah & Michael Mardner
When we embarked in 1992 in Bremerhaven with our mobile home and dog Alex on board a huge container ship to cross the Atlantic towards Halifax in Nova Scotia, it was to be a 3-year journey through Canada, the USA, and Mexico. But things turned out differently.
Fate led us to a beautiful place in the Slocan Valley in the West Kootenays of British Columbia and we could not resist the urge to live there.
We bought the property, returned to Germany after 2 years of travel, and applied for immigration permits. In 1995 we moved to Canada. The goodbye to family and friends and our professional life as school principal and graphic designer was a new beginning with challenges in the back then for- eign country for us.
Our property, which we named “Haus Lemon Creek”, has its own history. The beginning and house building is told in the book “Building with Nature” by Robert Inwood and Christian Bruyére (Drake Publishers, New York 1975 and Verlag Dieter Fricke,1983).
Katharina from Switzerland and Glenn, a Vietnam War objector from the USA, built the house with simple tools in the early 1970s. They lived in what was then a remote wilderness without electricity, running water, and a telephone. Margie from Austria and Karl from Bavaria became the new owners in 1980. Margie planted flower and vegetable gardens, and Karl’s craftmanship skills transformed the house into the unique piece of art it is today.
After we moved in Michael immediately started to convert the second house into the comfortable Duck Nest vacation home and we have been hosting guests since 1996. In 2008 we purchased the property next door and here we live today. Our beautiful former residence for 24 years is now the Beaver Castle, our second guest house. Even today, with all the amenities of modern civilization, we are surrounded by unspoiled nature, which enthralls us more than ever.
We still love the outdoor activities of mountain hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, and skiing that are on our doorstep. Our adventures are reflected in our photos, films, and books. Due to age, we sadly had to say goodbye to scuba diving, which we have been passionate about for decades, even in the cold waters of BC. We were often asked if we miss Germany. Of course, we miss some things, but after such a long time Haus Lemon Creek is our home. We would never want to live without the freedom and tranquility we have here. And, above all, it is our pleasure to share this paradise with our guests who have been visiting us for almost 30 years, many of whom have become friends.