RIB LAKE LUMBER COMPANY NUMBERED LOGGING CAMPS –

Following purchase of RLLC by U.S. Leather Co. on 3/23/1906

By Robert P. Rusch

Updated to September 10, 2017

© 2017 by the Rib Lake Historical Society, LLC

Abbreviations:  RLHe = Rib Lake Herald                                            

                           RLLC = Rib Lake Lumber Company  

                           SN = Taylor County Star News

The source of information used in this list is from the Rib Lake Herald, unless otherwise indicated; where a date stands alone, eg. 10/10/1937, it refers to the date of publication of the newspaper.

Camp #

1st & Last date of newspaper coverage

Length of Operation &  Foreman

Newspaper coverage

        

Comments

1

11/2/1906 – 4/5/1912[1]

12/7/1917 (tracks removed)

11/2/1906 - Tony Klister

RLHe 11/2/1906: "The RLLC now has 4 camps running.  Tony Klister is the foreman of #1, Mark O'Malley of #2, Angus McDonald of #3, and John S. Kennedy and James McDonald of #4.  Each camp has about 60 men.  Some wood work will be done in these camps next winter if the weather is at all favorable."

RLHe 12/7/1906:  The Marshfield News says "the many rumors set afloat at the time the Upham Company sold their mill and Athens tract of timber to the effect that the mill would be moved away seems to have little foundation.  The News has no further authority for making the statement than what was told it this week by a prominent businessman of this city.  He said he had gotten his information directly from the purchasers of the plant.  It is hoped the truth of the story is well founded and there are many reasons to believe it is.  The property is now owned by the US Leather Company and should they decide to manufacture into lumber the tract of timber purchased with the mill at Marshfield, it means many years of continued sawing.  The Roddis Lumber and Veneer Company also has sawed at this mill an annual cut of 1 1/2 million feet of lumber brought here over the Goodrich branch of the Central.  

NOW IT STRIKES US AS RATHER QUEER THAT IF THAT MILL IS TO BE KEPT IN OPERATION AND SUPPLIED BY TIMBER FROM THE DIRECTION OF ATHENS, THAT THE RLLC IS BUILDING TRACKS RIGHT TO THE HEART OF THIS TIMBER AND EXTENSIVE PREPARATIONS TO HAUL IT TO RIB LAKE."  (emphasis added)

RLHe 12/14/1906: "William McGorge spent a few days at Camp 1, the guest of Tony Klister, James B. Aylesworth, and Duncan McDonald, before his departure for Merrill.  Tis sad to leave us, William, as the part you held as a true and faithful friend amongst us was the most sincere.  And the vacancy in our charming circle caused by your leave shall be difficult to fill.  But remember, William, you are always welcome back in Rib Lake, which will have the jolly and glad hat extended to you at all times, for your smiles bring sunshine and good cheer that never can be forgotten - a friend in Camp 1."

RLHe 2/22/1907: "Tony Klister has finished all railroad work at Camp 1 and is now laying steel on the new Wood Lake branch with his crew."

RLHe 12/7/1917:  “Anton Klister, section foreman of the RLLC, is in Athens with a crew of men who are taking up the old track owned by the RLLC.  The job will take about three weeks.  The crew is living in boarding cars while on the job and one of the company’s locomotives also is there. The rails will be used on the new track, which will be built by the company next summer into their timber east of Rib Lake, about 20 miles in length…”

LOCATION:  As of 2/15/2015, based on a partial field examination made 12/2012 by R.P. Rusch and Rick Harding, the location of Camp 1 is believed to be in the SW NW 29-31-4E, Lincoln County; (see map 17069A; NB-to date no camp foundation, nor well, nor extant features noted; the site has been severely degraded by past gravel operations.)  Wooden posts, “bents,” from the Camp 1 railroad line were clearly seen in the Rib River.

MAPS:

PHOTOS:

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

Note: Camp 1 was among the first four camps begun in 1906 when the RLLC was purchased by the U.S. Leather Company. It is an unusual camp because it was located far from the Rib Lake mill and not connected to the Rib Lake mill by steam hauler or the RLLC railroad line. Rather, its logs were transported by rail from the camp near Goodrich through Athens, Abbotsford, Medford, and Chelsea to the Rib Lake mill on the Soo Line, Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie railroad track. This necessitated using tracks of the Athens & North Eastern and Soo Line railroads.

A Soo Line valuation report, Doc. #12401, reported that by 1915 the railroad tracks serving Camp 1 were in disuse, grown over by grass and "the bridges burnt". This probably is a reference including the 80’ long bridge over the Big River River.  Camp 1 had closed prior to 1915 but the exact date is lost.  

For an explanation regarding the movement of logs from Camp 1, see 17251.

See map 8-16-2013, Doc. 17250, showing 12 mile distance “as the crow flies” between RLLC Camp 1 and sawmill.  See map 8-17-2013, Doc. 17250A to show 50 mile actual railroad route over the Abbotsford & Northeastern and Wisconsin Central railroads between RLLC Camp 1 and Rib Lake sawmill.  

As of 8/17/2013 there are no known photographs of Camp 1.

In 2014 the Soo Line Historical and Technical Society published a 3-part article on the Abbotsford & Northeastern Railroad, which included extensive coverage of Rib Lake Lumber Camp 1.

2

11/2/1906 – 3/20/1908

2 years

11/2/1906 - Mark O'Maley:        

#2. 10/4/1907 - John S. Kennedy

RLHe 11/2/1906: "Tony Klister has finished all railroad work at Camp 1 and is now laying steel on the new Wood Lake branch with his crew."

RLHe 11/2/1906: reported:  “The Rib Lake Lumber Company now has four camps running.  Tony Klister is the foreman of No. 1, Mark O’Maley of No. 2, Angus McDonald of No. 3, and John S. Kennedy and James McDonald of No. 4. Each camp has about sixty men.  Some good work will be done in these camps next winter if the weather is at all favorable.”

Doc. #11894 is a reprint of the RLHe 12/27/1907, with the following poem from Camp 2:  

On the steam-hauler line,

Where Con Curran dines

With a  crew of 82 –

Where lies are very few;
One day Little Pete,

With a team very fleet,

His bark-jumper

Well loaded each trip.

Twenty-eight and a half cords of bark he did skidd

All in under the whip.  Anonymous

RLHe  1/24/1908 ran the following poem from Camp 2:

We are a jolly set of fellows,

Who work in No. 2 –

They give us lots of grub to eat

And lots of work to do.

They also give us checks;

To cheer our hearts you know;

But they don’t propose to furnish board

For those who go below.

We are going to stay until the spring

And then we’ll have a lump,

For this is where we really log

And we log right from the stump.

We have the hauler on our line –

The best that’s ever been –

We take nine loads in a bunch,

But have got stuck with ten.

We whoop her up from six till six,

And then our work is done.

We have our troubles just the same –

Some folks they think it’s fun.   J.B.A.

RLHe 3/20/1908: “Tuesday morning of last week the log hauler of the RLLC, which has been hauling logs from Camp 2 all winter, a distance of 6 miles, hauled 13 loads of bark aggregating 150 cords. This is said to be the largest train load of bark ever hauled by a locomotive of this kind and all persons interested, including representatives of the Lumber Company and the Phoenix Manufacturing Company [of Eau Claire, Wis.], who built the machine, were on the ground to see the unusual spectacle.  The locomotive pulled the monstrous load with wonderful ease.  Photographer Brown took a picture of the train, and although he was obligated to focus his camera against the sun, the pictures promise to be good.  We understand there is enough timber tributary to Camp 2 to employ a large crew and the steam hauler another season." (Emphasis added; this report of 13 sleigh loads of tanbark being pulled by the steam hauler appears reliable; to date it is the largest number of sleighs behind a steam hauler known to RPR as of 2/22/2015.)

LOCATION:  As of 8/17/2013 the precise location of Camp 2 is not known. Ted Dietzler located the camp along Wood Creek in the SW SW 9-32-3E.  Frank Erdman located Camp 2 approximately one mile east of Dietzler’s location; Erdman believed Camp 2 was in the SE NE 10-32-3E; see #17252.

MAPS:  

PHOTOS: A spectacular photograph of RLLC Camp 2 is image #13348.  A possible photograph is at image #10397.

See Photograph #10792, which an unknown prior source labeled “U.S. Leather Co. Camp #2, Township 33 North, Range 2 East, Section 33, Jim Hedrington, foreman”; this may be a photograph of RLLC Camp #2.

An additional probable photograph of Camp 2 is #12089 from the Chester Curran/Harry Curran collection; it appears to depict the last three buildings shown on the Bertha Rusch photograph #13348.

SPECIAL COMMENTS:

RLLC Camp 2 was serviced by steam hauler, not railroad.  

The late Walter Wilhelms pointed out the following to RPR in 1980:  the east-west route of the steam hauler ran between the SE and NE forties of the SE ¼ Town 32 North, Range 3 East.  The remains of a water hole that provided water for the steam hauler can be seen there approximately 100 feet west of Peche Drive.

Note the paragraph reporting that Camp 2 is 6 miles from the Village of Rib Lake by steam hauler. It took the steam hauler ice road about 3 miles to reach CTH C.  This means Camp 2 was, at most, 3 miles east of CTH C.

Camp 2 was among the first four camps created immediately after the purchase of the RLLC by the United States Leather Co.  

The steam hauler from RLLC Camp 2 could and did pull 9 sleighs of logs but not 10.  NB-tanbark was lighter, the steam hauler pulled up to 13 sleighs loaded with tanbark.  

3

11/2/1906 – 1/31/1908**

less than 1 year

11/2/1906 - Angus McDonald

RLHe 11/2/1906:  “The Rib Lake Lumber Company now has four camps running.  Tony Klister is the foreman of No. 1, Mark O’Maley of No. 2, Angus McDonald of No. 3, and John S. Kennedy and James McDonald of No. 4. Each camp has about sixty men.  Some good work will be done in these camps next winter if the weather is at all favorable.”

RLHe 1/4/1907: “Owing to the repeated disappointments in regard to the Christmas entertainment at the Christian Church, it was arranged to give the children of the Sunday school a sleigh ride.  Although the roads were heavy, still the night was ideal and the 5 mile drive to Camp 3 was a most enjoyable one.  Mr. Dignan and "Ollie" provided a cordial reception at Camp 3."

RLHe 1/4/1907: Camp 3 is 5 miles by sleigh from Rib Lake.

RLHe 1/31/1908: "Camp 3 of the RLLC, where about 40 men are employed, broke up on Wednesday and the men were laid off.  All the skidding was finished and there was nothing else to do.  We learned that the men laid off were mostly from the vicinity of Dorchester and no Rib Lake men were laid off."

LOCATION:  The location of Camp 3 was authoritively determined in 2013 when RPR called Dorothy Willner, nee Franz; Dorothy grew up on a family farm on the SW SW 22-33-3E.  She said she was positive about the location of Camp 3 on the farm: her parents repeatedly told her the location was there and, more importantly, she routinely saw a depression in the cow pasture where the camp well had been filled in.

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

In the summer of 2013, RPR visited the site with Dorothy Willner, found the depression, which is consistent with the camp well, and extensively photographed the site.   The well site is approximately 200 feet north of the old RLLC railroad right-of-way and 150 feet east of Franz Avenue.  This location is consistent with the report of the Rib Lake Herald on 1/4/1907 that Camp 3 is 5 miles from the Village of Rib Lake.

The camp location information by Dorothy Willner is consistent with the following information from Ted Dietzler:  the late Ted Dietzler located it on the current Elmer & George Franz farm, the SW SW 22-33-3E.  That quarter-quarter is bisected by the Wood Lake main line of the RLLC logging railroad.  See map #17219, a copy of the 1947 United States quadrangle “Rib Lake.”  

Camp 3 was among the first four camps constructed by the RLLC following its acquisition by the US Leather Co.  See Rib Lake Herald 11/2/1906: “Each camp has about sixty men.”

As of 8/17/2013 there is no known photograph of RLLC Camp 3.

SPECIAL CAUTIONARY COMMENT: Photo #10791 is a spectacular photograph of the camp crew standing on top of a camp barn building; this is not a picture of a RLLC camp; the printed text beneath the photograph reads “Osburn Lumber Company’s Camp #3.  Duncan A. McDonald, foreman, Rib Lake, Wis., February, 1901.”  While the W.A. Osburn Lumber Company eventually changed its name to RLLC, the photograph predates the name change.  More importantly, this list is intended to provide information on the RLLC camps started following the takeover the RLLC by the US Leather Co. on 3/23/1906.  

4

11/2/1906 – 11/14/1913

7 years

11/2/1906 - John S. Kennedy & James McDonald:                  

#2. 7/21/1911 - Robert Aitken

RLHe 11/2/1906:  “The Rib Lake Lumber Company now has four camps running.  Tony Klister is the foreman of No. 1, Mark O’Maley of No. 2, Angus McDonald of No. 3, and John S. Kennedy and James McDonald of No. 4. Each camp has about sixty men.  Some good work will be done in these camps next winter if the weather is at all favorable.”

RLHe 2/22/1907: Railroad track to Wood Lake laid.

