In an effort to keep the history from the original website, the previous owner and contributors, we have created this page to keep the content (minus photos).  There were minor editing changes made to the original content.  If you would like to see the content the way it was once displayed, please view the PDF's on's "History" Page.  For photos, please view our "Slide-show" page.

  • John S Monroe's Log Cabin


    Built in 1883 by John S. Monroe, the log cabin was one of three original buildings that made up the community of loggers that started what would later become the Village of Wausaukee. Monroe shipped timber, cedar posts, pilings and railroad ties from this tiny community. The Log cabin served as a boarding house, hotel, post office and the only eatery north of Green Bay for many years. Formation of Marinette Townships & Communities

    In 1885 John Monroe was appointed postmaster and the log cabin became the first post office which gave the community some validation. As the lumber boom brought more men to the north woods, the cabin became an Inn and eating place to lodge the many travelers to the area. The Monroe cabin was originally built on the site where Smith's Hwy 141 grocery is currently located.

    Meals were 25 cents and room and board for a month was $26.00. The Men's room located on the north end of the first-floor forbid women from entering.

    The parlor photo shows Libby on the far left, Eliza to the right with unidentified friends of the family. The view of Monroe house is looking toward the North east.

    Guests found a warm welcome in the dining room of the Monroe House. Wallace Monroe is identified as the man at the table and his sister Helen Elizabeth is standing.

    Monroe and his family were the first white settlers to locate in Wausaukee. John Monroe shipped the first carload of forest products that went out of that village over the Milwaukee & Northern railroad. He built a station there in 1883 and called it Wausaukee.

    John S. Monroe died on March 25, 1900 at the age of 77 years. Bird & Wells sawmill was shut down for the funeral so that all could attend. The funeral was held at their residence and was the largest attended funeral ever held. Jane Belton Monroe followed her husband in death May 14, 1901.

    John and Jane Monroe had five children, Sarah, who died in infancy; John Wallace; Helen Elizabeth, often known as "Libby"; Eliza Mae; and Harry. Libby and Eliza ran the Monroe establishment until about 1935 but declined selling it to interested parties for fear liquor would be served on the premises.

    Roy Gustaveson purchased the property in 1942 to make way for his hardware and implement business

  • Harlan P Bird


     Harlan P. Bird was born August 2nd, 1838, the son of a Smithfield Pennsylvania farmer. His partnership with J. W. Wells was to benefit the community with its successful logging operations. H. P. Bird was very involved in community projects throughout his life. In 1902 he was elected to State Senator and served two four-year terms. Bird was married in 1869 to Sarah J. Fairchild who died in 1904. His married his second wife, Laura D. Mott of Danville ILL. in 1906.

         Bird was well known for his interest in community affairs, and his philanthropy. He was in the forefront of many village issues, including campaigns for the establishment of a high school, installation of streetlights, and the organization of the bank. In 1902 he established the Wausaukee Free Library that contained approximately 1500 books and hoped it would prove "sufficiently popular to draw from places of evil resort." He worked with Lutrie Stearns, a prominent State Librarian, to establish the collection and open the building to the public.

      However, after spending a large amount of money on the project, he was forced to abandon the library. It was one of the great disappointments of his life. After closing the Library, he donated all the books to the High School and the entire collection was lost in the school fire of 1913.  Additional Information concerning the Harlan P Bird library building

         Bird suffered a stroke teaching Sunday School in 1910 and made a full recovery but his second stroke ended his life and an era in Wausaukee History.

  • Saw Mill History


    1st Mill: The first sawmill in Wausaukee was built by a firm named Beach & Bishop. The company built a dam across the Wausaukee river in the village about where the bridge on US-141 is now located to form a mill pond in which to store their logs, and located their mill at the dam's south end, which was the site of the Wausaukee Recreation building. Beach & Bishop logged most of their timber and after the 1892 fire that burned their mill, they sold their plant and yard to Bird & Wells.

    2nd Mill: In 1887 J.W. Wells and H.P. Bird visited Wausaukee and leased a small saw mill that would start a new era for this area. Full scale production started in 1888 when the mill was expanded, 2000 acres of pine lands were purchased and rail lines were completed to haul the lumber to market.

    The Bird & Wells Lumber company also conducted a store in the village, which was one of the first stores in Wausaukee. This store went out of business in about the year 1910, a short time before the mill was closed and dismantled.

    Read the first Independent Volume I article about the Bird & Wells Saw Mills

    3rd Mill: An official of the Milwaukee and Northern railroad by the name of Dutton built the third sawmill in Wausaukee. It was located at the southern limits of the Village.  Dutton operated the mill for a time and then sold it to Laun Brothers of Kiel, Wisconsin. Dutton opened another mill in Dunbar WI.

    Laun Brothers History: The first Laun connection with Wausaukee was in approximately 1893 when a 16-year-old boy, Henry G Laun was sent by his father, John Henry, and his older brother, Jacob, from Kiel, Wisconsin up to the far north (125 Miles) to secure a supply of lumber for their fledging furniture factory. H.G. purchased the sawmill & his brother Jacob financed it. It soon employed about 300 people. HG and other lumber barons harvested all of the virgin timber, mostly red and white pine, in the nearby territory.

    Logging camps were established throughout the area to supply the timber needed for these mills. All the sawmills owned their own tracks of land and clear cut the timber, leaving stumps and then later returning the land to the county for failure to pay taxes or selling it to immigrants for farming. There was no interest at the time to reforest.

  • The Loggers & Sawmill Workers

    Logging was a back breaking, dangerous living where men were injured frequently at the logging sites, tending oxen, sleds, horse teams and at the mill. The work paid well but the accidents were many times fatal.

    Obituary: Daniel F Johnson: Volume 81 Number 1371-- May 30, 1891 Saint John Daily Telegraph --

    Amasa Clayton b 1851 at New Brunswick, d 10 May 1891 at Wausaukee, Wisconsin. The 'Peshtigo Argus' of Peshtigo Wisconsin related that Amasa Clayton, of Wausaukee, while engaged in felling a tree, was struck by a limb and almost instantly killed, only living an half hour. Mr. Clayton has been engaged in lumbering for past 10 years. His remains were brought to this province for interment. The deceased was the eldest s/o W.B. Clayton of Sheffield (Sunbury Co. Canada)]

    Shortly after the Dutton's mill at Dunbar began operating, the mill company there built a five mile stretch of standard gauge logging railroad that ran south east out of Dunbar toward Wausaukee, and the Milwaukee railroad built 10 miles of track from its main line at Wausaukee to connect with it. These 15 miles of railroad was known as the Dunbar & Wausaukee railroad. At Dunbar it connected with the Soo Line and Wausaukee it connected with the Milwaukee Road main line. The Dunbar company sold its five miles of logging railroad to the Milwaukee Road. This road operated for some time and then was abandoned, the tracks torn up and the rails sold. This occurred around the time of the first World War.

    There was a good-sized settlement called Hoffstown, a short distance south of Wausaukee, that in early days might be considered a part of the Village. It was owned and operated by a man named John Hoff, who came here from Forest Junction, Wisconsin in 1886 and purchased about 600 acres of virgin timber land. All that is left of Hoffstown now, is his large farm that was located across the tracks opposite his little settlement.

     Land sellers would boast of opportunities for owning your own farm, bring in the people by train and do a quick and very controlled tour of the area, not allowing the prospects to talk to any locals so they only heard the land sellers side of the story. Much of the land once cleared of stumps, was not suitable for farming purposes due to the soil content but that did not stop the unscrupulous Land sellers from selling parcels to the unwary immigrants. The story of Cutover Country is an example of the hardship endured by the immigrants trying to establish a living in the unsuitable environment sold to them.

    Lumber camps were spread throughout the area to lodge the workers who brought the forest products to market.

    Bird & Wells sold their property and mill to HG Laun when they closed the mill.  The mill & machinery were dismantled and parts were sold to other mill operators. HG then developed part of the property to store coal and cement for his growing merchandise business and sold several lots to people who built homes on the land.

  • Growth at the Turn of the Century

         Few people have an idea of the immense business conducted by the C.M.& S.P. railway each year at this station. The beer alone received here weighed 181,140 pounds equal to 3,282 barrels. The depot contained two waiting rooms, the north for passengers and the south for railroad workers. Each was equipped with a potbellied cast iron coal stove to maintain warmth in the winter for waiting passengers and crew.

         Eight passenger trains arrived daily and freight trains swept through the village every 20 minutes. In the 1930's passenger trains traveled from Marquette MI to Chicago Il with wealthy customers being dropped off to go to the private Wausaukee Club in Athelstane WI.

         Follow the history of all the connecting railroad spurs from Florence, Dickinson and Marinette Counties as they moved the lumber from camps to mills throughout the area. History of the Interconnecting Railroads.

         The town boasted numerous stores, barbershops, an undertaking parlor, distillery, three livery stables and a meat market, not to mention twelve saloons. Adams & Ruggles Distillery was built on May 19,1900 . The main building was 22x28 feet and was used as a fermenting and mashing room. The daily capacity was 14 gallons of corn and rye whiskey. Two vats totaling 130 gallons capacity took approximately 72 hours to make corn whiskey and 96 hours for rye. The building was destroyed by fire 2 years later.

    Carts and buggies filled the streets and churned up the mud or dust, depending on the season, while pedestrians clung to the safety of the wooden sidewalks.

    Coming into town from the south on US 141, The first buildings noticed on the east side of the highway were two large white barns with the name "H P CHRIST" painted on the side. The dairy farm was sold to Frank Orlando in the late 1930's.  F. E. Mitchell leased the field just south of the barns and grazed his cows there each day, bringing them back to an in-town barn each evening.

    H.P. Christ and his unmarried daughter, Katherine shared the home. H.P and his brother Frank went to Mass every morning. When HP died, Katherine turned the house into a rooming house. Ed Johnson who worked at Laun Hardware was one of her roomers.

    The Wausaukee Feed Mill was built by H. P. Christ in the early 1900's and was equipped for grinding flour and storage of grain, which later was shipped by railcar. Harvey Bartels of Green Bay remodeled the building with grinding and mixing equipment and opened up a feed mill operation in the 1940's. Read the 1978 Peshtigo Times Article

    Several owners over the years ran the mill including, Harvey Bartels of Green Bay, Norm Smith and the last was Mitch Wengiel who purchased it from Smith. Norm said that Harvey was so much competition he had to buy him out in the 1950's. Harvey said he was glad to sell his business and for $3,500, Norm bought the grain elevator. It was sometime later that Norm also purchased the warehouse from Bartels.

    Norm Smith operated it for 17 years before selling it to Mitch Wengiel  (Owner of McNeely's Drug Store) and son. The last operator of the mill closed the operation in 1974. The building was demolished in 1978.

