Baldwin restaurant a total loss after Wednesday blaze

Webber Township Supervisor: 'This is a sad day for Lake County'

BALDWIN -- A 100-year-old building and beloved community landmark is no longer standing after burning down Wednesday, Aug. 12.

Webber Township Fire Chief Allan Dailey said firefighters were dispatched at about 12:30 p.m. last Wednesday afternoon to the Government Lake Lodge building in Baldwin.

Dailey said after fighting the flames throughout the afternoon, the building was deemed a total loss. He added the scene was later cleared around 8 p.m.

"No one was inside the building and no one was injured on scene," Dailey said.

As fire personnel continue to investigate the cause of the fire, which remains unknown at this time, community members are mourning the loss of the popular restaurant.

Webber Township Supervisor Ernie Wogatzke said the log structure on South M-37 was built in 1919.

"A lot of people owned that business," he said. "It went through many hands. Everyone is sad to see it go."

Wogatzke said the building has served many purposes, from a gas station to a local tavern to a fine-dining experience.

"It became famous in the area as a great place to eat and watch the fish in the lake," he said. "It really is a great loss and we send our condolences to the owner who had it now. This is a sad day for Webber Township and Lake County."

Dailey said several area departments assisted in fighting the fire at the Government Lake Lodge, including fire departments in Pleasant Plains Township, Yates Township, Luther and other county agencies.

"We had every fire department in the county and still ended up with just 20 guys," Dailey said. "It was a tough fire. It was very, very hot and a lot of guys had to rehab in the back of the ambulance getting their blood pressure and heart rate checked.

"I want to commend everybody from the county that showed up to help," he continued. "Our guys did a great job."