History of Mason-Woods
December 21, 1990 Camp Tivoli became MasonWoods
Mason Woods Jackson room addition
August 28, 1999
Members of Shawano Lodge #170 F&AM
Left to Right Carl Carmichael, Attorney Galen Winter,
P. G. M. Jim Zimmerman, Clayton McHugh real estate agent
and Attorney Thomas Olejniczak for the
Norbertine Fathers in De Pere completing
the purchase of Mason Woods property.
Camp Tivoli in Operation until 1981
“Every boy likes to fish, swim, and row;
where no crab can bite his toe;
Camp Tivoli, boys;
Gives all these joys;
So find out and be raring to go.”
Camp Tivoli, a former Catholic boys’ camp along Shawano Lake, was named after a listener submitted this limerick as part of a Green Bay radio station contest, recalls Rev. Abbot Killeen of the Norbertine Fathers in De Pere.
Previously owned and operated by the St. Norbert Abbey, the camp served as a summer retreat for about 50 boys from 1925 until 1981.
Although closed for the past 10 years, the site eventually will be enjoyed by a “new “generation as the Wisconsin Masonic Organization has purchased the land to build a retirement village there.
“The camp accommodated boys from ages 8 to 16,” Killeen recalled. “They came from places like Chicago, St. Louis, Dubuque and Ohio.”
Today only a steel gate and “No Trespassing” signs mark the entrance to the 150-acre property in the Town of Washington. Only a few buildings, including a barn and chapel, still remain.
The camp started with four cabins each holding eight boys and a counselor.
Several more cabins, dining and recreation halls plus other facilities including a swimming pool were added later.
“Most of the buildings were taken down after the camp closed due to vandalism,” Killen said.
The camp opened from June through August each summer and offered a wide variety of recreational activities including Fishing, boating, swimming, softball, horseshoes and horseback riding. A staff of about 15 workers including counselors and activity directors oversaw the operation.
It eventually closed “because boys’ camps in general were having difficulty in having the number of (youths) needed to stay open,” Killeen said. “Society became more mobile with the automobile and campers, parents started taking their children with them (on vacations).”
Killeen still holds warm memories of the camp.
“It was a wonderful place,” he said.
By Michael Boucher, Shawano Leader Reporter
The Masonic Home Board with the help of the Shawano Masons
purchased Camp Tivoli December 21, 1990 for $415,000.00
as the Shawano Masons raised $160,000.00
February 15, 1991
TO: Lodges in Proximity of Northeastern Wisconsin
SUBJECT: Northeast Wisconsin Independent Living Center
FROM: Ron Campbell, District #4 Lecturer
You may have heard that a 150-acre parcel of land on the Northeastern shore of Shawano Lake has been acquired for the purpose of building an Independent Living Center, similar to the one now under construction at Dousman, Wisconsin.
Through the untiring efforts of three or four devoted Masonic Brothers over $125,000 was raised in pledges in late November and early December as a show, of good faith”, that Northeastern Wisconsin Masons were in support of this acquisition. That, plus a loan of $250,000 by the Grand Lodge Trustees in early December, enabled the Wisconsin Masonic Home to acquire this property on December 30, 1990.
The borrowed money must be paid back by June 1, 1991, which is the challenge before us. Because the time was so short in December to get this property before our option expired, most of the early pledges were generated from only four lodges. We are asking for the support of ALL lodges In Northeastern Wisconsin to achieve the final goal of raising this additional money.
To accomplish this, we need your lodge to select a Chairman (or Co-Chairmen) who is well known, well liked, and willing to help solicit those lodge members who can make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE, 3-year pledge, of $1,500, §1,000, ,or $500 — or more than $1500.00 if he wishes.
Once you have made your selection(s), fill in the form below and send it to Ron Campbell by April 1, 1991.
All lodge chairmen will be notified of a meeting scheduled for Saturday, April |3, 1991 at Shawano Lodge where they will be given much Information about the history of this property; the events that led to our Grand Lodge acquiring it; the long-range building plan; and, how to achieve the necessary pledges, and of course, a supply of pledge forms. The meeting will start at 10:00 A.M. and conclude with a free lunch. After lunch, a tour of the property will be made so they can see it first-hand, after which, they may depart for home.
Fraternally, Ron Campbell
District #4 Lecturer
Address _________ .___ Phone No.