    Norm Smith remembers the flag pole on the top of the Grain Elevator. His dad would climb up the pole and attach the flag onto the pole every day.

    Barbers offered haircuts for $.25 and were spaced thru out the village. McVey's shop was nestled between the KP Hall and the Bank building.  Hop McVey had an assistant named Antoine Polmis who offered a free cut to any kid that wanted to have their hair cut. Unfortunately for them the free hair cut was a total shave of the head so you had to be wary of anything offered for free.

    Hops shop was originally the Laun Brother's Company Office. It was moved across the street when Laun Brothers built their new store and office; HG rented the barbershop to Hop for $10 per month. Hop sold his business to Frank Flaherty and opened a new business in Crivitz but was killed in a car accident while commuting to work. Hank Laun

    On the south end of the Tracy Farm was a padlocked shed made of wood and covered with tin that was owned by Laun Hardware Co and was used to store dynamite. For safety purposes it had to be located one mile from the town limits. "When we hunted squirrels to the west in a stand of virgin hardwood known as "Jack Forst's woods", we always took some shots with our 22's at the dynamite shed as we went by, never understanding the implications" Hank Laun

    Dynamite was used extensively to remove the stumps from the saw mills clear cut land to create crop farms that were sold to immigrants migrating into our area. Cutover Country is a book depicting that era and the hardships that the farmers had to endure.

    South of the Grain Elevator were the Thomas Produce Co. Potato Warehouses that stored all the farmers harvested potatoes until they could be sold.

    The Town hall/fire station was the lot north of the Variety Store and the fire engine was located in the building to the rear of the property. Both buildings were demolished to create a parking lot to accommodate parking when the Highway 141 project forces all parking off the highway. Initially a bell was rung from the tower of the town hall, but this changed during W.W.II when a siren was installed to alarm the citizens if an enemy air raid on the village was imminent. This siren was used to summon volunteers to fight fires. Mrs. W at the Variety Store rang the siren every noon so everyone knew it was operable; it also helped the locals set their clocks.

    The Flat Iron building was named for the shape of the lot where Church Street and First Street form an angle where they meet. There were three units in this apartment building owned by HG and painted in the standard Laun colors of light gray. Mrs. Rickaby, who cleaned and helped my grandmother Laun, lived in the one upstairs unit with her son, Basil. There was no running water so buckets were filled at the downstairs pump and carried up; Bathroom facilities were an outside two-holer. On the other hand, rent was only $6 per month. This building was used for apartments, photo studio and museum. Hank Laun

    In 2009 the building was renovated, modernized and returned to apartments.

    1924 Division Street Bridge over the Wausaukee River.Peshtigo Times Article

  • Booming Hotels

    At one time there were six hotels and numerous boarding houses in the Wausaukee community. The original Monroe log cabin, Chamberland Hotel, Hotel Wausaukee, Exchange Hotel, Shepherd Hotel and the Atlas Hotel are depicted above.

    The log cabin was torn down to build a farm implement business owned by Roy Gustaveson and then later became Smith's Hwy 141 Grocery.

    The Chamberland Hotel was situated where the current Norm Smith Home is located on 1st street. Norm bought two 50-foot lots, sold the lumber for $1 and built his home. This was the main street in our village at the time.

     The Hotel Wausaukee built in 1889, is the only original hotel structure still standing. It currently houses Graphic Impressions Photography Studio on 502 Main St.

    The Exchange Hotel, built by John Underwood in 1888, burned in 1911 and was demolished.  The site was the location of Frank Murphy's Tavern, restaurant and rooming house. The Murphy Manor was also the home of George E Bogrand. The Exchange Hotel was located in the lot between the Newingham Supper Club and Carriveau Insurance.

    The Shepherd Hotel was later modified as an apartment house and was located west of the railroad tracks & the Chippewa Bar Property. The flat store front was removed and a new entrance and windows were built to accommodate the multi-story apartment building. Demolition of the building was done in the Summer of 2010 with an economic stimulus grant given to Newcap to allow construction of four new apartments in the form of townhouses to replace the old structure. Land and building will then be given back to the Village of Wausaukee.

    The Atlas built in 1888 by Tom Allen went thru a succession of owners until it was torn down.

    The former Shepherd Hotel shown adjacent to the Old School on the left was modified into a multi apartment building. Granma Shepard was a red head, and lived there with her daughter, Vivian. The Hotel acted as a boarding house for new and unmarried teachers. The Shepard Hotel building and the adjacent school property was demolished in the Summer of 2010 and two single story townhouse apartment buildings with four apartments will replace the former Shepard Hotel Building.

    With the influx of laborers and sales men to the area, the high population of the village required numerous hotels and boarding houses. Many of the laborers eventually stayed at the lumber camps spread all over the area so they could be closer to their work.

    The 1889 Hotel Wausaukee was built by a man named Clawson of Oconto. It changed hands several times until sold to the Skidmore Land Company. Gould Smith operated the hotel for the Land Company for a while and then purchased it and operated it on his own for a time. He then sold it to Ted and Hattie Krzewina.  The Hotel Wausaukee was a boarding house with sleeping rooms, saloon, apartment for the owners and served dinner for its guests continuously from 1889 until 1984.  Rooms were still being billed at $7.00 per night up until it closed in 1984.

    A second addition was added to the north side soon after it was originally built creating the floor space of over 4300 square feet. A four-season sun porch was added to the East side by the current owners increasing the building space to 4500 Sq Feet. One of the Hotel Register books is currently in the Amberg Museum on display and shows various people renting rooms for daily or weekly use.

    Several of building owners came upon owning the structure thru card game winnings. The longest recorded owners were Ted and Hattie Krzewina who owned it for 48 years and maintained it as the Wausaukee Hotel up until one year before selling it to Ann Christofferson, a nurse, in 1985 and it was re-opened by Brian & Ann Hartnell as a Bed & Breakfast for five years.  The building has been completely renovated using color schemes, antique furniture, & wallpaper to maintain the flavor of the past.  It functions as a residence for the owners and is the current location of Graphic Impressions Photography Studio.

     Ted Krzewina is seen painting the porch of the Hotel Wausaukee in the 60's.

    One of the earliest owners of the Hotel Wausaukee was the Menominee River Brewing Company who had to purchase the building in order to sell liquor in the area. Kegs and bottles of beer were brought into the area for consumption from the Menominee River Brewery.

    The Hotel had a beer bar supplied by Menominee River Brewery. Above the four 52 inch display windows of the hotel lobby you can see two original leaded stain glass windows. Two of the original stain glass windows remain today. There was a third stained glass window above the front lobby door that appears in one of the photos above, it is behind the men standing in front of the hotel.  This center window was replaced by a metal panel for some unknown reason. No history was passed on to the owners as to what happened to that window.

    Two of the same large stain glass windows were in the Menominee River Brewing Company Factory in Menominee Michigan. The Menominee brewing company windows were purchased by George Litts, an Antique Dealer. The brewing company windows were destroyed in a fire at the Antique Dealers warehouse years ago.

     The dining hall, where meals were served, is currently used as the studio shooting area. There was a swinging door that lead from the dining hall to the kitchen. A 3-inch hole was bored thru one of the door panels to allow the people in the kitchen to peer into the dining hall to determine if people were done.

    The beer hall was originally in the lobby and then later moved to an adjacent room which is now currently an office. Men drinking in the beer hall had opportunities to relieve themselves either in the small bath below the stairs or the one-hole outhouse in the barn.  Sanding and bleaching the bathroom floor could not totally fix the results of bad aim on the part of the beer hall participants.

    The building had 12 bedrooms up, 1 bedroom down and one and a half bathrooms shared by boarders and the owner's family. Six rooms are currently still available as bedrooms on the second floor and the current owners use 3 former bedrooms for other purposes. Over time some of the smallest rooms were taken out to create an apartment with more spacious rooms.

    Wausaukee Independent Newspaper - December 1, 1900

         Assault with intent to kill.... George Belling, a woodsman, will have to answer to that charge. He pointed a revolver at Charles Giguere's head in the sample room of the Wausaukee Hotel Sunday afternoon. Belling came to Wausaukee Saturday night from Holmes & Son's camp and took on a fair size load of booze.   The next morning, he proceeded to increase the size of his hag, and when he called at the Wausaukee Hotel, he was magnificently skated.  Mr. Giguere, who runs the place, claims that Belling came up to him as he was standing near the bar and struck him.  One thing led to another, with the belligerent Mr. Belling pointing a .38 revolver at Giguere's head. Giguere ducked. Belling was apprehended by Deputy Sheriff B.S. Casterton and thrown in the slammer in Marinette. Later, he was found guilty, fined $25 and court costs ($45.69).  Unable to raise the cash, Belling served his debt to society in the Marinette county jail.

    The Hotel property originally came with a two-story barn just east of the hotel that contained a one hole outhouse, storage shed area with ground and second floor loft storage and a two story section used as an ice storage house, horse barn and then garage. Ice was cut from lakes and transported to the Ice Storage House.  The ice was placed into the ground floor portion of the building on the street side and each layer was covered with straw for insulation. It was then sold a block at a time.  A cistern was located under the barn and has since been filled in and the garage built above it.

    The original heating was done with cast iron stoves which were vented thru the two chimney's. Heat would drift up the stair wells, and grates left in the floors of the rooms above. The wood lobby floor has a stain of the Cast Iron Stove floor plate still evident.

    A stoker coal fired boiler system with radiators throughout the building was later added for more even heating. The stoker bin could hold approximately 24 hours' worth of coal before it had to be refilled. A one pipe steam radiator system heated the rooms, steam went up the pipes and heated large iron radiators and the cooled water would then return to the furnace thru the same pipe.  Water for the boiler system and washing was drawn from multiple cisterns located under the foundation of the barn and hotel. All of the cisterns were connected to the downspouts of the roofs to collect water. Water was then siphoned out of the cisterns using a hand lever water pumps. One was originally located in the kitchen sink of the residence.

     When Ann was at work in Marinette, the auger system supplying stoker coal  to the furnace failed to shut off. This caused the inside of the firebox to overheat to a point the outside of the furnace was glowing. The fire box was destroyed. Luckily Ann arrived after work and checked the system to find the problem and turned off the power to the Auger before there was a total meltdown.  This coal plant was replaced with a new oil burning furnace and then later was converted to a natural gas supply when natural gas was piped into the building.  Difficulty in finding repair technicians to maintain the balance to the old one pipe steam system forced a change to the current copper pipe baseboard hot water system with a high efficiency furnace.