RLHe 8/30/1907: "J.J. Kulstad, G. Smith, August Lietzo, and the editor visited James McDonald's camp and spent a few hours at Wood Lake last Sunday.  We were surprised to see the order and cleanliness in the camp and the cook shanty and the hospitality of Ole, the cook.  Mr. Kulstad, unable to resist the temptation, cast a line in the lake a few times and pulled out 7 big bass.  Mr. Smith's automobile is a hummer and covered the distance of 9 miles in 30 minutes."

RLHe 5/15/1908: "The [forest] fire in the surrounding woods became menacing Saturday and watches had to be placed at several points. At Camp 4, the RLLC lost 20,000 feet of logs on skids and the fire damaged some green hardwood timber.  At one time the fire came close to the village limits on the east and west sides."

RLHe 12/25/1908: "August Carlsen, a young Scandinavian from Minneapolis, had both bones in left leg below the knee broken in Camp 4, of which James McDonald is foreman, last Friday.  Dr. Allen set the bones and the unfortunate man is staying at the Commercial House where he is receiving good care.  He and another man were cutting down a tree and when the tree fell it rebounded from another and the stump hit him across the leg."

RLHe 4/29/1910: "James McDonald will be foreman of Camp 4 again this summer."

RLHe 4/8/1910: Hintz Brothers dam Wood Lake, raised it 7 feet for log drive.

RLHe 5/13/1910: "The RLLC sent a crew of men to Camp 4, near Wood Lake, to fight the forest fire which is said to have endangered the camp yesterday.  Walter B. Patrick, the Walking Boss, was at Athens and a telephone message brought him back in a hurry.

     T.R. Begley, Shipping Clerk for the RLLC, looked after the company's business at Athens on Wednesday."

RLHe 5/20/1910 #4 foreman, James McDonald, quits. Hugh McMillan new foreman.

RLHe 7/22/1910: "The first trainload of logs from Wood Lake was brought in Tuesday morning."

RLHe 10/21/1910: "Charles Talbot is scaling logs at Camp 4."

RLHe 11/18/1910: WOODSMAN IS HURT "Morrin Barclay, a young man employed in Camp 4, had the misfortune to have his right leg and foot smashed Monday afternoon.  He was taken to the hospital at Marshfield Tuesday morning.  It is heard that he will lose his foot.  Dr. Wichman took him to the hospital."

RLHe 12/23/1910: "Jack Bukovich, who received a bad beating in a saloon brawl Christmas eve and was picked up and taken to Scott's hotel, is the innocent victim of race hatred and prejudice, and one on whom certain persons vented their spite for another man's grudge. He was an innocent bystander when the brawl began.  He was unarmed. He has been employed in Camp 4 for the past 7 months, it is said, and is one of the most peaceful fellows in said camp. He has a family of 7 in the old country and last week received word that one of his sons died. We are told that his case will not rest where it is but that there will be something done about it soon."

RLHe 3/3/1911: "John Diesing is employed at Camp 4 with his team."

RLHe 4/7/1911: "Camp 4 of the RLLC has been broken up, the work for the season at that point having been finished.  Robert Aitken, the foreman, will take a little vacation and go visiting."

RLHe 5/12/1911:  "Forest fire threatened the standing timber, logs and buildings of the RLLC at their Camp 4 last Sunday and their logging train took about 70 men out in the afternoon to fight it.  Monday the mill did not run and the mill crew was taken to the woods to continue the fight against the scavenger.  The lumber camps of the John Weeks Lumber Company are reported to have gone up in smoke, but the actual damage is small.  Sunday morning the fire burned over the clearing on Albert Quednow's farm and the nearby farms and farm houses were threatened for a while.  The rain Tuesday night put the fires out."

RLHe 6/30/1911: "Martin Duda of Minneapolis, who has been employed as a bark peeler in Camp 4, had the misfortune to fall on a broad ax last Saturday and cut his right leg."

RLHe 7/21/1911: "Camp 4 of the RLLC, of which Robert Aiken was foreman, broke up Tuesday, and Ed McMann, the cook, left for his home at Chippewa Falls."

RLHe Camps 4 and 5 are about one mile apart.

The 11/17/1911 Rib Lake Herald announced that a teenager, Alfred Bonneville, was lost in the woods after leaving Camp 4.  Despite massive searches, he was never found.  

RLHe 3/29/1912:  “Camp 4 of the RLLC (near Wood Lake) broke up this week.  This camp put in about 5 million feet of logs.”

RLHe 1/24/1913: "George Kmetz went to Camp 4 last Thursday.  He intends to work there with his horses."

RLHe 11/14/1913: "A party of hunters at Camp 4 consisting of Ralph Bruce, Otto Heinske, William Wagner and some men from Stevens Point have had good luck and each got a deer.  William Buetch got one near Hintz Town."

LOCATION:  RLLC Camp 4 was located in the NE NE 23-33-3E.  The site is approximately ¼ mile from Wood Lake.  In 2013 the site remains a semi-open field within the Taylor County Forest.

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

RLLC Camp 4 was served by a spur of the RLLC logging line.  A spectacular photograph of the Shay locomotive parked just 100 feet from a Camp 4 building exists; see #12569.

Other photographs as of 8/17/2013 are three modifications of image #12569; #12569A shows more of the Camp 4 log building and is dated “1908 Bark Camp, Chester Curran, Bob Hess, Bert Aitken with Dog.”  Image #13373 duplicates 12569A but also shows the caboose; image #14779 shows the caboose and the Shay locomotive and a portion of another Camp 4 building. Engineer Chester Curran is probably standing next to the Shay locomotive fireman as a young man carries camp supplies from the caboose-baggage car. Image 14779 is a spectacular photograph originally labeled “Logging Engine, Rib Lake, Wis.”

As of 8/17/2013 the Ice Age National Scenic Trail crosses the site of RLLC Camp 4.

5

6/28/1907 – 11/17/1911

4 years

8/30/1907 - John Hedrington

RLHe 6/28/1907: "Ed Peterson of 413 Madison St., Eau Claire, died at Camp 5 of the RLLC where he worked for one week.  His bed partner could not wake him.  A post-mortem was conducted and Drs. Taylor and Wichman found a hemlock needle in a clot of blood in his heart."

RLHe 4/10/1908: "John Evers, who has been trapping and hunting near Camp 5 all winter, has small pox and the town authorities took care of him yesterday."

RLHe 7/31/1908: "It is reported that John Hedrington, who held the position of foreman in Camp 5 of the RLLC the past two seasons, died at his home in Chippewa Falls."

RLHe 1/8/1909: "Dan Kapitz froze the thumb on his left hand Wednesday while going to Camp 5.  At first site it looked as though it was past recovery.  It will be saved."

RLHe 1/26/1912: “Heinzke & Kapitz start a crew of 5 cutting cedar near Camp 5, increasing their force to 20.”

LOCATION:  Per James P. Kaysen’s map, RLLC Camp 5 was in SE NE 13-33-2E.   A word of caution:  Kaysen’s location appears to be unconfirmed and how he reached his conclusion was not shown; he produced his maps beginning in 1930.  See next paragraph.

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  As of 8/17/2013 there is no known photograph of Camp 5.  Photo #10403 was presumably written on by a knowledgeable old-timer who indicated the railroad scene depicted was near Camp 5.  

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

Albert Meier, an 80-year-old native of the Town of Spirit, locates Camp 5 in the north portion SE SE 11-33-3E.  See map #12933A where he located Camp 5. RPR interviewed Meier on 10/27/2009 and prepared the map, including Meier’s location of Camp 13.  Subsequent investigations confirmed the location of Camp 13 as represented by Meier.  For location of Camp 5 site and others see map 8/19/2011 by RPR, #15220.

Ted Dietzler estimated location of Camp 5 one-half mile north of the Albert Meier location.

On 5/10/2013 RPR & County Forester Russ Aszmann located a railroad ROW and piece of railroad track believed to be the spur line which served Camp 5.  Based on the 5/10/2013 observations, RPR prepared map 5/11/2013, #17004, noting that the railroad ROW and track fragment were found in the NW NW, Section 12-33-3E.  That location is just ¼ mile from the Camp 5 site identified by Albert Meier.

ASSIGNMENT:  Try to locate the precise location of Camp 5 by a field following of the ROW shown in map 5/11/2013, #17004.  Alternatively, check 1930’s aerial photographs.

6

7/28/1911 – 10/4/1914

3 years

Johann "Otto" Ruesch

RLHe 7/28/1911: "Camp 6 will probably break up this week.  Their work in the bark woods[2] would have been finished by this time but for the rainy weather we have been having."

RLHe 8/4/1911: "Lambert and Nick Lamberti [sic] and Lambert Fuchs have been peeling bark for Frank Knorn since Camp 6 broke up."

RLHe 10/6/1911: "Camp started up near St. Clair's[3] Saturday, with Walter Wagner as cook."

RLHe 11/3/1911: "Otto Ruesch, foreman of Camp 6 of the RLLC, went to Medford Saturday."

RLHe 11/24/1911: "Walter Wagner, the cookee at Camp 6, had to go home on account of illness."

RLHe 11/24/1911: "The RLLC unloaded a carload of sleighs at the Mud Lake crossing, which were set up there and then taken to Camp 6."

RLHe 1/12/1912: "Frank Erdman is hauling from Camp 6."

RLHe 3/1/1912: "Work at Camp 6 of the RLLC is to be finished on the 10th of this month."

RLHe 3/1/1912: "Ole Peterson finished hauling bark this week from Camp 6."

RLHe 10/4/1912: “Nick Lamberty, who went to work last week at Camp 6, sustained a broken shoulder when a tree limb fell on him.”

LOCATION:  

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

The site of  Camp 6 is west of  Klostermann Creek in SW NE 12-33-2E; a remnant of the dirt foundation for a log camp building as well as the root cellar  site are clearing visible north of the junction of the Beginner Ski Loop and the Nordic Ski Trail.

As of Dec. 27, 2011, the entire site of Camp 6 is on protected land; Ann and Bob Rusch donated the S ½ NE ¼, Section 13-33-2 East, to the Ice Age Alliance, which already owned the portion of the campsite on the parcel within the SE NE, Section 13.  The conveyances require that the Ice Age National Scenic Trail be built and maintained past the site and that the spectacular old growth hemlock-hardwood forest be perpetually preserved.  The entire site is open year round to the public and can be conveniently accessed from CTH C through a parking lot and trail head maintained by the Rib Lake Ski & Snowshoe Club, Inc.  A variety of signs at the campsite illustrates and explains the camp history, including the tote road and Camp 9 ice road.

In December of 2015, Ann and Bob Rusch donated a 2-acre parcel to the Ice Age Trail Alliance to extend the Rusch Preserve to Rustic Road #1.

7

9/6/1912 – 1/30/1914

1.5 years

RLHe 9/6/1912: WILL LOG THIS WINTER - RLLC WILL BUILD CAMP AT ONCE.  "Wednesday morning the Herald was given the authentic news that the RLLC will operate the coming winter on sections 10, 14, 15 and 16, Town 33, Range 3 East, to the extend of about 8 million feet.  The operations will cover 23 forties.  The camp will be located on the old [railroad] line about 2 miles from Schaack's on the NE 1/4 of the NE 1/4, Section 16, Township 33, Range 3 East at a large spring this is convenient for a water supply.  The camp will be built as soon as lumber can be got on the ground and the woods operations start at once.

The first requisite of an undertaking of this kind is men.  The company can use 125.  If you want a job you can get it now and will not have to hunt further, provided you can do the kind of work they have for you.

This matter of the company logging the coming winter has been an item of speculation all summer.  Up to a few days ago it looked as though they would not cut a log this season.  When the time for bark peeling was here last spring, the hemlock market was anything but cheerful and from a business point of view to log and peel bark at that time, was a losing venture.  Since then conditions have changed.  Hemlock went up, the demand is growing, and hardwood never sold better.  The logs will be peeled next spring and in the meantime the mill will run on the stock in the lake and after a short shutdown for repairs, will start on the hardwood.  

Our citizens who have families and own their homes, who have been wondering what to do next winter, and the businessmen who look toward the winter as an approaching dull season, are agreeably surprised at the happy turn of events."

RLHe 9/12/1912: "The RLLC has the work of building the lumber camps well under way.  About 35 men are on the job with Charles Laack and Charles Bangle as head carpenters."

RLHe 10/25/1912: "Paul Prahl, who got his ankle sprained while decking logs at Camp 7, was able to resume his job."

RLHe 11/22/1912: “Otto Ziemke and Fritz Kalk are now working at Camp 7.”

RLHe 6/20/1913: A FATAL ACCIDENT.  "Ed Burke, a young man of Athens, had his skull fractured and sustained other injuries from a falling limb at Camp 7 10 o'clock Tuesday morning from the effects of which he died at the Wisconsin House at 6:45 in the evening.  He was felling a tree when a limb broke off and fell on him, striking him back of his right ear, fracturing his skull and right shoulder.  He was brought in quickly on the RLLC's car and Dr. Wichmen dressed his wounds.  He remained unconscious until he died.  Deceased was a young man about 22 years old and has a father and sister living in Athens.  The father was notified without delay and came here Wednesday night and took the body home Thursday.  He worked in the camp only 4 weeks and was peeling bark on a contract."

