Friday, July 4, 2014

Seeminly Lost History

I get a lot of hits to this blog post with some pictures from last summer of an abandoned resort near where I live. It seems as though there are some other people who are curious about the history of Chateau Hutter.

Even being a Door County native, the first time I ever even heard of this place was just shy of two years ago. I didn't know where it was, or even what it was, but as I was driving back south on County B last August, I saw the sign and turned around to check it out. I parked in the field, just off the road where the grass wasn't too tall, and I walked down near the water to the buildings. It was so scary walking around this property by myself in the middle of nowhere.

Now every time that I take that road, I at least slow down to look at the buildings and John A. Hutter Memorial Park, which is across the street. The reason I find these abandoned buildings so interesting is because I just wonder what is inside now, what was inside before, and what was it like when it was still being used? I wish I had answers to these questions, but I really don't.

I enjoy reading Door County Living magazine, which is a free publication that comes out multiple times per year here. It can be found at many local businesses, and I picked up the current {Late Summer 2014} issue on my way leaving work last week. I was reading through it the next day when I saw the article "Door County's Outstanding Resort That Never Was" by Myles Dannhausen, Jr. with a Matthew Smith photograph of Chateau Hutter. I flipped through the rest of the magazine and went back to read that article last.

The eight-page article includes some vintage black and white photographs of the resort and talks about the history of the resort and its owner, John A. Hutter. I would highly recommend this article for anyone who is looking to learn more about the history, but I would like to summarize a little bit of the knowledge that I got out of it.

Basically, Mr. Hutter (well-traveled and from Chicago) decided to start a resort in Door County to bring people the same experiences that he had while traveling the world, and the resort is modeled after Swiss chalets. The resort is also quite similar to a resort a few miles up the road - The Alpine, which is still successful today. Mr. Hutter was promising some things to his guests which were not exactly the things that he was providing, and in 1965, the Door County Chamber of Commerce would not let him pay his dues because they didn't want him to be a member anymore, because he was tarnishing Door County. That was one of the court cases, as he tried to claim that he went out of business because they expelled him. Another one of the cases associated with the property was from when Mr. Hutter was claiming that the property should be taxed as agricultural instead of a resort, and he went on to say things about the property that were the exact opposite of what he was telling people when he wanted to stay there (like that the water was terrible for bathing in).

The article itself goes into much more detail and is a lot more interesting than this, and I highly recommend reading it to learn more about the property and the history.


{all photos from previous posts, which can be found here}


  1. Oooo I love old hotels. It would have been more fun if it had ghosts in it though!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing regarding the Hutter Property. I

  3. Too would very much like to walk around the property it looks beautiful from the road. Would love to know more about its history!


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