    Every room (25) in the building has been restored since 1985, four roofs were removed to replace it with 35 year sculptured shingles, all downstairs floors sanded and stained, Vinyl siding was added to protect the exterior, seamless gutters, metal clad soffits, new porches on Jackson street side and main street front, two & 1/2 car garage added, extensive landscaping with stockade fencing. Care was taken to maintain the look and feel of an older home but adding many modern touches inside. The entire building was rewired for electric, attic insulation blown in, side wall insulation blown in before the siding, drop ceiling added to many rooms, 12 ceiling fans added for ventilation in many rooms.  The last major renovation was a complete remodel of the kitchen from nonfunctional to modern convenience. The four-season room adds 200 square feet of living space adjacent to the kitchen and offers a buffer from the northeast winds that always made the kitchen uncomfortable.

    Three Beer Bottles in Antique Collection. Three of the brown Menominee Brewing Bottles with corks are on display at the Hotel Wausaukee and were donated by one of Graphic Impressions customers who found them in his basement.

  • Role of Secret Societies in Era


    The Knights of Pythias building was located on the property immediately North of the Monroe Log Cabin on Main Street. The Knights were a benevolent organization with the original chapter formed in 1864 in Ontario Canada. It is unknown as to when the Wausaukee Chapter was formed or when it disbanded. We continue to investigate their role within the community at this time. This organization is still active in the US, Canada and the State of Wisconsin. See their website for information at

    The Knights building was used as a meeting hall/banquet facility and was open to any group wishing to use the building. The full basement had a dirt floor and was used primarily for storage. Local kids were allowed to come to the hall and use their air rifles to shoot target practice in the upper hall. Norm Smith

    The Knights of Pythias building was purchased and converted to a Gamble Hardware Store that was owned and operated by Chet Ryan of Middle Inlet.  Bob & Pat Bastian purchased the Gamble Store business and eventually moved their hardware store to the Laun Bros Store Building on Main and Harrison when it came up for sale in 1967.

    Bob Bastian sold the former Knights of Pythias/Gamble Hardware building to Mike Elias in 1967 and it was opened up as a cabinet making shop. Bank North purchased the building and land from Elias for their new bank on the corner and asked Elias if he wanted to move it. Elias raised the building and moved it to the lot immediately north of the former Hardin Welding block building currently used by Bank North for storage. Elias then continued to run his cabinet shop out of the relocated building.

    Another beneficial order operating in the area during the logging era was a group called the Knights of Maccabees. This group originally was formed in London Ontario in 1878 and eventually made their headquarters in Michigan They offered a death benefit of $1,000 to widows, dismemberment and sick benefits from $4 to $10 per week, and offered insurance to working people from birth to age 70.

    After 1962, although the Order was consolidated with an assurance company, members stayed with the Order as a separate social chivalric entity until the demise of all of the older members in 2000.  It then completely became an insurance company and this chivalric aspect of the Order was revived in 2001. See PDF files explaining secret societies. Many insurance companies were not interested in sales to ordinary people and there was little in the way of "safety nets".  Groups like the Maccabees, Foresters, Woodmen, and so on provided a safety net along with pleasant social meetings and other gatherings.

    America Letters from Wausaukee to Antwerp 1887 - 1937

    "... Louis Slaets wrote to his mother in 1898 that he had been the president of a local assurance company for four years and that they had 75 members. This local assurance company was actually the brotherly society of the Wausaukee Lodge of the Knights (and Ladies) of the Maccabees. The members were mostly ordinary people such as foresters and woodmen. They joined the Lodge as it organized pleasant social meetings but especially because they got, after paying a monthly contribution, sick and death benefits. The Lodge had more than two hundred thousand members in 1896. They converted to a life insurance company in 1962 and changed its name to The Maccabees Mutual Insurance Company.  Dominique Van Rentergem

    The current Knights of Maccabees organization has returned to its original roots and is no longer involved in the insurance business. See the current Web site for details.

    (Wausaukee Independent Newspaper, Jan. 6, 1906)

    "Louis Slaets and Victor Debot went to Crivitz on Wednesday to identify the remains of the late Al Hamilton who committed suicide (by poison). They represented the Knights of the Maccabees of which the deceased was a member carrying $1,000 insurance in the society.

    (Wausaukee Independent Newspaper - Sat, December 21, 1895)

    KILLED AT DUNBAR - Last Friday morning, the Girard Lumber Company's mill was the scene of a fatal accident. Charles H. Sandstone was running the edger when the plank that was being trimmed pinched the saw and was thrown back, striking Mr. Sandstone in the side. The accident happened at 10 o'clock in the forenoon and the injured man lived until 3 o'clock in the afternoon, being conscious to the end. Deceased was 29 years old and leaves a wife, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Debot of Wausaukee to whom he was married a little over a year ago, and one child, an infant. He was a member of Dunbar tent, K.O.T.M., in which he had his life insured for $1,000. He had worked for the company for five years as edger man and was well liked and highly respected by his fellow men and associates who extend condolences to the bereaved wife. The funeral was held at Wausaukee on Sunday, the remains being brought down by a special train on the branch, the Dunbar Maccabees being on board. The Wausaukee Maccabees joined their fellow sir knights in the impressive ceremonies of the order and marched in the funeral procession which was one of the longest ever seen in this vicinity.

    See Secret Societies for additional information about both groups and their founding.


  • The Story of Mc Neely's

    The original Mc Neely building located on the Corner of Hwy 141 and Tyler was built in the late 1800's and was owned and operated as a livery stable by a man called O.H. Herman until sold and re-opened as a Drug Store in 1910 by George L. Mc Neely. George was born in Menominee Michigan on 12/21/1891 and his wife's name was Alva.

    A recollection of the Mc Neely store thru young Hank Laun.

    Rudy remembers tearing down the livery stable building behind the Mc Neely's store when we were doing work behind the alley. There was all kinds of junk in the building along with some horse related collars. Kenny Gocht had to get permission to store block on the McNeely lot because he didn't own it and they were there to clean up the site. Rudy Messar

     When he was young he remembers kids went into the drug store and George used the ice cream cooler in a back room during the Winter to save electricity rather than running the one in front and the back. In the front of the store he had hard candies in large containers with lids. The kids would order ice cream knowing George would have to go to the back room and they would lift the lids on the candy jars and each take a piece of candy out while he was gone. It took a while before George would catch onto what was going on and then he would dart into the back room and come back just as quickly to see if anything was going on behind his back. Norm Smith

    George Mc Neely was tighter than bark on a tree. If you had 50 cents and took a girl there you could get a couple malted milks for 25 cents but it wasn't very thick. We would go down at noon because school was open as long as you got back on time, you could get an ice cream cone for 10 cents. Rudy Messar

    Mitch Wengiel and his wife, Ma Wengiel as she was known to all in the community, purchased the building in the 50 to 60's era. The interior of the building had apothecary drawers stacked under substantial shelving to hold liquors and other bottled/canned items, wood & glass cases for merchandise and the old-fashioned soda fountain with stools and counter on one side and booths on the other. Tin ceilings, a basement with a dirt floor, office/storage addition and a second floor for a merchandise storage area. Mitch was also an engineer that came with experience from down south of the state with Water & Sewer Departments of large cities. He was instrumental in designing the Waste Water Pond System and water/sewer system for the Village of Wausaukee.

    Art Dashut purchased the building in 1989 and started a major restoration of the exterior and interior of the Mc Neely Drug Store building. Outside windows and clap boards were replaced, sanded and restored to original finish, new outside sign painted onto the North exterior wall, signs painted to the front window panels under the glass, Awning erected. A courtyard was developed on the South side using pea gravel, plantings around the base of the building and attractive exterior table & chairs.  The inside floors were sanded to original finish, back wall was removed to open the interior, staircase & bath rebuilt, all walls & ceiling were repainted, ceiling fans installed. The original building became a much more vibrant store with lots of light and charm. It was then re-opened in 1992 as Mc Neely's Gift Shop and operated by two different managers. The first was Barbara Burns and then later came Cathy Mitchell.

     The building has been purchased multiple times with the first owner O.H. Herman, George Mc Neely, Mitch Wengiel, Art Dashut, Tom & Sue Delabreau (Daisy Antiques). Prior to the sale of the building by Art Dashut to Tom & Sue Delabreau, there was an auction of all interior content. The building was vinyl sided, thermal windows installed and upgraded for heating and cooling by the Delabreau's.

     It has functioned in its history as a livery stable, drug store, items for sale include: gifts, soda fountain, fishing supplies, cards, newspapers, magazines, and pipe tobacco products, and Antiques. An auction was conducted to sell off off the internal fixtures and furnishings. The empty building was then placed up for sale by the owner, Art Dashut.

    The building was purchased by Becca Lacoy (Becca's Antiques & Trading Post) and featured antiques, unique gifts, furs and home decor. It was then sold to Nate Gamlin and houses his Realestate Office called Big Woods Realty.

  • The Blacksmith Shop

    The Spangler Black Smith Shop was located in the empty lot east of the current American Legion building on Harrison St. "Mr. "Spangler had his shop in a barn next to his house and the large double doors were always open. We watched him make horseshoes, shoe horses and repair farm implements. His hearth was kept hot by a bellows he worked with his foot or he could use his hands as well. He heated a piece of iron, hammered at it on his anvil to shape it and then doused it in a big water trough. He was friendly to the boys who watched and cheerfully went on doing his work even when we were in the way. Mr. Spangler's son became Marinette County Sheriff." Hank Laun

         After WW II, Spangler retired and sold the business to Joe Netupski, who also lived in the adjacent home just east of the shop. He maintained ownership of the building until the tornado of May 21st, 1958 destroyed the building. JoAnn Netupski said "The tornado hit on a Saturday and Dad had to go to Father Sladek to ask permission to get men to work on Sunday to knock it down because it was leaning toward our house." Johan Netupski is shown in the plaid coat standing in the photo of the damaged Welding shop.

         Harry Hardin had purchased the business from Netupski and was running the welding operation and renamed it the Wausaukee Welding Shop.  Hardin's shop was temporarily set up in a Red Barn on Butternut Street for a few years, just East of the Krist Oil station.

         The Welding shop was rebuilt and then re-opened in the cinder block building on Harrison Street that currently is used by Bank North for storage. It is two lots west of the original Spangler Black Smith Shop. Harry Hardin sold it to Bill Zahorik on a land contract in 1969 and Harry Hardin passed away in January 1970. The new owner only made sporadic payments towards the purchase and the business was eventually turned back over to the family of Harry Hardin in 1972 and the business was shut down.

        The cinder block building was also the home to Jerry's Service from the Fall of 1979 thru the Summer of 1985 when he built his new location on Hwy 141 and moved. The cinder block building is currently owned by Bank North.

  •  The American Legion

    The original Christ & Smith Store property on First Street was purchased by the Wausaukee American Legion. The food store portion of the building was the land developed as the new Legion Building. The older legion building had been renovated some years ago to accommodate handicap access, new roof, new siding and windows. When the Legion purchased the former Blue Delft Liquor Store for their relocation, they rented the old building to the Land of Oz Museum which is owned by former teacher, Gary Parrett.

