The History of Michigan Shores Club

Michigan Shores Club is part of a long and rich history, preserved in the elegance of its architecture and ambiance and its traditions carried through its members.

Nestled along the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan in Wilmette, IL., Michigan Shores is a second home to its members. The Club can trace its beginnings to 1904, when Wilmette's first social club, The Ouillmette Country Club, moved from its original Wilmette location to where Michigan Shores is today. The Ouillmette Club merged with the Evanston Country Club in 1927 to form the Shawnee Country Club, appropriately named on behalf of the Shawnee Indian tribe's heritage in this area, which included a large ceremonial council house in this area. Based on the renderings of the famous architect and civic planner, Daniel Burnham, the Shawnee Club expanded in 1929. This expansion afforded the opportunity for the Clubhouse to showcase the Tudor style that has been preserved throughout the entire Club.

However, just as the Club was celebrating its new renovation, a wave of hard times crashed the North Shore area during the Great Depression era in the 1930's, and the Club was forced to close its doors in 1942. Desperate to find a way to reopen their Club's doors, a group of members responded to an urgent plea from Wayne Bellows, the Club's president, to contribute $200 each. The money was enough to form a new Club, this time named the Michigan Shores Club, which opened its doors on January 15, 1943.

Today, after 73 years of memories and celebrations, the Club continues to grow and offer its members, old and new, plenty of opportunities to share in the magic and tradition that is uniquely Michigan Shores Club.

A Gem of the North Shore

Across all departments at Michigan Shores Club, we do our utmost to provide you with the very best member experience on the North Shore. Whether you're here to enjoy fine dining in an elegant environment, a private party among friends, or to exercise in our fitness center overlooking Lake Michigan, we want you to leave feeling refreshed and satisfied. We look forward to seeing you at the Club.

Thomas Conroy

General Manager

Ed Strzelecki

Executive Chef

Michael Jernegan

Assistant General Manager

Marianne Brady


Ali Asadi

Fitness and Wellness Director

Nick Rumas

Membership Coordinator

Anita Nalepa-Hoskins

Director of Catering & Events

Mary Lynn O'Connell

Aquatics Director

Chris Warner

Paddle Director

James Cox

Pastry Chef

Priscilla Rodriguez