The Logging Era

  • Article

    Many volumes have been written about the logging of northern Wisconsin. It is beyond the scope of this project to attempt to retell the entire story. The bibliography provides useful sources for those who want to pursue that study. Excellent books are found in all of the local libraries and bookstores. Rather this topic, as it evolves, will present information specific to Star Lake and the local area, or necessary to understand what was going on in Star Lake.

    To give readers a concept of the scale of the logging in Wisconsin, consider the following from the 1932 Report of the [Wisconsin] Committee on Land Use and Forestry:

    "The original forests of Wisconsin comprised about 30 million acres. The total stand of timber can only be approximated, but it is certain that it exceeded 200 billion board feet.

    "In 1898, and estimate by Roth, published in Bulletin No. 1 of the Wisconsin Geological Survey, entitled Forest Conditions of Northern Wisconsin, based on census figures and a state-wide canvass, showed that to that date a total of 103 billion feet of pine had been cut. And estimated 26 billion feet of pinehad been wasted in logging and fires, and 8 billion feet of hardwoods had been utilized. Althgether 137 billion feet had been thus accounted for. Since 1898, there have been cut and manufactured 21 billion feet of pine, 18 billion feet of hemlock, 18 billion feet of hardwoods, and one billion feet of miscellaneous softwoods, a total of 58 billion feet. During this period an additional 4 billion feet was wasted. The total yield of Wisconsin forests many thus be placed at 200 billion feet.

    "These figures take no account of the considerable amount of timber produced by farmers or sawed by very small mills, nor do they include the large quantities of fuel, mining timbers, railway ties, piling, ship timbers, cooperage, wagon-stock, and other products locally produced and counsumed and not included in census figures. Quite probably these uses would aggregate another 15 billion feet."

    Major logging operations in the Star Lake area began with the arrival of the railroad at the end of 1894. The sawmill in McKenna, Wisconsin, owned by Williams and Salsich, closed in September of 1894. It was transported by the Milwaukee Railroad to Star Lake and reconstructed. Thus began extensive logging operations in the Star Lake area. Ghosts pp. 33 & chap. 12

    However, the DNR believes that there was logging of white pine in the 1880s in the area between Star and Plum Lakes in the area which is now the Plum Lake Hemlock Forest State Natural Area. Plum Lake SNA.

    Charles P. Forbes
    August 31, 2009
  • Bibliography

    Comprehensive References

    ****. Let the Chips Fly!. [National Geographic World (undated clipping)] Washington, . View Full Entry
    Butler, Beverly. My Sister's Keeper. New York, 1980. View Full Entry
    Cornell, Richard. Knights of the Spike-Soled Shoe, Lumbering on the Chippewa. [Wisconsin Magazine of History, Vol. 89, #4, Summer, 2006, pp. 38 ff.] Madison, 2006. View Full Entry
    Dombeck, Michael. Forests that Sustain Us. [Wisconsin Trails, 45 #6, Dec. 2004, pp. 44-49.] Black Earth, 2004. View Full Entry
    Dunn and Lewis, Eds.. We Were Children Then, Volume II: Stories from the Yarns of Yesteryear Project. Madison, 1982. View Full Entry
    Forest History Association of Wisconsin. Logging & Lumbering Museums in Wisconsin. [Education Leaflet #2] Wausau, n.d.. View Full Entry
    Gard, et al.. We Were Children Then: Stories from the Yarns of Yesteryear Project. Madison, 1976. View Full Entry
    Gates, Paul. Wisconsin Pine Lands of Cornell University. Madison, 1965. View Full Entry
    Hooper, C. W., ed.. Hurley ... lumber company closed its mill down today.... [Minocqua Times, August 27, 1896,] Minocqua, 1896. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Hooper, C. W., ed.. The Gerry Lumber Co., of Eagle River, closed.... [Minocqua Times, August 27, 1896] Minocqua, 1896. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Kanetzke, Howard, Ed.. Wisconsin Lumbering. [Badger History, 1966] Madison, 1966. View Full Entry
    Larson, Agnes. White Pine Insustry in Minnesota. [Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book Series] Minneapolis, 2007. View Full Entry
    Lawrence, Lee E.. Wisconsin Ice Trade, The. [Wisconsin Stories] Madison, 1980. View Full Entry
    Pohlman, et al. (ed.). Wisconsin Land Legacy Report. Madison, 2006. View Full Entry
    Rector, William. Working with Lumber Industry Records. [Wisconsin Magazine of History, 33:4, June, 1950] Madison, 1950. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Rohe, Randall. Evolution of the Great Lakes Logging Camp, 1830-1930. [Journal of Forest History, Jan. 1986, pp. 17-28.] Durham, NC, 1986. View Full Entry
    Rowe, Alan. Diver's Guide to Historic Wisconsin Lakes, A: Book Three Forgotten Logging Camps. Milwaukee, 1980. View Full Entry
    Whitney, Gordon. From Coastal Wilderness to Fruited Plain. New York, 1994. View Full Entry
    Wisconsin Committee on Land Use and Forestry. Forest Land Use in Wisconsin. Madison, 1932. View Full Entry