RLHe 1/30/1914: "Robert Sikes and his bunk mate are working on Rib Lake Camp 7."

LOCATION:  

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  The Rib Lake Historical Society has a spectacular photo of Camp 7, #10794, shows the entire camp crew of 46 men posing.  Camp buildings were wood frame with a tar paper roof.

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

8

10/25/1912 –

6/19/1914

 2 years

RLHe 10/25/1912: "While working in Camp 8, this week, Lambert Fuchs cut his knee.  He was chopping down a tree when the ax slipped and cut him." "Paul Erdman started to work in Camp 8 this week."

RLHe 11/8/1912: "Frank Novak started working in Camp 8 yesterday.  He is stamping logs."[4]

RLHe 12/19/1913: "The largest and longest [railroad] train of saw logs ever hauled on the logging road of the RLLC was brought in on the 22nd of December from Camp 8 of which Robert Aitken is foreman.  The train was made up of 41 loads[5] and was pulled in by engineer Frank Hayward and Alex McDonald, his fireman.  It is estimated the saw logs scaled about 90,000 feet.  Mr. Hayward thinks that his locomotive would have pulled about 5 cars more on that trip."

RLHe 1/16/1914: "John Starcevich, employed in Camp 8 of the RLLC, was caught by a limb of a falling tree Saturday afternoon, January 10, and his skull fractured.  Despite all medical help, he died at midnight without regaining consciousness.  His brother, Anton of Duluth, was notified of the accident Sunday and came here with a friend Monday.  The funeral was held from the catholic church Tuesday noon and it was conducted by the Rev. Weitn of Mellen in the absence of resident pastor.  Deceased was about 36 years old and single and was in this country about 11 years and in Rib Lake about 7 months."

RLHe 6/19/1914: "William Baling, employed in the RLLC's Camp 8, cut his left ankle with an ax Monday and was brought in for treatment."

LOCATION:  

MAPS: See James Kaysen railroad map on US quad “Wood Lake.”  His map shows the location of Camp 8 and the long spur railroad line that served it.

Ted Dietzler’s map locates Camp 8 within SE NE 25-33-3E.  

PHOTOS:  No known photos of Camp 8 exist.

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  In 2017, a memorial to long-serving Taylor County Conservation Warden Fred Dorau in the form of a metal plaque in stone, rests on the west wing of the Camp 8 flowage dam. That is the location to which the red arrow shown on the map above points. The Dorau monument is on a portion of the site of RLLC Camp 8. –Robert P. Rusch 7/16/17.

9

4/25/1913 – 1/19/1922 **

8 years

11/29/1918 - Hugh McMillan

RLHe 4/25/1913: "The RLLC's preparations for their new camps are well under way and the work of building the new camps commenced this week.  The tote team took a load of men out to Harper's Lakes Tuesday morning."

RLHe 5/10/1918 Forest fires attributed to dry weather required help and volunteer fire fighters in neighborhood of Camps 9, 13, and 14 of the RLLC over the weekend.

RLHe 10/31/1913: "C.W. Peterson, a woodsman employed in Camp 9, fell on his ax and cut a big gash in his left wrist."

RLHe 2/20/1914: WOODSMAN HURT.  "Ole Legroid, a woodsman, was hurt in Camp 9 Tuesday and was taken to the hospital at Marshfield by Dr. Wichman.  In loading logs his left leg was caught and fractured."

RLHe 3/6/1914: MEETS DEATH UNDER LOGS.  "Darwin Whyte, employed as fireman on RLLC steam log hauler, was killed Tuesday morning at 8 o'clock when the whole train load of logs was wrecked going downhill. He jumped to get out of the way of the coming logs but unfortunately did not get out of the way in time and was buried under the timber.  Bob Hess, the engineer, and Kenneth McLeod, the steersman, escaped without injuries.  The steering gear was broken and the engine cab was somewhat damaged, but the same was repaired early the next day.

Mr. Whyte's body was brought to F.E. Poole's undertaking rooms as soon as possible to have the required attention and that night was taken to his home at Manitowoc by Charles Talbot, who was commissioned to do so by the lumber company. He was about 40 years old and is supposed to have been widower, but nothing certain is known in this respect until Mr. Talbot has made an investigation and returns."

RLHe 2/26/1915: "The RLLC has just wound up its logging operations in all their camps except #9, which has about 2 weeks more work ahead.  

Alfred Larson, who has been cooking at Camp 10, returned to his home at Minneapolis Saturday."

RLHe 10/22/1915: A REAL BEAR STORY.  "Recently two visitors from out of town, says an eyewitness, were returning from a fishing trip to Hultman Lake.  When on the tote-road from Camp 9 to the Westboro road, low and behold, who comes along and crosses the tote-road but a big black bear followed by a cub.  In consternation the young man who carries the gun stood like a soldier "at right shoulder arms".  After he "came to" he shot at the cub, but the gun was loaded with bird shot so the little fellow turned around and came back.  That was a signal for the older partner to quit the ground and quit he did.  Despite his 66 years he made the distance to the car on the highway in record time."

RLHe 4/21/1916: "The RLLC will soon start operations in Camps 9 and 10 and will build a new camp north of Wood Lake to be known as #13.  This camp will be about 10 miles from here and will accommodate 100 men.  A railroad will be built next to it next summer. Camp 9 will house 120 men when run to full capacity."

RLHe 9/29/1916: "Andrew Gurgenberger and Henry Hauch walked over 10 miles from Camp 9 Saturday evening so that they could be home over Sunday."

RLHe 5/10/1918: FOREST FIRES CAUSE MUCH EXCITEMENT "Forest fires in many directions, due to the dry spell, notably at Camps 9, 13 and 14 of the RLLC, necessitated a call for volunteers Friday night. The mill was shut down Saturday and Monday to enable the crews to help control the flames, which was successfully done at small loss.  Some cutover land was burned over and some green timber was scorched, but the only loss in forest products ready for market occurred at Camp 9 where O.E. Peterson lost about a few thousand posts and a few hundred cords of pulpwood.  Due to high wind the loss might have been much greater if action to combat the flames had not been swift. The areas affected by the forest fires are now deemed safe.

The RLLC has authorized us to state that they are very grateful to all who responded nobly to the call for help. Less some should be forgotten, all those who have not already done so are requested to turn in their names at the office so that the company can pay for their services, and if pay is not acceptable, to thank them personally.

The Village of Bradley was wiped out by fire and the whole population numbering 150, is without shelter. The fire started in an old barn."

RLHe 11/29/1918: RIB LAKE LUMBER COMPANY OPERATIONS.  "The RLLC is planning on doing extensive logging during the coming winter months in order to keep the sawmill in continuous operation, as there is not over 3 weeks supply of logs in the lake at the present time, and these are frozen in the lake.  The company started hauling new logs from the woods on Tuesday of this week.

Early during the present fall the labor situation was quite serious with the company, but since the Armistice has been signed and hostilities ceased, the ammunition factories and other war industries are releasing men from their employ, the labor situation is being relieved, and it is expected with the week or 10 days that all camps will be filled.

The lumber company is operating these camps:  Camp 9 - Hugh McMillan, foreman and Dan Pilon, cook; Camp 13 - Herman Peterson, foreman and Frank Weiland, cook; Camp 14 - John Mitchell, foreman and Louis Fleming, cook.

Paul Krueger is doing the scaling at all the camps, with the help of an assistant.

We doubt if there is another place in Wisconsin which has a sawmill that is operated the year round as is the mill of the RLLC.  Other mills run a few months in the year and then the mill crew has to look for another job until the mill starts up again.  For a working man there is nothing like a steady job."

RLHe 12/21/1918 RLLC has large crews at #9 & #10.

RLHe 2/21/1919: LUMBERMEN TO VISIT RIB LAKE.[6]  "The North Wisconsin Loggers Association will meet at Rib Lake on February 26 and will be entertained at dinner by the RLLC at Camp 9.

A special train will bring the lumbermen to this point on Tuesday evening.  They will leave for the camp at 8 o'clock Wednesday morning via a log hauler train, where dinner will be served and an opportunity afforded to witness the logging operations of the RLLC, returning to this point about 4:30 p.m., when an inspection of the sawmill and planing mill will be made.  A special train will take the lumbermen to Chelsea to connect with the southbound train Wednesday evening."

RLHe 2/28/1919: LOGGERS VISIT RIB LAKE - THE NORTHERN WISCONSIN LOGGER'S ASSOCIATION SPENT A DAY HERE.  "The Northern Wisconsin Loggers Association, an organization perfected for the purpose of divising ways and means for logging at the lowest cost and in the most efficient manner, met at Rib Lake February 25 on invitation of George N. Harder, President of the RLLC.  

The following guests were present:  W.B. Clubine, Park Falls Lumber Company, Park Falls, Wisconsin; P.S. Mclurg, Eugene Hebert and Dan Hashie, Kneeland-Mclurg Lumber Company, Phillips, Wisconsin; W.G. Collar and James McCumber, West Lumber Company, Lugerville, Wisconsin; G.W. Campbell, Roddis Lumber and Veneer Company, Park Falls, Wisconsin; J.D. Twomey and Pat Twomey, Mellen Lumber Company, Glidden, Wisconsin; R.B. Goodman, Sawyer Goodman Company, Marinette, Wisconsin; J.W. Gleason, Goodman Lumber Company, Goodman, Wisconsin; J.B. Galbraith, Northwestern Lumber Company, Stanley, Wisconsin; J.H. McRoy, J.S. Stearns Lumber Company, Odanah, Wisconsin; W.E. Vogelsang, Turtle Lake Lumber Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan; D.M. McDonald, Mellen Lumber Company, Mellen, Wisconsin; P.J. DeMares, Scott and Howe Lumber Company, Ironwood, Michigan; J.S. Landon and S. Baldwin, Medford Lumber Company, Medford, Wisconsin; J.J. Lingle and G.T. Dixson, Westboro Lumber Company, Westboro, Wisconsin; O.T. Swan, Secretary, Northern Hemlock and Hardwood Lumber Manufacturer's Association, Oshkosh, Wisconsin; C.E. Urbahns, Superintendent, Soo Line, Stevens Point, Wisconsin; E. Alexander Stewart, Chicago, Illinois, American Lumberman; G.E. Henry, Chicago, Illinois, Hardwood Record; E.C. Getchel, F.E. Poole, C.R. Claussen, Dr. G.C. Wichman and O.A. Peterson, Rib Lake.

As but a few of the lumbering operations in Wisconsin are operated by a steam log hauler, one of the prime reasons for the meeting at this time was to see the hauler owned by the RLLC in operation.  The guests from the north were met at Chelsea by a special train on Tuesday evening and those arriving from the south were met by a special train Wednesday morning.  The guests were taken to the National Hotel where they were taken care of in Mr. Bonneville's usual efficient manner, and expressed their appreciation of the warm rooms and fine table service and all felt that Rib Lake was to be envied in the hotel service.  

At about 9 o'clock members of the association, headed up by Mr. Harder, started for the landing, to which point W.B. Patrick, Woods Superintendent, had preceded them.  On arrival of the hauler from camp, everybody boarded a bark sleigh and the trip to camp was on. Out through the valleys, past up to date farms, among picturesque hills, the lumbermen vying with each other as to the advantages of an ice road over a railroad in operating under the conditions represented at Camp 9.  

At 11:30 camp was sighted and everyone was greeted by the pleasant smile of H. McMillan, Camp Foreman, who threw open his private office and everybody reveled in warmth, badinage (sic) and Standard tobacco.  In a little while the dinner horn blew and the Standard tobacco was abandoned for roast pork and dressing, cranberry sauce and all other fine things prepared as only Chef Daniel Pilon can prepare.  After being seated at table, the visitors were surprised by a quartet singing by F.E. Poole, C.R. Claussen, D.C. Estes and S.J. Williams.  The dinner served was a regular camp dinner, the cranberries being an addition to the regular fare.  After dinner the woods operations were visited in which the guests were profuse in their statements as to the efficient manner in which everything was being done.  After being "photographed" the return trip to Rib Lake began and without any mishap everybody arrived safely.  The sawmill was visited and experienced sawmill men stated in their opinion the sawmill at this point was the best and most conveniently arranged of any they had seen.  

A short business session was held at 5:30 in the office of the RLLC, at which time the Association extended to the company their hearty appreciation for the pleasant and profitable day.

After supper at the National [hotel] the special train left for Chelsea, made up of the regular coach and the special car of Mr. C.E. Urbahns, Superintendent of the Soo Line.  Mr. Urbahns threw his coach open to the members of the Association, assisting in every way to make them comfortable, and the community which his line serves is to be congratulated in having such a genial gentleman as Superintendent.  

At the parting at Chelsea everybody expressed their opinion that this was the end of a perfect day."

RLHe 3/28/1919: "Camp 9 broke up Saturday.  The steam hauler finished hauling logs from this camp Wednesday, last week."

RLHe 12/5/1919: THANKSGIVING DINNER AT CAMP 9 WAS A BIG TREAT.  "It was with some misgiving that many of the men at Camp 9 contemplated eating their Thanksgiving dinner in camp.  Some of them had never been in camp before and the thoughts of missing a city dinner of turkey or chicken was rather dampening to their spirits.

