These 10 Rare Photos Show Wisconsin’s Logging History Like Never Before
At the turn of the 20th century, logging and forest products were Wisconsin’s number one industry. First using the rivers and then extending the railroads, logging in Northern Wisconsin employed tens of thousands of men, created jobs and was the forerunner to the paper industry that’s one of the state’s most important today.
The logging industry was fickle and once the most easily cleared and accessible forests were logged and expansion out west became possible, the industry changed its focus to the vast, virgin forests of the Northwest.
A lot of logging history focuses on the height of production, but we don’t often get a look at what life was like as the industry was declining in the post-World War I Depression years. Men led migrant lives in the Northwoods, looking for work as many of the mills closed and work was scarce everywhere.The industry changed as the towns that had grown looked for new ways to use the land.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nominate/
The logging industry was a huge part of Wisconsin’s past, shaping many of the communities we know today, opening the Northwoods for settlement and leading to one of our biggest industries today – the paper industry.