Mail To: Ron Campbell, N2931 Balsam Row Rd., Shawano, WI 54166 By April 1, 1991
Masonic retirement village seen as strong economic boost
The development of a multi-million dollar retirement village on the former Camp Tivoli property will have a large economic impact on the Shawano area, local Masons say.
“ I think the economic impact will be very significant “ said Carl Carmichael one of several Shawano Masons who are playing a key role in the project.
“When you have people moving into a 50 to 75 unit retirement community, the impact for goods and services will be (great)” Carmichael stated.
Located in the Town of Washington along the northern shore of Shawano Lake, the camp Tivoli property has stood vacant for the past ten years. The near 150 acre site was formerly operated as a Catholic “boys” camp by the Norbertine Fathers of DePere.
A desire by the state’s Masonic organization to “branch out” led to the selection of the Shawano area as “an ideal site” to build a retirement center, says local Lawyer Galen Winter.
Local Mason officials led fundraising efforts in northeastern Wisconsin that helped raise financing toward the $415,000.00 purchase price. The deal was completed in late December.
A member of the Shawano Lodge, Winter said that the facility will be similar to a Masonic retirement village built at Dousman near Milwaukee.
Wisconsin Masonic officials first looked for suitable property in the Chippewa Falls and Ashwaubenon areas before settling on the Shawano site, he explained.
“ This piece of property in Shawano (eventually) attracted interest,” Winter said. “The quality of (the property) and surrounding communities were reviewed very thoroughly.”
Calling the Camp Tivoli property “absolutely ideal” for a retirement center, Winter said that Wisconsin Masonic officials were impressed with medical, recreational, and transportation facilities already in place here.
“You can see how this piece of property is a dream,” he stated. Recreational opportunities include the Golden Sands18 hole golf course located “next door” to the grounds and Shawano Lake, a prime fishing area, Winter said.
Among the other local recreational facilities that will be attractive to potential residents include the city’s recreation center, swimming pool, snowmobiling and skiing areas, he noted.
Proposed housing development at the retirement village would include individual cottages, duplexes and four plexes.
A Marketing survey will be conducted before final building plans are developed, Winter said.
The Village will be open to Masons and others, he stated.
Hopefully, within a year, the marketing survey will be completed, said Shawano’s Jim Zimmermzn another local Mason playing a large role in the project.
About 90 percent of Shawano Masons contributed to the fundraising for the land purchase Zimmerman said.
“I never saw such enthusiasm” he stated. So there is a genuine interest, everyone looked at it with a very positive attitude.
Zimmerman said no final dates have been set, but he estimated that residents would be able to move into the Village about two years after the survey is finished.
“The general concept is when you come into the complex, you deposit a fund”, winter outlined. “When you leave the village—for any reason—you are guaranteed portions of your money back”.
In addition, residents will most likely be charged a monthly rate, he added.
Shawano Masons emphasized that the project will not disturb the natural beauty of the camp Tivoli area—called the last undeveloped area along Shawano Lake.
“We will make sure that the shoreline and adjoining wetlands remain undisturbed and in their present state,” Carmichael stressed.
“We will maintain the very thing that drew us here in the first place,” Zimmerman said.
The rustic setting is seen as what will be most attractive to residents. The balance of the acreage along Duchess creek and it’s outlet into the lake includes about sixty acres of wetlands. The property also offers nearly 2,600 feet of shoreline frontage and 70 acres of wooded lands.
“How many environments like this can be created?” Zimmerman said. “The air is cleaner, the environment is quieter.
“How many people in an independent living center can look out their window and see deer or flocks of geese?” he added. “We hope to have a sanctuary with nature trails.”
Officials are also looking into the possibility “of people being able to take a golf cart from the front door to the (Golden Sands) course Winter said.
The cost of the project, once completed, “will run in the millions,” Zimmerman said. We anticipate it will draw a lot of people back home who went to Florida, Texas and other Southern states to retire.
“It is my dream that someday this (retirement village) will develop into an independent living center, nursing home and some type of (medical facility).” Zimmerman added.
Carmichael echoed those sentiments.
“We eventually intend for that to be an intermediate care operation and a full time health care center,” Carmichael stated.
The land was rezoned last month by the Shawano County Board from open forest to multi-family planned development to make way for the project.
By Michael Boucher Shawano Leader Reporter.
Mason-Woods,Emery Ansorge Road,Cecil Wisconsin
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