Thanksgiving day was an ideal winter day and the forenoon passed as it usually does in the woods so that by noon the men had worked up an appetite that would do justice to any ordinary meal, but they did not anticipate the treat that was in store for them til Chef Pilon blew the dinner horn and they all had taken their places at the table.  There was a look of pleasure and surprise on everyone's face, for there was a dinner before them that could not and was not duplicated in any hotel or camp in Wisconsin.  There was roast pork and dressing, done as only Chef Pilon can prepare it, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, French peas, macaroni, brown gravy, tapioca pudding, mince pies, white and brown cookies, brown cake and bread, the equal of which has never been made, and nice yellow fresh butter, all to be washed down with a cup of hot, fragrant tea. 

Dan's [Chef Pilon's] face was a happy smile as he watched the men clean up the platters time and again and it seemed to be a pleasure for him to replenish them, as he was ever on the alert, and as soon as they were anywhere near depleted, Dan and his assistant, William Marsky, would quickly take them to the kitchen and then return them loaded with steaming hot roast pork and dressing and other good things until every man had enough and more than satisfied as one could tell by their remarks when going out.  One said "this is the best Thanksgiving dinner I had ever ate in my life." Another said "if I am in the good old USA next Thanksgiving and I know where that chef is doing business, I am sure going to eat there." Yes, it was a glorious Thanksgiving feed. We all say so.  Signed by one of the guests."

RLHe 12/19/1919: "The RLLC sent one of their big sprinklers[7] out to the woods Wednesday morning preparatory to building an ice road from Camp 9."

RLHe 11/19/1920: "Fred Waldhart of Stetsonville is up here working for Randolph Wagner at Camp 9."

RLHe 11/26/1920: "The town board of the Town of Rib Lake held a hearing at the Town Hall Tuesday morning to lay out the logging road to Camp 9." RPR MUST DO ADDITIONAL RESEARCH TO DETERMINE WHETHER A HEARING TOOK PLACE AND ITS DECISION.

RLHe 12/31/1920: LOGGERS LIKE WINTER WEATHER.  "Winter is settling down to business and the loggers feel more confident and enthusiastic than 2 weeks ago.  Sleighing is fairly good now and if it continues freezing it will be possible to make ice roads. The RLLC's [water] tanks are ready for making the ice road to Camp 9."

RLHe 1/14/1921: "The steam log hauler of the RLLC started out yesterday morning to make a rut on the logging [ice] road to Camp 9.  Bob Hess is the engineer, George Dewz fireman and Ken McLeod steersman."

RLHe 1/14/1921: NOTICE [TEMPORARY WINTER LOGGING HIGHWAY]  "Application having been made on the 12th day of January, 1921, duly made to the undersigned town board of the Town of Rib Lake, in the county of Taylor, by the RLLC, for a temporary winter logging [ice] highway to be laid out as follows:

SE-SE, Section 1, Town 33, Range 2 East,

NE-SE, Section 1,  

SE-NE, Section 1  

SW-NE, Section 1  

NW-NE, Section 1 and NE-NW, Section 1, Township 33, Range 2 East.  

Notice is hereby given that we, the undersigned town board of said town will meet on the 25th day of January, 1921, at 1 o'clock in the afternoon of that day, at the Rib Lake Town Hall, in said town, and decide upon such application.  

Dated this 12th day of January, 1921, Signed Ernst Zuther, Chairman, and Pat Cullen, Town Clerk."

RLHe 4/1/1921: "Loggers tell us that the winter just closed has been the most successful in years.  At first everyone was skeptical as to the outcome, but the weatherman seemed to sense the loggers needs and gave them weather accordingly. The RLLC had 6 camps[8] running and had about 300 men on their payroll in these camps. Camp 9, which is in Price County, has another season's operation and if nothing happens to interfere, will finish next winter. After that, all of the company's camps will be in Lincoln County.  The company is getting ready to run a private telephone line to their camps on their private railroad.  This will be a great convenience to the company as well as the men.  However, the lumber market is very unsatisfactory.  With lumber quoted at 40% below the price of a year ago, there is no demand with this big reduction.  If other commodities entering into construction would follow suit, no doubt there would be a noticeable improvement at once." (emphasis added)

RLHe 9/23/1921: "Mrs. Charles Talbot is cooking at the loading camp, the other side of Camp 18, until the job of loading is finished.  Dan Pilon was cook out there but was transferred to Camp 9, so Mrs. Talbot took charge to help out."

RLHe 10/28/1921: "Peter Fuchs went to work at Camp 9 Tuesday morning."

LOCATION:  Camp 9 was located in SW NW or NW NW Sec. 36-34N-2E, Town of Hill, Price Co., Wis.; in 2012 the site is owned, in part, by Roger Blomberg, who accompanied RPR & grandchildren, Katie, Ryan & Bekah Strobach, on 8/27/2012 to site.  See photos 16320-16325. See map 16318, “Map 10/7/2012 RLLC Camp 9 & Ice Road excavation site.”

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  See photo 16319 of steam hauler chain found by Roger Blomberg c. 1997 in NW NW 31-34-3E used in steam hauler operations around Camp 9.

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

c. 1916 “Star Load” photograph, image 18569.

Just before spring break-up, Hugh McMillan, Camp 9 foreman, declared a contest for the Star load of logs.  The contestants were the 3 loading crews at Camp 9. Loading crew foremen were: 1) Fred Steinman from Town of Greenwood; 2) Charlie Kalk from Fawn Valley; 3) John Brahmer from Interwald.  George Lee, of Medford, is the teamster holding the rains.  The two men holding the guide lines are Joe Enders and Oliver Lamberty of Mud Lake.  They served as “hookers,” hooking chains to logs which were hoisted to the top of the sleigh by the horse team in back.  The hoist “jammer” is partially shown in back.

        This Star Load made 42,000 board feet of lumber at the Rib Lake mill.  

        The Star Load took one day to put together and won a prize of 35 cents of tobacco and bragging rights for its crew.

        Using the 9-mile long ice road between RLLC Camp 9 and the mill, the four horses shown pulled the huge load without help, except for Knop Hill (SE NE 24-33-2E) where the steam hauler aided the horses by pushing the rear of the sleigh.

        For two weeks the sleigh was on display near the Rib Lake Village Park.  From there the load was moved without horses onto Rib Lake, where it broke through the ice and settled to the lake bottom. Data from Peter Enders, written 12/18/2014 by R.P. Rusch

A spectacular photograph of the end of the season “Star Load” from Camp 9 is image #10743 and #12400.

In 1/19/1922 the Taylor County Star News reported that the steam hauler was having difficulty because warm conditions had softened the ice road; it is undisputed that the only steam hauler line then operating was to Camp 9, so this is the last newspaper account known to report on Camp 9 while it was functioning. It is also consistent with the statement of the late Allen Blomberg that Camp 9 closed for good at the end of the 1921-22 winter season.

Site map of Camp 9 is image 16318.

The site of RLLC Camp 9 is in the SW NW 36-34-2E, Town of Spirit, Price County.

The visit by Wisconsin Logger’s Association was covered in an illustrated article in “The American Lumberman.”  

ASSIGNMENT:  Robert P. Rusch should locate Rib Lake Town records re petition to lay out road to Camp 9.

10

8/29/1913 – 5/12/1916

 3 years

RLHe 8/29/1913: "G.F. Smith, foreman of Camp 10, went to Marshfield Tuesday to see the fair." 

RLHe 11/21/1913: "Kapitz and Hughes[9] have about 20 men in the camp - #10.  The prevailing soft weather is delaying logging operations."

RLHe 12/19/1913: "Marshall Joe Scott spotted a man, Sever Colden, wanted by the police at Carrington, North Dakota, in Camp 10 and notified Sheriff A.F. Morgan who came here Thursday last week and took him back to North Dakota."

RLHe 8/7/1914: "Charles Klug is moving his machine to Spirit Lake where he will drill a well at Camp 10 of the RLLC."

RLHe 2/26/1915: "The RLLC has just wound up its logging operations in all their camps except #9, which has about 2 weeks more work ahead.  ¶ Alfred Larson, who has been cooking at Camp 10, returned to his home at Minneapolis Saturday."

RLHe 3/19/1915: "Camp 9 of the RLLC broke up last week."

RLHe 9/24/1915: "The RLLC has sent one loader to Camp 10 to load hemlock logs on cars for shipment to Owen."

RLHe 4/21/1916: "The RLLC will soon start operations in Camps 9 and 10 and will build a new camp north of Wood Lake to be known as #13.  This camp will be about 10 miles from here and will accommodate 100 men.  A railroad will be built next to it next summer. Camp 9 will house 120 men when run to full capacity."

RLHe 5/12/1916: "Frank Hass and Victor Daue have finished a well at Camp 10, 131 feet deep, and are drilling another at Camp 13."

RLHe 12/21/1918 RLLC has large crews at #9 & #10.

LOCATION:  Camp 10 was located NE NW 1-33-3E; RPR found old barrel stoves there in 2011.  Ted Dietzler’s map confirms this location, all of which was degraded by machine planting of red pine by Taylor County forestry personnel.  

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  As of 8/3/2015, no known photos of Camp 10 exist nor extant remnant features observed by RPR.

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

11

3/24/1916

 

RLHe 2/25/1916: "Loggers say this has been the best winter in years for their operations and their enthusiasm is adding stimulus to other businesses, the effects of which is beginning to be felt.  The RLLC has practically wound up its woods operations for the season.  The steam log hauler, which made a record of 1,000* [board] feet and 50 cords of bark per day from Camp 12, was brought home Tuesday. Camp 12 has been in operation since last May and gave employment to a crew of men varying from a few to 100.  Hugh McMillan had charge of this camp.  The logs went to Westboro and the bark to Stanley.  

Camp 11 was in operation from May 1 to July and again from November to March.  Robert Aitken was foreman at this camp. The logs were sent by rail to Stanley[10].  In addition to being a banner year for logging, it will go down in history as a winter noted for very few accidents, all of a minor nature."

LOCATION:  The probable location was SW SW 3-33-3E.

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

In July 1914 the RLLC sawmill burned.  Its replacement started up at the end of 1916 or early 1917.  As of 1/27/2016 there is no known photo of Camp 11.  There is only the one Rib Lake Herald articles printed here.

Albert “Happy” Marschke, his son Robert and Robert P. Rusch visited, photographed and mapped the site of Camp 11 in _______.  Happy farmed two miles west of the site and was very familiar with it.

After the RLLC closed Camp 11, the recluse, _____________ Larson built a cabin and lived on the Camp 11 site, according to Happy and Robert Marschke.

12

12/24/1915 – 2/25/1916

 less than 1

RLHe 12/24/1915: "The RLLC started its water tank Tuesday to make an ice road from Camp 12 to Westboro, a distance of about 6 miles.  Said ice road will follow the creek most of the way.  The haul will last 40 or 60 days after the road is built, depending on the weather."

RLHe 1/7/1916: "The long predicted cold snap has us in its grip.  Yesterday morning the thermometers dropped down to 20 below zero and Walter B. Patrick, walking boss for the RLLC, sent the big sleighs to Camp 12 to begin hauling logs to Westboro."

RLHe 1/7/1916: "The RLLC sent its steam log hauler to Camp 12 Sunday. Bob Hess is engineer, Frank Haas fireman and Ken McLeod steersman."

RLHe 1/14/1916 RLLC sent its steam hauler to #12 – Bob Hess engineer, Frank Haas fireman, Ken McLeod steersman.

RLHe 2/4/1916 At Westboro steam hauler is delivering 120,000 feet of logs to the pond daily and fires were built in the mill boilers for the first time as it is readied to resume operations.

RLHe 2/25/1916: "Loggers say this has been the best winter in years for their operations and their enthusiasm is adding stimulus to other businesses, the effects of which is beginning to be felt.  The RLLC has practically wound up its woods operations for the season.  The steam log hauler, which made a record of 1,000* [board] feet and 50 cords of bark per day from Camp 12, was brought home Tuesday. Camp 12 has been in operation since last May and gave employment to a crew of men varying from a few to 100.  Hugh McMillan had charge of this camp.  The logs went to Westboro and the bark to Stanley.  

Camp 11 was in operation from May 1 to July and again from November to March.  Robert Aitken was foreman at this camp. The logs were sent by rail to Stanley.  In addition to being a banner year for logging, it will go down in history as a winter noted for very few accidents, all of a minor nature."

LOCATION:  

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

Camp 12 operated after the RLLC sawmill was destroyed by fire.  While Rib Lake had no RLLC saw mill, the logs cut at Camp 12 were steam-hauled to the Westboro Lumber Co.

On 3-24-1916 the US Leather Co announced it would rebuild the Rib Lake sawmill.  Reconstruction of the RLLC sawmill began in April of 1916.  The new mill began operations in February of 1917.

In 1914 the RLLC mill burned; logs from Camp 12 were hauled to Westboro by steam hauler.

13

3/24/1916 – 3/4/1921

5 years

11/29/1918 - Herman Peterson:   George Thums

RLHe 4/21/1916: "The RLLC will soon start operations in Camps 9 and 10 and will build a new camp north of Wood Lake to be known as #13.  This camp will be about 10 miles from here and will accommodate 100 men.  A railroad will be built next to it next summer. Camp 9 will house 120 men when run to full capacity."

