Wolfe family retreat on Buckeye Lake island hits market for $5.75 million


One of the largest inhabited islands on the lake, at more than 6 acres, the site has for decades hosted power brokers and regular lake gatherings on its immaculately groomed grounds.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for someone, for a family, to create a legacy, to create memories,” said Brian Kemp, the Keller Williams Capital Partners agent listing the property for $5.75 million. “Every time you leave there, you just pinch yourself.”

Journal Island, the Wolfe family retreat on Buckeye Lake, has been listed for $5.75 million.

Kemp said he believes the listing is the highest-priced residential listing in the lake’s history. He said the island has been owned since the early 1900s by the Wolfe family, who built a complex of buildings on the island over the decades.

The island includes a main house, a guest house, a pavilion entertainment building, a theater building that can also accommodate guests, two boat houses and several storage sheds.

The "pavilion" building next to the pool on Journal Island includes a bar and entertainment space.

The property also includes 5 acres on the south shore of the mainland with a parking lot, boat launch, dock and two-car garage.

“It’s easy and convenient to entertain for a family or many with the way the parking is situated and the ease of faring people back and forth from the mainland to the island,” Kemp said.

The island offers a landscaped retreat, with walking trails through the trees or along the shore, a bridge-covered stream, a stone pavilion next to a waterfall, and multiple seating areas offering 360-degree lake views.

Journal Island, the Wolfe family retreat on Buckeye Lake, includes a stream and waterfall.

“The way it’s laid out and maintained, it’s luxury but also it’s the ultimate in privacy — just to be on an island, you don’t feel like you’re in a fish bowl,” Kemp said. “With the walking trails, gardens and waterfalls, it’s stunning.”

The one-and-a-half-story main house, about 5,500 square feet, includes six bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms. The home includes a sunroom, an eat-in kitchen with an island, a dining room, a living room, a walk-in pantry, and first-floor laundry. The home has two primary suites, one on the first floor and one on the second.

Journal Island on Buckeye Lake, which is listed for sale, includes extensive walking trails.

The older guest house, about 925 square feet, includes two bedrooms, one bathroom, a sitting room, and a kitchenette.

Next to the pool is the “pavilion” building, which includes a bar and entertaining room, a full bathroom, and changing rooms for the pool.

"Journal Island Theater" is one of several buildings on a Buckeye Lake island retreat listed for $5.75 million.

The “Journal Island Theater” features a large-screen TV, kitchenette, full bathroom, and a sitting area with a fold-out sofa that could also double as a guest house, Kemp said.

“There are also several storage buildings for equipment, lawn gear, golf carts, everything you’d need,” he said.

Journal Island, the Buckeye Lake retreat now on the market, includes two boat houses.

Kemp said the property could be sold as a turnkey home with furnishings if buyers are interested.

Journal Island is among 21 islands on the lake, 18 of which include homes, according to the Buckeye Lake Historical Society. The Wolfes are among several prominent Columbus residents, including Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, who at one time owned homes on Buckeye Lake islands.