         The current American Legion building on Harrison street sits on the formerly vacant lot that was west of the Spangler Black Smith Shop.

          Ownership of this building went from the Jehovah's who originally built their Kingdom Hall on this lot. The Jehovah's moved to Hwy 180 and sold the building to Shirley Hawley of Silvercliff and it was re-opened as the Blue Delft Liquor and Restaurant Supply.  When the owner died the building was vacant for a few years until the building was purchased by the American Legion and renovated to its current appearance.

  • Frank Murphy & Murphy Manor

    Built as a rooming house, adjacent to the Old Post Office was a building known as Murphy Manor. Frank Murphy was a large individual that walked around with a big cigar. We liked to follow Frank around because when he bought something, he pulled a huge roll of bills with a rubber band around it from his pocket. Hank Laun

         The owner, Frank Murphy, built a navy-blue canvas covered walkway from the front door to the sidewalk making this establishment more inviting and attractive from the street.

         The Murphy Manor building was later owned by Helen & Wally Bereza and became the Doll and Button Museum.  The fabric on the sidewalk canopy was long gone but the metal frame for the fabric was still intact on the property. As the Doll and Button Museum the house was filled with over 50,000 buttons in baskets, barrels and bins and numerous antique dolls.

         The bar that Frank Murphy owned is on the property just north of where Murphy Manor was located. The original log building is on the foot print of the very North of the Newingham Supper Club that includes the small lunch room, bathrooms, and the hallway to the larger banquet hall in the rear.

         Rollo's Restaurant was opened in 1983 and over the years increased the size of the restaurant going south and was the largest supper club in the Village of Wausaukee for years.

         Built in 1884, the log cabin bar has gone thru 12 owners and so many renovations that the original buildings has been totally replaced over time. See the PDF listing the former owners and dates of their ownership.

  • Photographer's History

    Peter Bogrand born in 1847, married Rose Mathilde Greenwood in 1869 in Oconto. They migrated to Wausaukee after his Photography Studio was burned to the ground on June 1887 in Marshfield, Wood County. The Fire started in a local sawmill and progressed to destroy 250 businesses and almost wiped out the city of Marshfield.

         Four samples of Peter Bogrand's portraits are shown above, individuals have not all been identified. Notice the Studio name and City/State in the lower right/left corner.

         They had two children, George E (1874 - 1942) of Wausaukee and Hermina (1881 - 1900) of Marinette. His studio location within the village has not been determined at this time. George E. Bogrand Sr. was the owner of the Wausaukee Independent Newspaper.

         Records show that there was a photography studio located for a time within the Flat Iron Building. It is unknown who ran it and in what time frame it was open.

         Graphic Impressions Photography LLC was located in the Hotel Wausaukee building from 1991 until Dec 31st, 2015. The building was purchased originally by a nurse, Ann Christofferson. She married Brian Hartnell and they restored the buildings and grounds.  They opened a full-service photography studio within the south and northeast sections with a residence in the rear upper and lower levels. Brian received his degree in photography in 1971 and worked as an Industrial/Marketing photographer with Snap On Tool Corporation of Kenosha for 10 years, the Ansul Company of Marinette for 10 years and then started his studio in Wausaukee in 1991.

  • Early Immigrants

    Louis Slaets, his wife Joanna and their children in front of their first house on 1 Maple Street in Wausaukee. They arrived in our town in 1892. A letter he wrote to Belgium explains some of the conditions of the area. 1903 Letter

    Louis Slaets family studio portrait taken to share with family members.

         The Victor Debot Family in Wausaukee, they lived in the south part of Wausaukee on 3 Maple Street.

         The only jobs available in Wausaukee were as lumberjacks and sawmill workers. Living in this modest log cabin the Emil Everix family dreamed of opening a bakery in Wausaukee.

  • Views of the Street Scape

    Dirt roads were the main thoroughfare with horses and wagons hauling logs, equipment and people. Logs were piled next to the tracks for pick up by train. Wausaukee's population in its logging heyday was measured at 1,700 inhabitants. People used board walks to travel from store to store and stay out of the muddy streets.

    1907 view pointed southwest, shows the original Smith family home (Small white house in center) and to the far right the original Parsons Funeral Home. The succession of owners include: Parsons, Bunker, Morasky, Mike & Coral Messar and now Anderson of Stephenson MI. The business has been upgraded and enlarged over the years by the Messar's to improve service with their office in the adjacent home to the Parlor. Current operators are Mike and Coral Messar of Wausaukee.

    To draw business to the area, the downtown held Booster Programs to generate excitement and sales for the local merchants.

    On Third street, the building at the end of the road was owned by Henry Laun and he ran a bean snipping business where people were paid to cut off the ends of fresh wax and green beans. The store front on the left is unknown, the house north was Bud Payant's, next house was a Weiting, and the house at the end of the block was Vernon Smith, Norms brother.

    Third Street Bean Snipping Business: We hauled beans and I remember it to this day. Every time I look at a can of beans on a shelf I get a backache. Dam, when I picked them beans on my hands and knees and I would fill the bag to the top, the guy would do two shakes of the bags and the beans would fall half way down and he would say now fill it. Rudy Messar

  • St. Augustine's Role

     St. Augustine Church is the only structure still standing in the photo on left looking west. The Rev Charles Hoogstoel served as the first parish priest from the beginning until August of 1889. The Rt. Rev Monsignor John Augustine Selbach constructed the church in September 12, 1889 for $208. Eighteen priests have been assigned to the parish from 1889 until 2009. Just right of the church is the church's school. Over 100 nuns from the Sisters of   St. Dominic, Racine, have been assigned to the church school as teachers during its history.  The church established a convent in 1906 adjacent to the old Catholic school and rebuilt a new Ranch style building completed Feb of 1961 to house its nuns. The Catholic school was in operation from 1906 thru 1970. Rev John F McLaughlin was parish priest for the longest period of time, from Sept 1966 until June 1999.

    60 page document created for the 1989 Centennial: 100th Anniversary Celebration Of St. Augustine Parish - PDF Download

  • Presbyterian Church History

    The Wausaukee Presbyterian Church was organized June 14, 1889 and the first services were held in the school until a church could be built. The first church was built in 1890 and a parsonage was constructed in 1895 on land purchased by the church. The congregation outgrew the church building and a new church was constructed and dedicated in 1925.ated in 1925. See PDF article written about the church in our 1987 Wausaukee Centennial Issue.

    View and save the 100th Anniversary Directory created in 1989 for the centennial of the Wausaukee Presbyterian Church.

    When I was young this town was divided religiously, Catholic's couldn't date Presbyterian. If you wanted to date a girl of a different faith, the father would meet you at the door with a gun. We met the girls at the McNeely drug store, took them to a show and then returned them to the drug store. We would follow them from a distance to make sure they got home safe. Years ago after a funeral there was a lunch at the catholic church and low and behold all the Baptist, Presbyterian ministers and Catholic priest were sitting down and breaking bread. Everything seemed to change for the better and there were no more divisions by religion. Rudy Messar

  • Before Prohibition

    The main street view shows Laun Brothers Store on the left and in the distance to the rear right, you can see the smoke stacks of the Bird and Wells saw mill.

    Site of the Silver Slipper Saloon is currently the Wausaukee Thrift Shop which is the retail outlet for Wausaukee Enterprises. This building was the former 2nd home of Smith's Grocery Store for one year and was rented for $25 month until the sale of the building to Frank Pozniak forced Smith's to move to another building and the Silver Slipper Bar was born.

    Wausaukee Independent July 20, 1901

    If the 3,282 barrels of beer received here were equally divided among our people, each man, woman and child would receive annually about 800 glasses of beverage. As a number of our good people do not drink (beer) at all, while some of us just nip at it occasionally, it can be plainly seen that someone is getting more than his share.

    "While there are at least a dozen people in town who do not drink beer, still we will count them and estimate the population at 1,700 inhabitants. These figures are authentic and do not lie." Wausaukee Independent News

    The view of the main street as seen looking from the south east in 1910 shows the sparse roadway leading up to the Hotel Wausaukee in the far background, the silver Slipper Saloon in front of the hotel on the left and another store as yet unidentified in the immediate front left. The Northwoods Traditions building on the right has gone thru a succession of businesses over the last century. It was originally Wilgus Grocery /General Merchandise store, Halstead's Grocery & General Merchandise, then became a shoe store, then Perry's auto parts supply store, a liquor store, then a silver smith called Desert Rose and she created her own jewelry and sold tourist gifts and finally to the current owner running Northwood's Traditions offering fudge, furniture, antiques and artistic gifts.

  • History of the Grocery Business

    Amos Christ and George B Smith owners of Christ & Smith General Merchandise. The former grocery building was located on the corner of Monroe and 1st Street which is west of Hwy 141. The original store also had one of only two gas pumps for 10 miles. The main grocery building has a large coal burning stove in the basement to heat the two buildings. The ware house on the right was used for merchandise storage on the upper floor and coal storage and refrigeration on the bottom floor. George bought out Amos and his son Norm went into business together in 1931 as Smith's. Norm took over from his father in 1936.  Peshtigo Times Article

    Expansion forced a move to the building location where the WE Store now resides. The photo shows the The building had been vacant for 8 years and Norm Smith was able to rent it for $25 per month. Smith's was open at that location for one year and the building was purchased by Frank Pozniak of Crivitz.  Pozniak turned it into the Silver Slipper Bar forcing Smith to find another building for the grocery.

    Smith's grocery then moved across the street (North-later known as Pete's Sports Shop and Marcusen's Wausaukee Saw Shop) for a rental of $10 per month. The building was owned by a Mrs. Sody who was an in-law of Norm's barber in the area. She was a resident of Amberg. Norm Smith called her one day and said "the roof leaks in our building and she replied my roof leaks in Amberg too so go ahead and fix it yourself."

    The Sody building was later sold to Pete Grochowski who ran a sports shop and it was sold to Loren Marcusen in 1969 and he ran a sport shop and The Wausaukee Saw & Sales until moving his operation to a new building just east of the old one on Van Buren.

    Norm Smith later purchased the property's where the current North Country Reality Building and adjacent Radtke home are located with the intent of building a grocery store. Norm Smith was approached by Roy Gustaveson about potentially purchasing Roy's building rather than building on the new land because Roy had mental health problems (Alzheimers) and it was a better site for Smith's store. Norm and Roy met for about 2 hours and Norm agreed to pay $35,000 moved his store in 1956. He sold the two lots he had purchased to Ernie Wise for the same $7,000 that he paid for them.

    Roy Gustaveson's new International Harvester dealership replaced the Monroe Log Cabin. After WWII farmers bought many implements to replace those that had worn out during the war. However, business soon dropped off and Roy closed it down and sold the property to Norm (Boisey) Smith. Smith turned the implement dealership into a a self-service supermarket. The store prospered and greatly affected the grocery business at Launs, Payants, Weilgus, Ledvina and Tarltons.

