The Idlewild Resort as it appeared in 1921, shortly after construction on Birch Lake, in Harshaw. It was built by Edward C Young from Wausau on the shore of Birch Lake along then State Hwy 10. The site included 35 acres on both sides of the hwy. Two cabins can be seen standing just to the South of the building, and remain standing today.
The original structure was 24x32 feet. with a kitchen 24x52 feet according to early accounts. It was constructed of tamarack and spruce logs, which Mr. Young cut on his land. The original resort included an icehouse, and across the hwy, were located a garage, poultry yard, garden and barn, for dairy cows,.so that fresh food and milk be available for guests.
This building burned to he ground in 1926, and was rebuilt on the same site by Mr. Young in 1927 and enlarged. Newspaper reports at the time mention a wolf that the Young Family kept in a pen, as a tourist attraction. Note the lack of trees to the North along what was then also called-The Hazelhurst Road.
At the time, there one one other resort on the North end of Birch Lake, in Lake Tomahawk Township. It was built in 1916 by Mathias P. Boden, and called the Shepard Lake Resort.. It had a large 2 story Lodge, and a number of cabins, according to the 1924 History of Oneida County. It reportedly burned down in the 1940's. On a 1903 map, today's Birch Lake was shown as Artie Lake. Later it was named Shepard Lake, and in about 1920, called Birch Lake. Newspapers reported large forest fires in the area in 1917. Fires burned off what ever trees survived the logging days. Because the first trees to re-grow were the white birch, the lake at that time got it's new and present name.