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People of Rusk County, Wisconsin / History of Rusk County, Wisconsin
(1983)

[Rusk County],   pp. 5-12


Page 8

The CR&M Ry. was sold to the Beldenville
Lumber and Veneer Company in 1902. The new
owners were from Hudson, Wisconsin and a new
sawmill and veneer plant was built at Humphrey
Station on the east bank of the Chippewa River op-
posite Bruce. The name of the little community
was changed to Beldenville, which is where the
new owners previously had their sawmill.
Their lands were logged off (hardwood, hemlock
and remaining pine) by 1910 and the mill ran saw-
ing logs off the Tony and Northeastern Ry. from
north of Glen Flora from 1910 to 1912 when the
sawmill was lost to fire and not rebuilt.
In 1900 the Arpin Hardwood Lumber Company
built a new mill at Atlanta on Mad Brook (now
Devil's Creek) one and one-half miles north of
Bruce and built 18 miles of logging railway that
ultimately ran north into Sawyer County through
Exeland. This logging railway was called the Chip-
pewa Valley and Northern. From about 1908 or
1909 they had a Stover Motor Railbus for
passenger service. This line roughly paralleled the
CR&N, but was east of it. This railroad was a key
in the development of Exeland, and the name Ex-
eland came from the appearance of the Diamond
crossing put in by the Wisconsin Central as they
built northward from Ladysmith to Superior in
1907. The CV&N went out of business in 1918
when their sawmill at Atlanta burned. The
railroad connected with the Soo Line at Bruce.
In the late 1890s John Hein bought hardwood
north of Deertail and in 1901 he built a railway to
haul logs to his mill at Tony which had been Deer-
tail but was renamed for his son. This was called
the Tony and Northeastern Ry. The Hein mill was
a sawmill and a stave and heading mill for the
manufacture of wooden barrels. This operation
lasted until about 1918. This caused Tony to grow
and to prosper. The rails on this railway were used
by the contractor who built the Big Falls dam to
haul in the machinery for that dam about 1920.
From 1909 to 1912 the Beldenville Lumber and
Veneer Company cut and hauled logs off the
Beldenville spur of the Tony and Northeastern Ry.
which was built eastward off the upper end of that
line going north of Glen Flora.
In 1898 Switzer built a sawmill at Glen Flora
and a short logging railroad was built north of
Glen Flora called the Glen Flora and Northern to
bring in his logs. It seems that this railroad had no
equipment, so probably used rented Soo Line
equipment throughout its lifetime. It discontinued
about 1901 when Switzer sold his mill to H.W.
True, a lifelong pioneer resident of Rusk County.
In 1901 the French Lumber Company at Ingram
sold out to Ostrander and he built a logging
railroad north of Ingram for some eight miles to
harvest hardwood and hemlock timber that he
Ingram Lumber Co. # 1120 Russel Cars, McGriffert Loader. The only McGriffert in Rusk Co. 1907.
owned there. The French Lumber Company had
sawed mostly pine. This operation, the logging
railroad, that is, lasted until about 1909 when most
of the uncut timber land was sold to the Flambeau
River Lumber Company of Ladysmith.
About 1909 the Crane Lumber Company
started up about seven miles north of Ladysmith
and built a logging railroad off to the northeast of
the little village of Crane. This operation was sold
to the Fountain Campbell Lumber Company of
Appleton, Wisconsin, who had built a new mill at
Ladysmith in 1917 after moving up from Donald,
Wisconsin in Chippewa County. This railroad
operation got to be of considerable size with some
four locomotives and ran until the mid 1930s,
although under Bissell's ownership after 1928. The
line went into Sawyer County and logged a lot of
hardwood and hemlock in the area of the head-
waters of the Thornapple River. Here the camps
were supplied by train with material being carried
in the caboose.
Just east of Crane there was a heavy grade going
westward and the locomotive had to "double" that
hill with log trains.
By about 1910 regular flatcars with a double
tier load were used. The earlier railroads usually
used 20-foot Russel type skeleton log cars.
All of the logging railroads used steam log
loaders, the first such loader being on the old
CR&M Ry. All types of log loaders were used by
the various companies and the Arpin Hardwood
Lumber Company even used their Phoenix steam
hauler to pull loaded sleighs up ramps onto
flatcars.
The Owen and Northern Ry. (mill at Owen,
Wisconsin) had several branches in Rusk County
and a lot of Rusk County hardwood and hemlock
was logged, hauled and sawed by them. The O&N
Ry. was even the contractor for the building of the
CR and M #3 north of Appolonia about 1892
Wisconsin central from Owen, Wisconsin to
Ladysmith in the years 1905 and 1907.
The Stanley, Merrill and Phillips Ry. built
northward in the early 1900s to Polley, now
Walrath. This railway lasted until 1933 as a com-
mon carrier, although its original owner, the
Northwestern Lumber Company, with a mill at
Stanley, Wisconsin, had sawed out and closed in
1920.
From 1904 to 1924 the Menasha Paper Com-
pany and the Great Western Paper Company
(after 1920) had a spur off the Soo Line west of
Ladysmith to haul pulp to grinding pulp plants at
Port Arthur and the Thornapple dam. This route
was seven miles in length. They had two
locomotives. For reasons unknown this operation
was called the "White Ox and Western."
Because of these railroads, a number of towns
grew up and with the end of the railways, some
have died. These include Horsman, Strickland,
Deer Lake and Apollonia on the CR&M and
Log Loader
CR<sp0t> Atlanta on the CV<sp0t> Crane on the
Fountain Campbell line; and Walrath on the
SM&P Ry.
The   Flambeau  River Lumber Company,
Ladysmith, had a switch engine at the mill, but it
did not railroad log as such.
These logging railways got out the timber and
did, indeed, lead to the development of Rusk Coun-
ty. They were fascinating operations and they did
their job quite well for about 50 years. This
material is a condensation of "Logging Railroads
of Rusk County, Wisconsin" by R.C. (Doc)
Brown.
THE OLD CHIPPEWA
ROAD
About 1876, logging contractors for the Chip-
pewa Logging and Boom Company began to stay
in the woods over summer. They remained to care
for the oxen and horses that could not very well be
sent back to the settlement around Chippewa
Falls. This meant that they must construct a road
over which a load could be hauled during the sum-
mer. Supplies had to be brought in for the families
who remained to care for the oxen and horses, and
those who cut marsh hay, which was found in great
abundance along the streams. The marshes were


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