Museum open July and August : Thurs, Fri, and Sat from 11AM to 3PM

Area Logging History

During the summer of 2004, we exhibited our investigation of the history of Land O’ Lakes area logging. The exhibit featured maps, images, oral histories, and analysis of the sawmills, the lumber camps, and the logging railroads. These railroads were active between the 1880s and the 1920s, and a complex network of rail lines brought area logs to mills in Land O’ Lakes, Rhinelander, Phelps, and Star Lake. Paul McLeod and Marilyn Annin researched and built that exhibit. The dot on the map which is now Land O’ Lakes first started showing-up on maps around the time the railroad arrived in 1883. Within a couple of years, opportunists built the first sawmill, and within a couple of years after that, they built the first logging railroads. The logging history of this area is an epic story. As of this writing, many archaeological sites dating to the logging boom of the era 1886-1920 are still visible throughout the area. The exhibit featured photographs, maps, correspondence, artifacts, and interpretations of the rise and fall of this great industry. In an attempt to make this exhibit significant to this specific area, Paul McLeod collected a series of archival images from a group of generous collectors, museums, and local folk which document logging in the Land O’ Lakes area. Most of these images have never been published. The museum’s mission states that we are dedicated to ongoing research, so part of the purpose of this exhibit was to encourage others to pick-up where the exhibit left off. This was an exciting project, and we fully expect the patrons to continue to add to our database of facts, memories, images, and artifacts as we move ahead.