John Dillinger Hideout

Little Bohemia

This is one of my favorite places in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. Little Bohemia is a beautiful lodge in a scenic area with an

Manitowish Waters, WI

interesting history. Located on Little Star Lake in Manitowish Waters, Little Bohemia is a great place for Lunch or dinner.

My wife and I go, from time to time, and have lunch in the back glassed in porch. They always have good food and a beautiful view of the lake.

Little Bohemia
Manitowish Waters, WI

The first time there was as a 16 year old with my dad, St. Louis aviation pioneer, Casey Lambert, and several of their friends. We sat on the back porch for lunch and swapped stories with the infamous proprietor, Emil Wanatka.

Emil built the lodge in 1929, and like may establishments of the time hosted visitors from the big cities who wanted to escape the summer heat. The Northwoods of Wisconsin was noted for another type of escape and that was Chicago gangsters

Manitowish Waters, WI

who wanted escape the jurisdiction of Illinois police. Apparently Wanatka lured John Dillinger and his gang to the lodge and then notified federal agents of the situation. A major shootout ensued with Dillinger escaping by boat across Little Star Lake.

A number of movies have been made about Dillinger and one, Public Enemies, was filmed there.

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