"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.

Chapter 6 The Lake Region (cont.)

      Tomahawk Lake on No.29 is 20 miles from Rhinelander. Its resorts are: Ad-A-Wa-Gam camp for boys; Camp Minne Wawa for girls; Sunflower and Pines Resorts. Neighboring lakes are North Two, with Blue Bird Resort; South Two, Shorewood Resort; Big Carr, Big Carr Resort and Hasbrook with Bide-a-Wee. This region is virtually all state land in the heart of the state forest.
      To capitalize these natural gems of nature so lavishly scattered throughout Oneida County and Northern Wisconsin generally, comprising a tier of 30 counties, there has been a drive to obtain 10,000 members for the Land O'Lakes Association to preserve for all time the scenic spots of this section of the state including thousands of acres of virgin forest. The association is working by means of intelligent advertising and the publication of descriptive literature, well illustrated, and its efforts are bearing good fruit.
      Tomahawk in the northern part of Lincoln County, and on the St. Paul and the Marinette, Tomahawk & Western railways, may be regarded as the southern gateway to the lake region, while Eagle River on the Chicago & Northwestern is the gateway on the east. Both roads run right into the heart of the territory, the St. Paul having terminals at Boulder Junction and Star Lake, Vilas County and passing through Minocqua, Oneida County; and the Northwestern having several branches penetrating the territory, its main line passing through Eagle River,& and a branch running northwest from Monico through Rhinelander, Woodruff, close to Minocqua, and through the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation to Mercer and beyond, a short line from Mercer running east to Winchester and Winegar, Vilas County, all in the lake region. For fish, game and motor boating, Tomahawk presents great attractions. Within a radius of eight miles there are 22 beautiful lakes, six spendid trout streams and four rivers. these lakes and streams are full of the finest and gamest fresh water fish, including the muskellunge, sometimes weighing 50 pounds, a rainbow trout, wall-eyed pike, pickeral, and in the smaller streams brook trout.
       Minocqua is a hub from which radiate numerous trails leading to well stocked lakes, among them Squirrel, Mercer, Squaw, St. Germain, Clear, Arbor Vitae, Shishebogama and Big Tomahawk, eight miles away while immediately surrounding Minocqua is Lake Kawaguesaga, already mentionded, with its numerous cottages and hotels. the lake itself is eight miles long by five miles wide. Quite recently a fine nine-hole golf course on an 80 acre tract has been laid out on the south shore of Lake Kawaguesaga, about one mile east of Minocqua. Resorters who are not members of the "Minocqua Country Club" are permitted the use of the links for a small fee.
      About five miles south of Minocqua is the little hamlet of Hazelhurst on Lake Katherine of the Big Tomahawk Chain. This is a fine outing place for hay fever sufferers, being 1500 feet in elevation, with wondefully pure air, tinctured with the fragrance of the pines. Excellent automobile roads and charming trails surround the lake.
      Boulder Junction, some 15 or 16 miles farther north, and in Vilas County, is another hub of the Northern Lake region. A wagon road leads south three miles to the northern end of Trout Lake, and a trail to White Sand Lake. Boulder Lake is just at hand, with Crooked Lake and Wolf Lake just beyond. Trout Lake has the name of furnishing the finest sport for fishermen, abounding in several varities of bass, wall-eyed pike, salmon and muskellunge, the waters being derived from the south fork of the Manitowish River. The altitude of this lake, 1600 feet, makes this vicinity also popular with hay fever sufferers. Some of the oldest hostelries of the region are situated on this lake, there is an exeptionally fine bathing beach, and the Chippewa Indian Reservation on Lac du Flambeau is only a few miles away. Other lakes in the vicinity are Rock, Little John, Big Muskellunge, Spider and the three Greshams, all well stocked with game fish. To the east of Trout Lake and northeast of Minocqua lies Plum Lake, six miles long and a mile wide. Its shores are heavily wooded with pine, birch, hemlock and maple and the air is sweet with the fragrant and exhilarating breath of the balsam.
