Boulder Junction, Vilas County, Wisconsin
About eleven miles up County Highway K from Star Lake is the town of Boulder Junction. For a few years early in the 20th century there was passenger rail service from Star Lake to Boulder Junction, but some time before WWI Boulder Junction got passenger service via Arbor Vitae. Freight service continued via Star Lake, and extended further north from Boulder Junction.
It is a small town, home to a number of small stores, including two small grocery stores. It has the usual complement of tourist shops, and since about the 1960's has been somewhat of an arts and crafts center. A series of wood carvers knows as Grandpa, Uncle Dick, and finally Cousin Willy, produced some very handsome small woodcarvings sold in the area.
The Boulder Junction Area Historical Society is quite active. They have produced a series of post card reproductions of pictures of the area. They have refurbished an old caboose and have a small museum, located near the caboose, completed in 2008.
A much more detailed survey of the town and its history will eventually be provided here. In the meantime the reader is referred to several good local histories in the Bibliography at the tab above.Charles P. ForbesJanuary 26, 2008Revised: 2017-11-14
Major References****. Best of the Northwoods, The. Boulder Junction, 1992. View Full Entry****. Church [Community Church of Boulder Junction, Evangelical Covenant Church] Celebrates 75th Anniversary; Boulder Junction Parish Formed in 1928.. [Vilas County News-Review, August 13, 2003, p. 5B] Eagle River, 2003. View Full Entry****. Life on the Line to Buswell. [Boulder Junction Area Historical Society Newsletter, Summer, 2009] Boulder Junction, 2009. View Full Entry (Full text available)****. Back Thru the Times: 50 Years Ago (1969) New Boulder Post Office Opens. [Lakeland Times. September 6, 2019, [Back Thru the Times]] Minocqua, 2019. View Full EntryAnderson, Bob. We Rambled into Winter. [Our Wisconsin, Premiere Issue, p. 8.] Greendale, Wisconsin, 2013. View Full EntryBates, John. River Life [Manitowish River]. Mercer, 2001. View Full EntryBeno, Mike. Mr. Mischief: Confessions of a Resort Brat. [Our Wisconsin, Vol. 5, #6, Oct/Nov 2017, p. 6.] Manitowish Waters, 2017. View Full EntryBoudreau, Dorothy. Boulder Junction. [Vilas County Chamer of Commerce: Vilas County Headwaters to Wisconsin, 1998, p. 3] Eagle River, 1998. View Full EntryBoudreau, Dorothy. Boulder Junction: The Way We Were, 1960 to 2000. Boulder Jct., 2006. View Full EntryBoulder Junction Area Historical Society. Boulder Junction Area Historical Society Summer 2007. [BJAHS [Newsletter] Summer 2007] Boulder Junction, 2007. View Full Entry (Full text available)Boulder Junction Area Historical Society. Newsletter. Boulder Junction, 2008. View Full EntryBoulder Junction Chamber of Commerce. Boulder Junction. Boulder Junction, n.d.. View Full EntryBSA, Northern Wisconsin High Adventure Base. Field Guide. Boulder Junction, n.d.. View Full EntryBrenner, Paul. Transition from Logging Camp to Resort. [Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Forest History Assn. of WI, Oct. 3-4, 1997.] Woodruff, 1997. View Full EntryBurg and Storozuk. Route of the North Woods Hiawatha. Merrill, 2010. View Full EntryCrowley, Mike and Marshia. White Deer Roam in Their Backyard. [Our Wisconsin, Premiere Issue, p. 14.] Greendale, Wisconsin, 2013. View Full EntryDahlquist, Elmer and Jim Samrazil. Historical Notes II and III. [Boulder Junction Area Historical Society Newsletter, Winter 2008] Boulder Junction, 2008. View Full Entry (Full text available)Doolittle, Shirley. Boulder Junction: The Early Yares: 1880s to 1950s. Boulder Junction, 1996. View Full EntryGilkey, Mrs. George. Kate Newcomb. [Chase, et al: Famous Wisconsin Women] Madison, 1971. View Full EntryHelminiak, Jon. Course Set for Manito-Wish The History. Boulder Jct., WI, 1994. View Full EntryHuhti, Thomas. Wisconsin. [Fourth Edition] Berkeley, CA, 2008. View Full EntryHuhti, Thomas. Wisconsin Handbook, Including Door County. [First Edition] Chico, CA, 1997. View Full EntryHunzicker, David. Little Rice Lake Site. [Wis. Archeologist, 83:1, Jan-June 2002, pp. 45-62.] Milwaukee, 2002. View Full EntryJohnson, Deborah, ed.. 2004 Local History Awards [Boulder Junction]. [Columns, Wis Historical Society's Bimonthly Newsletter, Vol. 26, #1, Jan/Feb, 2005, p. 6] Madison, 2005. View Full Entry (Full text available)Kaysen, James. Railroads of Wisconsin, 1827-1937.. Boston, MA, 1937. View Full EntryLaabs, Joyce. Collection of Northwoods Nostalgia, A, From the Pages of the Lakeland Times. [Vol. 1 (of 2)] Sun Prairie, WI, 1978. View Full EntryLaabs, Joyce. Collection