St. Germain, Vilas County, Wisconsin
The history of the community of St. Germain dates back to the 17th century, when fur traders were regulated by the French government. Soldier Jean Francois St. Germaine married a Native American woman, and rather than return to New France, he deserted and settled with his wife's tribe.
A towering statue of chief St. Germaine is located at the junction of Highways 70 and 155. The name "St. Germain" has appeared many times in area records listing tribal leaders among the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe. Beyond honoring these leaders, the statue is meant to commemorate all the Native Americans who considered the St. Germain area one of their favorite hunting and fishing grounds.
The first European settlers arrived in 1903, sustaining themselves by logging, trapping and working inlumber mills. After the land had been logged, farming and agriculture followed. Because of the short growing season, most of the early settlers abandoned farming. Some residents built resorts or accommodate the fishermen from the cities, and St. Germain quickly became a popular vacation destination.
--from "St. Germain 'In the Center of It All' Wisconsin," Tourist Brochure of the St. Germain Area Chamber of Commerce, Loren R. Anderson, President. 2009. P. 3.
**** indicates no known author.
Carving of Indian Chief
Neal Long "also carved the first Indian Chief, which stands in front of the St. Germain Chamber of Commerce. He still has the small carving that he used as a model. His friend, Bill Maines, posed for the statue." Hiller, "A Sayner Legend"
St. Germain Flea Market
The St. Germain Flea Market is thirty years old (2011) and the largest weekly flea market in Wisconsin, with an average of 325 spaces filled. It's history is told in the brochure: St. Germain Flea Market & Craft Show--see the "Documents" tab where the full text is available.
The Peacock Inn (Builder Joseph C. Sellner; Date of Construction: 1930) was placed on the State Register of Historic Places in 2016. Columns (38:1, Feb-Apr 2017) contain this information: "The Peacock Inn is an intact example of a Rustic-style, resort-era restaurant that served tourists traveling to the north woods of Wisconsin. The rising popularity of the automobile impacted the way people vacatiooned at resorts. Resort plans had been all-inclusive, including meals in a large lodge dining room (the American plan resort), but in the later era vacationers simply rented a cottage and meals were arranged separately (the housekeeping resort, beginning in the 1920s). The change meant that vacationers sought out restaurants or taverns such as the Peacock Inn for many of their meals. Hundreds of tourists journeyed to the Wisconsin north woods to fish and relax away from the stresses of America's cities. The Peacock Inn is a unique property and a nostalgic reminder of the early-20-century north woods Wisconsin vacation era, and it remains an enduring contributor to the 21st-century tourist industry as well."
Ed Gabe's Lost Lake Resort
After 72 years in business, Ed Gabe's Lost Lake Resort closed to convert to a condominium comples (1978). From Backward Glances, Vilas County News-Review, May 21, 2008 (30 Years Ago).
There was a Red Owl “franchised agency” grocery store in town in 1961 according to Backward Glances in the Vilas County News-Review, August 4, 2021 (60 Years Ago–1961).