The History of Eagle Springs Golf Resort

eagle springs history

In 1866, John and Mary Tuohy, Irish immigrants, arrived from Boston and settled on the western shores of Eagle Springs Lake where their 80-acre farm grew to 601 acres. In 1893 John sold his portion of the land to his son, William. William decided that the area would be an ideal vacation spot and established a resort including a grand hotel, 12 cottages and 18-hole golf course. The resort served as an exclusive vacation destination for guests from Chicago, Milwaukee and Waukesha. Horse drawn buggies met vacationers at the train stations in Eagle and Mukwonago. Hotel rates at the turn of the century were $2.00 per day and $8.00-$12.00 per week. Golf was 25 cents for 18-holes but if people were short on money William allowed them to golf for free.

In 1920 William’s beloved daughter, Agnes Ellen Tuohy, died unexpectedly at the age of 21. William was heartbroken and for a brief period left the family homestead. Upon his return in 1921 he ordered the hotel closed and put it up for sale with the condition that whomever bought it would need to move it to another location. It was sold and razed in 1921. William then turned his attention exclusively to upgrading and improving the golf course.

He hired A. G. Spaulding, a former pitcher and manager for the Chicago Cubs, to design the first two holes and let nature dictate the rest of the 18-holes. After the depression in 1929 the golf course was cut to 9-holes. Many factors contributed to this decision aside from the obvious financial reasons. Before modern irrigation it was very difficult to maintain the course in time of drought. Lack of employees in this largely farm area was also a challenge. The old hotel’s “laundry building” is currently the Clubhouse for the golf course. It features the original cherrywood tables and chairs from the resort. The cherrywood bar was also taken from the hotel before it was sold. Many reminders of the past are displayed in the cherished, antique clubhouse. Nine of the original cottages remain as part of the current resort. They are still rented by families enjoying the tranquil feeling of another era. Both the golf course and the cottages epitomize the legacy of Eagle Springs Golf Resort.

Fifth generation owner Mike Bolan and his family represent Eagle Springs Golf Resort as the oldest family owned nine-hole course in Wisconsin. Eagle Springs is also proud to be listed among the first courses in America. We hope you stop by to visit soon.