RHLe 5/12/1916: "Frank Hass and Victor Daue have finished a well at Camp 10, 131 feet deep, and are drilling another at Camp 13."

RLHe 11/10/1916: "Martin Schabel, who has been working at Camp 13 the last two months, returned home last week."

RLHe 2/2/1918: BROKE HIS LEG.  "Louis Lezinski, a working man, was brought in from Camp 13 last Friday with a broken leg.  He was sawing down a tree when the trunk slipped off the stump and hit him on the ankle of his left leg, breaking the bones therein.  Dr. E.A. Lapham reduced the fracture and he was taken to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Kapitz, who will care for him until he is able to help himself.:

RLHe 5/10/1918: FOREST FIRES CAUSE MUCH EXCITEMENT "Forest fires in many directions, due to the dry spell, notably at Camps 9, 13 and 14 of the RLLC, necessitated a call for volunteers Friday night. The mill was shut down Saturday and Monday to enable the crews to help control the flames, which was successfully done at small loss.  Some cutover land was burned over and some green timber was scorched, but the only loss in forest products ready for market occurred at Camp 9 where O.E. Peterson[11] lost about a few thousand posts and a few hundred cords of pulpwood.  Due to high wind the loss might have been much greater if action to combat the flames had not been swift. The areas affected by the forest fires are now deemed safe.

The RLLC has authorized us to state that they are very grateful to all who responded nobly to the call for help. Less some should be forgotten, all those who have not already done so are requested to turn in their names at the office so that the company can pay for their services, and if pay is not acceptable, to thank them personally.

The Village of Bradley was wiped out by fire and the whole population numbering 150, is without shelter. The fire started in an old barn."

RLHe 6/14/1918 John Fishbeck was injured at #13.

RLHe 11/29/1918: RIB LAKE LUMBER COMPANY OPERATIONS.  "The RLLC is planning on doing extensive logging during the coming winter months in order to keep the sawmill in continuous operation, as there is not over 3 weeks supply of logs in the lake at the present time, and these are frozen in the lake.  The company started hauling new logs from the woods on Tuesday of this week.

Early during the present fall the labor situation was quite serious with the company, but since the Armistice has been signed and hostilities ceased, the ammunition factories and other war industries are releasing men from their employ, the labor situation is being relieved, and it is expected with the week or 10 days that all camps will be filled.

The lumber company is operating these camps:  Camp 9 - Hugh McMillan, foreman and Dan Pilon, cook; Camp 13 - Herman Peterson, foreman and Frank Weiland, cook; Camp 14 - John Mitchell, foreman and Louis Fleming, cook.

Paul Krueger is doing the scaling at all the camps, with the help of an assistant.

We doubt if there is another place in Wisconsin which has a sawmill that is operated the year round as is the mill of the RLLC.  Other mills run a few months in the year and then the mill crew has to look for another job until the mill starts up again.  For a working man there is nothing like a steady job."

RLHe 3/4/1921: "Thomas Padden, who was working in Camp 13, was taken to the Medford Hospital Sunday night for an operation for appendicitis."

LOCATION:  NW NW 12-33-3E.

MAPS: Map 9-9-2012 Camp 13 RLLC “Building diagram” image 16327.

PHOTOS:  Excellent photograph of Camp 13 showing all buildings, image 16326.  

Image 18823 is a photo showing Camp 13 bunk and cook house.  See also 18821.

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

On 5/10/2013 the site of Camp 13 was found by County Assistant Forester Russ Aszmann and RPR south of a small creek in NW NW 12-33-3E.  The then extant features matched image 16327; see 17,002, 17003.  While heavy logging degraded the south portion on Camp 13 site in 2012, County Assistant Forester Russell Aszmann sensed the importance of the site and drew a cutting boundary which protected the north half.  A 5” in diameter steel well casing was found in the middle of the building sites on 5/10/2013.  On that date no evidence of a railroad was observed near Camp 13 was observed, although a railroad grade and track was found one mile southward in NW NW 13-33-3E, see 17004.

The April 14, 1916 “Mississippi Valley Lumberman, image 10106, reported:

  1. Work in a new Rib Lake mill will start at once to replace the one burned in 1914;
  2. They will put in 3 bark camps, namely, Camp 9, Camp 11, and will start a new camp known as  Camp 13; (emphasis added; see comments below.)
  3. Next summer the RLLC will build about 20 miles of “railroad track to the eastern line of their timber.  Said timber is mature…”

These “3 bark camps” were built and operated to produce both tan bark and timber.  Calling these “bark camps” is misleading until one considers the sequence of events: the first of operation of these camps was devoted solely to cutting hemlock, stripping the tan bark from the logs, air drying the tan bark and eventually removing the tan bark to the tannery.  After the fragile tan bark was off site, the sawyers returned to cut the remaining trees.

In 1983 RPR interviewed Peter Enders, born at Mud Lake but then residing in Milwaukee.  Enders said that among the camps he worked at was RLLC Camp 13; George Thums was its foreman and a logging railroad went to this camp.  RPR failed to ask Enders regarding details regarding the railroad, such as how close its right-of-way was the buildings.

It is uncontroverted that a George Thums was at one time the foreman at Camp 13.  The George Thums who was the foreman was the grandfather of Rolland Thums and Gary Thums.  The second George Thums was the father of Gary Thums.

14

5/10/1918 – 5/28/1924

6 years

11/29/1918 - John Mitchell

RLHe 5/10/1918: FOREST FIRES CAUSE MUCH EXCITEMENT "Forest fires in many directions, due to the dry spell, notably at Camps 9, 13 and 14 of the RLLC, necessitated a call for volunteers Friday night. The mill was shut down Saturday and Monday to enable the crews to help control the flames, which was successfully done at small loss.  Some cutover land was burned over and some green timber was scorched, but the only loss in forest products ready for market occurred at Camp 9 where O.E. Peterson lost about a few thousand posts and a few hundred cords of pulpwood.  Due to high wind the loss might have been much greater if action to combat the flames had not been swift. The areas affected by the forest fires are now deemed safe.

The RLLC has authorized us to state that they are very grateful to all who responded nobly to the call for help. Less some should be forgotten, all those who have not already done so are requested to turn in their names at the office so that the company can pay for their services, and if pay is not acceptable, to thank them personally.

The Village of Bradley was wiped out by fire and the whole population numbering 150, is without shelter. The fire started in an old barn."

RLHe 6/14/1918: "Carl and Ernst Ziemke left for Camp 14 to peel bark."

RLHe 11/29/1918: RIB LAKE LUMBER COMPANY OPERATIONS.  "The RLLC is planning on doing extensive logging during the coming winter months in order to keep the sawmill in continuous operation, as there is not over 3 weeks supply of logs in the lake at the present time, and these are frozen in the lake.  The company started hauling new logs from the woods on Tuesday of this week.

Early during the present fall the labor situation was quite serious with the company, but since the Armistice has been signed and hostilities ceased, the ammunition factories and other war industries are releasing men from their employ, the labor situation is being relieved, and it is expected with the week or 10 days that all camps will be filled.

The lumber company is operating these camps:  Camp 9 - Hugh McMillan, foreman and Dan Pilon, cook; Camp 13 - Herman Peterson, foreman and Frank Weiland, cook; Camp 14 - John Mitchell, foreman and Louis Fleming, cook.

Paul Krueger is doing the scaling at all the camps, with the help of an assistant.

We doubt if there is another place in Wisconsin which has a sawmill that is operated the year round as is the mill of the RLLC.  Other mills run a few months in the year and then the mill crew has to look for another job until the mill starts up again.  For a working man there is nothing like a steady job."

RLHe 2/7/1919: "The railroad bridge at Camp 14 broke down last Friday evening and a number of loaded cars were ditched.  The locomotive went over all right, but the cars - one boxcar, one gondola, and 5 logging cars - were too much for the structure."

RLHe 8/29/1919: "John Swanson, cook for the RLLC at Camp 14, was in the village a few days last week."

LOCATION:  Camp 14 was on both sides of the RLLC railroad “mainline” at SE SW 36-33-3E.  Ted Dietzler’s map confirms the site, #18440.  RPR found no evidence of Camp 14 when he inspected the site in the summer of 2013.

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  Image #18909 is a c. 1920 photograph of Camp 14 in the opinion of Robert P. Rusch; reasons supporting that conclusion are outlined in 18909A, a memo Rusch prepared on 6/5/2015.

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

15

10/3/1919 – 10/14/1921

2 years

 RLHe 10/3/1919: JOE LILY SERIOUSLY INJURED.  "A sad accident happened in the woods Monday afternoon in the vicinity of Camp 15, in which Joe Lily was seriously injured.  He was assisting in removing the dipper from the boom of a lumber company's ditcher when something went wrong and the dipper fell to the ground, striking Joe and inflicting a severe wound.  He was taken to the Marshfield Hospital Monday evening, the lumber company's locomotive making the trip to Chelsea to make connections with the night train.  

At this writing he is getting along as well as could be expected, but his condition is still serious."

RLHe 9/23/1921: "John Mitchell is down from Ogema and has gone to Camp 15."

RLHe 10/14/1921: "Fire of unknown origin destroyed about 200,000 feet of logs with bark on the rollways at Camp 15 of the RLLC last week Wednesday and Thursday.  These logs were known as windfalls but were sound and the bark was on them because it could not be peeled.  This is the main reason why the logs caught fire.  The bark was dry and in condition to ignite very easily, which it did, despite all precautions and watchfulness of the company's men who work in that neighborhood every day."

LOCATION:  

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

16

9/5/1919 – 5/20/1921

 2 years

 RLHE 9/5/1919: JULIUS MONSKE.  "Last Friday afternoon the community was shocked by the sad news that Julius Monske had been seriously injured in an accident in the woods of the RLLC.  The accident occurred in the vicinity of Camp 16 and as near as we could find out, about 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

Mr. Monske was employed as a fireman on the woods locomotive and also acted as brakeman when necessary.  The day the accident happened the woods locomotive was at Camp 16 spotting the railroad ditcher which was being used to pick up some ties.  A few minutes before the accident, Mr. Monske had gone to the ditcher to confer with the engineer of same.  The ditcher is operated from a flat car which is moved from place to place by the locomotive.  Rails are laid on the flat car on which the ditcher is so it can be propelled by its own power either forward or backward as the occasion requires.  After Mr. Monske left the ditcher to return to the engine, the ditcher was run to the front of the flat car, picked up a bunch of ties, then back to the other end of the flat car to accommodate the length of the boom for dropping the ties on a car standing near.  Mr. Monske sat down on the edge of the flatcar preparatory to jumping to the ground and as the ditcher was backing up he was caught between a car stake and the ditcher.  

Immediately after the accident, he was brought to the village and given medical attention.  No hope for him was extended when the nature of his injuries was fully ascertained.  He was taken to the Marshfield Hospital Friday night, he RLLC using their locomotive to take him to Chelsea.  Mr. Monske died at the hospital early Saturday morning and was brought back to the village Sunday afternoon.  

The funeral was held from the Lutheran church Tuesday afternoon.  The pallbearers were Paul Kaske, Carl Jacobs, Julius Gilge, Carl Yorde, William Tetzlaff and Rudolph Hein.  Undertaker F.E. Poole had charge of the burial. Besides a sorrowing wife, there are left to survive an infant son, his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Monske, Sr., and two brothers, John and Herman, and two sisters, Mrs. Otto Holverson and Mrs. Ernst Ziemke. They have the sympathy of the entire community in their sad bereavement."

RLHe 9/26/1919: "L.C. Fleming, cook in Camp 16, who has been in Belview, Minnesota, on a visit, is back again."

RLHe 10/10/1919: "Oliver Lamberty left for Camp 16 Tuesday."

RLHe 11/7/1919: "Glen Hanifen is now employed at Camp 16 for the RLLC as a "sky-hooker".  If he makes as a good a "sky-hooker" as he did a "gob" [sailor in the US navy] he is, without a question, the man for the job."

RLHe 4/23/1920: "Louis Fleming, the genial cook who held sway at Camp 16 all winter, and who for the past 6 years has been cooking for the RLLC, finished up for the season this week and will leave for Belleville, Minnesota, in a few days.  Mr. Fleming is undecided as to what he will do, but is going to try something different than cooking for awhile."

RLHe 5/28/1920: "Andrew Swanson is working for O.A. Peterson loading logs at Camp 16."

RLHe 6/11/1920: "Peter Enders and Peter Lamberty are loading logs for the Wausau Lumber Company near Camp 16."

RLHe 5/20/1921: "Camp 16 is no more.  The steel has been taken up and Louis Fleming, the cook, and crew came home last week.  Louis is going to spend a few days visiting here and then will go to visit friends in Minnesota."

LOCATION:  Daniel McCluskey, lifelong area resident, in 2010 reports site of Camp 16 on the west side of Lemke Creek in SW ¼  12 32 33 Town of Rib  Lake—claims there is a clearing at the  site.  

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

Robert P. Rusch and Daniel McCluskey, et al, found the well casing of Camp 16 on July 4, 2015, see map #19168 and #16402, as well as photo #16400.

