Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
Collected and posted by RITA
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LOGGING
in
OCONTO COUNTY
WISCONSIN

In the progression of the area now known as Oconto County, WI, there first were the Native American villages with production of foods and material goods used in the extensive trade - travel system established before European settlement. The Canadians were the next to introduce fur trading in the late 1600's. Following that, came the lumber industry, attracted by the huge forests of virgin timber, initially White Pine, then the hardwoods of Maple and Oak in 1823. Each change brought its own kinds of people to settle the land. The French Canadian Metis and other mixed Indian bloods became neighbors to the original Native Americans during the fur trading era. New Brunswick, Canada, and New England, U.S., particularly Maine, saw the introduction of European blood families. If your ancestors trace back to Oconto County, there is in all likelihood, a branch connected with logging and lumber production, whether it was working for the large lumber companies, or logging off land to establish a homestead.


Please click on the topic below that you wish to research.


HOLT & BALCOM LOGGING CAMP PHOTOS....- 2011 photos of the oldest logging camp on the original site!

Photos contributed by: Jill Gondek


THE RICHARD HOUSE HOTEL - Built in 1873, this Hotel was one of the very first in Oconto County, and always a home away from home to the area lumberjacks well into the 1900's. This undated heritage news article and photo tell the story. Believed to be written about 1929. Contributed by descendant of the early Belongia-Belanger line and the McTavish-Nehrenhausen families : Cathy McTavish


LOGGING IN BREED
Researched, written and contributed by Bill Fonferek
This is a photograph collection of early logging in the Breed area and contains written descriptions for each as well as names of the people pictured. See it as it happened.

Excerpts from "A History Of Logging In Oconto County" from the McCauslin to Jab Switch.." The Times-Herald - posted with permission. Please see the bottom of the page for details on the book.

THE FIRST MILL

HOW IT ALL STARTED

LUMBERING MAKES OCONTO COUNTY CITIES AND VILLAGES

LUMBERING MAKES OCONTO COUNTY CITIES AND VILLAGES - part 2

CHANGING TIMES



EARLY DAYS IN THE LUMBER BUSINESS - Written by W.A. Holt, later mayor of Oconto city, this is a first hand "big picture" look at county lumbering from the view of the owner's son, who learned the business literally from the ground up. His world gave him direct contact with every person connected to the business, from the Oconto County Indian guides, loggers, teamsters, village citizen, farm owners, foremen, sailing ship captains and crews,  dam builders, river drive workers, mill workers,  local lawyers and judges, right up to the owners of the largest lumber companies in the world of that time. It provides a good perspective of the big business owner from the mid 1800's to the early 1900's, when lumber was king.


Oconto Company Employee Ledger - Sept 1873 - 481 employee surnames

Please click on the  page number below to go to pages of photos from Oconto County lumbering days:

PHOTO PAGES:
12
 -  3



We sincerely wish to thank the following for permission and assistance in posting this series of excerpts from the book, "A History Of Logging In Oconto County" from the McCauslin to Jab Switch..
The Times-Herald
The author, Della Rucker.
Editor, Diane Nichols
Oconto County Historical Association
Bruce Mommaerts of the Oconto Co. Economic Development Corp.

"A History Of Logging In Oconto County" from the McCauslin to Jab Switch..
may be purchased from the Oconto County Development Corp. on line or by mail.
Please click HERE, then go to the "books" tab and there it is, hard and soft cover versions. We do not advertize on the site, but this is a wonderful book that I have purchased and read, filled with old county photos, information and personal accounts. It would make a wonderful gift.




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