"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


De Haas, Walter E. owner of "Red Oaks," a summer resort located on Lake Alma in Vilas County, was born at Milwaukee, Wis., May 9, 1889. He received his early education in the grade schools of Milwaukee and subsequently graduated from the Milwaukee Art Institute. When he was 21 years of age he engaged in the clothing and gents' furnishings business in Milwaukee, and came to have one of the leading haberdasheries of the city; his place was located on Wisconsin Street. He conducted this enterprise until 1919, when he sold out and came to Vilas County. Here he purchased his present resort property from G. H. JACKSON, the place onsisting of the buildings and 245 acres of beautifully situated land nestling at the heart of the group of lakes and gronting on Lake Alma, which has two miles of shore line; the property is in Section 31 of Cloverland township. The equipment and buildings of this resort Mr. DE HAAS has improved and remodeled, and today his is one of the most attractive places in the county. He has put hardwood floors in the main lodge, and one of the features of this buildings is the massive solid stone fireplace which separates the lounging room from the dining room and opens into both rooms, having an opening on each side. This is said to be the largest fireplace in the state of wisconsin; it takes four-foot logs as fuel, and in its construction 85 tons of stone wre used, this stone having been gathered along the banks of the Wisconsin River. Every detail of the fireplace was designed by Mr. DE HAAS personally, and his artistic training and genius are apparent in every line. The walls of the lodge are hung with beautiful paintings done in oil by him, and the shades on the electric lights are also fine examples of his artistic talent. The main lodge is 60x110 feet in dimensions and has a ten-foot screened porch running the entire length. All the rooms are finely furnished, and the kitchen is immaculated, being furnished all in white and maintained in a state of spotless cleanliness. A large refrigerating room for the care of meats and other foodstuffs adjoins the kitchen, and there is also a commodious bake room, where all pastry, cakes and bread is baked, and roasts are browned. The kitchen is under the personal supervision of Mrs. DE HAAS, and under her skilled touch the cuisine is a real delight; a farm is operated in association with Red Oaks, and the pure, fresh products of the fields, gardens, dairy, and hennery are served on the tables at the lodge, adding the final touch to make the meals one of the most noteworthy features of the resort. Besides the main lodge there are 15 fine cottages, all nicely furnished, and a good log cabin which is used as a residence by Mr. DE HAAS and his family, and to house the overflow of guests during the rush season. Everything is designed along rustic lines and kept as near to nature as possible. Winding trails lead through the beautifully parked grounds, and along these walks there are rustic benches and chairs. The lake fleet consists of 25 row boats, and a staff of five guides is maintained; the guides are all men famous for their knowledge of the woods and waters of this region, such men at Arthur JACKSON, John WAKEFIELD, Leonard CORRIVAU and Buddy BLANQUARAT. In connection with the main lodge there is a fully-equipped store handling cigars, tobacoos, soft drinks, fishing supplies, post cards and souvenirs. Red Oaks can accommodate 65 persons, and all the appointments are those of a hostelry first-class in every respect. Electric lights and running water supplied by individual plants on the property are two of the features which help to make Red Oaks stand in the first rank among the great playgrounds of northern Wisconsin. The fishing in the surrounding waters is unrivaled, and there is excellent deer and bird hunting in season. The historic Wisconsin River, the "old Wisconse" of the pioneer lumberman, flows nearby, and this is especially prolific in its yields of muskellunge of record-breaking size. Besides Alma Lake, on which the property is located, numerous other lakes are easily available; among these are Alma, Moon, Finley and Little St. Germain. Every form of outdoor sport is at land here, and Red Oaks is a unique combination of the primitive attractions of the wilderness and the comfort of a modern hostelry. Mr. DE HAAS was married June 26, 1915, to Wilka STRAUSS of Random Lake, Wis., and Mr. and Mrs. DE HAAS have two children, Jane E., born March 31, 1916, and Phillip F., born June 22, 1918. Walter E. DE HAAS is a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of Tripoli Shrine, and enjoys a high social standing. During the winter months he devotes himself to art.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 455-456, History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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