John Johnson Haakenson was born on December 12, 1871, in Oslo, Norway and came to the United States as a child. His wife, Esther Imm Haakenson, was born in the town of Maine, Wisconsin. They were married in Wausau, Wisconsin on May 10, 1924. They had no children. They operated the resort on the chain during the 1930s and lived in Milwaukee during the winter months.
Through information gathered from the Manitowish Chamber of Commerce visitor guides, they advertised housekeeping cottages and good fishing, boating, and swimming. The rates were termed reasonable, and the owner declared that guests would receive the rest that they deserved. The Haakensons enjoyed fishing for muskie as a 1931 article describes their catches.
The resort was located on the channel between Rest Lake and Stone Lake. In 1942, the resort was sold to George and Mabel Bazso and became Bazso’s Hillcrest Resort.
The Haakensons left their northern Wisconsin resort for a warmer climate in Phoenix, Arizona. By 1952, they were living in Ojal, California. They later moved to Santa Barbara and ran a guest house. Mr. Haakenson passed away in 1958 and his wife passed away in 1990.
Other Resorts at this locations since being founded in
- Two Muskies. (1931, August 18). Wausau Daily Herald (Wausau, Wisconsin). p.4
- John Haakenson, “Haakenson’s Housekeeping Cottages”, Manitowish Water Chamber of Commerce Guide. 1936.
- John Johnson Haakenson. (1958, January 20). Wausau Daily Herald (Wausau, Wisconsin). p.4
- John J. Haakenson. (1958, January 22). Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona). P.5
- Esther (Imm) Haakenson. (1990, October 22). Wausau Daily Herald). P.9
- Michael Dunn, “Narratives on the Resorts Advertised 2005”, Manitowishwish Waters Chamber of Commerce Guide, 1936.