The Beginnings

A Dutch immigrant named Nicholaas Hocke recognized the property’s true potential, and in January 1977, traded Ken and Jerry his San Francisco apartment building for Wildwood. By that summer, resort guests got more than roasted hotdogs after romps in the woods.

“There were gourmet meals, wine with dinner, candle light, a roaring fire, classical music, piano and sometimes a violinist,” remembers Tim McNary, who with John Calhoun staffed the property for nearly two decades through the 1980s and 90s under Nicholaas’ ownership.

“With Nicholaas, there was a feeling of home and family, which many gay men had never had,” says Tim.  “He was keenly interested in the idea of men transforming each other, and in providing an alternative to bars and discos.

“Nicholaas was stoic, a king of the mountain top type.  I believe he was a stockbroker – tall, about 6’ 2” with grey hair.   He was somewhat rigorous, and had a vision of what Wildwood could become for the community.”