Hiawatha on Star Lake

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  • Rainbow-Sunset

Place Category: Lodging and Cottages, Homes & Resorts

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Lodging Amenities
  • What started as an old 42’ railroad boxcar is now one of the Northwoods premier private lodges.  This newly built six bedroom lodge boasts awe inspiring views overlooking endless miles of undeveloped Northern Highland State Forest shoreline just 30’ from the water’s edge on Star Lake.  Sitting on 270’ of level shoreline, The Hiawatha on Star Lake utilizes walls of glass to maximize the views overlooking the crystal clear waters of Star Lake.  With 92% of the shoreline undeveloped and part of the Northern Highland State Forest, the lodge offers one of the most private and beautiful destinations in the Northwoods.  Whether you enjoy kayaking next to loons, water skiing as bald eagles soar overhead, fishing for trophy musky, relaxing on the many sandbars and private coves or hiking miles upon miles of trails right on Star Lake, the lodge offers it all with the solitude that is sought by many but enjoyed by few.  As evening approaches, you will enjoy graceful sunsets in the over sized screened-in porch, dinner served next to the wall-of-windows and end the night sharing stories around the campfire next to the shoreline or the spacious fireplace in the lodge.  In the summer, music of the loons and the orchestra of bullfrogs will gently put you to sleep.  The story began in 1936 when The Milwaukee Road started a passenger car service from Chicago, IL with Star Lake, WI being the “end of the line”, known as the North Woods Hiawatha Line.  When the line ceased service in 1942, the General Passenger Agent for The Milwaukee Road, Carl Dahnke, purchased 400’ of right-of-away from the railroad along the shoreline Star Lake for $400.  For another $15, he won the bid to purchase an old boxcar that was used as the home for the locomotive engineer on the property.  Over the next couple of decades, Carl and his wife, Nettie, made countless trips from Shorewood, WI to Star Lake to add on to the old boxcar, often using scrap material from the railroad and commercial buildings being torn down in Milwaukee.  Using his jolly personality, he would recruit friends to help with labor and design, including famed industrial designer Brooks Stevens who designed a living room addition. To keep him company, Carl gifted 100’ of shoreline to his best friend to share the special place Star Lake has become.  As generations passed, the family grew larger and the original cottage grew older.  Patches to the old boxcar-turned-cottage became fruitless and it was apparent the old cottage had hit the end of the line.  On the original footprint of the old cottage, a new six bedroom lodge was designed by Wade Weissman Architects built by Wiedenbauer Builders in 2018.  Still owned by Carl’s family, they are excited to share the experience that has created lasting memories for over 75 years.  Don’t forget to search around the lodge for relics of the past including part of the railroad track that old cottage sat on!

  • Cottage/Resort Units: 1
    Motel/Condo Units: 0
    Bedroom Count: 5+
    Campsites: 0
  • Lodging Amenities:
    • Bed Linens Furnished
    • Boats Included
    • Fireplace
    • Hiking
    • Major Credit Cards
    • On Water
    • Open Year Round
    • Recreation Room
    • Sandy Beach
    • Snowmobile Trails
    • Swimming (lake)
    • Wi-Fi