The American Club Hotel in Kohler Celebrates 100 Years

Celebrations for the hotel’s remarkable milestone include a parade, live music and fireworks

Think back to 1918. The world was engulfed in the remaining months of World War I, Houdini was in his prime, Nelson Mandela was just taking his first steps, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Chicago Cubs in the 15th World Series and Walter J. Kohler, Sr. founded The American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin. The American Club hotel (444 Highland Dr.) will commemorate its 100th anniversary with a centennial celebration on Sunday, August 5, on the front lawn beginning at 1 p.m.

When Walter J. Kohler, Sr. decided to create the Tudor-style hotel, his initial intentions were not for a five-star world-class hotel experience. Rather, he opened its doors in 1918 as a dormitory for immigrant factory workers of Kohler Co., one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies. Since then, the hotel has helped transform the city of Kohler into what it is today.

The American Club then; Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.

Without a doubt, this remarkable milestone deserves a significant celebration. Festivities begin at 1 p.m. with a parade throughout the village starting at the intersection of Highland Drive and Upper Road and winding its way around town and ending at The American Club. From there on, stay and celebrate with a speech by Executive Chairman, Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., an ice cream social, live entertainment by Grammy-award winner Amy Grant and, of course, celebratory fireworks.

Since the hotel was established in 1918, times have changed but the hotel has stuck to its roots. The hotel’s oak-paneled hallways show photos and antiques from Kohler years ago and how the hotel came to be today. The American Club features 240 rooms, all with world renown and state-of-the-art bathrooms and showers (all Kohler products, of course).

Shortly after renovations in 1981, the hotel became a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond resort hotel and is recognized by both the Historic Hotels of America and National Register of Historic Places. The hotel has also helped transform the city of Kohler, now an innovative and beautiful area, home to Whistling Straits, the Kohler Design Center, Immigrant Restaurant and the Kohler Waters Spa.



Caroline Blair is a digital marketing intern for Milwaukee Magazine. She just finished her sophomore year at Syracuse University studying magazine journalism and marketing. She grew up in Milwaukee and is excited to be spending her summer here interning at Milwaukee Magazine.