Minocqua, Oneida County, Wisconsin
About Our Town
Minocqua is massive in terms of area. Our township runs 18 miles from east to west and 12 miles from north to south and contains over 180 miles of roads. Our total assessed property valuation is now over $1.1billion.
The permanent resident population of Minocqua is 5,174 but our population grows to many times this size during the summer months. For this reason, our town offers many services and amenities you won't find in other small towns. We have a full-time police force of 11 officers, a 24 hour emergency dispatch center, one of the largest and best equipped volunteer fire departments in the state, and first class medical care.
The Marshfield Clinic has a major clinic in Minocqua and Howard Young Medical Center located in our sister city of Woodruff is one the finest rural hospitals in the nation. Cities many times our size do not have the medical facilities you will find here in the Minocqua area.
The downtown of Minocqua is located on what is known as "The Island". The Island is a mix between our downtown business district and a residential area known to locals as Reuben Town. Lakeland High School is located in Minocqua and serves students from a total of 12 towns. West of downtown is an area of Minocqua known as Bo-di-Lac. The Bo-di-Lac area surrounds some pristine lakes in the western end of the township. Much of the south-western portion of Minocqua is pure wilderness. Visitors here will find mile after mile of timber land, snowmobile trails, ski trails, and hiking trails.
Minocqua was officially organized in 1889. The name is from the Ojibwa Indians and translates to "Fair Maiden." Minocqua is known as the Island City because our downtown is surrounded by Lake Minocqua and connected to land only by a bridge, a trestle and a narrow isthmus.
The Island's first inhabitants were Ojibwa Indians who have fought to keep their culture alive and remain an integral part of the Minocqua area. In the late 1800's Minocqua was a logging town and also saw a lot of French fur traders. The first white child born in town was named Minocqua Clawson. Clawson Hill is a famous landmark in town and is the current location of the Pointe Hotel.
The railroad was an important ingredient in Minocqua's early growth. The Milwaukee Road originally came to the area to access the timber. The railroad trestle that brought trains to the Island is still there today as the trailhead for the Bearskin Trail.
Much of the town's business district was wiped out by a fire in 1912. Many of the buildings on our main street today are the ones built after the fire. Like many main streets, the main street of Minocqua contained a store for every need. Even into the 1970's the main street of Minocqua contained three grocery stores, a fruit market, 2 car dealerships, a gas station, a bank, a dental office, a newspaper, 2 hardware stores, 2 pharmacies, a cafÃ©, a candy store, a shoe shop, a couple clothing stores, and a couple bars. Since that time many of these types of businesses have located in shopping centers off the Island and the main street has evolved into specialty stores that cater to our tourists.
President Eisenhower was a regular visitor to Minocqua both during and after his time in the White House. Some of the more famous structures in Minocqua include the Howard Young estate where Eisenhower stayed, Bosacki's Boathouse, and the Thirsty Whale. Bosacki's burned to the ground 1972 but the public demanded the DNR allow it to be rebuilt and it was. Down the road from Bosacki's is the Thirsty Whale which is unique in that the entire business is over the water. The Minocqua Community Center also has a long history as it was the Minocqua Grade School and the Minocqua High School in the old days.
There have 29 town chairmen in the history of our town. It is a great honor for me to join a great list of people who have served in this capacity. The list of early town chairmen reads like a who's-who of the early settlers of Minocqua including names like A.O. Dorwin, Jacob Huber, Thomas Bolger, William Schlecht, and Dr. Torpy.
Four Season Recreation
While long noted for our summer recreation opportunities, Minocqua has developed into a four-season destination.
Minocqua has become the hub of snowmobiling in northern Wisconsin. From our downtown, riders can literally head out north, south, east and west into the wilderness trails of our nearby state, county, national, and private forests. Minocqua is the birthplace of the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs and we are serviced by two of the finest clubs in Wisconsin - The Cross Country Cruisers and the Forest Riders.
Minocqua is home to Winter Park - the Midwest's premier cross country ski facility. Skiers will find over 75 kilometers of groomed trails and nearly every type of terrain conceivable.
Spring in Minocqua means fishing. In early spring ice fishermen dot the over 60 lakes located in the town. In late spring the opening day of fishing draws anglers from all over the Midwest.
Fall in the northwoods is the time for festivals including Minocqua's own Beef-A-Rama at the end of September. Colorama in early October is Mother Nature's opportunity to shine with unbelievable displays of color. In November, the opening of deer season is practically an official holiday and an important part of our northwoods heritage.
There is a little something for everybody in the summertime. Minocqua is home to the nation's first, and finest, amateur water ski show - the MinAqua Bats. Our lakes offer opportunities for nearly every type of boating and fishing. The famous Bearskin Trail runs through the heart of town for bikers and hikers. In the winter the Bearskin is a major snowmobile highway. Located in the heart of the downtown Island is Torpy Park and Beach.