    The former Gustaveson store location has gone thru two renovations. There was a home originally built by George E. Bogrand Sr. located on the lot that the newest addition was added. That home had been the residence of Fred Naud up until the acquisition of the property. The building lumber was sold for $1.00 and was demolished to make room for the second addition.

    The Smith family then sold their store in 2012 to Sal & Paula Sorvello who currently run it as Sal's Foods.

    An artifact souvenir plate from the original HP Christ store was placed into Ebay Auction on 1/2010 from a seller in Oregon. The photos indicate that it was sold thru the HP Christ Store in Wausaukee WI for a holiday season promotion.

  • Groceries in the 40's to 50's

    At one time in the late 40's to early 50's there were six grocery/meat markets within the downtown area. Laun's, Payant's, Ledvina's, Smith's, Wilgus and Tarlton's. All were competing for the same food markets.

    Laun Bros is now Gocht's Hardware, Payants is Stumbris Plumbing, Ledvina is currently going under renovation, Smiths Hwy 141 Grocery, Wilgus is Northwoods Traditions, and Tarlton's is Jerry's Venison Processing.

    Charlie Payant's (Catholic Grocery Store) was about the size of today's typical convenience store. When Charlie died, his oldest son, Bud, took over the store and sold it when he retired in the late 70's to Steve Stumbris who used it for a plumbing shop. The store is still occupied by Stumbris Plumbing. Bud was stationed in Australia during WWII and brought home an Australian bride.

    "Ledvina's market was brick with two big bay windows in front. George Ledvina was a portly, friendly person who had his wife, Mary, and son, Butch, help in the market. The market had a bakery of sorts. The market got its meat from Ledvina's farm south of town, across from the Laun farm." Hank Laun

    "Weilgus store had groceries, work clothes and work shoes. The Weilgus were Polish, attracted many of the Polish community and spoke in fluent Polish when talking to customers. Their motto was "We've got it, we'll get it, or it isn't made." Weilgus sold the business to Halstead when they moved to Pulaski." Hank Laun

    "The lot next to the town hall was empty until the mid 1940's when Marion Tarlton built a new brick meat market together with Nots Kadunc. Before that it was used as a Town Square. There was a large open well topped with a wooden cover that was used by the fire department. The village Christmas Tree was put up here every year and the town folks gathered while Adam Pleckinger, dressed as Santa, gave hard candy and peanuts to the kids. Then everyone sang Christmas carols--Catholics and Protestants together." Hank Laun

    Jerry's Venison Processing building was built by Marion Tarlton and sold to Ignatz (Ike)  Kadunc, then to Phil Orlando & Rudy Messar (17 to 18 years) and finally to Gerry Wojcik in 1966. All operated a grocery and a meat market within the building. This building was demolished to allow the construction of the Dollar Store in 2012.

  • Roy Gustaveson's Service

    The Royal Crown Gas Station was owned by Roy Gustaveson and had a service manager called Salamanski who managed the station and pumped the gas. The station took on the mechanic Cletus Christ who formerly worked for the Kaiser/Frazier Dealership when it closed. The original building had an exterior stall that cars drove up on and the mechanic worked from the bottom of a pit. The station expanded by adding a two-level garage and is across the street from the Hotel Wausaukee, A & M Heating and Cooling is the current business operating out of the building. The north original granite building was demolished in 2012 for the new showroom. All granite parts of the original building were used as a retaining wall along side of the buildings north hill.

  • Telephones and Autos

    Telephone service came to Wausaukee in 1902 with the incorporation of the Wausaukee Telephone Co. by E.F. Fox  and C.R. McNutt. The service was unreliable due to the problems with weather and cables  and became financially unsound. It was sold to the Amberg Telephone & Telegraph Company in 1904. Old magneto phones were  common with party lines sometimes sharing as many as 18 subscribers. The building was located between  Hoovers Bar and Marquis Style Shop.

    Much needed improvements were made in 1946 by the new owner Bob Keating, who brought his expertise from the Army Signal Corps which included dial service.

    In June of 1969 The Amberg Telephone & Telegraph Co. combined with several others to form Central Communication Corp. (Cencom, Inc.) Keating served on the executive board as Vice President until his retirement in 1983. The phone service and offices were moved from the smaller building to the building that now houses Decor Products Plant 2 between the WE Store and the Hotel Wausaukee.

    The present office and service garage building was constructed in 1984 and operations were moved in to the new building that same year. PTI (Pacific Telecom Inc.) purchased the Cencom Company in 1983, in 1997 Century Telephone Enterprises completed the buyout of Pacific Telcom, Inc. and renamed it Centurytel. In 2009 Centurytel purchased a company called Embarq and renamed the business CenturyLink.

    The first digital switch was installed in 1982 and the conversion from mechanical switching to digital switching was completed in 1986.

    Services offered are Broadband and Telephone communications. Location of the building is on Hwy 180 and Cedar Street, Wausaukee.

  • Jehovah's Witnesses Relocation

    The former Melchoir Shoe Shop was owned by Pete Melchoir and was located in the parking lot area where the current hair stylist called Salon 615  is located. Pete lived in the back of the shop and it is unknown at this time when and how long his shop was open. The empty building was purchased by the Jehovah's Witnesses in 1943 and converted to their Kingdom Hall for worship.

    This location was used by the Jehovah's Witnesses thru 1960 and they built their new hall on Harrison Street. This Harrison Street site is west of the former Spangler Welding/Harry Hardin Business that was destroyed in the Tornado of 1958.

     This new Kingdom Hall was occupied by the Jehovah's Witnesses from 1960 thru 1986 when they built their third hall on Hwy 180 and Cedar Street. The Harrison Street building was sold to Shirley Hawley who built the Liquor Store/Restaurant Supply called the Blue Delft. When Shirley passed away, the building became vacant for a time and was then purchased by the American Legion who renovated the building and use it as their meeting hall.

     The third Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall was built in 1986 and is located on the corner of Cedar Street and Hwy 180.

    This building was owned by Knute Anderson who also supplied slot machines to bars throughout the area. In 1905 slot machines were outlawed and all bars closed in the Village of Wausaukee and this building was used for storage of the slot machines. We are currently looking for additional information about the use of this building.

    The former Wausaukee Essex Car Dealership. Hudson's Essex were sold from 1919 until 1933. After 1933 the Essex name was dropped and the car was sold as a Taraplane model under the Hudson name. The name of the owner and time this business was in operation is not known at this time.  Essex Motor Cars

    Knute Anderson owned a cigar factory producing the brand Lavengo Cigars. He was known for walking around constantly with a cigar in his mouth. Joe the cigar maker and three other workers, including Mary Noha, hand rolled the Lavengo Cigars and they were sold all around Wisconsin and HG was one of their regular customers.

    Just east of the Knute Anderson Cigar Factory and across the street was the Frozen Meat Locker storage building built by Sep Collier after WWII. It was made of cement block and was kept at freezing temperatures and contained lockers that could be rented to store frozen foods. People would keep their deer meat and butchered animals in the lockers until it was time to eat. When home freezers became available to the public in the early 1950's, the Cold Meat Locker went out of business. No pictures are available.

    This building was the former home of Wickenberg's Garage and later his Kaiser/Frazer Car Dealership. His mechanic was Cletus Christ who later went to work for Gills Pure Service. Kaiser/Frazer Motors

    The garage serviced many a car owned by members of the Wausaukee Club. We always stopped by for sure when we could see a Packard or a Cadillac being serviced and spent a lot of time arguing about which one was best. Kids were allowed to roam around the garage and watch the mechanics work on cars. After getting his new Kaiser dealership he sold his first car without fenders to Chet Ryan. Hank Laun

    The building is located on Hwy 141, the lot north of the Hotel Wausaukee and currently the home of Decor Products Plant #2.

  • Beginnings of the Fire Department

    The Independent - Wausaukee 6/2/1902: Town of Wausaukee Fire Fighters were given a new Waterous Gasoline Fire Engine to enhance the volunteer firefighter's ability. One large 12 x 20 foot well dug to a depth of 10 feet has been completed to supply water to the engine. The engine did very well on the test, throwing a stream of water though 500 feet of hose and over the high pole in front of J.C. Hubbard's Saloon. The fire engine house is located south of the town hall and shelters the engine, hose cart and other equipment. A second well is scheduled to be dug south in the Village. There is no established fire department at this time and calls were made to form one now that they had the equipment.

    Norm Smith remembers the first fire engine and recalls the unit didn't always work so when they got to the house there was a good chance it would burn down due to the unreliability of the fire unit. He said they replaced the water unit with a chemical firefighting unit and that wasn't much better.

    Wausaukee School Fire of 1913

    1908 street view with an unidentified boy on a horse, newspaper clipping identifies location of multiple buildings in the downtown area. Who is the boy?

  • Bird and Wells to Shut Down

    View of the Village of Wausaukee in 1908 overlooking the Bird & Wells Lumber Mill. The Village appears to be prosperous but the lumber era was starting to wind down as the cost to ship product became more expensive.

    In 1910 it was announced that Bird & Wells Lumber Company will be   merged with the J. W. Wells Lumber Company of Menominee Michigan.

    Because of freight costs and economy of producing the product in a larger Menominee market, the Wausaukee plant will be shut down and all employees will be offered better jobs at the new plant when it is finished. This led to the realization that farming and dairy cattle would be the main source of work in the area.

    Businesses over the years that were created include, pickling station, blueberry production, curtain hanger extension maker, sheep farming, bakery, broom factory, land sales, potato crops, theatre, soda pop production, a distillery, cigar factory, black smith.

  • Miscellaneous Businesses

    Underwoods Log cabin and saloon was one of many Saloons serving a thriving business. In 1901, 3,282 barrels of beer were shipped to the village via rail and on some occasions the supply simply ran out. The building was renovated by the Rollo's and then expanded by the current owner as Newingham's Supper Club.

    Patrons at the Underwood saloon include: Left of the chain handler is Henry DeGroot, wearing the bow tie is Adam Pleckinger, to Pleckinger's right is Anton J. Edlebeck, extreme right is Barney DeGroot, Carl Degroot has moustache and brimmed hat.

    In 1917 the McNeil and Libby pickling station stood where the current Ranger Pharmacy is located today. Ownership passed to the Bond Pickle Company of Oconto and the last known owner was a local named John Alsteen. There were five or six big wooden vats filled with brine. The vats were two stories tall and went into the basement with about two feet exposed above the ground floor. The cucumbers picked in the fall were stored in the brine until they could be trucked out to be processed at the main plant in Green Bay. The factory was only in use for a month during the cucumber harvest when Joe Alsteen weighed in the gunny sacks full of cukes and gave the farmers a receipt.  Joe Alsteen's shoe repair shop was located on the property south of the old telephone exchange building on Main street. It is represented by the empty lot adjacent to Marquis Style Shop.

