By Christina VanGinkel
If historic buildings surrounded by a bit of intrigue, a mafia peppered past, and a ghost or two appeals to you, then the Four Seasons Resort on Miscauno Island, may be just the getaway you have been in search of. Once believed to be the favored getaway of Al Capone himself and with ties to the Chicago Mafia just a few short years in the past, walking the grounds at sunset may be enough to conjure up images of all sorts of interesting ghosts. Do not worry though, as they all reside only in your imagination fueled by the rich history, and each one is as friendly as can be.
Located in the northern part of Marinette County Wisconsin, just a stones throw from Pembine Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, it is home to a challenging 9-hole, par 34 golf course. The Menominee River runs right around the island, and the only access to the island is another historic landmark, a one lane, steel constructed bridge that originally was the train route for guests to arrive. Having been across the bridge myself numerous times, I can assure that in all of its quaintness, it is a safe trip, a trip though, which will make you feel as if you stepped through time.
The resort has gone through several owners through the years, but has been greeting guests since 1905, when the first guests stepped off the train, coming from places such as Chicago and the surrounding towns of Iron Mountain Michigan, and Marinette Wisconsin, at the time a bustling town of economic growth. Burning to the ground in 1923, the hotel was rebuilt around the only remaining piece of the original building, the grand fireplace, in 1925. History is still much of what makes the Four Seasons Resort on Miscauno Island so fascinating, and if you enjoy history, a visit will not leave you disappointed.
The grandeur of the historic main building is still reminiscent of a time when life was much simpler, when a vacation meant peace and quiet, mornings on the green and good food. If you want o be a bit more active then swinging your clubs, they also offer tennis, swimming in their pristine indoor pool, and depending on the time of year you visit, access to four wheeler trails, snowmobiling trails. You can also rent a pontoon boat, and coming soon the options to rent snowmobiles, mountain bikes, canoes or fishing boats. At the end of the day, schedule an appointment with their onsite massage therapist, or head to their whirlpool for a rejuvenating soak. With winter in full gear, they currently offer sledding, cross-country ski trails right on the island, and an ice rink open and ready to skate on, complete with a warming house to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate afterwards.
Wildlife is abundant in the area, and glimpsing whitetail deer on the island is commonplace. Standing on the bridge one day, I even personally glimpsed a majestic black bear as he came to the water’s edge for a cooling drink on a hot summer afternoon in August.
Dining is available at a choice of two restaurants on the grounds. The Fairways Griddle and Grill, serving breakfast and lunches, with several house specialties. JP’s Steak & Seafood is their dining room, and as with the Fairways Griddle, they offer several house specialties and signature dishes. The menu is known to change with the season, so you are assured of always finding something new to try depending on the time of year you visit. More so than the food though, it is the room itself that makes up JP’s Steak & Seafood that will leave you in awe. The stunning chandelier and ornate fireplace had made many a person return just to take in the grandeur of the room. The room is said to have originally been designed in the style of a 1920’s luxury cruise liner.
In 2005, the hotel once again went under the hammer, but left the original building in all of its glory. The owners instead added a beautiful 55, all-suite hotel. With full kitchens and living rooms, you may never want to leave. The hotel also offers guest cottages for those seeking a bit more privacy, and is available both by the night and at a weekly rate. If you are looking for a getaway that will truly be just that, then be sure to make your reservation at one of the Northwood’s best-kept secrets, the Four Season Resort on beautiful Miscauno Island.