History of Lake Forest
In 1917, fourteen wealthy members of the Everett Colony gave their generous financial backing to build the first golf course in Eagle River. They were to be the select members with ‘life memberships’. And so the story of shared ownership begins…
The small group selected a wooded, hilly farm site with frontage on Eagle and Voyageur Lakes to establish Everett Golf Course. They carved a nine-hole course from the wooded hills and built a clubhouse. In addition to fishing, the families of the Everett Colony could now enjoy golfing as an activity in close proximity to the Everett Resort. The private golf club was open only to the elite group of cottage owners and their guests in the nearby Everett Colony, located on Catfish and Cranberry Lakes. Through the years, the golf club has entertained the rich and famous. A frequent visitor of the 1950s was President Dwight Eisenhower and his brother Milton. Other notables playing the course included golfers Walter Hagen and Ollie Meyers. Actresses Joan Crawford, Janet Gaynor and a youthful Elizabeth Taylor also graced the greens.
Mayor Edward J. Kelly of Chicago and his bodyguard also golfed at the club. A local, Emerson Farrell, remembers his days as a caddy for them. “We’d be out on the Number 3-Hole when the Mayor was teeing off, and Captain Berry (the bodyguard) would hand me his gun and I’d blast the ball from the tee. They always got a kick out of that!”
On some days, over 100 caddies would serve the club and its members. While the rest of the country struggled through the Great Depression, it was not unusual to find Rolls Royce’s, Fleetwood’s, and Cord’s outside the clubhouse. Bets of $1,000 per hole were not unusual.
Jim Mason purchased Eagle Waters Golf Club in 1963. In 1978 he went on to expand the 212-acre Lake Forest Recreation Area, building the first four units of Lake Forest Resort and Club, the first successful timeshare resort in Wisconsin. The Neuser family developed the remaining 20 condos and the Lake Forest Resort Center from 1979-1982, after developing the first purpose built timeshare resort in the United States, Sanibel Beach Club 1 in Florida. The Neusers went on to build the Lake Forest Health & Fitness Center in 1985, which opened in 1986.
Years later the golf club name was changed to Lake Forest Golf Club, which it remains today. The members of the Everett Colony developed this area to enjoy the many lifestyle benefits it has to offer. One hundred and five years later that legacy lives on as the story of shared ownership continues.
Today approximately 775 families collectively own Lake Forest Resort & Club making it not only the first successful timeshare resort in Wisconsin but also the longest running. In 2014, we’ll celebrate our 36th year and look forward to a fabulous future!