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Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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Oconto County


The land that is now Riverview was used for centuries by the Native Americans who called the area home. It was deeply forested and provided ample game and fish not only to support their own people, but to prepare for the trade in the extensive network that extended from the North American east coast to the Great Plains,

When Charles Hiram Collins came to what is now the Town of Riverview, Oconto County, in 1885 everything was big woods there. Hunting and trapping were important sources of income.  Woodsmen made their livings lumbering and milling the deep forests that are now Nicolet National Forest. Farming was not a big industry. Permanent residents were few in number.  

Beaver dams and Indian hunting camps were replaced by lumber camps and log drive dams which in tern were replaced by cottages and permanent dams that held back the flowage waters for fishing and boating. Seasonal hunting in the woods and wetlands has always been a major attraction since prehistoric days.

Today the area is used primarily for outdoor recreation. One was to experience town of Riverview, which resembles earlier days, is to visit the following:

Mountain Fire Lookout Tower
Town of Riverview, Oconto County
Date Constructed: 1932

Standing in the Nicolet National Forest, the galvanized steel structure was prefabricated by the Aermotor Company and moved to its current site by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1935. The tower represents the cooperative  effort of the USDA Forest Service and the Wisconsin Conservation Commission (now the Department of Natural Resources) to protect northern Wisconsin’s timber resources from the ravages of fire. The Mountain Fire Lookout Tower is one of two remaining towers out of the
19 that once served the Nicolet National Forest, and is one of the last remaining structures associated with the CCC in the forest. These towers once served as the central link in the fire detection system.

During the Depression of the 1930's, the CCC was a major presence in the state and national forests of Wisconsin, providing much of the physical labor associated with fire protection in theseforests. Camp enrollees also manned the tower, and were assigned fire-fighting duties in the area through at least 1941.

In 1993–94, the Mountain Fire Lookout Tower was rehabilitated as an interpretive site, and is now open to the public.

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