Minocqua is surrounded by public forest land making it a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. To the west is the Chequamegon National Forest. To the east is the American Legion State Forest. To the north is the Northern Highlands State Forest and to the south is the Oneida County Forest and the majestic (and wild) Willow Flowage. Family fun opportunities also abound including the famous Wildwood Wildlife Park, numerous mini-golf courses, go-cart facilities, and other family orientated venues.
Text was written by Town Chairman Joe Handrick, and was taken from the town webpage in 2009. [See the link at the Link Tab.]Charles P. ForbesAugust 27, 2009
Comprehensive References****. 2008 Exhibits: CCC Anniversary. [Museum Musings, Spring 2008, p. 1.] Minocqua, 2008. View Full Entry (Full text available)****. Best of the Northwoods, The. Boulder Junction, 1992. View Full Entry****. Haunts in the Wild Woods. [The Dial, A semi-Monthly Journal of Literary Criticism, Discussion, and Information, Vol. 26, # 309, May 1, 1899, p. 319.] Chicago, 1899. View Full Entry (Full text available)****. Lake Mud Reveals Pollution History. [Wisconsin Conservation Bulletin, 39:3, May-June 1974, pp. 26-27.] Madison, 1974. View Full Entry****. Minocqua Centennial Calendar of Events - August 1988. [I sheet, duplicated.] Minocqua, 1988. View Full Entry (Full text available)****. Welcome to the Thirsty Whale. [Menu] Minocqua, 2009. View Full EntryAlexander, J. H. H.. Minocqua's Lakes. [Wis. Conservation Bulletin, August 1940, V#8,p.46.] 1940. View Full EntryBrandenburg, John. Bearskin State Park Trail. [Original and a Revised and Reprinted edition] Boulder Junction, 1999. View Full EntryCalvary Lutheran Church. Kitchen Offerings. Lac du Flambeau, 1979. View Full EntryCasetta, Curt. Around the Lakeland Area. [Wisconsin Trails, V. 41, #6, Nov-Dec 2000, p. 53.] 2000. View Full EntryCasetta, Curt. Tamarack B&B Lodge. [Wisconsin Trails, V. 41, #6, Nov-Dec 2000, pp. 49-51.] 2000. View Full EntryChurch of the Pines, United Methodist Women. What's Cookin'? in Minocqua, Wisconsin. Olathe, KS, 1985. View Full EntryChurch of the Pines, United Methodist, Minocqua. Centennial Cookbook 1894-1994. Cairo, NE 68824, 1994. View Full EntryDeer, Dorothy. Tale of 2 Festivals. [Snow Goer [Magazine], September, 1983, pp. 28-35] St. Paul, MN, 1983. View Full EntryDraeger and Speltz. Fill 'er Up. Madison, 2008. View Full EntryFoster, Rory. Dr. Wildlife. [Book Section, Reader's Digest, Feb 1986 p.111] 1986. View Full EntryFoster, Rory. Dr. Wildlife. New York, 1985. View Full EntryGeneral Telephone [GTE]. Minocqua (including Sayner) Telephone Book. [Annual] Varies, . View Full EntryHeiting, Tom and Ann. Northwoods Ski Trails. n.p., 1980. View Full EntryHess, Ronnie. Minocqua: A Hideaway House in the North Woods. [Special Section: Vacation Homes. Wisconsin Trails, 45:2, March/April 2004, p. 75.] Black Earth, WI, 2004. View Full EntryHollatz, Tom. Elizabeth Taylor's First Love. [Wisconsin Trails, V. 41, #6, Nov-Dec. 2000, pp. 45 ff.] 2000. View Full EntryHolmberg, Cynthia. Blue Lake Lore. Kenilworth, IL, 2002. View Full EntryJones, et al.. History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties. Minneapolis, 1924. View Full EntryKearney, Laura. North Woods Boulangerie. [Wisconsin Trails, 44:4, July/Aug 2003, p. 10] Black Earth, Wis, 2003. 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 EntryLakeland Rotary Wives. Christmas. Minocqua (?), n.d.. View Full EntryLakeland Rotary Wives. Kitchen Whichery, Cookes Hors D'Oeuvres. [Second Edition] Minocqua(?), n.d.. View Full EntryMcComble, Brian. Northern Wisconsin: Lattes and Low Wages. [Isthmus, Vol. 30, #43, Oct. 28, 2005] Madison, 2005. View Full EntryMinocqua Public School, Eighth Grade, Mr. and Mrs. Otis Winchester, Teachers. Notes from Minocqua's History. Minocqua, 1987. View Full EntryMinocqua and Woodruff, Towns of, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Minocqua-Woodruff Priority Lakes Project Plan, The Wisconsin Nonpoint Source Water pollution Abatement Program. [Pub. WY-477-96] Madison, . View Full EntryShapiro, Aaron. Up North on Vacation, Tourism and Resorts in Wisconsin's North Woods 1900-1945. [Wiscosin Magazine of History, Vol. 89, #4, Summer, 2006, pp 2 ff.] Madison, 2006. View Full EntrySlattery, Christina. View from the Water. [Wisconsin Magazine of History, Vol. 93, Autumn 2009] Madison, 2009. View Full EntryStephens, Robert. Northern Delights. [WaterSki, Vol. 17, #8, August 1995, pp. 46, ff.] Winter Park, FL, 1995. View Full EntryWisconsin Public Service Corporation. History, A. Milwaukee, 1950. View Full Entry
