"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.


Vandervort, George who is numbered among the enterprising and experienced resort keepers of Vilas County, owning and conducting the Vandervort Resort on Lost Lake, was born in Monroe County, Wis., July 6, 1871, son of Isaac and Laura FOSS VANDERVORT, who are now deceased. As a boy he attended the public schools in his native county and at the age of 14 went to Oconomowoc, Wis., with his uncle, remaining there two years. He then returned to Monroe County, where he worked on farms for others until arriving at the age of 21. In 1892 he engaged in independent farming, and threshing on rented farms, continuing thus for four years. At the end of that time he bought 80 acres of wild land in the town of Lincoln, Monroe County, which he subsequently developed into a good farm, residing on it until 1906 and selling it two years later in 1908. It was in 1906 that he came to Vilas County with a portable sawmill to saw up "deadheads" (sunken logs recovered from the water) for the Lake and River Logging Co. at Sayner. From there he went to do similar work on Big St. Germain Lake, and later on the northeast shore of Lost Lake. The deadheads recovered from the last mentioned lake took him a year to saw, and in the meanwhile he bought 60 acres on the northeast bay of Lost Lake. For the next three years he did contract work in the building of roads and dry docks and then devoted the next three years to clearing up his farm, after which he again executed road building contracts for Vilas County. That work took up two years more of his time and was terminated by an accident which laid him up with a broken leg. On recovering he gave up contracting and engaged in his present business, establishing the Vandervort Resort, having a lake frontage of 60 feet. The lodge is a very picturesque cobblestone structure of two and a half stories, the inside dimensions being 30 by 50 feet, and in addition to this buidling there is a cottage, the resort affording accommodations for 25 people. Mr. VANDERVORT also had 46 1/2 acres in Section 10 on the east shore of Lost Lake which in 1919 he gave to his son John T., who has established there the Forest Primeval Resort. Both resorts have good road facilities. Mr. VANDERVORT was married Oct. 16, 1892, to Mary Ann COULING, who was born in Monroe County, Wis., Nov. 29, 1874. The issue of this marriage is the son mentioned above, John T., who was born Aug. 14, 1893. He was educated in rural and grade schools, and last in the high school at Eagle River, from which he was graduated after a four year course at the age of 17 - an excellent scholastic record. While attending the rural schools he had to cover a distance of two and a half miles or more to reach them. After finishing his high school course he entered the state normal school at Milwaukee, and being subsequently graduated therefrom, took up teaching, his first school being the Juve school in his home district, which he taught one year. He then went to Waukesha and taught one year in the Industrial School there, afterwards teaching three years in Tomah. Returning at the end of that time to Vilas County, he again taught the Juve school, continuing there for two years, when he gave up that occupation to establish the Forest Primeval Resort. On his place he has an orchard of 500 apple trees and six cherry trees. He also cultivates grapes and strawberries and raises garden vegetables. He obtains his milk and cream from his parents, who keep Guernsey cattle. So far he has not married. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 741-742, 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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