You Know You’re From...Hogarty: The Gunderson Home
HOGARTY, Wis. (WSAW) - On Highway 52, between Wausau and Antigo sits a white house. There’s Honest Abe, and George Washing-toes.
“If we get another idea for a President maybe we’ll do that, too,” laughed Eric Gunderon.
A tourist attraction, if you will, in Hogarty.
“We’ve had people in prom dresses out in the yard. I guess when we’re not home there’s people here.
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Their yard serves as the canvas for their passion.
“We’re lifelong artists,” he said.
They’ve been decorating the outside for the last 10 years.
“This here is our latest, our totems. Oh and she’s got the COVID mask on the top one.”
Inside, the imaginations of Eric Gunderson and wife Molly run free.
“Started working on it in 1985 and I’m continuing to this day,” Eric said.
Originally built in the 1930′s, Eric’s grandfather operated a car repair shop here.
“I can not put a shovel in the ground and not dig up a spark plug.”
He married Molly in 1994. Fittingly, they first crossed paths in an art class.
“I don’t actually remember paying any attention to him at the time, honestly,” Molly said with a big laugh.
That moment came a few months later at an art show featuring Eric’s work.
“His work had such a good sense of humor and was so interesting that I said to myself in my head, if this guy isn’t involved with someone this is who I’m going to marry,” she recalled.
“I found someone I could relate to,” Eric said. “And luckily, she could relate to me and it’s been lovely ever since.”
He’s a carpenter. She’s makes custom picture frames. There’s no rhyme or reason for many of their creations. Something pops in their head, and they get to work.
“I started a number of things so that if I became bored, or if I got stuck on something I could move to another one,” said Molly.
“I’m waiting for the perfect inspiration of what I’ll make out of it because this will be a sculptural piece as well,” as Eric points to a tree outside their home that looks like part of a slingshot.
“We’ve been able to do things out here that we’d never be able to do in the city, obviously,” added Molly.
No kids, just two cats. And the masterpieces for their forever home.
“I can’t imagine moving. The bankers don’t necessarily think it’s of value, but to us it’s of value,” Eric said with a smile. Hopefully when we retire we can really bust a move.”
Eric and Molly’s first date was on Halloween, both in full costume. So they make it an occasion every year, each making their own custom-made outfit in secrecy with the big reveal coming on Halloween date night.
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