The early days of Heidel House.

Heidel House Heritage

The original manor, built as a private residence in 1890, was known as the Kelly Estate and consisted of 12 acres including a Main House, Stable House, Tack House and Pump House. In 1945 the residence was purchased for $20,000 by Herb and Lucille Heidel, a newspaper publisher and teacher. The Heidels welcomed their first guests on a snowy New Year's Eve in 1945.

The charming lakeside estate expanded as the Heidel House's reputation for hospitality and fine dining grew. By the 1970's, the family-run retreat had become one of the most popular destination resorts in Wisconsin.

In 1975, current owners Brent and Brian Heidel purchased the neighboring Grey Rock Mansion, which has a colorful history of its own: A decorated Civil War hero named Brigadier General Mason Brayman built the original Grey Rock in 1873. It burned down, but Edward Morris of Chicago and his wife, Helen Swift (of the Swift Meat Packing Company), purchased the property and built a lakeside summer home in 1899. Years later, in 1949, their son built the mansion that stands there now. Edward Morris Jr. lived there until the day he died.

The Heidels used Grey Rock as a supplement to their already unique resort getaway, as a luxurious site to host meetings and conferences. In 1989 the mansion was converted into an intimate lakeside restaurant and quickly became the critically acclaimed restaurant that it is today.

During the late 1980s, expansions to Heidel House Resort continued as a Conference Center and the Lac Verde Lodge were built. These renovations added more luxurious lakeside rooms and additional amenities including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a sauna, fitness center and game room. Construction of the Main Lodge with a cafe-style restaurant, casual pub and lavish lobby was completed in the early 1990s.

A 60-foot catamaran, the "Escapade" was purchased in 1995 to continue the tradition that "Yachts of Fun", an elegant twin-hulled cruiser had offered guests in the early 70s. The Escapade yacht offers public and private cruises on Green Lake during the summer season.

The latest addition, a luxurious spa, came in 2006. Evensong Spa offers a whole new level of relaxation for guests looking for a tranquil retreat. Located across the street from the resort, the spa is accessible by way of a short drive or leisurely stroll.

Today, Heidel House Resort & Spa encompasses 20 wooded acres on the shores of Wisconsin's deepest inland lake, and welcomes guests of all kinds with the same warm hospitality that took root over 60 years ago. With four seasons of various lodging, dining, meeting, recreation and entertainment opportunities, the Heidel House Resort remains an unparalleled experience throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest United States.

Learn about the history of Green Lake.


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