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History of Closed Lake Lawn Resort
Saturday, 12 March 2011 12:37

Unfortunately the Lake Lawn Resort is still closed (even their website no longer works), but many in Wisconsin know of the Lake Delevan, Wisconsin resort first opened in 1878 to house the Mabie Circus that was later sold to Barnum and Bailey (who'da thunk it).

Always a history buff, I found some background info from Wikipedia:

The north shore of Delavan Lake, where Lake Lawn Resort is situated, was occupied by Indians as early as 1000 B.C. The resort's construction unearthed many artifacts from these tribes that are currently on display throughout the facility. The original hotel was built there in 1878 as a place for members of the Mabie Circus to stay. When the circus was bought by Barnum and Bailey, the hotel was sold. Under the management of Barnum and Bailey it became a retreat for the employees of Commonwealth Edison, People's Light and Coke Company, and the Public Service Company of Northern Illinois. At one point, one of Barnum and Bailey's stage elephants died. Baffled as to what to do, the circus owners ordered that the elephant be pushed out onto the middle of the lake (conveniently the lake was frozen for the winter). Come springtime and thaw, the semi-preserved elephant's corpse sank under the water once the ice was sufficiently thin. The current hotel was opened to the public in 1936. In the 1950s and 1960s it was expanded, and an indoor pool, a health club, a convention center, and a restaurant were added. It continued to expand by adding more guest rooms, a golf course, and an outdoor pool. The resort underwent many ownership changes between 1990 and 2005. During this time, the name of the hotel changed from "Lake Lawn Lodge" to "Lake Lawn Resort". Each change brought a round of renovations to public areas, guest rooms, or the golf course.

Hopefully one day it will reopen.

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