The History of Whitetail Country Estates

The Zihlman family, originally from

 Switzerland, first settled the land in 1899

 and it has had an interesting history.

The Zihlmans owned and operated a

 private coal mine on the property.
The large 14-room farmhouse, built in

 1918, was home to the Zihlmans, their 10

 children, a school teacher, and a seasonal

 seamstress. The house still stands and

 overlooks the forested hills and prairie

 landscape. It is considered one of the

 largest farmhouses in Jefferson County.
Old Farmhouse
Camp Golden Valley In the mid 1900’s, the house twice fell victim

to sonic booms from experimental aircraft

resulting in extensive foundation repair and

plastering. In 1967, the United Methodist

Church acquired the land and opened

Camp Golden Valley, a Christian camp

which served the community for 40 years.
Camp Doors
In 2010, Bill and Zana purchased

300 acres with the goal to rejuvenate
the land and buildings on this property

into a rustic, private resort destination.

Just as the Zihlman’s and the founders of

 Camp Golden Valley had a vision for this

 beautiful piece of Iowa landscape, so did

Bill Huber, a life-long resident of

southeast Iowa, owns and operates Huber

Slats, Inc. Zana Huber is originally from

Georgia, but has come to love this land.

Bill and Zana had attended a family

wedding in Georgia, before they were ever

aware of the property. At first glance, Zana

was curious as to what kind of event they

were attending so far out in the country

traveling down a red dirt road. To her

delight, what she encountered was a

fairytale setting -  the bride arrived at the

pondside ceremony in a horse and

carriage - and the setting was so serene

that her entire family had ample time to

mingle and truly enjoy the gorgeous event.

Upon their return, the Hubers became

aware of the property when it came up for

auction and Zana envisioned bringing a bit

of southern charm to the natural beauty of

the Iowa countryside with the experience of

her niece’s wedding foremost in her mind.
Bill and Zana
Entry Drive
She continues to work towards that vision

for her  guests – no matter what the event

may be.  After the property had been

abandoned for  several years, Zana and Bill

have spent innumerable hours renovating

the buildings, and continue  improvements

as their imaginations are inspired by

the ideas and creativity of their guests.

Zana hopes that visitors at Whitetail Country

Estates experience what she does…

a peaceful, serene, tranquil, and private

destination where families and friends can

enjoy one another’s company in the midst

of luxurious and comfortable

accommodations in one of Iowa’s most

beautiful landscapes.

Fall POnd
Skunk Access
 The property features

the beautifully renovated Whitetail Lodge,

with its wraparound deck and spacious

accommodations for up to 27,

a charming Bridal Cottage, which features

a salon and dressing area designed

specifically for a bride and her attendants

with sleeping available for up to 12,

a reception hall that currently seats 100

guests indoors, tree house cabins,

vintage horse barn and corral,

a beautiful pond side pergola

and of course, the original 19th century

Zihlman farmhouse. Whitetail Country

Estates is within easy access via the

MacCoon Access to the Skunk River

nearby for fishing, boating or kayaking. The

property is home to a large native whitetail

deer population that migrates through the

property as well as wild turkeys on the

grounds year-round.
Whitetail Lodge
Great Room Deck
Bridal Living Bridal Cottage
Recept Interior Our goal is to share this

 special place with anyone

looking for a unique, private venue

 to hold weddings,  receptions, retreats,

reunions, and other

This land has been and continues to be a

place of retreat and spiritual renewal. 

 We are proud Iowans and are

 especially glad to support our community.

 We would be happy to share the

 beauty we have found at

Whitetail Country Estates with you.

Thank you graciously for visiting our website,

Bill and Zana

Reception Hall 
Horse Barn  Trees
Interior of Horse Barn
Woods Bedroom TreeHouse