Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

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Lake Geneva is a city in Walworth County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 7,148 at the 2000 census. A resort city located on Geneva Lake, it is southwest of Milwaukee, and popular with tourists from metropolitan Chicago and Milwaukee. It is home to the Geneva National Golf Club.



Railroad access from Chicago made the area a popular summer retreat for the barons of wealth in lumber, cattle, oil, steel, cement, manufacturing, and durable goods (Morton Salt, Wrigley Chewing Gum, etc.), with mansions and large homes such as Stone Manor and Black Point built on the lake during the heyday of the roaring 20s. The city was then known as "The Newport of the West." The city is also known today as "The Hamptons of the Midwest." In the automobile era the city's fortunes at first declined and it became a haven for Al Capone and other mobsters.

Hugh Hefner built a Playboy Club in Lake Geneva. Guns N' Roses lead singer, Axl Rose, also owned property on the southwest side of the lake from 1988 until 1998. The popular song "Paradise City" was written about the Playboy Club. The club was closed in 1981 and converted into the Americana Resort, and later to the present Grand Geneva Resort.[3] Lake Geneva was also home to Dungeons and Dragons creator Gary Gygax until his death in 2008. George Lucas (Star Wars) has a residence on the south shore of Lake Geneva.

In 1954, Lake Geneva was named as one of the three finalists for the location of the new United States Air Force Academy, but ultimately lost out to Colorado Springs, Colorado.[4]

The city operates under a mayor-council form of government. Lake Geneva recently annexed a large tract of land that will expand the city around the south shore of Geneva Lake.

Originally called "Muck-Suck" (Big Foot) for a Potawatomi chief,[5] the city was later named Geneva after the town of Geneva, New York, located on Seneca Lake, to which early settler John Brink saw a resemblance. Geneva, to avoid confusion with the nearby town Geneva, Illinois, was renamed Lake Geneva; later the lake was renamed Geneva Lake. In practice both forms are used for the lake, but never for the city.

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