The view early 2007


The Kruck family owns the two Red Fish Lodging cottages. Both cottages have served as rental property for over 20 years. The small homes sit on a ½-acre of land but historically were part of a larger original surrounding property of an orange grove farmer. A few orange trees, now wild, still exist today on the surrounding property with a very bitter orange not suitable for the palette. According to property records, the larger of the two homes was built in 1925. However, those who grew up in Oak Hill (and ‘in-the-know’), say that at some point that original 1925 cottage was completely changed, so much so, that they consider it rebuilt. Then again, in the 1940’s, it went through even more remodeling. Built of ‘antique heartpine’, the hard center of a very large pine tree was used in construction at that time to create a decay resistant, solid fortress against the threat of potential hurricanes. Our own renovations over the past two years demonstrated to us just how solid the ‘heartpine’ proves it-self to be. At times, we had great difficulty in simply hammering a nail into the structures. We felt as if we were trying to pound nails into an iron beam… not an easy task and a few bent nails resulted.

The smaller cottage served as ‘the Honey House’ where honey was collected and processed by the original family. There were years too, where it was just a storage building filled with family tools, old furniture and junk that wasn’t ready to be parted with. ‘The Honey House’/junk house was eventually cleaned up and remodeled. The changes apparently made it possible to become a rental home. When the Kruck family purchased the cottages, both buildings had already a history as rental properties by the previous owners. After many residents, finally an extended family (mother/daughter family) rented both homes for period of 10 years but their move to North Carolina in 2007, prompted by a better job opening, left the Kruck family in search of the same such quality tenants. Unfortunately, now with the economy as it is and more transient ways of life, it seemed quality long-term rental was a monumental challenge. So after much brainstorming, the Krucks ventured forth with a new idea. Ideally an idea that will fulfill the entrepreneur spirit of Don and Barbara Kruck as well as benefit the commerce of Oak Hill, FL. So, they thought, since local and visiting fishermen yearn to angle in the ‘big one’ that live in the haunts of Mosquito Lagoon, why not provide a quality but rustic home away from home for the travelers who want to fish in the area. After a bit of research they learned that, the area was not only great for fishing and boating, but bird watchers too. Oak Hill is within the area of a migratory bird path. Thus, the renovations began.

Little did they know that each project unfolded complications with even more projects brought to the forefront. They were propelled into situations whereby each project seemingly took on a life of its own. Amendments to the existing zoning had to be made by city hall making the cottages officially capable of being resort dwellings. A well, needed a chlorination system to remove the sulfur smell. A central air conditioning and heating unit had to be replaced. In addition, a new septic system became necessary along with the requirement of a handicap ramp. In addition, other issues too, came up concerning a broken thumb, concussion, pneumonia, and kidney stones. These setbacks all took their toll on the desire to be open for business. Finally the first cottage opened and all who enter comment on the calm and homey feeling they have as they enter the front door. We hope our patrons will enjoy the relaxed rustic feel of our nature-inspired décor in Red Fish Lodging. It is our desire that those who come to stay in our cottages will find it their home away from home as they enjoy what the surrounding area has to offer and embrace their vacation.

The following pictures will give an idea of how the renovations have proceeded. Individuals and businesses that provided their own special talents necessary to open Red Fish Lodging are featured. Their names and contact numbers are listed too. Please look at the quality of work and give them serious consideration if similar work is necessary in your future endeavors.

We invite you to view photos showing the evolution of Red Fish Lodging, check out the various tabs and venture to the other areas of our website as well.

Early Pictures of Red Fish Cottage Renovation

These are pictures of Red Fish Cottage in the beginning. The final renovation can be seen by visiting our other website pages.


Barbara did almost all the interior work in both cottages. Here she is taking at break, as this is midway into our never-ending renovation project.


Jay Moeller-Handyman Services, Oak Hill, FL w/Kim did the Handicap ramp
Contact - (386) 689-2928

Advanced Pavers & Landscaping, New Smyrna Beach, FL installed pavers for Handicap parking
Contact - (386) 478-0000

Advanced Pavers & Landscaping website is www.APL-Pavers.com. Worth the look.

All Daytona Septic Tank Service, Inc. Holly Hill, FL did the new septic system for both cottages.
Their workmanship and precision is seen in these photos. Call (386) 672-1576.

Our friend, Mike Brown assisted in much of the carpentry & plumbing. An artisan’s handyman (386) 314-1004

Farley Palmer did the chlorination system. The well is 100% bacteria free. Our chlorination system is for esthetic reasons since even the most pure Florida well water in Oak Hill is known for the sulfur color and smell. Contact - Palmer Biological (386) 314-5718, or visit their website at  palmerbiologicalservices.com

Our friend Joe has mowed the lawns of both cottages at least 18 years. He also helped us on several projects in the larger of the two cottages. He recently helped us level out the grounds and get new grasses started after the very disruptive process involving the new septic tank project. You can contact Joe at (386) 690-0930.

Crown Tree Service, Edgewater, FL removed dead branches & a tree from the property. Contact - (386) 423-4856

 Whaley’s Masonry, Edgewater, FL did our Red Fish Lodging sign.
Contact - (386) 547-6781

Renton Electric Inc., New Smyrna Beach, FL did most of the electrical work in & outside both cottages. Contact - (386) 423-9314

Gerson Art & Sign, New Smyrna Beach, FL did the actual lettering & installation. Contact - (386) 426-6302


C.W.C. Inc. Windows and Doors, Edgewater, FL provided new windows & doors. Contact - (386) 423-3674

King’s Land Clearing, Oak Hill, FL delivered & moved dirt around to help provide a base for our new grass. Contact - (386) 345-3302

The Administration of Oak Hill, FL

Planning Board 2008

Mayor and Commissioners 2008

We, at Red Fish Lodging, wish to thank the Planning Board, Mayor & Commissioners for their devoted direction and encouragement. We hope we can meet their expectations of providing a quality resort dwelling in their small fishing & agricultural town of Oak Hill, Florida.

                    email:  redfishlodging@earthlink.net

Phone # 386-314-6336