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Manitowish Waters Heritage Tour
Item 23 of 31
This is a contributing entry for Manitowish Waters Heritage Tour and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

Tichy’s Knotty Pine Resort, located just past Bensen Lake on the Manitowish River, was an active resort beginning in 1946 and operated until 1974. Manitowish Waters municipal tax records have on record that resort owner Frank Tichy possessed six rowboats, indicating the resort’s popularity. Photographic evidence indicates that the resort peaked at a minimum of six cabins.

Knotty Pine Resort has a unique vertical log architectural style that emerged before WWII. Vertical log properties like Knotty Pine Resort are being replaced by modern construction as folks rebuild on older lots. Fortunately, many vertical log homes are still in pristine condition on both the Manitowish River and the chain of lakes.

Tichy’s Knotty Pine Resort is located on private property and best viewed by paddling on the Manitowish River. Private property should be respected by all travelers on the Manitowish River.


Knott Pine Resort ad from 1963-1964

Window, Plant, Tree, Font

Knott Pine Resort ad from 1953

Font, Poster, Plant, Parallel

Knott Pine Resort ad from 1949

Plant, Window, Tree, Font

Note the vertical log and screen porch architecture

Plant, Building, Tree, Wood

Plant, Property, Building, Tree

Advertising in the Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce guide described their cabins as modern rustic housekeeping cabins. There was a central building for showers and a laundry room. The resort had a coffee shop with a grille and was considered to have great food. Frank Tichy advertised home-cooked meals with a “Northwoods breakfast” that was considered excellent. Tichy advertised a safe beach and children’s playground looking to attract family vacationers.

Tichy was involved in the Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce, and he participated in a men’s version of a beauty pageant at Koerner’s Resort in August 1950, portraying Miss Dam Lake during the show. This pageant was first performed for the Miss Wisconsin party held in June of the same year.

Knotty Pine cabins used classic early 20th century architectural style of screen porches and vertical log cabin. In an era with little or no air conditioning, visitors were lured to the Northwoods during the summer months to enjoy moderate temperatures, lakes and streams perfect for swimming, and cool breezes that made porches the perfect place to relax. Some folks made sleeping porches or placed beds on porches to enjoy cool nights and fresh air. Vertical log construction was a logical step after all the large trees were removed during the cut-over era. Using abundant smaller second growth trees, builders could easily move logs and put them in place. Some mills cut the logs in half, milling a smooth finish on the flat site of the cut for the interior, while leaving the half-log look for the exterior. Some mills even put tongue-and-grove on the edges of the milled logs so they they could be fitted together without gaps. Other builders used round logs and closed the gaps between the vertical logs with mud, plaster or other chinking materials.

Frank Tichy. “Knotty Pine Resort.” Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce Booklet, 1953.

Chicago Tribune, (Chicago, Illinois), (1958, June 29), p.40.

Town Record.  Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin.

Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan). (1959, August 22). p.10.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Manitowish Waters Historical Society

Manitowish Waters Historical Society