Friday, December 31, 2010

Ghosts of Wausau "The Wausau Club"

This article is from the

April 13, 11:32 AM Kathie Kessler

Anyone who lives in or near Wausau has heard the stories of the ghost nicknamed “Martha”, who resides at The Wausau Club. It is not known who “Martha” was, but stories range from her hanging herself in the west wing, to her and her children dying in fire. There is no available evidence supporting either of these stories.

The original owner of the house was Rufus Manson, He served three terms as sheriff of Marathon County, was mayor of Wausau from 1885-1886, was a member of the board of education, and in 1871 served as a member of the state assembly. He married a Canadian woman named Catherine Nicolls on November 13, 1854 and built the home in 1865. He and Catherine had 12 children. Checking the 1880 census, the Manson's did have a daughter named Mattie.. could this be “Martha”? We may never know.

When Mr. & Mrs. Manson died, the house stood vacant until 1900 and underwent several renovations before becoming The Wausau Club. There was a supposed tunnel under the building that lead to a speakeasy during the prohibition era, that has since been sealed.

I spoke with Jenny, a former employee of The Wausau Club who told me they would often hear children crying or laughing upstairs. “Martha” would often become more active if renovations were being made to the building. “You would feel a cold presence and a musty smell, then things would start happening.” Once during a remodel of the basement area Jenny said she had several stacks of dishes on a cart ready to be plated and watched them fly across the room like a deck of playing cards. She said most of the employees would talk sweetly to Martha, as she seemed to have quite the temper and penchant for throwing things.

The Wausau Club now sits, partially renovated, but never finished due to rising costs and unexpected damages. Now dark and vacant, does “Martha” still wander the corridors and once grand rooms of this stately 145 year old building?

The Wausau Club, vacant since it closed in late 2004, remains on the market after the Community Development Authority turned down a purchase proposal.

photo from Wausau Daily Herald Photo of The Wausau Club

Wausau Club


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