From Roots to Horizons…

Caregiving Built on Necessity

It’s remarkable to reflect on Shorehaven’s 85 years of Christ-centered service, founded on a strong faith-filled foundation. The organization’s commitment to innovation, compassion, and community care has earned the trust of older adults, family members, and the community since 1939.

Thank You to Our Sponsors 85th Anniversary Celebration

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A Beginning – 1935 to 1961

The journey began in 1935 when Lutherland was established on the north shore of Lac LaBelle by Pastor Herman Michelke. Four years later, in 1939, the Lutheran Homes Society of Wisconsin was organized by Pastor Michelke, Judge Alvin Brendemuehl, and Pastor T.K. Herbener. The Rosenkranz mansion on Lac La Belle’s south side was purchased for about $6,000 as a home for the aged.

In 1951, the Service League was launched as a significant fundraising tool, dedicated to enhancing residents’ lives. Volunteers have since raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, contributing to the well-being of those under Shorehaven’s care.

The year 1961 saw the generous bequeathal of the Montgomery Ward mansion to serve as a residence for the aging, named Knollward. In the following year, 1962, the Rosenkranz mansion was replaced with a new nursing home, which was appropriately named Shorehaven.

For a list of the different types of care we offer, please click here.

Name Change and Expansion – The 1970s to the 1980s

In 1971, the organization underwent a name change, becoming Lutheran Homes of Oconomowoc, Inc. This change reflects the evolution and growth of Shorehaven, adapting to the needs of the community while maintaining its dedication to Christ-centered service.

As Shorehaven marks its Sapphire Anniversary, it continues to stay ahead of senior trends, embracing innovation and enveloping its residents with care. The rich history, combined with a commitment to the future, makes Shorehaven a beacon of faith and service in the community.

The 1970s and 1980s were transformative years for Shorehaven, as it expanded its services and facilities to better serve the community.

In 1973, volunteers initiated the Mobile Meals program, delivering warm meals and smiles to shut-ins within the community, further demonstrating Shorehaven’s commitment to serving seniors.

The year 1974 witnessed the completion of the Shorehaven addition, introducing private rooms and accommodating 242 residents, enhancing the living experience for those under Shorehaven’s care.

In 1981, Tim Thiele assumed the role of Executive Director, bringing leadership to Shorehaven as it continued to evolve. The organization embraced new initiatives under his leadership.

The year 1988 was marked by significant developments. The Commons building was constructed, providing space for chapel, activities, therapy, and adult day services. Additionally, Lake Terrace Apartments, an independent living facility, was built adjoining the Commons area. In the same year, space within the Commons building was allocated for Oconomowoc Area Senior Center activities.

In 1989, Shorehaven extended its services with the creation of the Child Development Center in an older home on the lakeshore, showcasing a commitment to multi-generational care.

Connecting Our Communities

The year 1995 saw a significant shift as corporate membership opened to the wider community, broadening Shorehaven’s impact.

In 1996, the Knollward property was divided and sold to private homeowners. The same year, the Lutheran Homes of Oconomowoc Charitable Foundation was established. Shorehaven Tower, one of the state’s first assisted living facilities, opened its doors, offering another senior living option. The construction of Shorehaven Tower was accompanied by the installation of a skywalk across Highway 16, connecting Shorehaven Tower and Shorehaven, providing convenient access for residents.

In 2005, the old Shorehaven was razed, and a new Shorehaven was built, introducing the award-winning signature household model that has since become a hallmark of the organization. This development showcased Shorehaven’s commitment to modern and innovative senior care practices. The continuous evolution of Shorehaven reflects its dedication to meeting the changing needs of the community while maintaining a Christ-centered approach to service.

The subsequent years brought further enhancements to Shorehaven’s offerings, showcasing its commitment to the well-being and enrichment of the community.

In 2007, the Service League expanded its impact with the opening of the Forgotten Treasures Resale Shop. This shop not only became a retail adventure but also created a boutique experience for residents, staff, visitors, and the public, contributing to the overall vibrancy of Shorehaven.

The year 2008 marked the completion of the Center for Life Enrichment and Café LaBelle, providing a hub for classes, events, and motivation for individuals to learn to live successfully. This addition demonstrated Shorehaven’s dedication to fostering a holistic and enriching environment for its community members.

In 2011, there was a return to the original name, Shorehaven, as Lutheran Homes of Oconomowoc embraced new branding guidelines and signage, reflecting the organization’s identity and values.

In 2012, Shorehaven further expanded its services by opening Memory Care, a specialized program catering to the needs of individuals with dementia. This addition underscored Shorehaven’s commitment to providing tailored care across a spectrum of needs, from skilled care and rehabilitation to assisted and independent living.

From the inception of Mobile Meals to the dynamic offerings at the Center, including Zumba classes, Shorehaven has consistently been a strong and progressive community partner. The organization has remained dedicated to walking alongside seniors at every step of their journey, fostering a sense of community and support.

Shorehaven’s diverse range of services, from Life@Home to Memory Care, highlights its comprehensive approach to senior care and community engagement. As Shorehaven continues to evolve, it stands as a beacon of support and enrichment for individuals and families throughout their senior years.