On 7/4/2015 Linne Hendrickson stands next to the well casing for Camp 16.  Note the multitude of bullet holes that have pierced the heavy metal casing.  According to Dan McCluskey, his deer hunting gang frequently hunted the area; whenever a member of the gang had bought a new rifle, it would be tried out by shooting at the casing.  If the bullet was able to make it through the heavy metal, everyone knew the new rifle was “a keeper.”

Dan McCluskey organized a fun event for July 4, 2015, Dan, with Linne Hendrickson and others, invited R.P. Rusch to search for the Camps 14, 16 and 17.  It took about a half hour of searching through thick brush to find the Camp 16 well casing.  

17

8/15/1919 – 1/7/1921

8/15/1919 - Charles Burnett; 1/7/1921 George Burnett

RLHe 8/15/1919: "Charles Burnett, foreman at Camp 17 for the RLLC, returned to resume his duties at the camp Monday, after a week's vacation."

RLHe 1/7/1921: "The RLLC started another camp Monday to be known as Camp 17.  It is located in Township 32, Range 3 East. George Burnett is foreman.  About 35 men will be employed."

LOCATION:  

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

18

6/25/1920 – 2/12/1925

5 years

1922 - Jim Peterson

RLHe 6/25/1920: "R.R. Dresden, the well driller, finished drilling a well at Camp 18 last week.  Same is 87 1/2 feet deep, 18 1/2 feet being through solid blue granite rock. One day it took 3 hours to drill 2 inches.  As soon as he gets his machine in from the woods he will drill a well for William Radtke."

RLHe 6/25/1920: INJURED LAST FRIDAY. "Fred Kalk accidently sustained a severe cut while at work at Camp 18 about 9 o'clock last Friday morning.  He was engaged in peeling bark and in climbing over a peeled log he slipped and lost his balance.  When he saw that he was going to fall he tossed his ax away from him and reached out and caught a limb to steady himself. The limb broke and he fell on the ax, which had lodged, bit up.  His right leg was badly cut just below the kneecap, and the kneecap fractured.  He was brought to this village on the gasoline car by Charles Burnett, foreman of Camp 18, and taken to Dr. Lapham's office and the wound dressed, and in the afternoon he was taken to the Ashland Hospital.  John Stelling accompanied him to that city."

RLHe 5/13/1921: "Mr. and Mrs. Walter B. Patrick and son Curtiss and daughter Catherine and Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Voemastek and son Raymond took a trip to the woods Sunday and as far as the end of the track beyond Camp 18.  This is one of the most picturesque trips that can be imagined.  Although too early in the season to see the full benefit of nature's colors when all is in bloom, the air in the virgin forest, the spring water bubbling over the rocks besides the track and the "porkies" and squirrels and murmuring river inject that restful, satisfied, contented feeling of youth into a tired body and it is hard to break away and beat it back to town. The end of the track is about 22 miles from Rib Lake."

RLHe 6/17/1921: "Otto Olson, who has been helping out as cook at Camp 18, is home again, the position taken by Oscar Peterson permanently.

Carl Yorde was badly hurt at Camp 18."

RLHe 9/9/1921: "The work on the RLLC's telephone line to Camp 18 is progessing nicely.  The line will cover about 24 miles."

RLHe 9/23/1921: "Mrs. Charles Talbot is cooking at the loading camp, the other side of Camp 18, until the job of loading is finished.  Dan Pilon was cook out there but was transferred to Camp 9, so Mrs. Talbot took charge to help out."

RLHe 11/18/1921: "Chester Curran shot a wild cat near Camp 18.  It weighed 32 pounds. Hunters say it is the largest and nicest specimen of the wild feline ever bagged in these parts."

RLHe 5/4/1934: “FIRE AT OLD CAMP 18: SUNDAY. Fire broke out at old camp 18 of the Rib Lake Lumber Company last Saturday and Sunday, the company had about 50 men fighting it and it was soon put under control. This camp is on section 10, near county trunk M, in Lincoln county. It is said the fire came from a farmer’s clearing, who had a permit to burn and the fire got away from him.”

LOCATION:  SW SW 15-31-4E per Michael Weckwerth.

MAPS: 9/22/2016 by Ken Yorde shows extant structures in 1945 when Ken & family lived at camp site.  #19948

PHOTOS:  #19951-19958 show Yorde family and extant camp buildings c. 1943.  On 9/22/2016 RPR photographed engine well casing at camp site; no other original camp structures were visible that day; site hay field and active gravel pit.

Photo of Priscilla “Peaches” Yorde, n/k/a Mrs. Herbert Bergmann, and two brothers c. 1945. At rear are original RLLC Camp 18 barn buildings used by the Yorde family in 1945: left-hay barn, center-cow barn and right-horse barn.

RLLC Camp 18; Arcadia #188.

Massive piles of timber at RLLC Camp 18; Arcadia #189

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

Joseph A. Enders reports that he and Herman A. Rusch worked there one winter (1922) and Jim Peterson was foreman; 130 men worked out of Camp 18.

Note the reference to the “virgin forest.”  The RLLC forest in the Town of Corning was virgin, i.e., previously uncut, except for the pine, which probably had been cut in the 1800’s.

Mr. Ken Yorde of Rocklin, CA, has contacted R.P. Rusch in the spring of 2016.  Ken reports that his family moved from Rib Lake about 1935 to the abandoned Camp 18 site.  They used the former cook shanty at Camp 18 as a home while creating a small dairy farm there.  His father at the time worked for Ed Scheu, then a jobber working for the Rib Lake Lumber Co.  He reports the GPS coordinates for Camp 18 to be 45d 10m 03s n, 89d 58m 51s w.

19

4/26/1923 – 2/12/1925

2 years

Taylor Co. Star News, 2/12/1925:  "Camp 19 - which is located near 28-31-4 - will soon be through and will be moved to 36-32-4 [this should read 36-31-4…RPR]. A spur has been extended to this new location."

[12]There is no mention of Camp 19 in the Annotated Chronology of the Rib  Lake Herald.  

Source: Weckwerth #11776.

THE SECOND LOCATION OF CAMP 19 WAS 3 MILES EAST OF THE FIRST.

Map 12913 shows railroad and camp location.  Registered land surveyor David E. Tlusty in 7/2011 photographed and mapped former railroad r.o.w. serving camp  19 where it  crossed  present  STH 64.

20

5/7/1925 – 1929 (1929 date by Weckwerth based on interview of Natzke)

Charles Peterson; cook-Dan Pilon

Taylor Co. Star News, 5/7/1925: "The RLLC is building a new camp, to take as high as 125 men. It will be known as Camp 20 and will be located about 15 miles southeast of Rib Lake.  It is expected that the camp will be used about 4 years, logging a section a year from same.  Charles Peterson is foreman and Dan Pilon is cook at the camp."

LOCATION:  Mike Weckwerth reports the camp location is NE 1/4 - NE 1/4, Section 26, T32N R4E, Town of Corning; "in middle of 40 owned in 2008 by John Kudick".

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

There was no mention of Camp 20 in the Annotated Chronology of the Rib Lake Herald due to the accidental loss of copies of the Herald from 1922-1939.

An outstanding, detailed description of Camp 20 was written by Michael Weckwerth based on his interview of Bill Natzke; #14319.

21

2/19/1921

 

There was no mention of Camp 21 in the Annotated Chronology of the Rib Lake Herald due to the accidental loss of copies of the Herald from 1922-1939.

Source: Weckwerth #11776:

c. 2000 Mike Weckwerth comments:  “The Rib Lake Lumber Co. Camp #21 operated pretty much the same years 1926-1934, but again this camp was closed 1932-1933.  Bill (Natzke) said that there were about 60-80 men working and staying at Camp 21 most of the time.

As of 2/7/2016, the archivists cannot locate an article regarding Camp 21 printed on 2/19/1921.  IS THAT DATE FROM A NEWSPAPER LOCATED BY MICHAEL WECKWERTH.

22

May 1934 - 1935

Foreman unknown - Star News, 5/10/1934: "The woods operations will be in charge of Jim Peterson, veteran logger, who will make his headquarters at Camp 22."

Jim was the “Walking Boss.”

The Rib Lake Herald 5/4/1934 reported: “The company will operate 2 camps, 22 and 23, on Section 16 [Town 32 N Range 4 East]. Operations of these camps will start from the 10th to 15th of May [1934], same as that of the jobbers. Camp 22 will log on the N ½ of Section 16, and Camp 23 on the S ½ of Section 3, Town 32 North, Range 4 E, Lincoln County.  Camp 22 will put in about 5 million feet, and Camp 23 and equal amount.” [Note by RPR: Despite this quote, it appears that only Camp 22 operated in Section 16.]

The 5/4/1934 article went on: “Hemlock will be logged now and must be out by Nov. 15. Then loggers will start on hardwood around Dec. 1 and these operations should be wound up around Apr. 1, 1935.”

      “Hemlock bark will be peeled on all operations and it is proposed to peel from 5,000-7,500 cords. Men will be given opportunity to peel bark on contract if they prefer to peel that way.

“The woods operations are in charge of Mr. Jim Peterson, woods superintendent, and he makes his headquarters at Camp 22, and has a telephone there.  He hires men on company operations.

“WHEN WE LOOK BACK OVER THE PAST 3 YEARS, DURING WHICH OPERATIONS WERE AT A LOW EBB, AND YOU MIGHT SAY AT A STANDSTILL, THIS SCALE OF RESUMPTION OF OPERATIONS BY THE COMPANY IS ALMOST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. IT WILL BRING BACK PROSPERITY LIKE NOTHING ELSE AND THIS SECTION HAS A LOT TO BE THANKFUL FOR.  MEN WHO HAVE BEEN GLAD TO FIND WORK THE PAST 3 YEARS FOR MERE EXISTENCE WILL ONCE MORE CARRY A FULL DINNER PAIL AND EARN REAL MONEY.” (emphasis added)

The Star News, dated 5/10/1934 reported that the sawmill of the RLLC would resume cutting after being shut down from April of 1932.  The Star News further reported: "The RLLC of Delaware plans to open two logging camps about the middle of this month, and has made contracts with 6 jobbers to log hemlock and hardwood for the company, according to F.W. Warrington, General Manager of the company.

      “The camps to be started up are #22 and #23.... Camp 22 will log the north 1/2, Section 16 [Town 32 North, Range 4 West], and Camp 23 the south 1/2 of Section 3, Town 32 North, Range 4 East, in Lincoln County. The camps will put in about 5 million feet apiece.  The woods operations will be in charge of Jim Peterson, veteran logger, who will make his headquarters at Camp 22."

Rib Lake Herald April, 1934: “F.W. Warrington, General Manager of the RLLC, informed The Herald last Monday that the company has 2 camps started, #22 and 23, and at that time there were about 60 men in each camp and probably there will be more men put on as the work opens up.

“The jobbers are getting their camps ready and hiring men as they need them, and by the first of June, woods operations ought to be in full swing.

“Chris Brandt is foreman in Camp 22 and his cook is Chris Winkle [sic].”

The foregoing was part of the Anna May Kennedy scrapbook of clippings, Doc. 13433-101, - 082 and -142; the first source also reported the following:

“WILL BUY 3 TRACTORS-F.W. Warrington, General Manager of the RLLC, informed us Wednesday that the demonstration of what a tractor can do in woods operations was so satisfactory that the company has decided to place an order for three tractors at once. The machines are rated at 24 horse power.” [RLHe 6/6/1934]

“FIRST TRAINLOAD OF LOGS BROUGHT IN WEDNESDAY-The first trainload of logs was brought in from the woods Wednesday and consisted of 14 cars of logs to be sawed into timbers for use in the mill plant.” [RLHe 6/6/1934]

LOCATION:  

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

There was little mention of Camp 22 in the Annotated Chronology of the Rib Lake Herald due to the accidental loss of copies of the Herald from 1922-1939.

THE 5/10/1934 ARTICLE IDENTIFIED JOBBING CONTRACTS GOING TO MORGAN PETERSON, LAMBERT LAMBERTY, WILLIAM NATZKE, HERMAN KLEINSCHMIDT, CARL KRUEGER AND G.W. LUEDTKE, WITH LEGAL DESCRIPTIONS OF THE JOBBER CAMPS.

The article dated 5/4/1934, is Doc. 13876.  The same article listed by name the 6 jobbers working for the RLLC in 1934 and the legal descriptions of the land to be cut by the jobbers. A color-coded map showing these lands is Doc. #13876B.

The 6/6/1934 Rib Lake Herald article reported the RLLC would place an order for three “tractors,” i.e. caterpillar tractors to skid logs.  The UW-Extension color movie on Camp 26 shows these tractors in operation using a “pan” to skid about eight logs at a time.  

A DVD of the movie may be purchased from the Rib Lake Historical Society.

Note that hemlock bark will be peeled while the tannery in Rib Lake closed in 1922; tanneries elsewhere continued to need tanbark.

23

May 1934 – 11/7/1935

3 years

The Star News, dated 5/10/1934 reported that the sawmill of the RLLC would resume cutting after being shut down from April of 1932.  The Star News further reported: "The RLLC of Delaware plans to open two logging camps about the middle of this month, and has made contracts with 6 jobbers to log hemlock and hardwood for the company, according to F.W. Warrington, General Manager of the company.