    The former GG's Restaurant was the original site of the Bond Pickling Station. This building was originally built by a family that operated GG's Italian Restaurant. It was then sold to Kelli Zeutzuis who ran it as a local restaurant but later sold it to Rich Wainwright for his Tile and flooring showroom. It was sold in 2009 to the Crivitz Pharmacy and is currently vacant.

    Directly behind the pickle factory across the railroad siding was the cement Warehouse. It had been an old country school that had been purchased by HG and moved to this location primarily to store cement and wallboard. One end of the building was shored up with 4 by 4's on concrete pads.

    Next to it was the Coal Shed also owned by HG that had a concrete floor with several bins for storing different types of coal (anthracite-hard coal, soft coal in chunks, briquettes, or stoker size). Al Huempfner shoveled the coal onto the delivery truck, then weighed the truck on a big truck scale built into the concrete floor to determine the charge to the customer. At the customer's location, Al hand shoveled the coal off the truck into the customer's coal bin.

    Wausaukee Tire Shop and adjacent building were located on the site where the Village Post Office and the Byron Marcusen home are currently. There were not many gas stations around at that time and the Ford dealership had a single pump outside the building. A Mr. Parsons owned the Ford Dealership in town.

    Jake Freedman owned the Jake's Dry Goods store with an apartment above and the adjacent store was a Ladies Apparel shop. The store was located on the site where the former Silver Slipper bar and current We store is located.

    Interesting story supplied by a local resident about Jake's Store which appears in the first Photo. Jake hired a sign painter from Marinette to paint the advertising on his store. Jake wanted it simple but the painter, being paid by the letter, wanted to add a lot of text. Jake made it very clear that on the front he wanted Jake's Store, that's all! And left for the day, hence the sign. The painter did not get paid but said it was worth it. Jake had an apartment above the store. Jake felt it was such a funny story, he left the sign the way it was.

    During a conversation with one of his customers, Pete Marquis was discussing what may have been here on his lot before he purchased and built his shop. Things found in the dirt as they were excavating were bottles with Sinkey Soda clearly labeled. It was interesting to find intact bottles on the site. The customer also told Pete that at one time there was a bar called Bucket of Blood located on the site he was planning on building his shop. Alan Van Pae was the owner but no information is available about the bar and time frame it was open for business.

    Tom Lubinski's Cheese Factory was a family operation with Tom and one of his four sons and one employee making cheese 7 days a week. The building was located on Fairgrounds road and Cedar Street. Each day the truck driver would pick up fresh milk from the local farmers, the cans would be weighed and the price was set for the farmer after testing for butterfat content. A by- product of cheese making was Whey, it was placed into a large tank, transferred to a truck and sold to the farmers as pig feed. No Photos are available.

    Behind the Evergreen Park was located the Wausaukee Creamery locally known as the "butter factory". It was run by Polly Polomis and was off limits to Kids. The photo above indicates the Wausaukee Cooperative Creamery and is unknown as to location or information about the person in the photo.

  • Laun's General Merchandise Store

    Henry G. Laun was manager of the Laun Brothers Sawmill, served as president. He was also director of the bank and was postmaster from 1899 until 1908. He owned and operated a large general store in the village, which was the largest store of its kind in any of the towns or villages in the county. The wooden Laun Brothers Store and Warehouse suffered a direct hit in the Tornado of May 21, 1958 and a new brick building was constructed as its replacement. The Laun Bros Store officially closed in 1967 ending an era in Dry Goods Stores in our area.

    I was outside getting something from my freezer and it was very quiet. I looked up and saw the funnel cloud so I went back into the building to get shelter. I looked over to the Gamble building and saw the windows bulge out and break all over. Ferd Laun was across the street and had a kitchen set out and I saw his windows bulge and the chairs were picked up and then later found in Stephenson MI. I always wore a paper hat while cutting meat and the hat got blown off my head. After the storm, Ferd Laun came over and said I got something for you. A customer said she wanted a baby buggy so I went up to the shelf and went to grab it and your hat was up on the shelf. The wind had sucked up my hat and laid it on a shelf in the Laun store. Rudy Messar

    The building was purchased by Bob Bastian and run as the Gamble Store until Gambles went out of business. Bastian then changed franchise and the name changed to Bob's Hardware Hank Store until he closed the hardware store and created four suites and an apartment within the space. One of the suites run by Bastian was The Cone Corner Ice Cream stand which became hugely popular. Bastian sold the Cone Corner business equipment to Judy Engelmann and she created the Ice Cream Station at the south end of the village. Another hugely popular business serving sweet treats.

    The former Laun building was sold to Ken Gocht,  who was the adjoining building owner, he remodeled the interior into three business suites. The former apartment was remodeled to house the Wausaukee Public Library's new location in November of 2009. Many improvements have been made to update the library's book capacity and technology which will now be central to the down town district.

  • History of the Wausaukee Schools

    The first Wausaukee Public School built in 1903 was at a cost of $8,000, Furniture and equipment was $2,000 and insurance and building contents    was $7,500. It burned down in 1913 in the early morning hours. Before Fire crews were called at 4:15 Am the flames had reached the roof and the fire was uncontrollable. All property including the donated 2000 library books were destroyed. Until the new school was built, St. Augustine's church allowed the 5th and 6th grade students to attend school in the parochial school building. Seventh and Eighth graders met in the Knights of Pythias building and high school met in the Bird & Wells store building.

    The replacement school building was brought up in a special election with 221 residents voting to bond the town $20,000 for its construction. The    1915 school, also made of brick and was built on a lower elevation location. The original central building was built at a cost of $24,000 and in later years, to accommodate growth, expanded with two additional permanent buildings and several temporary school rooms.

    In 1995 the former school was sold at auction by the Wausaukee School District to the highest bidder.  The property was not maintained by the absentee owner. During the ensuing years the structures central roof failed and collapsed, the adjacent building roofs leaked and suffered severe water/mold damage, all buildings suffered from vandalism and eventually all the building became unsafe. All structures on the site of the former Wausaukee School were demolished and cleared in 2010 for future development by the Village using a Newcap stimulus package grant. Much of the steel, cement and brick of the former school has been set aside to be recycled.  The wooden gymnasium wall/ceiling beams were reclaimed for another building. The foundation was filled and surface prepared for the next buildings foundation. The adjacent former Shepard Hotel was also removed during the demolition. Two double occupancy townhouses were constructed to replace the Shepard Hotel as a part of the Newcap Grant. The former school land will be deeded over to the Village of Wausaukee for future development.

    The current school is located in the town of Wausaukee on a new site built at a cost of $7.5 million. It was designed as a one-story building housing Elementary and High School classrooms. The building is unique with its bermed outside walls to assist with energy conservation. The Elementary & High School student bodies are divided by the large gymnasium, cafeteria, auditorium and Multi Media Library Center. This directly separates the two school groups yet allows all students to share the common facilities. Surrounding outside areas offer multiple baseball diamonds, football stadium, parking on three sides and the elementary playground. Two interior gymnasiums accommodate Elementary and High School Physical Ed and sports programs. A recent addition to the school was a fully functional Green House located just outside the North East corner of the school.

         Located within the Wausaukee High School, the NWTC Northwoods Regional Learning Lab is a sign of the growing partnership between rural school districts and their communities and NWTC. Northwoods Regional Learning Lab offers courses in automotive, welding, nursing assistant, and practical nursing programs.  All courses can be applied to a degree program within the NWTC System. Additional programs are being added to the curriculum as the need arises. Development of these programs are helping to fill positions in the shortage of people available and trained in the trades.

  • Recreation Building and Pond

    The Wausaukee Recreation Building was constructed in 1929 and housed a 4 lane bowling alley, basket ball court, banquet facility and unfinished hotel room areas on the second floor. The owner/developer, Ed Kunke, ran into financial troubles and could not complete the hotel portion. This was the second identical building for this developer and the first building was located in the Chicago area. The building was used for proms, parties, and weddings. The Wausaukee Fair also used the interior and exterior grounds for their yearly County Fair until the permanent location was established on Fairgrounds road.

    Several people leased and ran the complex but it was later sold to a group called the Albertian Brothers who wanted to run a sanitarium under the auspices of the Catholic Church. The Brothers were not recognized as a religious arm of the Church and the plan failed to materialize. The building was torn down in 1967 to make way for the Evergreen Plaza apartment complex.

  • Village/Town Campground

    In 1901, H.P. Bird donated to the village the site that is now occupied by its public campground. The former pavilion and band stand were the gift of the Woman's Club of Wausaukee. The campground offers RV/tent camping w/hookups, Volley ball, basketball, tennis, 3 picnic pavilions, playground equipment and a toilet pavilion. The Evergreen Campgroundsis currently co owned and financially operated by the Town and Village of Wausaukee. See Village / Town for details and additional photos. Upgrades to the park facilities have been donated by local nonprofit organizations.

    The former Bird & Wells log pond north of the Recreation Building served as the Village of Wausaukee beach and swimming area.  When the mill closed, H.G. Laun purchased the site and in 1927 donated it to the Village. The beach area was equipped with sand, low and high diving boards. During the winter the pond also was used for ice skating. There is a newer dam built in 1930 on the outlet portion of the pond operated and maintained by the village. The pond's dam contains a fish chute to allow native fish to pass the dam and continue on thru the Wausaukee River which is the ponds water source and a Class 2 Trout Stream.

  • George E. Bogrand

    George E Bogrand Sr founded the Wausaukee Independent Newspaper in 1895 at an annual subscription rate of $1.50 per year and printed from the small white building on the left. The first two copies were given away free to spark interest in the community. The paper was printed once a week and delivered on Saturday morning. 38 microfiche reels cover the entire run of the newspaper from 1895 thru 1943 and are available to view at the Wausaukee Public Library.  Peshtigo Times Article

     George E. Bogrand Sr. during his life was Wausaukee Postmaster (18 Years), President of Wausaukee State Bank (1913-1934), member of the Telephone Co. Board of Directors, and a director of the Wausaukee Board of Education. George died in Apr 1942. His son George Bogrand Jr. continued to publish the paper but did not have his father's business experience. Several people tried to keep the paper going but the paper eventually closed.

    Wausaukee had a free public library and reading room that was sponsored by H.P. Bird. It was housed in a building belonging to him and when he sold the building some years later to George E. Bogrand Sr., Bird donated the books and reading materials over to the high school. All reading materials donated were lost in the school fire some years later.

    George E. Bogrand Sr. moved his printing operation from the small adjacent building to the upper floor of the new building and opened the Wausaukee Post Office on the bottom floor after being appointed Postmaster. The former printing building was then torn down and George E Bogrand Sr. built a home on the lot.

