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A glimpse of Dillman’s History

The Resort
Dillman’s has been a landmark on White Sand Lake in Lac du Flambeau for well over half a century.” Joyce Laabs, Lakeland Times. Marvin and Peg Dillman bought the resort from Peg’s parents in 1934. It has been operated by their daughters and their husbands for many years. The resort has seen changes, yet it still meets the vacationing public’s changing needs in a classic vacation paradise. The family has been welcoming guests to the ever popular family vacation amenities such as, four beaches, a marina for a variety of water sports on crystal clear White Sand Lake, tennis courts, children’s playground, picnic grounds, nearby golf and plenty of space to relax.

When the resort was initially purchased it included a hotel, 13 buildings, 35 acres and 1500 feet of frontage on White Sand Lake. Peg and Marvin Dillman were married at Dillman’s on June 1, 1935. Dillman’s started as a boy’s camp, but the plans (including not enough time to promote it and prepare for a boy’s camp) didn’t work out. Luckily Peg and Marvin were able to rent the main hotel and several cabins during that first summer to tourists, and Dillman’s Sand Lake Lodge had its beginnings. The next several years brought many improvements (including indoor plumbing, electricity…).

first lodge
Main Lodge 1934-1939

In 1939, tragedy stuck in the form of fire. An apartment in the back of the hotel had an unattended fire in the fireplace, a log rolled out and the fire started. There was no phone, so they had to drive the mile and a half to the nearest phone at the Lac du Flambeau Depot to call the Fire Department., by the time they arrived the main lodge was destroyed and they were only able to save the outer buildings. Over the next 53 years there were obviously many changes to the resort and many, many memories that families created at Dillman’s. In 1992, there was yet another large fire that consumed the main lodge. In 1993 a new main lodge was built in the same exact spot.

main lodge fire
Main Lodge 1940-1992

Although some of the cabins were initially built in the late 1920’s the accommodations continue to undergo upgrading, including new kitchens, bathrooms, bedding and amenities. And in 2003, eight new rental properties were added to Dillman’s. Unlike many resorts, Dillman’s also offers internationally known instructors to the Creative Arts Program. 2004 marks the 27th year of watercolor, oil, pastel, gem and wood carving, acrylic, colored pencil marketing, and corporate training classes.

Annex Guesthouse

Then and Now... The Lodge Annex Guesthouse circa 1950 (give or take). Notice the pine trees.

Posted by Dillman's Bay Resort

The Family
There have been many changes over the years. Marvin passed away in 1972 and many know that Peg Dillman, passed away in 1998. The older of their two daughters, Sauntra and her husband, Jerry Loar, have been enjoying retirement. Sue and her husband, Dennis Robertson, continue to operate the family business. Stephanie Robertson-Skotterud and her husband Todd joined the business in 2003 and Peg’s other three grandchildren, are busy pursuing their dreams away from the peninsula. Sauntra’s daughter Amber, her husband Jeff and their two sons live in Woodruff. Sauntra’s son Jay, and his wife Liz, live in Colorado. Sue’s son Scott lives in New York City. All have active lives and come back to visit often. The traditions begun by Marvin and Peg Dillman so long ago now have passed to the fourth generation.

The more things change the more they stay the same. When you drive on to the peninsula you may not notice much difference, if you had vacationed here before. We continue to wish for you to have the very best vacation possible that meets or exceeds your expectations. Peg was fond of saying, “I was a lucky woman. I lived my whole life in paradise.” Come and visit us in paradise.