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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Island of Happy Days, main lodge in distance (N. Roberts photo)

Island of Happy Days, main lodge detail (N. Roberts photo)

Island of Happy Days, Allison's cabin (N. Roberts photo)

Island of Happy Days, Harry Stout cabin (N. Roberts photo)

Island of Happy Days, boathouse (N. Roberts photo)

The Island of Happy Days
Stout Island, Red Cedar Lake, Town of Cedar Lake, Barron County
Architect: Arthur Heun
Date of Construction: 1909-1911

This twelve-acre island estate was built on Red Cedar Lake for the Frank Deming Stout family. Stout inherited a lumber fortune and became one of Chicago's wealthiest men. The island was a summer retreat for his family from 1903 to 1927. Stout considered the island to be "the dearest place on earth." He coincidentally died of heart trouble on his way to the Happy Days in 1927.

The Stout estate is one of Wisconsin's more extensive and architecturally sophisticated Rustic Style complexes. Stout modeled his estate after the elaborate rustic showplaces of the Adirondack region. Arthur Heun, a well-known Chicago architect, employed a mixture of details from Craftsman to Colonial Revival, creating a picturesque and eclectic interpretation of rustic design. There are ten buildings in the complex, which include the main lodge, a guest house, children's cabins, servant's quarters, a school, and a recreation hall. The buildings' smaller scale and low-slung appearance nestle them into the surrounding landscape.

Like its Adirondack predecessors, the Stout estate mixes high style architectural details with Rustic Style construction. Broad Craftsman Style gables, exposed rafters and knee braces are combined with Classical Revival features such as the Palladian motif entrance represented by the double doors flanked with sidelights and an arched transom above. The result creates a sense of opulence and wealth that fits harmoniously into its northwoods site.

This property is operated as Stout's Island Lodge and is open to overnight guests.

Additional documentation accepted 1/27/2012.

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