Sayner-Star Lake has a rich heritage that’s alive in our local attractions. They share the stories of early residents and visitors to this area and they offer an experience that is as beautiful today as it was a century ago. Some of these attractions are open seasonally, so summer is the best time to explore these places. So swing open the screen door, come inside and step back in time.
If you head deep into this museum, you’ll find yourself in an antique snowmobile paradise. Sayner-Star Lake is the birthplace of the snowmobile and the Vilas Historical Museum is a fitting place for a shrine to that first machine. In addition to the first snowmobile, you’ll find a guides’ room, doll collections, native wildlife mounts, lures, boats, outboard motors and a collection of African safari mounts and more.
On a hill overlooking County Highway K, a classic white schoolhouse presides over a grassy hill. Star Lake’s second schoolhouse, built in 1921, was the first structure that arriving passengers encountered when departing the depot grounds. The days of one-room schools are long over but the building is still in use. It houses the Old Schoolhouse Gallery, featuring photography and other artwork for sale, as well as a room devoted to the history of Star Lake.
Next to the Old Schoolhouse Gallery, you’ll find another Northwoods historic treasure. The Old Milltown Depot is maintained by a local preservation group, Friends of Star Lake. The Old Milltown Depot includes a new version of Star Lake’s Milwaukee Road Depot and a replica of the Route of the Hiawatha sign that originally stood just across the road.
Generations of golfers have enjoyed this 9-hole par-36 course, but even those who have never held a club may want to pay this course a visit, if only to see the clubhouse. Dating to 1923, the clubhouse is a classic building that offers the beautiful ambiance of another era, as well as some nice views of Plum Lake. It’s been featured in Architectural Digest and Better Homes & Gardens.