Gould, F[rank] A.
Star Lake, Wisconsin, Forty Years Old December, 1934
The Milwaukee [Railroad] Magazine, January, 1935.
Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific Railroad
Original Date

Similar to a history by Gould which was typed and on the wall at Rismon's Lodge, and quoted in full by J. C. Aldous in Ancestral Summers.

  • Bookwood Historical Collection, Star Lake

In early December of 1894 the C. M. & St. P. Ry. completed the extension of its line from Minocqua into Star Lake. Trains began to run over this new extension early in 1895. The town of Star Lake, Wisconsin, was started early in 1894 as a logging camp by Williams & Salsich of Wausau, Wis. During 1894 all supplies were teamed through the woods from Minocqua, about 25 miles. Mr. John Moen, now living at Star Lake and employed on that section, drove the first load of supplies from Minocqua to Star Lake. In the spring of 1895 Williams and Salsich established a second logging camp about 10 miles north of Star Lake. This firm graded the right of way and built bridges. The railroad company furnished rails and laid them to this camp.

The Star Lake camp grew very fast and in the fall of 1895 it had a large saw mill, a planing mill, 84 company houses, a large boarding house, two or three warehouses, a general store, and a butcher shop; also a three room schoolhouse with three regular teachers. A resident physician had his office on the hill near the present residence of Mr. J. Mykleby. The Hotel Waldheim was built on the high east shore of the north end of Star Lake.

During the next ten years the country for about five miles around Star Lake was occupied by a number of other logging companies and a great number of camp operations were started. It is estimated by competent authority that one and one-half to two billion feet of pine timber were logged from the lands in the vicinity of Star Lake. Five hundred twenty-five million feet of board lumber was taken out of the Star Lake mill.

In 1902 the Milwaukee extended its line from Star Lake to Buswell, Wis., for freight and passengers. This branch was discontinued and the rails taken up in 1914. In 1908 a branch was built from Boulder Junction north to Bluebill, Mich. In 1905 a branch was built from Velasco Junction north to Boulder Junction, connecting with the Bluebill branch. In 1932 the rails from Velasco Junction to Bluebill were taken up. These changes left no rails north of Star Lake. In 1926 rails were laid north of Star Lake for the Stange Lumber Co. of Merrill, Wis., who had some ten million feet of timber to cut, and transport through Star Lake to their mill at Merrill.

In 1925 the state created the Northern State Forest as a park and game refuge. This forest surrounds Star lake and contains some 104,000 acres,, about 50% state owned. The state conservation commission has improved the principal roads through the "Forest." This allows for some beautiful drives with frequent views of deer, porcupines, and other wild game.

The conservation commission gave permission to the Ballard Lake Trail Club to connect the old grades and logging roads. At the present time they have plainly marked with "Tramper Trail" signs about five miles of delightful trails through the forest, circling most of the lakes about Star Lake station. These trails may be safely used without fear of going astray.

Star Lake invites the public to come and enjoy the fishing and beauties of this territory.