  • Banking History

    The Wausaukee State Bank (Currently Bank North) was organized in 1901 and began operations in 1903. The door of the vault had not arrived yet but this did not dampen the enthusiasm of the Wausaukee Community. The first days deposits were $1,183 and within three days increased to $12,000. In 1933, the Pembine-Wausaukee Bank evolved when Wausaukee State Bank consolidated with Pembine State Bank. In 1943 a branch was opened in Crivitz. The bank is currently known as Bank North and also has branches in Amberg, Pembine and Goodman. The tellers in the bank photo are R.B. Ellis as cashier and Roy Riley as Assistant Cashier. The bank building moved from the two-story brick building to its present site which was the former Knights of Pythias/Gamble Store building location.

    October 7, 1922 Wausaukee Independent Newspaper

    Burning their way through the door of the vault of the Wausaukee State Bank early Sunday morning, burglars carried off $142.71 in cash and the contents of 35 safe deposit boxes. The burglars used an oxy-acetylene torch, burning a panel out of the bottom of the vault door of sufficient size to admit a man. The robbery was discovered by cashier P.O. Winther who went to the bank early in the morning. He immediately telephoned County Sheriff Doberstein, who promised to come to Wausaukee in the afternoon, but failed to keep his appointment.

    The tenant on the second floor of the bank building was Dr. Thomas DDS (Dentist). Doctor Thomas worked alone, no nurse, no receptionist. His office smelled like anesthetic.  There was no worse fate than to sit in that chair and watch the whirring belt driven drilling machine while Doc drilled out the cavity and filled it, usually without Novocain. Hank Laun

    When Doc Thomas retired, Dr. Dowdell took his place.  In 1942, he had Dr. Rose, who also had an office on the second floor, give my sister Ruth Sodium Pentothal to put her to sleep so he could pull two teeth. Unable to wake her they sent her to the Marinette Hospital in an ambulance where she recovered. I still remember hearing and seeing the ambulance racing south on US 141 while our gang was out near Tracy's farm. We wondered who it was; I found out later when I got home that it was Ruth. Dr. Dowdell later sold his dentistry business to Dr. P.P. Knorr. Hank Laun

  • War - Bands - Baseball and Soda

    World War I doughboys from local area made the paper. They include Frank Shields, Anton Forst and John Edlebeck but are not specifically identified in the photo. Victor Everix returns to work in Wausaukee Bakery.

    The boys in the band posed in 1917 for this photo taken in front of the Bert James barber shop. which was located next to the Knights of Pythias hall on the east side of Main St. Some of the participants can be identified from Left to Right Back Row:  #2 Lewis Polomis, # 4 Bud Londo, #5 Pete Polomis, #6 Roy Riley, #7 Andrew Payant. Front Row from Left to Right: #2 band leader Matt Pelnar, #3 Bert James, #4 Austin Christ, #5 Frank Martin, #6 Vernon Hallenbeck, #7 Seth Ferdon, and extreme right is Loren Nowell.

    The Wausaukee Black Diamonds used to thrill crowds from far and wide. In this pre-1915 photo Heiman Cody stands far left but none of the other players are identified. The grandstand used to be on High School Hill.

    The 1921 Wausaukee baseball team. Baseball has been one of the more popular sports in the area and it continues to grow in popularity with the improvements made to our Ballas Park Ball field thru the local Baseball Association.

    The bottle is clearly labeled Frank Sinkey, Wausaukee, WI but there is no official date as to when the soda was manufactured or distributed throughout our area. Several Sinkey Soda Bottles were found in the excavation during building of the Marquis Style shop in 1973.  If you start on Hwy 141 at the Bowl and go East on Monroe until you hit Cedar, the lot in front of you (Novak home) is where the Sinkey Soda Factory was located. Frank Sinkey was the owner and his son Reinhart also worked in the factory with his father. Bottles of red soda sold for 5 cents each. No time frame is available about when the factory was in operation or how many flavors may have been produced. "Norm said if as kids, you would help around cleaning up in the factory, he would give you a bottle of soda."

  • Prohibition

    April 15, 1905 Chairman Thompson outlawed slot machines in saloons and all were removed. The anti-saloon forces won a victory by 4 votes to make Wausaukee dry. The vote was 122 for licenses and 126 against. On June 30, 1917 all taverns were closed.

    Wausaukee Independent Newspaper - June 14, 1924

         Sheriff Oscar Dahl with his deputies and Federal Prohibition Officer Thomas Martin swooped down upon several farms south of Wausaukee, near the very famous "Moonshine Hill" Friday and conducted one of the most successful raids recorded in these parts. At the Charles Engelmann farm they confiscated 60 gallons of moonshine whiskey. Engelmann was arrested and taken to Marinette where he admitted having manufactured the illicit liquor and he was bound over for trial in Circuit Court. This is the biggest capture of whiskey ever made in the county.

    Wausaukee Independent Newspaper - July 23, 1927

         Charged respectively, with reckless driving and being drunk and disorderly, D.W. Babcock and W.J. Owens, both state prohibition officers, were arrested Sunday afternoon in Wausaukee by traffic officer Gabber.  When arrested the men were in a car which they were driving in a manner that interfered with traffic. The "wet" dry officers claimed they had visited several places in Wausaukee that day and purchased moonshine in a number of them.  It was evident by their actions that the prohibition agents had consumed considerable of the evidence they had gathered in Wausaukee, for Owens was barely able to walk when ordered to get out of the car.

  • Wildlife and access to it

    Wausaukee Ranger Station just north west of the Wausaukee River Hwy 141 Bridge on County C as it appeared when the new bridge was built. Gravel and dirt logging roads were the typical roads into the Wausaukee wooded areas allowing access to hunting and logging. Hunting was always a means to subsist for families and evolved into a very popular tourism related activity.  This area had a natural abundance of deer, bear, fish, and bird available from the vast tracts of wooded areas that are still dotted with lakes and rivers. The regulation of those resources were handled by DNR Offices that were spread approximately every 10 miles along the highway and in the Marinette area. Each had foresters, wardens and office personnel to monitor/sell hunting/fishing licenses and registration duties in their respective areas. These services have now been consolidated and moved to the Peshtigo Office and the smaller community buildings/shops now only house forestry, warden, fire and other offices that do not have customer service areas.  The shops can be seen in Wausaukee, Niagara, and Pembine .

        Forest to Farm and back to Forest:  Cutover Country explains in story form the sale of harvested timber land for farming, the character of the people that tried to farm the area and the hardships endured in making a living from such difficult stumpage land.

        Most of the soil that represented the harvested timber land was not suitable for farming and would not sustain a crop. The eventual replanting led to the State and County parks we know as public lands and the park system which contributes to our tourism economy today.

         Dynamiting of the timber stumps allowed the clearing of the former forest lands to sell and promote farming in the area.

  • Bakery Owners in 1910

    After years of hardship in logging camps, Emile Everix and his wife, Mary Debot, were able to realize the American Dream. They owned not just one bakery in Wisconsin, but a chain of them.

         Bakery owner Emile Everix, now a prosperous man, with a party of family and friends, in his Studebaker coach back in 1925.

    (Wausaukee Independent - July 10, 1920) Felix Wittock Buys The Wausaukee Bakery

    Emile Everix Will Give Up Possession of the Property Saturday.

    Emile Everix, who some time ago bought a bakery at Chilton and moved his family to that place, has disposed of his Wausaukee bakery to Felix Wittock who will take possession of the property on Saturday.  Victor Everix expects to remain with Mr. Wittock until the new proprietor masters all the secrets of the art of fine baking.

  • Train Station and Traffic

    The C.M. & S.P. Railroad hauled passenger and supply trains thru the depot many times a day during the logging era. It was the main mode of transport for product leaving or coming to the village.  Eight Passenger trains came to the village a day and Freight trains went thru on the average of once every 20 minutes. After the logging industry moved east the amount of rail use diminished. Passenger trains eventually stopped coming to the area and freight trains currently run approximately 1 or 2 times a day.

    History of the lumber freight trains covering the territory from Marinette, Dickinson, and Florence Counties shows the interconnection of rail lines to move the lumber from the camps to the mills and then to the final market.

  • The Settlers Day Picnics

    Independent Newspaper clipping with photos showing another settlers picnic at the Menominee River with local residents in 1919.

         Each and every person who has ever called Wausaukee "home" has made a unique and lasting contribution to the history of this place.  The Settlers Day Picnics were a celebration for the common man who built this area up with their sweat and hard work ethic.

         Dynamite was used extensively to remove stumps from the land. Sales men would set up demonstrations at the Picnics so that all could see the power of the Dynamite for removing large stumps. Once the stumps were dynamited the horse teams were attached by chain to pull out the remaining debris.

         The book Cutover Country explains in novel form the land clearing of the former forest areas to convert to agriculture use. The term Cutover Country referred to the wholesale logging off of the original forests and the land was then left full of tree stumps. The land was then sold cheaply to unsuspecting investors who thought the land would be good for farming.

  • Marinette County Fair

    The Marinette County Fair was originally established and property leased from the Village of Wausaukee for 99 years on the site where the Immanuel Baptist Church is currently located within the Village. The Fair was also allowed to use the Recreation Building interior space for several years to house displays and set up events outside the building.

        The current Fairgrounds area was built east of the Recreation Building (Currently Evergreen Plaza & WPS buildings) and on Fairgrounds road bordered by the Wausaukee River and Cedar Street. This became the permanent site for the fairgrounds.

         The fair is usually held at the end of August just before the opening of school. The fair features, live bands, 4-H horse competitions, livestock and domestic animal displays/awards, food vendors, truck pulls, tractor pulls, demolition derby's, carnival rides, booth displays, photo and food competitions, and paid booth displays from merchants.

         Marinette county board members attending the Potato Growers Institute sometime before 1915 in the Village of Wausaukee.

         The colored fair poster was mass produced by the Amusement company supplying the rides for a local fair. This poster represents the typical design we would have seen in the 50s thru the 60s for this type of advertising.

  • A Break through in Service Stations

    With all companies thru history, the Standard station that started has evolved thru Corporate changes from Standard, to Amoco and currently the BP trademark.  It has remained a service station throughout its history with only changes of ownership.

    Wausaukee Independent Newspaper: March 14, 1925 Wausaukee is to have a new business this year which should prove of vital interest to the automobile owning public. With the price of gasoline steadily advancing and a tax of two cents a gallon to be placed on it the first of April, it is very gratifying to learn that we are to have the benefit of a price reduction when A. R. Parsons and R.D. Lenininger establish a Standard Oil filling station here.

    Other stations include Roy Gustaveson Service (A&M Heating & Air Conditioning), Texaco Service (Eric's Service), and Sinclair (Ice Cream Station), Mobil (Mosher Service).

