Large home becomes a gathering place for others
By Chad Koenen
Cindy and Ken Mouch-Morff are hoping their house on the shores of Clitherall Lake can help bring community and family members closer together. That includes, and perhaps most importantly, complete strangers they have never met before. After all, what is the point of having a massive house, if the enjoyment that can be found inside cannot be shared with other people.
Last summer, the Mouch-Morff’s purchased an 8,000 square foot house on Clitherall Lake. The house features eight bedrooms, but is much more than the Mouch-Morff’s could maintain and afford. Rather than keeping the home for themselves, they turned to an already established VRBO option to share their new home with other people who are looking to strengthen their bonds, while enjoy a slice of heaven in Otter Tail County.
“More than anything, Ken and I hope it will be a place to renew their relationships with their family and friends,” said Cindy Mouch-Morff.
The family purchased the massive house in June of 2021. While they thought the hefty price tag on the house was unattainable, they began looking closer at options like VRBO where the family can rent out their home for a short period of time to another family or group. That additional income to help with their mortgage was the difference between this family being forced to stay in the Twin Cities area and moving to Otter Tail County.
“This has been a dream of mine. I have been praying for years,” said Mouch-Morff “My family had a cabin just about a mile away and when (my family member) passed away my sister purchased the place.”
Prior to the new purchase, the Mouch-Morff’s still came to the area to visit, but was essentially a lake family without a place to park their boat.
“I called us a lake family without a lake place,” said Mouch-Morff.
The Mouch-Morff’s eventually stumbled upon their dream home on Clitherall Lake, just a mile or so down the road from where Mouch-Morff’s family cabin was for so many years. Even though the house was bigger than they could ever need, the Mouch-Morff’s said they wanted to have a place they could share with other people who want a place to kick back, enjoy lake life and also come closer together. Since their family was not planing to use the house all of the time, Mouch-Morff said the VRBO option gave the family a chance to let others enjoy the clean waters of Clitherall Lake and see everything Otter Tail County has to offer.
“I just felt the Lord saying, what if it is not just for you? I said of you are right,” said Mouch-Morff. “This has been my prayer I wanted to have something that could be a blessing for other people. I wanted a place where our family could gather. We can’t use it all the time and what a blessing for other people to come and use it.”
One group this summer is renting out the house to celebrate a 40th wedding anniversary. There have been retreats for youth groups, seminary groups, companies and just families who want to get closer together throughout the year. Some of the people come from as close as a few miles away to states away like Iowa, Indiana, Texas and Kansas.
The home features eight bedrooms, eight baths and two huge family rooms, as well as plenty of space near the lake to go swimming and enjoy the great outdoors. It can also sleep over 24 people, making it a unique destination for family reunions. The house is situated on eight acres with a large swimming area.
The home also includes an adjacent duplex where the Mouch-Morff’s will begin living year round this year.
The family currently lives in the St. Francis, Minn., area, but are planning to move to Otter Tail County full time. For Mouch-Morff the move to Clitherall Lake will be like coming home.
“It has been home in the summer for us, for me, for our family, since 1991 when my dad bought the place just down the road,” said Mouch-Morff. “So once we move in it will feel like we are moving home.”
The house is located on Old Town Way in Clitherall and can be found on places like VRBO for family gatherings, a chance to enjoy the lake and even a game of pool. For more information, go to www.VRBO.com or