Original Dawn Manor Components in Storage, Frame Knocked Down | Events in Wisconsin Dells

John GITTING

Dawn Manor, a historic Lake Delton home relocated from its original ownership, has all of its historic components stored away while its owner searches for a location in the Dells area.

According to owner Steve Uphoff, the house’s original stones, woodwork and other hardware were packed and stored on 94 pallets in total. Uphoff worked with Amish contractor Jacob Mast to preserve the original portions of the house, which he will use to rebuild it in another area and display it as a private event venue honoring the mid-1800s, the period during during which the house was built (in 1855).

“We made the decision to cannibalize the building, removing every material element,” Uphoff said. “The wood, the staircase, the beams, the parquet floor and the stone of the house, it was original. It was 94 Potsdam sandstone pallets that we removed.

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Uphoff said the Mast family spent 2.5 months removing the masonry from the building “by hand”. He added that the stained glass window was also among the components that were saved. A new location is still unspecified, but Uphoff said he narrowed it down to four locations in the Dells area.

“The goal was to preserve Dawn Manor,” Uphoff said.

“He went to incredible expense to remove each piece of stone, piece by piece, tagging it where it was,” said Lake Delton village administrator Tom Diehl. “These people were there for a very long time to dismantle this. Everything is stored offsite.

After Uphoff and the contractors completed the process of stocking the original components, the frame was knocked down by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, which now owns the land. There are no current updates from the resort on what it plans to do with the vacant property.

“The only thing that was taken down was the physical wooden structure that was left after we took all of our materials,” Uphoff said.

Following the demolition of the frame of the house, social media comments indicated that the entire house had been demolished, which Uphoff said was inaccurate and upset him.

“It pains me terribly when I hear that Dawn Manor was destroyed and not preserved and no one cared about the story,” Uphoff said. “It’s the exact opposite. We cared so much that we spent 2 and a half months removing each stone, wrapping it in cellophane and storing it.

Architectural Design Consultants was also involved in the process, as Uphoff hired the firm to “painstakingly measure every inch of this house” to duplicate the structure in another location.

“Every hinge, every doorknob was saved,” Uphoff said.

In 2017, Uphoff purchased Dawn Manor (the house and its surrounding land) from former owner George Raab, whose family has a deep history with the house. Uphoff sold the land to Kalahari owner Todd Nelson in August last year and retained ownership of the structure as part of the purchase.

Dawn Manor, a historic Lake Delton home set to be relocated, will remain in the area as a private event venue where clothing, dining and music will match the home’s mid-1800s aesthetic.

“Steve got everything he needed,” said Tom Diehl, administrator for the village of Lake Delton. “All masonry has been tagged and tagged. When he finds the place where he will redo it, he has all the elements to reproduce it as it was.

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