    “The camps to be started up are #22 and #23....Camp 22 will log the north 1/2, Section 16 [Town 32 North, Range 4 West], and Camp 23 the south 1/2 of Section 3, Town 32 North, Range 4 East, in Lincoln County. The camps will put in about 5 million feet apiece.  The woods operations will be in charge of Jim Peterson, veteran logger, who will make his headquarters at Camp 22."

LOCATION:  

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

There was little mention of Camp 23 in the Annotated Chronology of the Rib Lake Herald due to the accidental loss of copies of the Herald from 1922-1939.

THE 5/10/1934 ARTICLE IDENTIFIED JOBBING CONTRACTS GOING TO MORGAN PETERSON, LAMBERT LAMBERTY, WILLIAM NATZKE, HERMAN KLEINSCHMIDT, CARL KRUEGER AND G.W. LUEDTKE, WITH LEGAL DESCRIPTIONS OF THE JOBBER CAMPS.

Lengthy Rib Lake Herald article dated 5/4/1934 on Camp 23 and 22 is printed in comments for Camp 22 above; see, also, Doc. 13876 and map, 13876A and B.

Extensive information on the 1934 operations of Camp 22 and 23 are set forth in the comments section of Camp 22 above.  Doc. 13433-101 reported “Robert Aitken is foreman in Camp 23, and his cook is George Kollman, who used to be in business in Rib Lake.”  This data referred to 1934.

24

11/22/1935 – 8/16/1940

5 years

RLHe 11/22/1935: “Ben Larsen, John Pearson and Joe Jacek, have been in from Camp 24, on and off, the past two weeks;” to read the entire Rib Lake Herald from which this quote has been taken, see image #15779.

RLHe 9/10/1937: COMPANIES CAMPS MODELS OF UP-TO-DATE FACILITIES "A combination bathroom and laundry room were installed at Camp 25 of the RLLC early in June. This proved to be such a success that a second unit was immediately put in at Camp 24.

Each unit consists of running hot and cold water with an abundance of hot water at all times, under pressure, and a battery of six showers.

The laundry section at each camp consists of about 12 built in tubs likewise connected with hot and cold running water.

Early last spring the company completely overhauled its camp sleeping quarters by installing single double-decked beds throughout.  This insures each man having a single bed to himself, not sleeping compelled to share his sleeping quarters.

The company has also installed a large capacity washing machine connected with steam pipes and hot water. All camp bedding is being regularly steamed and washed, insuring clean bedding at all times in its camps. 

The RLLC is among the first, if not the first, lumber company in Wisconsin or Upper Michigan to take this big forward step in providing these modern facilities for its camp employees. Their camps are considered as models for up-to-date facilities.

For years the company has been noted for the wonderful meals it has served to the men in its camps, equal to that served in some of the better hotels.

This is quite a contrast to what it used to be in some camps years ago." (emphasis added)

RLHe 4/7/1939: LUMBER COMPANY WILL BUILD ANOTHER CAMP - 26 "The RLLC will put up a group of buildings 3 miles west of New Wood Camp (Camp 25) as soon as the weather warms up, to be known as Camp 26, to accommodate 160 men.  The camp will be about 15 miles northwest of Rib Lake by rail.

Men will be put to work there to peel pulpwood all summer and cut saw logs next fall and winter.  Camp 24 will also operate during the summer months.

The company has been operating only 1 camp for some time, and logging operations for this season were round up last Thursday.  Loggers will start again about the first of July.  The present cut of hardwood, which is smaller than that of a year ago, will be run through the mill by the end of April, but some more hardwood will be milled next fall, sometime in September.

Ed Synnott is the company's woods superintendent, Chris Brandt is foreman, Nels Nelson assistant foreman, Henry Janzen bookkeeper and Louis Fleming cook."

RLHe 7/14/1939: CHOPS TOE OFF.  "John Ahonen, Brantwood, chopped a toe of from his left foot Monday while cutting branches off a tree at Camp 24.  He was taken to Dr. Lapham's clinic for treatment."

RLHe 8/18/1939: "The Herman Batzer family and their guests, Jessie Wagner, Glen Ellyn, Illinois and Stump Fraser, Aurora, Illinois, spent Tuesday visiting the lumber camps of the RLLC. The dinner at Camp 24, prepared under the guidance of Louis Fleming, was something to be remembered for its tastiness and abundance. The ride out and back on the supply train was a worthwhile event in itself."

RLHe 11/3/1939: "John Kaspariak, who is employed at Camp 24, was brought to Dr. Lapham's clinic Monday with a severe case of hemlock poisoning in his right arm.  He will be at the clinic about 2 weeks."

RLHe 11/17/1939: "Harold Rhody, from the Spirit country, while working with his brother at Camp 24, was seriously injured when a falling tree struck him, breaking both bones below the knee of his right leg and crushing his ankle Monday afternoon.  He was brought to Dr. G.L. Baker for examination and first aid and then taken to the hospital at Wausau for special care and treatment."

RLHe 1/12/1940: WOOD WORKER INJURED TUESDAY AT CAMP 24.  "Harvey Rhody of Spirit, who is employed at Camp 24 by the RLLC, sustained a fractured jaw and concussion of the brain Tuesday morning.  He was brought to Dr. Baker's office, and was then taken to the Memorial Hospital at Wausau by Mr. C.C. Lord.  The latest reports were that he is getting along fine."

RLHe 8/2/1940: SAWDUST BIN By the RLLC Correspondents "RLLC Camp 25, Dear Sawdust, Sometime perhaps we will survive to speak of the present time as a "late heatwave".  Someone should do something about it, but I guess we are still the same kind of folks that Mark Twain knew. So far as this camp, the only victim of excessive heat, was a horse. We have otherwise been very fortunate.

The New Wood River is reduced to a trickle. One thinks of the raging torrent that existed in the same riverbed just a few weeks ago, it seems hard to believe that such extremes could occur in such a short time.

We are beginning to spread out from here, and Camp 24 will probably experience a resurrection shortly. They are still engaged rather heavily with pulpwood at this camp but log sawyers have already started at Camp 24.

Nobody has bitten the dog yet. Signed Camp 25.

During the month of July there have been 161 visiting the Rib Lake sawmill. Most of these were tourists. This proves that people are still interested in the way lumber is made."

RLHe 8/16/1940: "The company moved from Camp 25 back to 24 last week."

LOCATION:  

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  #17,161

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

25

5/7/1937 – 8/16/1940

(Photographs dated by unknown individual, scanned at 18730 & 18730A, read “12/6/1936.”

3 years

Matt Whiting

RLHe 4/16/1937: "Matt Whiting, foreman in Camp 25, is off on a visit to his home and relatives in Minnesota until the ground in the woods dries out so men and teams can go to work."

RLHe 9/10/1937: COMPANIES CAMPS MODELS OF UP-TO-DATE FACILITIES "A combination bathroom and laundry room were installed at Camp 25 of the RLLC early in June. This proved to be such a success that a second unit was immediately put in at Camp 24.

Each unit consists of running hot and cold water with an abundance of hot water at all times, under pressure, and a battery of six showers.

The laundry section at each camp consists of about 12 built in tubs likewise connected with hot and cold running water.

Early last spring the company completely overhauled its camp sleeping quarters by installing single double-decked beds throughout.  This insures each man having a single bed to himself, not sleeping compelled to share his sleeping quarters.

The company has also installed a large capacity washing machine connected with steam pipes and hot water. All camp bedding is being regularly steamed and washed, insuring clean bedding at all times in its camps. 

The RLLC is among the first, if not the first, lumber company in Wisconsin or Upper Michigan to take this big forward step in providing these modern facilities for its camp employees. Their camps are considered as models for up-to-date facilities.

For years the company has been noted for the wonderful meals it has served to the men in its camps, equal to that served in some of the better hotels.

This is quite a contrast to what it used to be in some camps years ago."

RLHe 4/7/1939: LUMBER COMPANY WILL BUILD ANOTHER CAMP - 26 "The RLLC will put up a group of buildings 3 miles west of New Wood Camp (Camp 25) as soon as the weather warms up, to be known as Camp 26, to accommodate 160 men.  The camp will be about 15 miles northwest of Rib Lake by rail.

Men will be put to work there to peel pulpwood all summer and cut saw logs next fall and winter.  Camp 24 will also operate during the summer months.

The company has been operating only 1 camp for some time, and logging operations for this season were round up last Thursday.  Loggers will start again about the first of July.  The present cut of hardwood, which is smaller than that of a year ago, will be run through the mill by the end of April, but some more hardwood will be milled next fall, sometime in September.

Ed Synnott is the company's woods superintendent, Chris Brandt is foreman, Nels Nelson assistant foreman, Henry Janzen bookkeeper and Louis Fleming cook."

RLHe 5/12/1939: LUMBER COMPANY BUILDING NEW CAMP, #26 "Work on Camp 26, out from New Wood camp, or Camp 25 of the RLLC, was started in earnest Monday when two [railroad] carloads of lumber were hauled out to the site to begin building operations.  Two carpenters, J.M. Johnson and Oscar Olson, and a crew of men will have the work completed in less than 30 days, Mr. Synott, the company's woods superintendent, informs us.

The camp will be large enough to house about 125 men and will probably be put in operation early next fall or sooner.

This camp will be equipped with a portable refrigerator to keep meat and perishable food in good condition.  It will be an electric unit and will be operated by a Kohler automatic lighting plant, which can also supply current for electric lights and electric appliances.

The RLLC operates camps that are models of perfection."

RLHe 12/1/1939: 18 OUT OF TOWN HUNTERS ARE GUESTS OF LUMBER COMPANY. "18 out of town hunters went out to Camp 25 of the RLLC Friday afternoon as guests of the company during deer hunting season.  The camp is located at New Wood, with Herman Marschke doing the cooking for the men.

8 hunters from Rib Lake went out with the men, and 4 bucks were brought in from the camp Monday night.  Those who had the good luck were Joe Richardson, Sheboygan Falls; Ed Christoph, Neenah; Tom Kuther, Neenah and William Lemke, Rib Lake.

The following are the names of the men who came here as guests of the company, whose names we were able to obtain (some of them brought friends and their names could not be ascertained): R.C. Baudruil, Eau Claire; J. Klinghoffer, Waunakee; B. Bredson, Waupun; William Corrigan, Waupun; Ed Christoph, Neenah; Tom Kuther, Neenah; Ed Adams, Fox Lake; Leo Larson, Eau Claire; Joe Noerz, Beaver Dam; Jim Koehler, Koehler; Mr. Krause, Appleton; Mr. Jacobson, Menominee Falls; L.K. Scott, Glen Buehla, and Joe Richardson, Sheboygan Falls.

Those from Rib Lake who hunted with them were William Lemke, Tracy Berfield, William Daga, William Berfield, Ottie Lemke, Gerald Radtke, Fred Curran and William Radtke."

RLHE 6/21/1940: "Otto Hein crushed a finger on his left hand so badly it had to be amputated this week. He was treated by Dr. Baker. Otto was cutting pulpwood at Camp 25.

Louis Fleming, cook at Camp 25, spent the weekend in town.

In the contest between the two camps for the least number of accidents, Camp 25 was the winner for the 4-week period ending June 15."

RLHe 8/2/1940: SAWDUST BIN By the RLLC Correspondents "RLLC Camp 25, Dear Sawdust, Sometime perhaps we will survive to speak of the present time as a "late heatwave".  Someone should do something about it, but I guess we are still the same kind of folks that Mark Twain knew. So far as this camp, the only victim of excessive heat, was a horse. We have otherwise been very fortunate.

The New Wood River is reduced to a trickle. One thinks of the raging torrent that existed in the same riverbed just a few weeks ago, it seems hard to believe that such extremes could occur in such a short time.

We are beginning to spread out from here, and Camp 24 will probably experience a resurrection shortly. They are still engaged rather heavily with pulpwood at this camp but log sawyers have already started at Camp 24.

Nobody has bitten the dog yet. Signed Camp 25.

During the month of July there have been 161 visiting the Rib Lake sawmill. Most of these were tourists. This proves that people are still interested in the way lumber is made."

RLHe 8/16/1940: "The company moved from Camp 25 back to 24 last week."

LOCATION:  

MAPS:

PHOTOS:  Images 18730 & 18730A are photographs taken 12/6/1936 of the office building at Camp 25, from the Document & Photo Collection of the Rib Lake Historical Society.

SPECIAL COMMENTS:  

As of 3/29/2015 the former office building of Camp 25 still stands and is used from time to time as a hunting shack by the Michael Patrick family of Rib Lake.  

26

4/7/1939 – 5/24/1946

7 years

Charles Kannenberg

RLHe 4/7/1939:  LUMBER COMPANY WILL BUILD ANOTHER CAMP - 26 "The RLLC will put up a group of buildings 3 miles west of New Wood Camp (Camp 25) as soon as the weather warms up, to be known as Camp 26, to accommodate 160 men.  The camp will be about 15 miles northwest of Rib Lake by rail.

Men will be put to work there to peel pulpwood all summer and cut saw logs next fall and winter.  Camp 24 will also operate during the summer months.

