Sunday, January 26, 2014

Summer in Waupaca

Just a few miles southwest of Waupaca are the Chain O' Lakes, a series of fifteen connected lakes formed in the last ice age.  I've put together a history as best I can using the disparate sources available online.  From a history of the township of Farmington I learned  the first summer hotel was built there 1880 and private summer homes and cottages followed.  In 1886 Chris Hill and Charles Nessling built the Grand View Hotel on the south shore of Rainbow Lake. It was a two story frame building with a distinctive onion like dome on the corner nearest the lake.  There were also cottages adjacent to the hotel, it was a great success. In 1892 the hotel became the property of the Silver Lake Cottage company, an article from the Waupaca County Post of 8/6/1925 states the company built what was known as The Grand View Hotel.  I believe what is referred to was an annex to the hotel and designed by William Waters.  There were no documents stating that the design was authored by Waters but the look was unmistakably William Waters.  The front veranda is nearly identical to that of the Wisconsin State Building of the 1893 Chicago Worlds' Fair, the towers at each end look much like the tower  on the Lutz house in Oshkosh. ( See, Oshkosh Houses Part 6. 11/29/11)   
Improvements continued under the ownership of  Irving and Wallace Lord along with John Caughill also owners of the Waupaca Electric Light and Railway Company and the resort gained the reputation as being the finest in the county.  By the late 1920's, however, the resort was passe and was demolished.   
The Loyola Villa was not a hotel exactly but a summer retreat for the Jesuits, so it would have had many hotel like characteristics.  It was built in 1896 on a peninsula between Otter and Rainbow lake, purchased from Miss Marle Chamberlain.  Published in the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern on the third of April, 1896, in the Short Notes column was the following line of type, " ....Architect Waters is preparing plans for a building 30 feet by 130 feet at Waupaca, to be used as a summer house for the Jesuit fathers of the state."  There was a porch which ran the length and breadth of the building and at one corner of the villa was a tower topped by an open belvidere.  According a one history the place was sold in 1970 but it didn't state to whom or it's fate.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lodgings of the North

The decade of the 1880s' brought greater exploitation of Wisconsin's north woods and with that came an increased population.  With the construction of the railroads, villages were settled though out the northern wilderness.   One such hamlet was Tigerton which was established along the banks of the south branch of the Embarrass River just southeast of Wittenberg in Shawano County.  Partners Livingstone and Newbold  built the first saw mill in Tigerton, and Mr. Livingstone opened the first grocery store, while Mr. Newbold built a hotel.  There is a notice for sealed bids in the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern of May 12, 1881 and seven day later in the Oshkosh Weekly Northwestern, an article which mentions the Newbold boarding house to be built in Tigerton.  The description was simply; " ...frame, two stories high, 40 x 60, $4,000".    
It certainly looks as if it's from some old west movie set, with a large front porch, windows and dormers. Uncommon for a Waters' building were the Jerkenhead gables use on the building.  It also appeared larger than its' description, with a wing at the back which may have accommodated the kitchen, there also seemed to be a usable third story.  The outer walls were clad with clapboards one the first floor and shingles on the floors above.  The hotel remained in business until 1921 when it was demolished to make way for mill owner Mr. Swankes' house.  I'm grateful to the Tigerton Historical Society for their help in locating an image of the hotel.

Of the next building I'm unsure, it may or may not have been designed by William Waters.  In the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern of April 11, 1887, under the heading SHORT NOTES.  was this little tidbit,  ... Fred Viall and C. D. Rose will be proprietors of a new hotel to be built at Antigo.  The building will cost between $8,000 and $10,000.  Wm. Waters will draw the plans for the new hotel...    Fred Viall was a grocer and Charles Rose was the editor of The Wisconsin Telegraph and both were listed in the Oshkosh City Directory of 1886, after that year Mr. Vialls' name no longer appeared in the city directories. There was just one hotel built in Antigo that year and it was named the Vivian Hotel. The hotel was finished in October of 1887 and the names listed as the money behind the enterprise were E. N. Miller, W.W. Hutchinson and A. W. Larson, none of whom had any connection with Oshkosh.  Nowhere was there any mention of Fred Viall.

It is difficult to judge if William Waters was the architect of this building, as the one photograph I could find was rather murky.   There didn't seem to be many of the hallmark details used by Waters at that time.  More research is called for but I'm doubtful that the building razed 2007 was designed by architect Waters. Perhaps the deal with Rose and Viall fell though but the notion was pursued by others.