History of Mogasheen Resort – A Traditional Family Vacation Destination in Wisconsin

How Mogasheen Began…

montage-history-1It was the summer of 1961 and Bill and Ruth Sykes were vacationing in Hayward, Wisconsin with their family. At a loss of things to do on a rainy day and fish not biting, Bill decided to visit one of the local realtors and look at resorts for sale. As the day progressed, Bill and Ruth ended up looking at several resorts, Mogasheen being the last. Ruth recalls standing on the little dock at Mogasheen and looking out onto the bay and telling Bill, IF we were to buy a resort, this would be the only one I would consider. Ruth couldn’t believe her husband was really considering buying a resort in Northern Wisconsin when they had four kids from 3 – 8 years of age, a new home, a construction business in Illinois and no money for a down payment.

Their vacation continued, so did the months following with the dream of Mogasheen in the back of Bill’s head. In September they scraped up a minimal down payment, returned for another look and gave the owners an offer. There was already another interested party, so there was another 2 month wait until the offer was finally accepted.

montage-history-2Bill and Ruth signed the papers to purchase Mogasheen Lodge from George and Gladys Phillips in January of 1962. Thus begins the first year for the Sykes’ family adventures in the northwoods.

When they took over Mogasheen, there were seven cottages and their home (Pine). From 1962 to 1973 they added four additional cottages, but ran the resort only during the summer months. The decision was then made to move to Wisconsin full-time in 1973. In that transition from summer business to year-round business, Bill added the new home/office/swimming pool area and the new tennis court area, plus moved three cabins.

Family PortraitBill and Ruth retired to the home next to the resort in 1994 while daughter Patsy and her husband Henry and three children took over the business. Henry and Patsy have continued the “Sykes” tradition with offering a quality family vacation to all their guests in comfortable cottages, beautiful grounds and great recreational amenities. In 2012 the Sykes family celebrated the family’s 50th anniversary at Mogasheen and hope for another 50 years!  To help reach that goal, Henry and Patsy’s son John, wife Stephanie and daughter Ellie joined the Mogasheen staff in 2018.

Into the Future

We take pride in maintaining our cottages and amenities for our guests. There is continual work being done in the cottages to still maintain their northwoods charm, but to offer the comforts and conveniences of home.

This is the history of Mogasheen Resort and how it all began, experience a wonderful family getaway and make your own history here at this Wisconsin Resort. Mogasheen Resort is a traditional family vacation destination in wisconsin.


  • Bill & Ruth purchased Mogasheen Resort from George & Gladys Phillips
  • Built the Fir cottage (8th cottage)
  • Bought anti-mosquito fogging machine


  • Built new dock & recreation room
  • First pontoon boat


  • First Speed Boat with 25 HP motor


  • Built Elm cabin (9th cottage)


  • Bought CB radios so Bill could go out fishing & check on the resort


  • First paddle boat Upgrade to 40 HP motor on speedboat


  • Built Cedar (10th cottage)


  • Built Spruce (11th cottage)


  • First sailboat & canoe
  • Upgraded to 50 HP boat/motor


  • New fish house & got first juke box


  • Sykes family moved from Morrison, Illinois to run resort year-around
  • Bought first tractor & snow blower


  • Moved old house to present day Pine cabin
  • Moved Maple cabin next to pine
  • Moved honeymoon cabin for storage
  • Built new home/office with pool, sauna, & game room
  • Built tennis court


  • Rebuilt Hemlock


  • Enlarge pier


  • Remodeled office


  • Installed gas pump at the pier


  • Bought house next to resort for future retirement


  • Remodeled Basswood & Birch
  • New pier


  • Rebuilt Oak
  • Sealcoat driveways


  • Bill & Ruth retire and move to Tamarack home
  • Henry and Patsy (daughter) Rieckhoff took over resort


  • Bill Sykes passed away in September
  • Addition & Remodel Fir
  • Winterized & Remodeled Elm


  • Built new addition on Balsam
  • Created recycling center
  • Updated swimming pool


  • Put in a new gas tank at lake
  • Kayaks are introduced to Mogasheen


  • Shuffleboard & added another basketball hoop
  • Pine cabin remodel after fire


  • Ruth Sykes passed away in June


  • Direct TV installed in all cottages


  • Gas fireplaces installed in Cedar, Fir, Pine & Oak
  • Purchased 2nd pontoon boat


  • Balsam cabin received a nice facelift


  • Swimming Pool remodeling
  • Replaced dock by Fir with a longer dock


  • Purchased 3rd pontoon boat and additional docking

2012 – 2013

  • Built the “new and improved” 4-bedroom Maple cottage


  • Added addition to boat storage garage


  • Resurfaced upper driveway to cabins


  • New swingset by tennis court


  • New workshop garage added


  • Aspen loft above new garage built for John, Steph & Ellie to move into
  • Tore down old garage and storage shed