The Resort Years

The Resort Years

In 1894 Bob Starr and his brother, Harry, acting on instructions from Hamilton Salsich, one of the partners in the lumber company, selected a site for the lodge to be built. Salsich’s instructions were to pick the highest spot from which the sunset could be seen across the lake.

In 1907 the lodge, which had been the summer home for the Wilson and Salsich families, with its attendant cottages for guests, was operated as the Hotel Waldheim under the managership of a gentleman named Mr. Laut.

In 1909, the Olivers bought the Lodge, cottages and about a hundred acres from Wilson and Salsich. They had been guests at the lodge and developed a taste for the area. The lumber days were over and Star Lake’s days as a resort and haven for fishermen had begun.

It wasn’t until 1925 that the State of Wisconsin designated this area as a park, creating the Northern Highlands State Forest as a park and game refuge.

Mrs. Oliver, on the other hand seems to have been gruff and fairly stiff. Children were rather afraid of him and adults, unless accepted by Mr. Oliver, found him difficult to deal with.

Sadly, this resulted in the business of the lodge falling off during the Great Depression. Older patrons of the lodge began to die off and their offspring didn’t feel welcome at the lodge. The Depression was followed by a gas rationing at the outbreak of World War II and that put an end to the Oliver’s ability to run the lodge profitably.

In 1942 the lodge was taken over by Joseph Aldous, who closed it and attempted to sell it. It remained closed for the duration of the war and was sold to Lorraine and Herbert Theel, and Vincent and Lucille Trollan.

This ended the era of Oliver Lodge and began the era of North Star Lodge as it is known today.

In 1964 misfortune stuck the Theels; Herb was killed in an automobile accident. Lorraine continued to run the lodge by herself until 1971 when she sold out to Thomas Moorhead. Another era in the history of North Star Lodge had come to an end.

In 1980 the Hintz family took over the resort and it continues in operation to this day.

The 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and 80’s were a great era for many local resorts. The tourism industry boomed and numerous resorts opened and flourished on area lakes.

The above text is Copyright 1987 Bill Hintz. All rights reserved.

Star Lake is stuck in time.

Star Lake is a quaint community located in the heart of the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest in the upper most part of Wisconsin. The area contains very little private land and thus is protected from encroaching development.

Oddly enough, Star Lake is still much the same today as it was after the Milltown moved out in 1907. The only real differences – the houses and railroad are gone, the trees have grown back and our historic bait shop is closed for business.

Support FOSL

Consider making a donation to the Friends of Star Lake

We are thrilled to be able to help preserve Star Lake’s rich history. The Schoolhouse, Bait Shop and Old Milltown Depot have all been labors of love. And, the more we work on these projects, the more excited we become.

Please let us know if you or your family members are interested in helping us fund the Old Milltown Depot or our college scholarship program. The entire Board is incredibly grateful for the community’s support and helping us preserve what is so special about Star Lake.