    Major References

    ****. Northwoods Wisconsin. Minocqua, n.d.. View Full Entry
    ****. Star Lake Deserted. [Scrobell, Early Times, 1988; Orig. Minocqua Times October 3, 1907] Minocqua, 1988. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    ****. Star Lake Sawmill Closed. [Scrobell, Early Times, 1988; Orig. Minocqua Times July 26, 1906] Minocqua, 1988. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    ****. Flambeau Mill: The First Hundred Years. [The Timber Producer, No. 4, April 1996.] Rhinelander, 1996. View Full Entry
    ****. Star Lake. [Eagle River Review, May 23, 1895. p. 5] Eagle River, 1895. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    ****. Star Lake, the terminus of..... [Rhinelander Democrat, Feb. 23, 1895, p. 5.] Rhinelander, 1895. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    ****. The question of building a road..... [Eagle River Review, May 16, 1895. p. 5] Eagle River, 1895. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    ****. Timber Question. [The Central, Jan. 17, 1871] Wausau, 1871. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Aylward, Richard C.. Misc. Papers of Richard C. Aylward, M.D. (Doctor at Star Lake until 1908). Star Lake, 2018. View Full Entry
    Boyd, Gregory. Family Maps of Vilas County, Wisconsin. [Deluxe Edition] Norman, Oklahoma, 2010. View Full Entry
    Clark, James. Wisconsin Pineries, The: Logging on the Chippewa. [Chronicles of Wisconsin] Madison, 1956. View Full Entry
    Corrigan, George. Calked Boots and Cant Hooks. Park Falls, Wisconsin, 1976. View Full Entry
    Ellis, A. G.. Upper Wisconsin Country. [Wisconsin Historical Collections, Vol. 3, pp. 435-452.] Madison, 1857. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Ferber, Edna. Come and Get It. [Prairie Classics No. 2] Madison, 1991. View Full Entry
    Flader, Susan, Ed.. Great Lakes Forest. Minneapolis, 1983. View Full Entry
    Fries, Robert. Empire in Pine, The Story of Lumbering in Wisconsin 1930-1900. Sister Bay, WI, 1989. View Full Entry
    Gard and Sorden. Wisconsin Lore. [Orig. Published in New York by Duell, Sloan and Pearce [1962]. This is a paperback edition.] Sauk City, Wisconsin, 1980. View Full Entry
    Hooper, C. W., ed.. Dr. M. and Tom Harvison, of Star Lake, came.... [Minocqua Times, July 30, 1896] Minocqua, 1896. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Hooper, C. W., ed.. The base ball game.... [Minocqua Times, September 10, 1896] Minocqua, 1896. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Idler. Star Lake Breezes. [Minocqua Time, March 19, 1896] Minocqua, 1896. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Kanetzke, Howard, Ed.. Wisconsin Women. [Badger History, Vol. XXXIII, #1, Sept. 1979] Madison, 1979. View Full Entry
    Karshna, Jerry, comp.. "Flambeau Mill: The First Hundred Years". [Timber Producer, April 1996, pp. 34-36] Tomahawk, 1996. View Full Entry
    Lapin, Carly. Plum Lake Hemlock Forest SNA. [NHAL State Forest Visitor's Guide, 2018, "Natural Community Spotlight,", P. 13] Minocqua, 2018. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Larson, Agnes. White Pine Industry in Minnesota. Minneapolis, 2007. View Full Entry
    Miazga, Vicki. White Pine Lured Lumbermen North. [The First 100 Years, 1888-1988, Centennial Edition, p. 88] Minocqua, 1988. View Full Entry
    Nelligan, John Emmett. Life of a Lumberman. Milwaukee (?), 1929. View Full Entry
    Ring, Wilson. Timber! Lumberjacks Fading from the Northern Forest. [Hartford Courant (AP), Website, 2016] Hartford, CT, 2016. View Full Entry
    Risjord, Norman. Ten Events that Shaped Wisconsin's History. [Wisconsin Blue Book, 1999-2000, P. 99ff] Madison , 1999. View Full Entry
    Rohe, Randall. Ghosts of the Forest, Vanished Lumber Towns of Wisconsin. [Volume I] Marinette, 2002. View Full Entry
    Rosholt, Malcolm. Wisconsin Logging Book 1839-1939, The. Rosholt, Wisconsin, 1980. View Full Entry
    Shafer, Mary. Wisconsin: The Way We Were. Minocqua, 1993. View Full Entry
    Swanholm, Mary. Lumbering in the Last of the White-Pine States. St. Paul, 1967. View Full Entry
    Wausau Regional Writers. Wausau Regional Writers Anthology. [Volume 1] Stevens Point, 1974. View Full Entry
    Wells, Robert. Daylight in the Swamp. Ashland, 1987. View Full Entry
    Wells, Robert. Fire at Peshtigo. [Double volume: Fire and Ice, Two Deadly Wisconsin Disasters] Madison, 1983. View Full Entry

    Minor References

    ****. "...the Star Lake....". [Minocqua Times, May 15, 1895.] Minocqua, 1895. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Hooper, C. W., ed.. J. F. Scholtz, of Star Lake, was arrested for selling liquor.... [Minocqua Times, March 12, 1896] Minocqua, 1896. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Hooper, C. W., ed.. The Modern Woodman of America camp..... [Minocqua Times, December 17, 1896] Minocqua, 1896. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Hooper, C.H., ed.. ...Mercer has the contract.... [Minocqua Times, August 22, 1894] Minocqua, 1894. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Phelps, Wisconsin, Chamber of Commerce. Phelps, Wisconsin, Visitor's Guide. [2012 edition] Phelps, 2012. View Full Entry
    Sprayer. Star Lake Sprays. [Minocqua Times, June 12, 1895] Minocqua, 1895. View Full Entry (Full text available)
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