Jones, Rhiannon
Archaeology Around Wisconsin 2018, Commonwealth Heritage Group, Inc., Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
Wisconsin Archeologist, Vol. 100, #1 & 2, January-December 2019, pp. 156
Wisconsin Archeology Society
Original Date
  • Bookwood Historical Collection, Star Lake
  • UW Madison/Wis Hist Soc

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

In 2018 Commonwealth [Heritage Group, Inc.] conducted survey of approximately 8,591 acres of Forest Service-managed lands in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF).[Fn 1] At the request of the Forest Service, Commonwealth documents the historic Two Lake Campground, located on the shores of Lake Owen and Bass Lake. The historic camp was designed by the Forest Service and constructed in 1937 or 1938 with labor provided by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), likely enrollees from Camp Delta (47BA178, F-101, Company 2622). The CCC constructed a loop road, campsite, outhouses, and water pumps. The campground was later expanded westward and remains operational today. The majority of the camp facilities have been modernized and no longer reflect the original. Depression Era features, although one water pump has not yet been converted to solar power and remains hand operated. Depressions associated the original men’s and women’s outhouses also were located. A previous report precontact campsite, site 47BA55, is located within the Two Lakes Campground and, at the direction of the Forest Service, the historic campground was included as a precontact component of site 47BA55.

CNNF sites monitored by Commonwealth in 2018 included Camp Sawyer CCC camp (47SY83, F-31, 2617th Company), occupied 1934-1942. The camp once harbored permanent buildings, and two standing brick and fieldstone chimneys remain extant. With a CCC camp context, fireplaces and chimneys are often associated with the camp recreation hall, officer’s quarters or blacksmith shop. A recent study of CCC camps in Minnesota [Fn 2] has shown that often the most ornate fireplace and chimney is associated with the recreation hall. The more elaborate of the two extant chimneys at Camp Sawyer may represent the chimney of the camp recreation hall. Also monitored was the West Fork Lookout Tower (47SY280), which was erected with CCC labor (enrollees from Camp Sawyer) in 1936 and utilized until circa 1946. The tower site was evaluated for the National Register in 1996 and determined eligible.

Fn 1: Christman, Carrie A, Mark E. Bruhy, and Kathryn Egan-Bruhy. “2018 Cultural Resources Survey, Wisconsin,” WR-1441. Prepared for the USDA Forest Service, CNNF. Commonwealth Heritage Group, Inc., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2019.

Fn 2: Bruhy, Mark E., Carrie A. Christman, Sean B. Dunham, Alexandra H. Norton, Elissa Hulit, and Kathryn Egan-Bruhy. “”Minnesota’s CCC Camps and CCC-Indian Division Camps as Archaeological Properties: Report of Database Development, Camp Documentation, National Register Eligibility Considerations, and Proposed Management Strategies. Report WR-0794. Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group, Inc. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2014.