Walter L. Peck House

Also known as: Islandale
38928 Islandale Dr., Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

A Four-Story Queen Ann "Cottage" built as a summer home in 1882, now a year-round residence


Photo taken by J.R. Manning in January 2015




Walter Peck, a wealthy businessman from Chicago, built this summer cottage for his family in 1882. He built the house on Long Island in Lac La Belle. The story goes that his wife refused to set foot into a boat of any kind, so Peck built a causeway across the lake using 10,000 loads of gravel, still in use as the private driveway. (Imagine trying to get that done in this day and age!)

Walter's father was Phillip Peck, an early resident of Chicago, who made a fortune in real estate there. He died in 1871, leaving an enormous estate to his widow and four sons. His widow built a home in Oconomowoc between Lac La Belle and Fowler Lake. The Madam Peck House is also on the NRHP. Walter Peck purchased Long Island and built his family summer home there.

Peck's youngest brother, Ferdinand Peck, financed and drove the construction of Chicago's Auditorium Theater.

Islandale served as a summer cottage for the Peck family and two other families for decades, the last time in 1942. It was closed up and never used for 50 years. A couple bought the home in 1992, restored it and modernized it.

The island has four private residences on it and is all private property. Access to the island is via the private causeway, not open to the public.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on April 10, 1986
Reference number
NR name
Peck, Walter L., House
Architectural style
Victorian: Stick/Eastlake
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Water-related; Single dwelling
Current function
Single dwelling
Period of significance
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • January 8, 2015: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status, Added Description and Added Photos