Page 5 - Elkhart Lake 2016 Guide For Visitors
P. 5

www.ElkhartLake.com                                         (877)355-4278                                                 4


                 LEGENDARY WATER

                 Spring-fed, crystal clear and 120 feet deep, the unique
                 blue-green water of Elkhart Lake is a legend itself. In
                 Elkhart Lake you don’t just catch big fish, you can see
                 them - deep below the surface. From the days when
                 Native Americans lived on its banks, the pristine quality
                 of Elkhart Lake’s water has soothed the souls of people
                 from far and wide - and kept them coming back year
                 after year. To many, it’s the legendary water of Elkhart
                 Lake that makes it famous.

                 LEGENDARY NAME

                 Well known among local tribes was a handsome young   LEGENDARY RACING
                 warrior who proved his bravery by slaying an elk and   Open road racing over the hills and around the curves of
                 devouring its heart - thus becoming known as Elkheart.   Elkhart Lake gained prominence in the early 1950s. Now
                 Attacting the favor of many young maidens, Elkheart   land marked, these early closed-loop courses around the
                 began wooing the one named Silver Birch. But his eyes   lake drew sports car racing enthusiasts from across the
                 soon strayed to another beautiful maiden known as    Midwest and led to the development, 60 years ago, of
                 Singing Bird, leaving Silver Birch heart-broken. One   Road America - a rolling four-mile track near the village.
                 night as the new lovers paddled out on the lake, an   Long recognized as one of the premier road racing tracks
                 arrow from the bow of the dejected Silver Birch pierced   in the world, Road America has become legendary. It is
                 Elkheart, who fell into the deep water. Horrified, Singing   a favorite spot for the sport’s best professional and
                 Bird plunged into the water after him, followed by                                         celebrity drivers of every type of racing vehicle from
                 a sorrowful Silver Birch, who drowned with the ill-fated   motorcycles to Indy cars.
                 lovers. Now, when the moon is full, the spirit of Silver
                 Birch passes over the lake crying the name Elkheart.   LEGENDARY TRAIN DEPOT
                                                                      Elkhart Lake’s early growth as a resort destination is
                 LEGENDARY GAMBLING
                                                                      attributed, in part, to the arrival of the Milwaukee &
                 Elkhart Lake could not escape the wave of illicit    Northern Railroad to the village in 1873. Trains full of
                 gambling in the early 1900s. Illegal gambling became   vacationers, race enthusiasts, gamblers and gangsters
                 the accepted standard in the state and, for all of its   alike from Chicago, Milwaukee and Green Bay stepped
                 resort charm, Elkhart Lake became touted as a gambler’s   onto the passenger platform at the village’s depot.
                 paradise. The popularity of the slot machine among
                 resort visitors took the village by storm. With the Roaring
                 Twenties came an influx of roulette and poker at four
                 well-established Elkhart Lake gambling halls. The end of
                 this legendary era was signaled when, after years of lax
                 enforcement, Elkhart Lake’s infamous Paddock Club was
                 raided and gambling equipment destroyed.



                          Travelers included renowned theatrical troupes with young actors
                               the likes of Forrest Tucker, Tom Bosley and Shelly Berman,
                                            along with famed musician Burl Ives.

                             In its heyday, large excursion parties arrived three times daily
                              in the summer. Beautifully refurbished, this legendary depot
                                           exists today in downtown Elkhart Lake.








          DRAFT_2017_122916_ELVG.indd   4                                                                         12/29/2016   3:17:27 PM
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