"[History is] a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man." -Percy Bysshe Shelley

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Doriot's Deer Park Lodge: "the last word in summer resort hotels"

Charles H. Doriot, proprietor of Deer Park Lodge in Vilas County, was born at Kelly, Marathon County, Wis., July 3, 1885, son of Calvin H. and Effie (La Port) Doriot. The father, a native of Ohio, and the mother, born in Marathon County, Wis., were residents of the latter county after their marriage until 1892, when they removed to their present home in Iron County. Charles H. Doriot was educated in the schools of Langlade, Oneida and Iron counties, and his subsequent career has found him in many and varied capacities, including those of logging contractor, guide, sawmill operator, and, for six years, proprietor of a general store in Manitowish and postmaster of that village. In 1908 he established a resort on Stone Lake, known as Clear Lodge, and he operated this until 1917, when he sold it and took over his present resort, Deer Park Lodge.

Deer Park Lodge, which has been graphically called the Palace of the Northern Woods, lies on the eastern shore of Lake Manitowish, in the western part of Vila County, sometimes known as the Manitowish Lake Region. To the sportsman, tourist and summer camper who have visited this country the name calls up entrancing memories of forest, stream and lake with all their attendant joys of sport in every outdoor form or needed rest and recuperation from the strenuous battle of life in the busy marts of trade and commerce.

Such relief as a sojourn in these picturesque wilds brings to those who seek it is of the sort that both cheers the spirits and invigorates the body, adding years to life and sending the rest seeker back to the city or town with renewed vigor, hope and ambition. In truth, a few weeks in such a place is a good investment, adding largely to one's capital of energy and endurance without an abundant supply of which even business success -- the accumulation of dollars -- may be jeopardized.

To some the thoughts of a life in the wilds, no matter how picturesque, may seem repellant, as suggesting the deprivation of certain comforts or luxuries to which they have become accustomed in their city homes, but in the case of such a resort as that now under consideration, such fears are groundless, for it was to meet the demands of such exacting guests that the resort was contrived -- to supply the comforts of the most luxurious home in the midst of the wildest beauties of nature.

The success attained in this most ambitious project has more than justified all the trouble and outlay, for Deer Park Lodge is the last word in summer resort hotels.  Brains, taste and money have all contributed to this result. In the first place, the selection of the location was a happy one. Lake Manitowish is one of a chain of lakes making a fascinating waterway many miles in length. This high altitude and the fact that the hot southerly and southwesterly winds of summer must sweep across the cooling waters of the lake before reaching the broad porches of the hotel has a strong and very agreeable influence on the temperature.

The main hotel is large and impressive but in no way gaudy or vulgar. It is a building of three stories, its ground dimensions being 40x140 feet. On the main floor is a fine lobby and office, set with heavy leather upholstered furniture; a large and artistically finished dining-room, a comfortable feature of which is a large fireplace, constructed of broken stone, with a double four-foot opening into the drawing-room and lobby. The kitchen and serving-room are located in an annex measuring 20x38 feet. The two upper floors are devoted to the guests' sleeping-rooms; they are of fine artistic finish and each is provided with hot and cold running water, toilet and bath. The 14 cottages scattered among the trees are also well and tastefully furnished and Simmons beds are used throughout the resort, both twin and double.

On the front of the hotel, facing the lake, is a large screened porch where guests may lounge at their ease. The resort has its own electric plant and waterworks, as well as a large cold storage plant, the meats being purchased in large quantities from Libby, McNeil & Libby and the vegetables from Hassman & Miller of Chicago and Durham & Co. of Iron River, Mich.

The important question of food has been given close attention. It is all of the highest quality, and the selection on the menu shows an appreciation of the value of variety not usually found in hotels remote from city markets. The cuisine is of the best and the chef is an artists who has had years of experience in serving the discriminating and exacting patrons of high class metropolitan hotels. Additional supplies of various kinds are kept, such as cigars and tobacco, ice cream, Salvador near beer, and a full line of Cream City products; in fact, the hotel furnishes other resorts with such supplies.

Other popular features of the resort are an athletic field; a large boathouse lately completed, housing 15 row boats, six Evinrudes and a cruising launch; saddle horses for rent; a perfect bathing beach with gradually sloping bottom; live bait for anglers and every other convenience that may be in demand. The walks, grounds and drives are in keeping with the rest of the establishment.

Manitowish waters are nationally famous for their muskellunge, and bass and pike are also caught in great abundance. Deer Park Lodge is located 12 miles from Manitowish station on the Chicago & Northwestern Railway, and during the season the lodge provides conveyances to and from the station. The resort may also be reached by motor over State Highway No. 10, which is one of the finest highways in the state and connects with numerous other trunk lines running out of Milwaukee and Chicago.

Mr. Doriot has made a fine success in the operation of this lodge, and the majority of his patrons come back year after year, satisfied that the service and accommodations cannot be excelled.

Mr. Doriot was married at Wausau, Wis., July 18, 1906, to Catherine McDonald, daughter of Duncan and Sarah (McDonald) McDonald. Mrs. Doriot's parents are retired farmers and have their home in Wausau. Six children, as follows, have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Doriot: Dorothy, Charles Jr., Marie, Maynard, Katherine and Norman. Dorothy is attending St. Mary's Spring's Academy at Fond du Lac, and the other children are all living at home.

N.B. I took the liberty of breaking Mr. Doriot's record into many paragraphs, rather than just one. All the better to appreciate his linguistic pyrotechnics! --CB

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