History of Lakewoods Resort
A great Wisconsin tradition for over 100 years!
The history of Lakewoods is itself a tribute to family living, a heritage that we are proud of and have strived to nourish. For 103 years and five generations, the Rasmussen family has been offering residents of the Midwest and the entire nation a chance to seek recreation and fun in the spectacular Northwoods of Wisconsin. Family members have worked hard to create an outstanding resort that appeals to visitors in all seasons of the year. If you haven't experienced our resort before, you'll want to find out more about us.
A brief look into our past:
– We put down our roots on the shores of Lake Namakagon when Anna Nemec, grandmother of current owner Philip Rasmussen, became owner of the property in 1906. At first it was a summer resort to accommodate the private guests of her employer, Judge McLaughlin, for whom she was a housekeeper and cook. Seeing the potential, she opened to the public a year later and Lakewoods was born.
Originally, Lakewoods had a hotel and a main lodge, filled with hundreds of mounted animals. Just 19 years old, Anna ran the resort with her sister Mary Gallop. Guests arrived from Chicago by train and were driven to Lakewoods by horse and buggy.
In 1919, Anna Nemec married Philip Young, the engineer on a regularly scheduled train from St. Paul, MN. Together they ran Lakewoods and expanded by building more guest cottages on the shores of Lake Namakagon. On July 31, 1946, lightning struck the power line to the lodge causing a fire that destroyed the Lodge and hotel.
1946-1970 A temporary replacement was built housing the guest clubhouse and office. Meals were served at the “Home,” a large cottage that is now the residence of Philip Rasmussen. In 1947, Hans and Gladys Rasmussen, Young's daughter, bought Lakewoods. They continued building cottages and apartments until they had 35 units. Hans and Gladys had a vision of making Lakewoods a year-round facility to attract guests for both winter and summer activities, just as it does today.
In the 50's, as skiing grew in the area, Lakewoods became the first resort in the area to house winter guests. At that time, many skiers still rode the train to Cable and were transported to Lakewoods by car.
1958 – Big changes arrived at our resort. First an indoor pool was built; then the Lodge was remodeled. The resort was then operated by Gladys Rasmussen and her family, with members taking on specific jobs. With the renovation, Lakewoods became a resort that lodges visitors in all seasons of the year.
1970 – Philip and Kathy Rasmussen came to Lakewoods and launched many improvements. Many cottages were removed and 46 condominium units and an outdoor pool were built. The indoor pool was remodeled and more motel units were added to the existing 12. The remaining cottages were renovated and additional new units were built around the property.
Philip and Kathy purchased Lakewoods and continued to work toward making Lakewoods one of the finest full-service convention and family resorts in the Midwest. The fourth generation began to get involved, with P.C., Nicole and Erik taking specific jobs.
1985 – Tragically, another fire destroyed the main lodge and 15 motel rooms. It was devastating to lose the historic property with so many memories. Residents of surrounding areas reached out to us and demonstrated how important Lakewoods was to them. We appreciate this dedication and will always serve our neighbors.
The present lodge was started in fall 1985 and completed in April 1986. Bob Rasmussen, Philip's brother, was the general contractor. Along with Bob and the entire Rasmussen family, the whole community helped build the new Lakewoods.
1994 – The year brought an important expansion to Lakewoods – the addition of Forest Ridges, our 18-hole championship golf course, designed by renowned architect Joel Goldstrand. Highly regarded by the golf community, Forest Ridges is a must-play for many players and considered is the finest example of Northwoods golf anywhere. Stop by our clubhouse and visit the pro and gift shop to learn more about our course.
1996-present – P.C. Rasmussen returned to Lakewoods to help his parents. He has also brought the fifth generation of Rasmussens to Lakewoods, his sons, August and Alexander. The entire family devotes itself to the day-to-day operations of this family-run business.
Lakewoods continues to expand and grow to meet the needs and wants of our customers. We strive daily to meet your desires in a professional and friendly manner. Lakewoods is unique in that you are not just a customer, but rather a guest in our “home.” We will do our utmost to make your stay, business or pleasure, a time to remember forever.
In the Lakewoods lounge is a mural depicting our history here. The mural is dedicated to Philip and Anna Young and Hans and Gladys Rasmussen whose vision and love made Lakewoods a reality.