Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

4192 MAIN ST

Architecture and History Inventory
4192 MAIN ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:Welcker's Casino
Other Name:Whistling Swan
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:49628
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):4192 MAIN ST
County:Door
City:
Township/Village:Gibraltar
Unincorporated Community:Fish Creek
Town:31
Range:27
Direction:E
Section:29
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1887
Additions:C. 1906
Survey Date:1992
Historic Use:hotel/motel
Architectural Style:Side Gabled
Structural System:Unknown
Wall Material:Clapboard
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Welcker's Resort Historic District
National Register Listing Date:4/14/1997 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:11/6/1996 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the State Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation. Historical Background

The Casino which is now the Whistling Swan was moved across the ice from Marinette in sections and served as the hub of social events at the resort during the season. It was constructed in Marinette as the Lumberman's Hotel. After the Peshtigo fire, poor local economics made the building available at a reasonable price. In 1906 Welcker bought and moved the hotel. The hotel's large dining room was across the street from the Casino. Dr. Welcker, the German who owned the resort, required the prompt presence of his guests at each meal.

Welcker's began with four cottages at the site of the present White Gull Inn and grew to more than 300 acres with twelve cottages, a dining hall, bath houses, the family cottage and laundry buildings. The other properties of the resort consisted mostly of the block behind the Casino and most of the belock below it, including thed hotel's laundry on the shore. The original Henriette (White Gull Inn) only had lodging - the dining rooms were added later.

Welcker was born in Germany in 1849. He graduated in medicine from Leipzig University in 1877 and came to Milwaukee in 1894 where he began a successful medical practice. He visited Fish creek two years later. He left his medical practice to two Milwaukee doctors Dr. H.F. Eames, and Dr. Sneeberger. His program was based on the European health spas of the time. Most of Welcker's early guests were Germans from Milwaukee - who had to pass Welcker's personal approval.

In 1901, the Welcker's daughter Mathilda died at age twenty. Mrs. Welcker died in 1920, and Dr. Welcker on January 9, 1924. Their niece Martha Fahr had been working with them and inherited the property. She sold the property to an unknown party. Later, about 1941, the principal of Gibraltar High School, Jim Langemak, bought the property and renamed it the Sunset Beach Resort. Langemak added the first dining room, a kitchen and most of the bathrooms in the Inn (White Gull). From 1953 to 1959, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Ranney owned the inn, renaming it the Lakewood Lodge and Cottages. Andy and Elsie Redmann then bought the property and changed the name again to the White Gull Inn. Andy Redmann remodeled the dining room to its present condition. In 1964 Howard Christianson bought the inn and sold it in 1970 to Frank and Eunice Manders. In 1972 a group of friends including current co-owner Andy Coulson, Peter Boice, and Dan Noonan. In 1975 Andy Coulson and Jan LIndsley, an Inn employee, were married, and bought out their partners in 1981. Under the Coulsons, a second dining room and two kitchen expansions have been added. In 1985, the Coulsons purchased the Proud Mary Hotel (originally Welcker's Casino, now known as the Whistling Swan).

Historical Significance Welcker's Resort is significant to the history of Fish Creek as the better example of the two large late nineteenth century resorts in Fish Creek.
Bibliographic References:STURGEON BAY DOOR COUNTY ADVOCATE 5/31/1996.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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