         The station on the corner of Van Buren and Hwy 141 is Parkins Mobil Service. They had the sign of the Flying White Horse and it was owned by Elmer Parkins. It was a thrill getting gas there and watch him turn the crank to fill the large glass tank above the pump with gasoline and then let it gravity drain into the car. My dad filled his 1930 Chevrolet for 10 cents a gallon. While I was a freshman in High School Hibbard Engler came from Crivitz and bought the station. He made some marvelous improvements, like installing an indoor toilet with running water and building a grease pit so he could grease cars. He also added a lunch room on the north side--we called it "Ma Engler's" and spent a lot of after school time there eating hamburgers and french fries and drinking cokes and coffee (5 cents a cup). Behind the station, Englers built a house that was the talk of the town--it was built with cement blocks right after W.W.II, which for Wausaukee at least was new technology. Hank Laun

  • People & Homes of the Era

    1. Harlan P. Bird  - was born August 2nd, 1838, the son of a Smithfield Pennsylvania farmer. His partnership with J. W. Wells was to benefit the community with its successful logging operations. H. P. Bird was very involved in community projects throughout his life. In 1902 he was elected to State Senator and served two four-year terms. Bird was married in 1869 to Sarah J. Fairchild who died in 1904. His married his second wife, Laura D. Mott of Danville ILL. in 1906.

    2. H.G. Laun - Owner operator Laun Bros. Lumber Co. Some time prior to 1915, HG purchased a full block enclosed by 1st street on the east, Church Street on the west, and Van Buren on the North.  He built his home in 1915 on the Northeast side of the block, fronting First St. The house was remodeled in 1920. The building was sold in 1965 and eventually burned down in 1972. The former Frank and Pauline Orlando home is the current location of the old Laun home.

    3. H.P. Christ

    4. Amos Christ - Co-owner of Christ & Smith Grocery. Home is currently owned by June Caine who with her husband Pat, restored the Victorian Home to its original condition.

    5. Knute Anderson - lived with his three daughters, Tantie, Lorraine, and Sidone, in a large stucco house painted tan. Knute always walked around town with a cigar in his mouth and a huge roll of bills in his pocket. Knute owned a slot machine business and his Lavengo Cigar factory.

    6. George  Bogrand Senior -  George E. Bogrand Sr. during his life was Owner Editor of the Wausaukee Independent Newspaper from 1895 till his death in 1942, Wausaukee Postmaster (18 Years), President of Wausaukee State Bank (1913-1934), member of the Telephone Co. Board of Directors, and a director of the Wausaukee Board of Education. George died in Apr 1942. His son George Bogrand Jr. continued to publish the paper but did not have his fathers business experience. Several people tried to keep the paper going but the paper eventually closed.

    7. John Monroe - Built in 1883 by John S. Munroe, the log cabin was one of three original buildings that made up the community of loggers that started what would later become the Village of Wausaukee. Monroe shipped timber, cedar posts, pilings and railroad ties from this tiny community. The Log cabin served as a boarding house, hotel, post office and the only eatery north of Green Bay for many years.

    8. Ferdinand H. Laun - The house was purchased by H.G. Laun for a residence. It was originally built as a blacksmith shop in the 1890's with two stories and a basement. It was later converted to a two flat with an apartment on the main level and one on the second floor.

    9. Gil Gustaveson - Owner of the Gustaveson Royal Crown Gas Station on Hwy 141 across from the Hotel Wausaukee.

  • Former Doctors in the Area

    1. Dr Bell & Anderson - The Independent - Wausaukee 10/21/1905: On the site of the F. C. Miller's drug store is the location of the Wausaukee Emergency Hospital which opened as an experiment in January 1905 by Dr.'s Bell and Anderson, the doctors will expand their hospital by adding one story to complete a ward sufficient to handle 25 beds. Contractors Louis Slaets and N. M. Toutloff started the work this week and it will be rushed to completion. The demand for the medical services has exceeded their capacity forcing them to expand.

    Five private rooms are available as well as the ward when completed and there will be a staff nurse, Miss Wangberg from Marinette, on site upon completion of the ward.

    Two forms of tickets are available, and they report a good sale of the $10 tickets, which entitle the holder to medical and surgical treatment and board, whenever disabled by sickness or accident at any time during one year after the ticket is issued. A monthly ticket is also issued upon payment of $1, which entitles the holder to medical or surgical treatment. Agents for the hospital are now selling the tickets to woodsmen in the camps and quite a number have been sold to residents of the village.  The actual physical location of this site has not yet been determined

    2. Dr. Ulysses Morton Horswell - Their home and office were next to the Stumbris Plumbing/Payant Grocery Building and burned down some years ago, to be replaced by a Habitat for Humanity Home. Dr. Horswell was the town medical doctor and had a course grip when he checked my throat and a maniacal laugh that was pretty scary; he was a scrawny little guy with a short beard, stained teeth and always smelled of tobacco. His office smelled like a mixture of antiseptic, formaldehyde and stale tobacco smoke. Dr. Horswell was also the County Health Officer.hank laun

    3. Dr Thomas - Lived with his wife Alma and was the local Dentist in the area. His office was on the second floor of the bank building. Doctor Thomas worked alone, no nurse, no receptionist. His office smelled like anesthetic.  There was no worse fate than to sit in that chair and watch the whirring belt driven drilling machine while Doc drilled out the cavity and filled it, usually without Novocain. Hank Laun

    4. Dr. DiSalvo - The former HP Bird Residence was purchased by Dr. DiSalvo and was located where the Wausaukee Dental Office now stands. He was in his early 50's and had earned his way thru medical school as a professional boxer.  His wife was Evelyn and they both raised her five children from a former marriage. His fees were $2.00 for an office visit and $3.00 for a house call. Complaints were raised when he increased his office visits to $3.00.

    5. Dr. Alice Lee - Was a local medical doctor until her retirement. Her clinic was run up at the building adjacent to the St. Augustine Catholic Church which was the former Nuns quarters.

    6. Dr. Supita - was brought in to do general dentistry and the building that currently is our dental office had been built for that purpose. Dr. Supita vacated the dentistry office after a dispute with the Village and a new dentist was sought to fill the Wausaukee area needs.

  • Current Medical Services in the Area

    7. Dr. Bradly Romanesko - Our dentist runs his Wausaukee office from 9 am to 5 pm Wednesdays and is located at 1009 Riverside Ave.  His main office is in Marinette, WI. The building was built by the Village of Wausaukee for a Dental Clinic. The first Dentist to occupy the building was Dr. Supita of Crivitz and was later replaced by Dr. Bradley Romanesko.

    8. Wausaukee Medical Clinic - is located at 536 Kenny Drive off Hwy 141 in Wausaukee and is affiliated with Dickinson Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain, MI. They currently offer Family Practice, Exams, Diagnostics, Physical Therapy and lab work for the area.

  • Wausaukee Evergreen Cemetery

    Located on Fairgrounds road approximately 1/2 mile east of the Marinette County Fairgrounds property. Established in 1890 by John S Monro, the founder of the Village of Wausaukee, after his daughter Sara died in her infancy.  Cemetery records from the earlier years were destroyed in a fire leaving some of the earliest grave site locations undocumented.

         The cemetery has been expanded several times. The current active section is to the North and  is being used up before the expansion to the west field which was donated by Marinette County.  For interesting stories about the cemetery click onto the link below.

        Stories of the Graveyard PDF.

         Gravestone Photos produced by Larry & Linda Kopet on theUSGenWeb  Archives Project. Touch the link for the USGen Web Archives Project to go to the web page.

         PDF Printable List of all gravesites included in the USGenWEb Archives Project for Wausaukee Evergreen Cemetery.

  • 8/19/11  F-1 Class Tornado Hits Wausaukee

    National Weather Service announced a Tornado Warning at 4:30 pm for the Wausaukee Area, kills one and misses population areas.

    The National Weather Service at 4:40 pm indicated a swirling wind formation was spotted north west of the Wausaukee area and a tornado warning was being issued.


    "Brian Hartnell quotes"

         The sky North of the  Wausaukee area was very dark at 4:30 Pm as I looked North to turn onto Hwy 141 from my Jackson Street Location. I just assumed it was a normal thunderstorm coming into the area by seeing the dark sky.   As I traveled South on the highway toward Middle Inlet, I heard the radio warning issued by the National Weather Service.


         Ginny Taylor was at the School entrance location at the time the storm was hitting the trailer area/Bucks Recycling. The wind was quite strong and was making the car feel as if it was going to lift off the highway.  She continued south away from the swirling winds. Her photo was snapped from the Village of Wausaukee facing North. In the background it appears to have traveled to the east side of the Highway by the time the picture had been taken.


         The EF-1 Tornado carried a wind speed of 105 miles per hour and the outlying areas to the funnel were in excess of 86 mph. The tornado path covered a distance of approximately 7 to 8 miles. Heavy rain was forced horizontally from the wind speed and was mixed with hail intermittently. Trees were snapped off, uprooted, limbs broken, leaves and debris was scattered across the entire Village. The tornado path came east from the Long Lake area just north of the village limits approximately just outside the elementary school fence line and continued East across the road going in the direction of the Ballas Ball Field. The high winds did their share of damage by uprooting hundreds of trees along the 7-mile path and within the village limits with four homes having trees fall on their roofs. Most debris and uprooted or snapped trunks fell onto open property areas not damaging structures. There was a fair amount of debris covering streets from the winds.


         One fatality was recorded from the uprooting of a trailer on the Bucks Recycling property. Douglas Brem was inside the trailer when it was lifted and turned over crushing him within the structure. Brem had recently moved to the Wausaukee Area and had been a resident only about a week.


         Power to 2000 residents of the Wausaukee area was disrupted from 6 pm until restored at 1:00 am for most residents. Pockets of power were out for approximately 200 residents until late Saturday.


         Northwoods traditions lost a sign panel from their overhead sign, the two tents with aluminum tubing for the farmers market near Hoovers were all on the ground, a tree was downed in the park with a lot of debris covering the pavilion areas.


         The heaviest structural damages were to Bucks Recycling center, the 4 trailers on the lot, School perimeter fence line, various homes throughout the Village, and the Ballas Ball Field. Hundreds of trees were uprooted or broken off throughout the 7-8-mile path.


         Evidence of damage could be seen down Highway 180 from Wausaukee to Bear Point Yacht Club. Much of the damage consisted of snapped off trees, uprooted trees and broken limbs with debris scattered across the road. On the Northwest end of town along Old 38 you could see considerable damage in the tree lines and the actual path of the tornado by the bending and breaking of the trees in the direction the storm was traveling.


    Additional News Articles see History page for these PDF's:

    Peshtigo Times - One Dead, Buildings Forsests lost

    Dave Schneider - Green Bay Press Gazzette PDF

    Dave Martin - Iron Mountain TV 6 Reporter PDF

    Nikki Younk - The Daily News PDF