Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

SEP-OCT 2017

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By simply adding feet to a cast-iron horse trough, Austrian immigrant John Michael Kohler revolutionized the process of bathing as we know it. In 1873, buoyed by his early success, Kohler founded what has become one of America's oldest and most highly regarded private companies near Sheboygan, Wisc., deep in Packer territory about an hour north of Milwaukee. During the following century and a half, Kohler has steadily expanded its business to include not only kitchen and bath products, but engines, cabinetry and tile produced from more than 50 manufacturing sites around the world. After realizing his own American dream, Kohler himself helped countless other immigrants pursue their goals of achieving a better life by providing them with jobs, housing and educational opportunities. ese days, the exclusive American Club resort exemplifies the can-do Kohler spirit with stunning accommodations, service, food and hospitality. Replete with natural lakes and gently rolling hills, this bucolic corner of Wisconsin is an unsullied breath of fresh air in the heat of summer, or anytime of the year. My wife, Jen, and I recently spent a couple of glorious days exploring the resort and the greater Village of Kohler just ahead of the Fourth of July holiday. A brisk five-hour drive from Indy through rain and Chicago traffic had us more than a little ready for some relaxation when we arrived early on a Wednesday afternoon. Eager to unwind, we wandered down a garden path amid grazing deer and skittering fawns to a leisurely lunch in front of a soaring stone fireplace at the River Wildlife Lodge. Fueled by homemade vegetable soup, a locally shot pheasant BLT and an exemplary grilled cheese sandwich (when in Wisconsin, right?), we spent an exhilarating al fresco afternoon riding horses and shooting trap. e extent of my equestrian experience usually involves sipping something cold while watching a polo match, and I'm not exactly the best shot in the neighborhood, but these activities turned out to be tremendous fun, even for me. Once a dormitory for immigrant employees with a pub, bowling alley and barbershop, the American Club was reimagined as a full- service hotel in 1981. e expansive grounds feel like Disneyland for discerning adults, studded with lush stands of trees, rolling expanses of greenery and natural water features. e on-site transportation provided by a fleet of pristine buses and private BMWs is a welcome upgrade from the usual theme park monorails and golf carts. Written by Jeffrey Cohen COOL WATER 102

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