"Prior to the time of the government survey there was a road which started at the present city of Wausau, ran through jenny (now Merrill), then north through Pelican Rapids (sometimes briefly referred to as 'Pelican,' but which is now Rhinelander, thence north along the west side of Columbus Lake (an old'bach' named Alex Columbus built a log shanty on the west side of Columbus Lake, hence the name); thence north to Gagen Hill and crossed the Eagle River near Morey's Resort. Stations-the word 'station' meant in those days a stopping place-were established along this route, where also a mail route between Wausau, Wis., and Ontonagon, Mich., was established. Mail was carried in those days by dogs on dog trains in the winter and by men packers during the summer months. The late George Sturdivant made several trips as a mail packer between the present city of Rhinelander and the Kee-mi-con post office at Eagle River.
"John Curran, formerly of Rhinelander, kept the Pelican Rapids station. Dan Gagen's was the new station, which was here at our Gagen Hill, the two being only about 30 miles apart. A good many trappers used to come to this country about that time and fur buyers used to follow them up and try to purchase their several catches near spring time. It is related of one fur buyer that after he had had his lunch put up by Mrs. Gagen, and having nothing else to carry, he asked a French packer, who had about 50 pounds of mail to carry, if he would also carry his lunch for him, and the packer said that he would just as soon carry it as not to Pelican. Needless to say the fur buyer never overtook the packer and his lunch.
" Dan Gagen's place was always a good place to stop at, at any old time or times; you could always be sure of a welcome, a clay pipe or two and a plug of good old black tobacco, if necessary, and something good to eat. - Dan was a man of good education, could put up a good argument on 'most any subject and could quote Shakespeare by the yard. Mr. Gagen passed to the 'happy hunting grounds' in the fall of 1908 at Three Lakes, just ten miles south of here, where Mrs. Gagen still resides with her son Henry. She occasionally visits the 'Old Place,' as she calls it, during the summer months. Gagen Hill is now owned by John E. Mitchell of St. Louis, Mo., one of nature's noblemen, who is preserving and beautifying it. At the western point of the hill he has a 32-foot log canoe, well painted, and on a good foundation which will last for years, with the letters'W. A. B.' painted thereon. This canoe was presented to him by our old-time friend, William A. Bradford, who passed away in August last. The writer with Mr. Bradford had made man), trips with this ofd canoe. Mr. Mitchell is preserving many of the old landmarks."
You are our
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Visitor --Thanks for Stopping By.
© Copyright: All files on this website are protected by
the US Copyright Law, Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998,
they are not to be copied or altered in any way for commercial use.
Individuals may copy the information for their personal use.
WIGenWeb Oneida and Vilas County Coordinator