      Immediately northeast of Plum Lake lies Star Lake, and in the same chain in which is also included Lakes Laura, Irving, Ballard and Partridge. The Star Lake country is especially inviting to the camper who is his own commissary department and cook, though excellent hotel accomodations are available for those who want them. Muskellunge fishing at Star Lake is good, wall-eyed pike and bass are plentiful, and in the streams neary excellent catches of brook trout are made.
      The Big St. Germain Lake district in the southern part of Vilas County, quickly reached from Sayner on the St. Paul road, and by Highway or Route No.70, has been making rapid progress in development within the last few years, while a mile or two to the eastward is Little St.Germain and several other attractive lakes. Big St.Germain is a magnificient body of water, about four miles long and two miles wide, on which three years ago there were but three resorts and about the same number of private cottages. These resorts were Jack Pine Lodge, owned and operated by Alex McGregor, the Log Cabin Resort and Musky Inn. In 1919 S.E. Cummings leased the property of Robert McGregor, which had lain idle following a fire some years before, and began to rebuild it, a work he has continued till it is now an up-to-date resort, since which time he has built numerous cottages. Another good resort was started adjoining Mr. Valley's in the summer of 1922 by the Peelen Bros. of Milwaukee, and some handsome residences built near the lake on Route 70. Others have since been built and a large resort called the White House, started by Ellis O. Jones of New York. A number of other improvements have been made in the same region, but it is not within the scope of this chapter to mention all the lakes, streams and resorts in the lake region. Particular mention of many of the principal resorts may be found in the biographical part of this volume under the names of their respective proprietors. The railroads in their descriptive folders publish lists of the resorts reached from their various stations, giving the distance, guest capacity and rates with the name of the proprietor or manager.
      A great number of wealthy people from all over the United States have built fine and luxurious summer homes in the lake region, the majority of them being in Vilas County. Some of these people have invested as much as $100,000 in their own individual property. A number of golf courses have also been constructed in various places throughout the region, which attract lovers of the game from many parts of the country, some of them coming here in April and remaining late in the fall.
      While summer camps for boys and girls are a comparatively new development in the recreational field the idea has taken strong root and they are increasing in popularity. As a factor in the child's physical, mental and moral training they have come to stay. Youth needs guidance during the summer vacation period no less than through the rest of the year, and many things of value may be learned in camp life. The intimate relations which they have with one another and with their counsellors, and the little acts of kindness, self control, courtesy and thoughtfulness, must strengthen their characters; the walks through the woods observing unknown birds, flowers or trees, or visiting an Indian reservation, or log hut or shack of some early settler, will enliven their intellects, while the competition in sports, arts or handicraft will be an aid to perfect workmanship, and the three in unison will bring about better health to body and mind for each boy or girl.
      In the lake region of Vilas and Oneida Counties there are some 17 to 18 camps of this kind, as follows: Camp Winnepe for boys, out of Eagle River; H.L.Thomas, manager; Camp Flambeau, for boys Jerome C. Salstein, manager, out of Eagle River; Camp Woodstock, for boys, C.E.Smith, manager, Eagle River; Camp Chickopee, for boys, Dr.H.H.Johnston, manager Eagle River; Camp idle Wyld, for girls, Mrs. L.A.Bishop, manager, Three Lakes; Camp Minne Wonka, two camps, one for boys and one for girls, the former in charge of F.H.Everhardt and latter fo Mrs. Leslie Lyon, Three Lakes; Highland Camp, for boys, Dr. Monalaw, owner, Sayner; Red Arow Camp, for boys, C.H.Rasmussen, Trout Lake; Y.M.C.A. Camp for boys, Boulder Junction; Camp Mishike, for boys, W.H.Sanderson, manager, Winchester; Camp Thorpe, boys, William F. Thorpe, manager, Pelican Lake; Camp Ty-Glyn, boys, G.A.Roger, manager, Rhinelander; Camp Bryn-Afon, girls, Mrs. M.A.Ebert, Tomahawk Lake; Camp Ad-a-Wa-gam, boys, M.A.Ebert, Tomahawk Lake, and Camp Kentuck, of boys, H.H. Sherwood, manager, this camp being located on Lake Kentuck.