of Northwoods Nostalgia, A, From the Pages of the Lakeland Times. [Vol. 2 (of 2)] Sun Prairie, WI, 1980. View Full EntryLaabs, Joyce. Paul Brenner: Sharing His Memories of Boulder Junction. [Lakeland Times, August 15, 2003, p. 2] Minocqua, 2002. View Full EntryParker, Dave. Boulder Junction Musky Jamboree. [45 rpm record, Side A.] Marshfield, 1981. View Full EntryRossal, Casey. Happy Trails to You. [Our Wisconsin, Vol/ 3, #2, February-March 2015, P. 18.] Manotowish Waters, 2015. View Full EntrySasse, Timothy. Vilas County Logging Companies’ Railroad Operations. [Edit by Charles P. Forbes of webpage material (2000) and additional material from Mr. Sasse (2014).] Star Lake, 2020. View Full Entry (Full text available)Schmidt, Floyd. Switch Lamps in the Pines. Eagle River, 2009. View Full EntryScrobell, Daniel. New Rail Line to Trout Lake. [Scrobell, Early Times, 1988; Orig. Minocqua Times August 3, 1905] Minocqua, 1988. View Full EntryScrobell, Daniel. Early Times: The Early History of the Minocqua Area as Seen Through the Pages of the "Minocqua Times" Newspaper. Minocqua, 1988. View Full EntrySethness, Edward. History of Big Muskellunge Lake. Woodruff, 1978. View Full EntrySt. Anne's Parish, Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. Badger Playground, Wisconsin's Finest Vacationland. Boulder Junction, 1961. View Full EntryTrinity Lutheran Church. Book of Favorite Recipes. Shawnee Mission, KS, 1979. View Full EntryVilas County News-Review. Vilas County News-Review's 2009 Headwaters Area Guide. [Published Annually] Eagle River, 2009. View Full EntryWeisheipl, Joanne. Glad to Resort to This. [Our Wisconsin, Vol. 5, #6, Aug/Sept 2017, p. 69] Manitowish Waters, 2017. View Full EntryWolter, Joan, et al.. Northwoods Kitchen's. Boulder Jct, Presque Isle, Sayner, 1982. View Full Entry
Minor References****. America's North Woods. [Special Feature, Country Living, V.6 #6 June 1983 p.39 ff] New York, 1983. View Full Entry****. Happenings. [American Profile (Newspaper supplement), Sept. 26 - Oct. 2, 2010.] Franklin, TN, 2010. View Full Entry (Full text available)****. Best of Backward Glances [Eisenhower]. [Vilas County News Review, Aug. 8, 2018, p. 5B ] Eagle River, 2018. View Full Entry (Full text available)****. Fishing, It's Good This Year. ["A Letter from Home, 'Life's' Special Issue Is a Report on Wartime America," Life, September 25, 1944, pp. 66-67] Chiicago, 1944. View Full Entry****. Forest Fires Do Damage. [Montreat River Miner and Iron County Republican, July 15, 1910, p. 1.] Hurley, 1910. View Full Entry****. Atlas of Wisconsin. Milwaukee, 1878. View Full EntryAdventure Cycling Association. North Lakes Bicycle Route [Map]. [Northern Tier + North Lakes Route, North Lakes Section 1, Osceola to Escanaba] Missoula, MT, 2015. View Full EntryAllen, Terese. Wisconsin Food Festivals. Amherst, WI, 1995. View Full EntryBopf, Della. Hiawatha Legend. [Wausau Regional Writers Anthology, Vol. 1, 1974, pp. 145-151. [Biblio # 2089]] Stevens Point, 1974. View Full EntryBoyer, Dennis. Great Wisconsin Taverns. [A Trails Books Guide] Madison, 1999. View Full EntryDunn, Michael. Logging Activities Around the Manitowish Waters Area. [Unpublished paper on the Manitowish Waters Historical Society Webpage] Manitowish Waters, 2017. View Full Entry (Full text available)Emerson, Charles. Wisconsin Scenic and Historic Trails. Madison, 1933. View Full EntryMobil. Mobil Travel Guide, Great Lakes Area. [1976, 1983, 1994, 2001 editions] Chicago, 2001. View Full EntryNewcomb, Kate Pelham. Preventive Medicine in Camp. [Camping Magazine, November, 1945, pp. 5 ff.] Chicago, 1945. View Full EntryShapiro, Aaron. Lure of the North Woods. Minneapolis, 2013. View Full EntrySwan, Richard. Light Tackle Fishing Guides of North America. Reno, NV, 1986. View Full EntryWisconsin Tourism Development. Wisconsin Auto Tours. [1990 & 1991 editions] Madison, 1991. View Full Entry
"Frances [Foster] was raised on Fish Trap Lake in Boulder Junction. Her paternal grandmother was a widow living in Minnesota when her son, Jesse [Foster], came to Star Lake to work in a lumber camp. He was just 14 years of age. He liked the ara, moved his mother and brothers, Frank [Foster] and Harold there. His mother found work cooking at the local hotel. Eventually she became postmaster at the two of Oxley, and later became the first postmaster in Boulder Junction." ##1496 Looking Back: Sonny and Frances Remember, Lakeland Times, June 20, 2008.## The local hotel would have been the Hotel Waldheim.
Evidently the present location of the town was once a railroad stop known as Rice Lake. ##1312 See Historical Notes from the Historical Society Newsletter##