Wausau Club

309 McClellan St., Wausau, Wisconsin

Supposedly haunted clubhouse of the defunct Wausau Club.


Overview Looking Southwest

Note the fence surrounding the property. The addition on the right of the photo is a dormitory that was added to the building.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in August 2012




The property that the clubhouse is built on once was the location of a house that belonged to Rufus P. Manson, a Mayor of Wausau and a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly. He and his family of twelve lived there until his death. After Manson and his wife died, the house was split into two separate properties. Each portion was moved to a different location. When the Wausau Club was formed, the club moved yet another house from a different location here and adapted it as the clubhouse.

The building has been modified and added to numerous times. The large portion to the right (west) is a dormitory that was built to house visiting professionals and guests, as well as members of the club. The basement once housed a bowling alley, that may still be there. A tunnel once connected the clubhouse to a local newspaper publisher and was used to shuttle alcohol into the club during prohibition. (The tunnel is reportedly sealed.)

The club ceased operation in December 2004.

There are reports of paranormal activities in the building. A woman named Martha reportedly hanged herself here. Reports of Martha appearing in the north room, scene of her hanging, are common. The chandelier in the ballroom is reported to swing by itself. Footsteps can be heard in the ballroom when it is empty. Kitchen workers have reported material moving on its own. Lights will mysteriously turn on and off when no one is around.

Currently, the property is surrounded by a temporary chain link fence. There is no signage indicating any activity nor have any reports about a potential sale or remodeling been found. Perhaps Martha just wants to be left alone.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 14, 1989
Reference number
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Classical Revival
Areas of significance
Architecture; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Meeting hall
Current function
Meeting hall
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant years
1901; 1902

Update Log 

  • August 5, 2012: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added description and added photographs.