Summerwind Mansion, formerly known as Lamont Mansion, is a now derelict foundation & cellar located on the shores of West Bay Lake in Vilas County, Wisconsin. It is reputed to be one of the most haunted locations in Wisconsin. Due to abandonment, the elements and fire, little of the mansion currently remains standing. Summerwind was originally constructed during the early 20th century as a fishing lodge.
In 1916 it was purchased by Robert P. Lamont, who employed Chicago architects Tallmadge and Watson to substantially remodel the property and convert it into a mansion. The mansion provided a comfortable place for Lamont to escape the pressures of everyday life in Washington D.C., as he would later go on to serve as the Secretary of Commerce under President Herbert Hoover. Lamont remained in Summerwind for approximately 15 years, during which time the maids told Lamont that the mansion was haunted, but he did not believe them. However, he is then reported to have abandoned the property suddenly in the mid 1930s after witnessing an apparition in the mansion’s kitchen. Legends of the house say that Lamont actually fired a pistol at a ghost that he believed was an intruder. The bullet holes in the basement door from the kitchen remained for many years. After remaining vacant for some time, the house became the residence of Arnold and Ginger Hinshaw and their four children, who moved in during the early 1970s.
It is from this time forward that most of the haunting reports originate. After taking up residence, the Hinshaws reported a number of strange occurrences, ranging from flickering shadows that appeared to move down the hallways and soft voices that stopped when they entered rooms. There were unexplained electrical/mechanical problems and sash windows that raised themselves. One particular window, which proved especially stubborn, would raise and lower itself at all hours. Out of desperation, Arnold drove a heavy nail through the window casing and it finally stayed closed. They also reported seeing the ghost of an unidentified woman who appeared several times in the vicinity of the house’s dining room. On another occasion, Arnold walked out to his car to go to work and the vehicle suddenly burst into flames. No one was near it and it is unknown whether the source of the fire was supernatural in origin or not, but regardless, no cause was ever found for it.