Wandawega Historical Society, Inc. is a Wisconsin 501(c)(3) Non-Profit, Nonstock Corporation: For the preservation, renovation and interpretation of the historic Camp Wandawega/Wandawega Lake Resort so that it can continue to be enjoyed by current and future generations. Camp Wandawega is recognized on the Register of Historic Places.
The Mission of the Wandawega Historical Society is to work for the preservation and revitalization of Wandawega's diverse historic and natural resources and advocate their appreciation, protection and use.
The Vision of the Wandawega Historical Society is for more people to understand and appreciate the irreplaceable value of our historic buildings and places, our natural assets, and their relevance to modern life. We envision an engaged community who promotes careful stewardship and active use of these diverse resources and recognizes the economic and cultural benefits of their preservation. We envision a community where even new development complements and reinforces historic structures and nature, contributing to a healthy and enriched environment that will continue to benefit generations to come.
The Goals of The Wandawega Historical Society are:
~ To increase the number of historic buildings, places and related landscapes – within the gates of the historic Wandawega Lake Resort and in the broader Wandawega community – that are renovated, preserved and actively used.
~ To broaden our understanding of the environmental and economic impact of preservation as an essential tool for community revitalization, quality of life enhancement and sustainability.
~ To collect preservation and restoration best practices and share with the broader community.
~ To employ the resources of our historic built environment and related landscapes as the most effective means of bringing the relevance of recent history to our daily lives.
Historic & Cultural Importance: In a world with global political strife, as well as environmental and economic issues, why should we be concerned with the history and preservation of Wandawega? Appreciating the importance of nature and local history does not undermine the significance of broader global issues. On the contrary, appreciating the stories, artifacts, structures and nature of Wandawega can enhance our sense of community and brings us closer together, with a greater understanding of our place in the world.
There is huge importance in educating, engaging and inspiring people on the subject of “recent” history. Too often, future cultural and architectural treasures are lost because their ultimate significance is not embraced until it’s too late. From classic barns of the midwest, to roadside motels, diners and supper clubs, movie palaces, drive-in theaters, and Main Street U.S.A. storefronts, far too many pieces of our shared cultural past are being lost to neglect, sprawl and development. Along those same lines is the Hotel Wandawega – a.k.a. Wandawega Lake Resort, a.k.a. Camp Wandawega – a unique collection of cottages, cabins, a hotel and lodge rare in that it has been unmolested over the years. With a colorful history that includes the mob, a madame and the Vatican, it is a rare example of the vanishing vernacular architecture of the era. To this day, families that visit Camp Wandawega are instantly transported back to the simple pleasures of a simpler time, in an authentic rustic setting, on the edge of the woods, on the shores of a beautiful lake and wetlands.
Tereasa Surratt: Co-owner of Camp Wandawega with her husband David, is Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather, passionate preservationist and author of two books registered in the library of Congress: A Very Modest Cottage, Publisher: HEARST /Sterling & Found, Free & Flea, Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE / Clarkson Potter.
David Hernandez: Co-owner of Camp Wandawega with his wife Tereasa, is Executive Creative Director at The Royal Order and Ogilvy, board member of The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, and former board member of The Landmarks Preservation Trust.
Joseph M. Lyons: Former Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, Adjunct Faculty Member at City College of Chicago, and Training and Education Manager with Cook County Human Resources. Joe owns a cottage and guest house on Wandawega Drive that has been in his family for three generations, and serves on the Board of Directors for Wandawega Country Club.
Deb Ketchum: Researcher and volunteer for The Walworth County Genealogical Society, which was formed in 1988 for the purpose of education and research. Their ongoing project, since the spring of 1993, is the enumeration of cemeteries in Walworth County.
Jim Draeger: Wisconsin Historic Preservation Officer, with more than twenty years of historic preservation experience. From roadside architecture to North Woods resorts, Draeger celebrates the importance of ordinary buildings to our daily lives through his research, writing, and lectures. Jim is author of Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin's Historic Bars and Breweries.
Tom Keefe: Vice President, Keefe Real Estate. Tom is active in promoting economic development in Walworth County and is a supporter of historic structures as a vital component of healthy and enriched communities.
The Fuldner Heritage Fund recognizes Wisconsin heritage by funding the preparation of National Register of Historic Places nominations in Wisconsin. We are grateful that Wisconsin Historical Society sposnored the National Register application on behalf of Camp Wandawega, by way of this grant.
“The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.”