The western area of Oconto County was settled by mostly German families with names such as Fetterly, Hankwitz, Spangenberg, Holl, Philippi, Lippert, Miller(Mueller), Brown(Braun), Weiting, Wagner, Doberstein, Abel, Marquardt, Behnke, and Schield. To the southwest were the French and Irish families named McDowell, Gladys, Jackson, Hall, Duden, Carriveaus, DesJarlais, Racine, Schnell, Aland and Brabant among many others. Many of these families were well settled before the American Civil War. This place, named for the Sugar Maple trees that grew abundantly and were at first considered worthless to the pine hungry logging industry, was roughly divided into three sections: Upper, Middle and Lower. No exact boundary lines were ever drawn, but were generally understood by the people of the time. The 1871 Peshitgo Fire left the three Sugarbush areas nearly totally destroyed both in terms of lives and property lost. Rebuilding began immediately and the area prospered as a farming and dairying center.