Our Story

The series of events that led Walter J. Kohler to build The American Club in 1918, began shortly after 1873 when 29-year-old John Michael Kohler took a cast-iron water trough, added 4 feet and enameled it, creating a bathtub. According to company lore, he sold it to a local farmer for one cow and 14 chickens.

The success of that innovation led to a cutting-edge factory and an immigrant workforce with a need for housing and community. Believing "A worker deserves not only wages, but roses as well,” Walter undertook an ambitious project to build a dormitory that would include a pub, bowling alley and barbershop and would house immigrants and their families for just $27.50 a month. Lessons in citizenship and the English language were taught as well.

In 1981 The American Club reemerged as a full-service boutique hotel. Today this redbrick, Vermont slate building welcomes guests with gracious hospitality that has earned a Forbes Five-Star and AAA 5-diamond rating. We continue to expand and innovate, preserving the traditional charm and welcoming spirit of Walter’s vision, while evolving the one-of-a-kind experiences we offer our guests.

We invite guests to explore all that Destination Kohler can deliver for your whole self, from our FIT-inspired activities to our storied past. Kohler Waters Spa and our four Championship golf courses lead the innovation charge with new services and amenities at every turn.

Surrounding The American Club, the Village of Kohler is one of the first planned communities in America, part of a 50-year master plan created with the Olmsted Brothers, designers of New York’s Central Park.

Nearby, River Wildlife, a distinguished wilderness preserve and dining club, encompasses more than 500 acres of unspoiled land, 5 miles of the meandering Sheboygan River and more than 18 miles of scenic woodland trails.

And a bit further afield, LODGE KOHLER stands in the heart of Green Bay’s Titletown action, while The Old Course Hotel borders the renowned 17th Road Hole of the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland.

Wherever you find us, genuine warmth and gracious hospitality will welcome you, and call you back again.