Railroads in and near Star Lake, Wisconsin

  • Article

    Star Lake was the "end of the line" of the Wisconsin Valley Line of the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad (Milwaukee Road) (It became the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific later, after its rails reached the west coast). The tracks reached Star Lake in 1894 or 95, serving the new town of Star Lake and the sawmill to be moved by special train from McKenna, Wisconsin See Logging Companies of Star Lake. Details of the operations of the Milwaukee Road in the Star Lake area are contained in the subtopic, The Milwaukee Road.

    The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad (Northwestern) ran a line from Chicago through Green Bay, Monico, Rhinelander, Manitowish Waters, and Hurley to Ashland, passing through Woodruff, where there was a switch that allowed for a connection to the Milwaukee Road Valley Line. At Monico a branch service came through Three Lakes, Eagle River, Conover, Land O'Lakes and on to Watersmeet, Michigan. Additional information about the Northwestern in the Star Lake area are contained in the subtopic No topic [northwestern].

    The closest other railroad providing service in the area was the Soo Line that served Rhinelander.

    Many logging railroads were built in the area, some built by the Milwaukee Road and some by various logging companies. They each had some kind of contractual arrangement with the Milwaukee Road so that they could get their logs either to the mill in Star Lake or to the Milwaukee Road mainline from Star Lake to points south where a variety of logging companies had mills.

    Timonthy Sasse has developed a very detailed history of logging railroads in Wisconsin. Rather than copy his detailed description here, the full text is available at the bibliography entry Vilas County Logging Companies' Railroad Operations.

    Charles P. Forbes
    July 22, 2020
  • Bibliography

    Major References

    ****. Frances L. Love [Obituary]. [Vilas County News-Review, Sept. 17, 2003, p. 4A.] 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)
    ****. Logs Were Replaced with Passengers. [The First 100 Years, 1888-1988, Centennial Edition, p.155] Minocqua, 1988. View Full Entry
    ****. Summer Trains Will Not Operate. [Lakeland Times, 1943] Minocqua, 1943. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    ****. Region Full of Fish. [The Inter Ocean, June 29, 1913, p. 29.] Chicago, 1913. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    ****. Star Lake, Wis.--North of Minocqua..... [The Tribune Vacation Guide, June 14, 1903, p. 35.] Chicago, 1903. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    ****. Story of the Successful Career of a Wisconsin Pioneer [A. H. Stange]. [American Lumberman, August 18th, 1923 pg 1, 42-44] Chicago, 1923. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    ****. The Stange Lumber Co. has finished logging a forty.... [American Lumberman October 7th, 1922, pg 73] Chicago, 1922. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    ****. The land commissioners have authorized the building of a logging railroad.... [American Lumberman March 18th, 1922, Pg 75] Chicago, 1922. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    ****. Trampers Trails. [Typed 4-page guide to Trampers Trails] Star Lake, n.d.. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Andrews, Barbara. Postcard Scene: The Pesky White Stuff...On Postcards. [Paper & Advertising Collector's Marketplace, Vol. 29, #2, Feb. 2007, pp. 22 ff.] Mount Joy, PA, 2007. View Full Entry
    Canfield, Joseph, Ed.. Badger Traction. [Bulletin 111] Chicago, 1969. View Full Entry
    Canuteson, Richard. Railway Development of Northern Wisconsin. [M.A. Thesis] Madison, 1930. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Dorin, Patrick. Lake Superior Iron Ore Railroads. New York, 1977. View Full Entry
    Eagle River Historical Society. Depot Museum. [Brochure] Eagle River, 2008. View Full Entry
    Eagle River Historical Society. Eagle River, Wisconsin, Its History & People. Eagle River, 2007. View Full Entry
    Hooper, C. W., ed.. Dr. D. B. Harvison and Station Agent..... [Minocqua Times, October 28, 1897] Minocqua, 1897. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Hooper, C. W., ed.. Jos. Martin and Miss Crista of Star Lake..... [Minocqua Times, December 30, 1897] Minocqua, 1897. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Hooper, C. W., ed.. Killed at Star Lake. [Minocqua Times, October 14, 1897] Minocqua, 1897. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Huston, Harvey. Thunder Lake Narrow Gauge, '93/'41. Winnetka, IL, 1982. View Full Entry
    Kaysen, James. Railroads of Wisconsin, 1827-1937.. Boston, MA, 1937. View Full Entry
    Kelly, John. Headache on the Iron Range. [Railroad Magazine, 51, #2, pp. 12-25, March 1950.] 1950. View Full Entry
    Lakeland Times. First 100 Years, The. 1888-1988. Minocqua-Woodruff Centennial Edition. [Lakeland Times] Minocqua, 1988. View Full Entry
    Leet, Merwin A.. Railway Mail Postmarks of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. [Bulletin No. 12-1978] Madison, 1978. View Full Entry
    Meyer, Balthasar. History of Railroad Legislation in Wisconsin. [From Wisconsin Historical Collection, Vol. 14] Madison, 1898. View Full Entry
    Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western Railway. Gogebic, Eagle River, Ashland and Other Resorts in Northern Michigan and Wisconsin Reached by the Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western Railway.. Iron Mountain, Michigan, 1985. View Full Entry
    Modelski, Andrew. Railroad Maps of the United States. [For sale by the Superintendent of Documents] Washington, 1975. View Full Entry
    Rand, McNally & Co.. New General Atlas of the World. Chicago, 1896. View Full Entry
    Rosholt, Malcolm. Trains of Wisconsin. Rosholt, Wisconsin, 1985. View Full Entry
    Rusch, Robert. Unique Discovery Along Ice Age Trail. [Chips and Sawdust. Vol. 43, #1&2, Spring Summer 2018, pp. 6-8] Two Rivers, Wisconsin, 2018. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Sasse, 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 Entry
    Scribbins, Jim. Badger State Road [Green Bay and Western RR]. [Railroad Magazine, V.56 #2 Nov 1951 p.14] 1951. View Full Entry
    Soo Line. Timetable. [Folder A, June 5, 1927] Minneapolis, 1927. View Full Entry
    Specht and Cline. Wisconsin Valley Line. Stevens Point, 1979. View Full Entry
    Van Valkenberg, Phil. Wisconsin: The Official Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Guidebook. [Great Rails-Trails Series ] Guildford, CT, 2001. View Full Entry
    Wyman, Mark. Wisconsin Frontier. Bloomington, IN, 1998. View Full Entry

    Minor References

    ****. Your Vacation in Wisconsin. [No official Wisconsin publication number] Madison, 1941. View Full Entry
    ****. Two Men Killed. [The Weekly Wisconsin, April 29, 1899.] Milwaukee, 1899. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Hooper, C. W., ed.. Dr. Harvison, of Star Lake rode down on his "bike"..... [Minocqua Times, August 5, 1897] Minocqua, 1897. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Riley, et al.. Gift that Spawns Great Lakes Fisheries. [Wisconsin Natural Resources, Vol.35, #5, October, 2011, pp. 15-18.] Madison, 2011. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Sprayer. Star Lake Sprays. [Minocqua Times, June 12, 1895] Minocqua, 1895. View Full Entry (Full text available)
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