Door County History in Photos: Lucerne Hotel, 1937

In 1928 Leathem Smith bought a 100-acre farm and turned it into Door County’s very first yacht and country club. It was known as the Commodore Club and included a nine-hole golf course, dock, dining hall, lobby, several cottages and 22 rooms. In 1937 the country club was sold to the Bertschinger family and was renamed the Lucerne Hotel (pictured). In 1944, Leathem Smith bought the country club back. He used the main dining hall to store materials to build support vehicles for the war effort. That year Smith also ran for the U.S. Senate, but lost to Joseph McCarthy. Several more sales and name changes ensued until 1993 when new owners reinstated the name Leathem Smith Lodge. Current owners Paul and Holly Meleen bought and renovated the lodge in 2011, renaming it The Lodge at Leathem Smith. Photo courtesy of the Door County Historical Museum, 18 North 4th Ave., Sturgeon Bay. Open 10 am – 4:30 pm daily, May 1 through Oct. 31.

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