we are so happy for this day.
Today we opened a very happy letter from the Wisconsin Historical Society. The United States Department of The Interior have recognized the petition from the state of Wisconsin to include Camp Wandawega – and its collective buildings – as an official ‘District’ in the listing of National Historic Places. We are now even Grateful, humbled and even more dedicated to keeping these walls standing. Many thanks to our supportive friends for helping make this a reality.
We where never supposed to be here. Places like this arent designed and built to last this long. (let alone still be places that folks would care to still visit).
A note from Jim Draeger, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer at Wisconsin Historical Society, on the importance of Wandawega:
“Camp Wandawega is a microcosm of the broader history of Wisconsin resorts. In a single property, you can see many aspects of the historical evolution of Wisconsin resorts in the twentieth century. The land speculation that gave rise to its initial development was indicative of a resort fever that swept the state in the 1920s as leisure time increased and the rapid spread of automobiles increased mobility and allowed people to leave urban centers to experience natural areas. Its subsequent ties to bootlegging and prostitution are evocative of the unexpected societal impacts of our failed Prohibition experiment and the penetration of the lawlessness into the most remote areas of the state due to its proximity to Chicago. The subsequent ownership of the property by the Catholic Church was a phenomenon found throughout Wisconsin’s resorting areas as resorts and summer houses became church properties and functioned as religious retreats because improved transportation infrastructure allowed the wealthy of the Midwest to travel to more far-flung and exotic locations. Its transformation into a summer camp was in line with a blossoming of summer camps in the mid-twentieth century as urban dwellers sent their children to camp as a means to inculcate the values of rural life that they had experienced in their own childhood before seeking the economic opportunities found in larger cities.”
More info in our little history book: AMERICAN GETAWAY ( a not-for-profit book available online for purchase- no upcharge or proceeds)
to learn more about our mission, visit WANDAWEGAHISTORY.org (our not-for-profit preservation org)