      The Resort Owners Association of the North Wisconsin Lake Region was organized in or about the year 1916 for recreation purposes. it was started with about 30 members and is believed to be the first society of its kind ever founded. In 1917 it marked the first automobile road from Chicago to Eagle River, the distributing point of the lake region. This road was called the Big Fish Auto Road. The Association also established in Eagle River the first Public Bureau of Information and a rest room for ladies, both of which have kept up ever since. Annual meetings, rendered festive occasions by banquets, are held in the fall at one place or another. The Association which has now 120 members, inagurated and kept up a system of block advertising in city newspapers, and the resort owners should be given credit for the advertising that northern Wisconsin is now receiving.
      A new boy's camp at Winchester was opened up in 1923 concerning which the following article recently appeared in the local press:
      "To practice forestry in all its phases," is one of the purposes of a new company, to be known as Baker, Bullock & Sanderson, Inc., for which incorportation papers have just been issued by the secretary of state. the new company is the formal incorporation of the first camp for boys in the country, Camp Mishike, near Winchester, Wis., which was opened last spring, 1923. The first season's activities of the the camp were so promising that the three men chiefly interested decided on the formal incorporation which has been carried out, the amount of capital being $30,000. The officers of the new company are Dr. Hugh P.Baker, president; Warren B.Bullock, vice-president, and W.E.Sanderson, secretary and treasurer. Mr. Sanderson is director of the camp, and the others interested take charge of forestry instruction and canoe cruising activities respectively. Dr. Baker is executive secretary of the American Paper and Pulp Association, and was forerly dean of the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse, where Messrs. Bullock and Sanderson were members of the faculty, Mr. Sanderson being in charge of the summer camp of the college for four years. Mr. Bullock is a former Milwaukee newspaper man, having become director of the extension service of the New York college after his return from army service. Dr. Baker is a native of Wisconsin, who before going to Syracuse was head of the forestry departments of Iowa State and Penn State Colleges. The articles of incorporation not only provide for the practices of forestry, but include the following: To deal in real estate, etc., to maintain a school in forestry, outdoor life, woodcraft, camping, canoeing, swimming and the like. The corportation opened the camp for boys in July of this year, and its campers not only did extensive work in field forestry but toured Vilas county by canoe, covering some 300 miles in all of August. The forestry work done at camp includes the planting of 12,000 Norway and white pine, the establishment of a forest nursery, and the clearing of several achres of rough cutover land for planting next spring. In addition to this work of artificial reforestration considerable work has been done in facilitating the growth of trees which have been naturally reproduced, but cutting out the so-called weed trees. The danger of forest fire will be minimized by the establishment of fire lines to divide up the property of the company into tracts where forest fires can be successfully combatted. Camp Mishike has purchased and used during the past season the first fire-fighting high power pump to be used in Wisconsin. At one time a threatening fire on Camp Mishike property was extinguished, and during the last few weeks, when fires were raging throughout the north country, this light protable pump has been used to save buildings of nearby settlers. When one settler's home was burned, the pump was taken to his home by automobile, and helped save the other farm buildings from destruction. Camp Mishike, the property of the newly organized compay, consists of about 1,700 acres of land east of Winchester, Wis., and lying along the Michigan line. The property includes shoreline on Harris, Rainbow and Rock lakes, and several smaller lakes are entirely on the Camp Mishike property."
      The Wisconsin Improvement Company was conceived with the idea of acquiring, improving and preserving the old dams and reservoirs on the Wisconsin River for hydraulic purposes as the lumbermen ceased to use them, and to use them for impounding the surplus water so as to be able to secure a steady flow at all times. More than 30 years ago legislation was sought in behalf of the project, but it was not until 1907, however, that a bill was passed authorizing the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Co., a corporation organized for the purpose, to own all these dams, reservoirs and flooding rights, and to add therto as the authorities of the state named in said act might thereafter authorize. This legislation did not authorize the corporation to own or operate any water-power, whatever, its whole power and duties being confined to producing as even flow of water in the Wisconsin Riveras practicable by retaining the flood waters in said reservoirs during times of freshets and gradually letting them off during times of low water. The company has built several large reservoirs. The operation of the dams is in charge of a competent engineer, who directs it for the benefit of all operating powers, and it has proved to be of great advantage. One of the advantages of this system is that the fish life has been greatly increased.

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