Bayfield County Highway Markers Contributed by Joan Benner
TRAGEDY OF THE SISKIWIT
Location: Hwy 13, about .5 miles east of Cornucopia
Once upon a time, according to an old Indian legend, the sand beach on the ast side of the bay was a favorite camping ground. One spring a few lodges of Chippewa from La Pointe encamped here. When their chief, Bi-aus-wah, returned from the hunt, he found that a large party of Foxes had murdered all but two of his people. He trailed the enemy to their village and found them preparing to torture his young son. Chief Bi-aus-wah stepped proudly forward and offered his own life if the Foxes would release his young son, whose 'tender feet have never trodden the war path.' Fearing the consequences if they refused so noble an offer, the Foxes released the son and burned the father instead. The son returned to his relatives at La Pointe, and his story brought quick and decisive revenge.
Location: Hwy 13, 2.3 miles North of Washburn
To the east is Madeline Island, known to the Ojibways as Moningwunakauning, "The Home of the Golden Breatsed Woodpecker." The French soldier Pierre Le Sueur built his post there in 1693. IN 1718 a fort was erected which remained France's principal fur trading post on Lake Superior until New France fell to the English. In 1793 Michael Cadotte established a trading post and began permanent settlement. When Equaysayway, daughter of Chief White Crane and a member of the Ojibway aristocracy, married Michael Cadotte, she was given the Christian name "Madeline." Her pleased father declared the island should be named in her honor.
Location: Hwy 13, Village of Port Wing
As the 20th century began, logging operations were in full swing in this
area and the small log schoolhouses could not handle the increasing number of students. Some classes were held in churches but additional facilities were needed. T. N. Okerstrom and James C. Daly conceived the idea of consolidating the rural districts and establishing a larger school with free transportation. It was a new idea and there was resistance, but after numerous meetings and much planning, a new school building for the consolidated district was completed in January 1903. S. A. Baxter was principal, with a salary of $70 per month, and teachers Mae Kinney and Nettie Trolander each received $40 per month. So far as is known, this was the firsts chool district in Wisocnsin to provide free, tax-supported transportation. Canvas - covered, horse - drawn wagons or sleighs, known as "school rigs," were used for this purpose.