Major References****. Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin Counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawano. Chicago, 1895. View Full Entry (Full text available)****. Culver's--Welcome to Generous. [Spotlight on Supporters, Columns, The Newsletter of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Vol. 35, #4, Nov. 2014] Madison, 2014. View Full Entry (Full text available)Bruso, Lelah, ed.. Oneida County: Centennial History Edition 1887-1987. Rhinelander, 1987. View Full EntryBurg and Storozuk. Route of the North Woods Hiawatha. Merrill, 2010. View Full EntryCalvary Lutheran Church [Minocqua]. Service of Dedication. Minocqua, 1988. View Full EntryErpenbach and Ginsberg-Schutz. Wisconsin: A Tradition of Innovation. [Published in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Commerce] Encino, CA, 2008. View Full EntryFreeman, Tom [Photographer]. Boathouses. Manitowish Waters, 2015. View Full EntryGoodspeed, Charles T.B.. Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed. [Kessinger Legacy Reprintsd] Chicago, 2010. View Full Entry (Full text available)Hirsch, Sarah. Lumberjack-style Meals a Northwoods' Tradition for More than 50 Years. [Lakeland Times, July 5, 2013, Section 3.] Minocqua, 2013. 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 EntryKearney, Laura. On the Waterfront, Minocqua's Historic Boathouses. [Wisconsin Trails, 45:2, March/April 2004, pp. 52-53.] Black Earth, WI, 2004. 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 EntryLake, Ivan. Minocqua: A Brief History of the Island City. Minocqua, 1974. View Full EntryLakeland Times. First 100 Years, The. 1888-1988. Minocqua-Woodruff Centennial Edition. [Lakeland Times] Minocqua, 1988. View Full EntryLeuhring, M.. Stocked Walleye Prosper on Minocqua Chain. [Mazina'igan, A Chronicle of the Lake Superior Ojibwe, Winter 2017/2018, p. 3] Odanah, 2017. View Full Entry (Full text available)McMullin, Dana. Strolling Back in Time, Historical Walking Tour of Minocqua. Minocqua, 1998. View Full EntryMin-Aqua Bats Water Ski Club. Min-Aqua Bat Water Ski Club, 1950-2010. Minocqua, 2010. View Full EntryMinocqua Museum. Early Health Care. [Museum Musings, May 2002] Minocqua, 2002. View Full EntryPohlen, Jerome. Oddball Wisconsin. Chicago, 2001. View Full EntryRand, McNally & Co.. New General Atlas of the World. Chicago, 1896. 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 EntryScrobell, Daniel. Minocqua, a Confluence of Water, Timber and Rails. [Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Forest History Assn. of WI, Oct. 3-4, 1997.] Woodruff, 1997. View Full EntryStephens, Robert. Northern Delights. [Waterski [Magazine], V.17 Issue 8 August 1995] Winter Park, FL, 1995. View Full EntryUS, Federal Works Agency, Works Projects Administration, Workers of the Writers' Program in the State of Wisconsin. Wisconsin: A Guide to the Badger State. [American Guide Series] New York, 1941. View Full EntryVilas County News-Review. Vilas County News-Review's 2009 Headwaters Area Guide. [Published Annually] Eagle River, 2009. View Full Entry
Minor References****. Northern Action Magazine. Tomahawk, 2017. View Full EntryAllen, Terese. Wisconsin Food Festivals. Amherst, WI, 1995. View Full EntryAnderson, "Buckshot". Northwoods Summers, 1950s Style. [Lakeland Times, July 6, 2018, p. 24] Minocqua, 2018. View Full EntryEmerson, Charles. Wisconsin Scenic and Historic Trails. Madison, 1933. View Full EntryLamp, Albert, Jr.. Butterfly's Teeth. Lac du Flambeau, 2001. View Full EntryMobil. Mobil Travel Guide, Great Lakes Area. [1976, 1983, 1994, 2001 editions] Chicago, 2001. View Full EntrySiers-Poisson, Judith. Alonzo Pond's First Algerian Expedition. [Wisconsin Magazine of History, Spring, 2018, pp. 12-27.] Madison, 2018. View Full EntrySwan, Richard. Light Tackle Fishing Guides of North America. Reno, NV, 1986. View Full EntryZiegler, Art. Oneida County, Wisconsin, Cartographic Catalog 1988. Madison, 1988. View Full Entrykfkf. kfkf. . View Full Entry