The company has been operating only 1 camp for some time, and logging operations for this season were round up last Thursday.  Loggers will start again about the first of July.  The present cut of hardwood, which is smaller than that of a year ago, will be run through the mill by the end of April, but some more hardwood will be milled next fall, sometime in September.

Ed Synnott is the company's woods superintendent, Chris Brandt is foreman, Nels Nelson assistant foreman, Henry Janzen bookkeeper and Louis Fleming cook."

RLHe 5/12/1939: LUMBER COMPANY BUILDING NEW CAMP, #26 "Work on Camp 26, out from New Wood camp, or Camp 25 of the RLLC, was started in earnest Monday when two [railroad] carloads of lumber were hauled out to the site to begin building operations.  Two carpenters, J.M. Johnson and Oscar Olson, and a crew of men will have the work completed in less than 30 days, Mr. Synott, the company's woods superintendent, informs us.

The camp will be large enough to house about 125 men and will probably be put in operation early next fall or sooner.

This camp will be equipped with a portable refrigerator to keep meat and perishable food in good condition.  It will be an electric unit and will be operated by a Kohler automatic lighting plant, which can also supply current for electric lights and electric appliances.

The RLLC operates camps that are models of perfection."

RLHe 6/2/1939: BUILD CAMP FOR 160 MEN IN 12 1/2 DAYS  "Ed Synnott, Woods Superintendent for the RLLC, is greatly pleased over the progress the crew made in building the company's new camp, #26, which is 15 miles southeast of Rib Lake. From the time work on the camp was started up to the time it was fit to house 100 men, it was just 12 1/2 days.  The camp has single beds for 160 men, electric lights, refrigerator, etc.

Last Friday evening Nels Nelson served the carpenters a barrel of beer to celebrate his wedding last month.

Mr. Nelson and his wife hope to be living in Rib Lake by June 15."

RLHe 6/9/1939: KANNENBERG FOREMAN AT CAMP 26. "Charles Kannenberg of Tigerton, Wis., told the Herald that he was sent here to take the position of foreman in Camp 26 of the RLLC. He has had years of experience."

RLHe 11/17/1939: "John Erickson, an employee at Camp 26, was injured with a flying piece of wood and was confined to Dr. Lapham's Clinic for a few days."

RLHe 3/8/1940: SAWDUST, BY THE RIB LAKE LUMBER COMPANY CORRESPONDENTS "A first aid class was started on March 1. There are 14 men enrolled in the class.  We hold two 2 hour classes each week on Monday and Friday nights at the Village Hall. At the end of the class, they will take an examination and all passing the test will receive a certificate from the American Red Cross.

William Burfield went to Marshfield on Tuesday and brought home Elmer Timm from the hospital.

On March 19, the third meeting of the safety contest will be held when the chipper crew and the outside activities gang will meet and battle for a chance to compete for the championship.

Elof Olsen dropped a log on the big toe of his right foot and smashed his toe. He was taken to Dr. Carstens' office for treatment.

Camp 26 won the barrel of apples for the best safety record of the month."

RLHe 6/28/1940: "Albain Fisk was struck on the shoulder by a falling limb while working at Camp 26. He was treated by Dr. Baker. John Tepler fell down and bumped his knee while peeling pulpwood at Camp 26. He was treated by Dr. Baker."

RLHe 7/19/1940: SAWDUST BIN By the RLLC Correspondents. "Camp 26 readily admits that they were slow in producing news items. After taking inventory, one finds approximately 150 heads at the table. Each one of the 150 are so busily engaged in developing his intimate potentialities as a lumberjack, there isn't much time to practice journalism.

We don't think that the Sawdust Bin is as particularly interested in the individual timber angels and the life they lead. We have nothing but the best! One of our pulp Jippos has cut, peeled and bunched as high as 140 sticks in one day.  Beat that if you can (without any rubber).

When a good man like that sits at the table he can devour his share of the 125 pounds of pork chops - nice juicy pork chops. And speaking of pork chops - our camp boasts over 80 hams on the hoof.

 [portion of article deleted] Well, folksies, the time checker-upper sets the pace for us with his size #12's, so that Camp 26 must bid you fare adieu  Signed Camp 26."

RLHe 2/14/1941:  "Camp 26 of the RLLC has been closed down temporarily. The company is shipping in so many logs from the northern part of the state they are conserving their standing timber here for future cutting."

RLHe 7/11/1941:  "The South Side Sportsters Club spent a very pleasant day last Monday at RLLC's Camps 26 and 27."

RLHe 12/5/1941:  BODY OF MISSING LUMBERJACK FOUND "The body of Gustolph Forslund, 46-year-old lumberjack, was found last Saturday by Jim Heindl while hunting near the Schneider farm in Section 23, near the Taylor and Lincoln County line. Forslund had been missing from Camp 26 for the past 5 weeks. A search had been made for him several weeks ago by a party of CCC boys and local and county authorities, but at that time failed to find him. On the day he disappeared he had left camp to come to town and got as far as Zondlo's Tavern where he purchased whiskey and started back to camp. When the body was found, among his possessions was an empty whiskey bottle and another partly empty, mute evidence that he had been drinking heavily. There was a big bruise on his right side of his head where he had evidently fallen on a rock. His pack was found a number of feet away from the body and it looked as though he had been trying to start a fire to warm himself.  

Mr. Forslund came here with his twin brother, Axel, from Minneapolis to work in the company camp. The brother is still employed at the camp. He also had another brother, Alfred, and a sister, Tillie, in Sweden. The twin brothers came to this country in 1918.

Funeral services for the deceased were held Wednesday afternoon at Taylor Funeral Home with Rev. E. Holverson officiating. Interment was in the Lakeview Cemetery."

RLHe 6/19/1942:  RIB LAKE QUOTA IN U.S. WOOD DRIVE IS $110.  "Charles Kannenberg is in charge of the U.S. Wood Drive in Camp 26 and Christ Brandt for Camp 27."

RLHe 2/26/1943:  "Olaf Berg suffered a broken toe while at work at Camp 26 of the RLLC Monday.  He was cared for at Dr. Carsten's office."

RLHe 1/14/1944:  WOODSMAN INSTANTLY KILLED AT CAMP 26 "On Friday afternoon about 1:30, Selmer Olson, 37, of Route 1, Stetsonville, was instantly killed while working for the RLLC at Camp 26. Mr. Olson was working as a small tractor driver when a log he was skidding with the tractor became caught on a stump and was thrown about. Other workers seeing the log, yelled to Olson and he jumped from the tractor into the path of the moving log, killing him instantly.

The remains were brought to town and then taken to the Medford Funeral Home.

The unfortunate man had only started to work for the company on the preceding Monday and he had already made many friends at camp and was considered a very good worker. He was the father of 7 children, the oldest being 10 years old, who with their mother survive. He is also survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Olson of Medford. Deceased was a cousin of Oscar Olson of this Village."

RLHe 9/21/1945:  "A 200 pound bear was shot and killed at Camp 26 last Saturday by Randolph Wagner. The animal had been raiding the pig pens out there, so permission was granted by the Conservation Department to kill it."

RLHe 5/24/1946:  GAS CARS COLLIDE ON COMPANY'S TRACK "About 9:00 last Sunday evening, two gas cars running on the RLLC's main line [railroad] track east of town collided, resulting in serious injuries to two passengers of the speeders.

The accident occurred while one of the cars was traveling east to Camp 27, about 12 miles from this Village, and carrying Albert Harzowoski, who received a fractured nose and Joe Lapinski. The other car was traveling from Camp 26 on its way to Camp 28, and carried as its passengers, Jessie Fishbeck, Dave Anderson, Andy Lake, Ed Rahn, Dick Hahn, Carl Bonke, Raymond Kasten and Fred Schultz. The latter received a broken shoulder and is now confined to the Merrill Hospital.

The 8 men stated after the accident that they saw the other car approaching and had practically come to a stop when the car carrying the two passengers struck them.  Two of the 8 men jumped before the cars collided.

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Site inspected, mapped (#15013), photographed and  items  collected (#15012) on 7/10/2011 by R.P. Rusch and Daniel Mathias: a private road runs on the former railroad north of camp buildings,  all of  which are gone but for the cement floor of former camp office—just  south of which a hand pump still stands and functions. Site is NW SW NW 20 33 4E, Town of Corning, Lincoln Co., WI.  THE BIGGEST SURPRIZE WAS A LITERAL PISS HOLE ABOUT 18 INCHES DEEP SURROUNDED BY BARE EARTH ABOUT 4 X 20 FEET.  Men in winter stepped just outside the bunk house and urinated rather than walking further to the outhouses.  The salts from the urine had prevented vegetation to grow for 75 years---1944 when the camp closed to present—7/10/11.  RP Rusch.

During my 7/20/2011 visit to Camp 26 site I found the camp dump.  Among the rusty tin cans I found a fragment of a china dinner plate.  This had been very nice white china featuring the image of delicate red roses.  My explanation is that this red rose pattern was not usual camp fare; it may have been part of a collection from a private home brought to camp to supplement the usual company plates. – RPR.

On 10/8/2015 I interviewed David McCluskey, who visited his father, who worked at Camp 26 and had supper with the men.  Dan repots that the plates were plain white “porcelain” with matching white cups.  

This site is included in the digital photos taken by RPR.           Colored movie, “Time & Timber” made of Camp 26 in 1936; movie can be viewed at www.riblakehistory.com.    

The following orange page is from the Feb. 1, 1945, edition of a monthly magazine, “Sawdust,” published by the Accident Prevention Committee of the Rib Lake Lumber Co.  It catalogues all of the injuries sustained by workers at Camp 26 and Camp 27.

Note that Camp 26 had “over” 80 hams on the hoof.  This referred to live pigs kept at the camp, fed in part by table scraps and butchered as needed.  Alan Blomberg told me that a flying eagle once swooped down and carried off a piglet from RLLC Camp 9. –RPR.

NB- the record-setting longevity of the RLLC was made possible by conserving its local timber sources.  This was possible by acquiring logs to be sawed at the Rib Lake mill from throughout northern Wisconsin as well as the Upper Peninsula and Minnesota.-RPR

27

5/23/1941 - 1947

6 years

Christ Brandt, foreman               Louis Flemming - cook

RLHe 5/23/1941: LUMBER COMPANY OPENS NEW CAMP "The RLLC has constructed a set of new buildings and opened a new camp on Wednesday, to be known as Camp 27.  Oscar Olson and a crew set a new record for construction, putting up the buildings for this camp in only 9 days.

A well was drilled and water was reached at 105 feet.

John Novak wired the buildings for electricity.

Louis Flemming, camp cook, celebrated his 42nd (?) birthday by moving into the new camp.

Camp 27 will house 150 men."

RLHe 7/11/1941:  "The South Side Sportsters Club spent a very pleasant day last Monday at RLLC's Camps 26 and 27."

RLHe 5/23/1941: “RLLC opened its new camp, #27.”

RLHe 7/11/1941:  "The South Side Sportsters Club spent a very pleasant day last Monday at RLLC's Camps 26 and 27."

RLHe 6/19/1942:  RIB LAKE QUOTA IN U.S. WOOD DRIVE IS $110.  "Charles Kannenberg is in charge of the U.S. Wood Drive in Camp 26 and Christ Brandt for Camp 27."

RLHe 9/4/1942:  MIKE ROIGER SUFFERS SERIOUS BACK INJURY "Mike Roiger was seriously injured Monday morning while at work at Camp 27 of the RLLC.  He was helping load logs on the jammer when his clothing was caught in the machinery and before it could be stopped he was injured.  He was taken to the hospital at Wausau where it was found that the injury to his back was very serious.

Mr. Roiger, who lives on a farm in the Town of Greenwood, had only started back to work for the company that morning after spending the summer at farm work."

RLHe 6/23/1944: LUMBERJACK KILLED BY FALLING LIMB "John Kurotnic, 58, lumberjack employed by the RLLC at Camp 27, was instantly killed last Friday about 2:00 p.m. while at work. He was cutting down a tree when a big limb fell from a nearby tree, striking him on the head. His neck was broken and he died instantly.

The remains were brought to town on the logging train and taken to the Taylor Funeral Home. The only known relatives, two cousins in Indiana, were notified but were unable to come. Funeral services were held at 1:30 Tuesday from the funeral home. Rev. H.J. Holverson officiated. Interment was made at Lakeview Cemetery."

RLHe 5/24/1946:  GAS CARS COLLIDE ON COMPANY'S TRACK "About 9:00 last Sunday evening, two gas cars running on the RLLC's main line [railroad] track east of town collided, resulting in serious injuries to two passengers of the speeders.

The accident occurred while one of the cars was traveling east to Camp 27, about 12 miles from this Village, and carrying Albert Harzowoski, who received a fractured nose and Joe Lapinski. The other car was traveling from Camp 26 on its way to Camp 28, and carried as its passengers, Jessie Fishbeck, Dave Anderson, Andy Lake, Ed Rahn, Dick Hahn, Carl Bonke, Raymond Kasten and Fred Schultz. The latter received a broken shoulder and is now confined to the Merrill Hospital.

The 8 men stated after the accident that they saw the other car approaching and had practically come to a stop when the car carrying the two passengers struck them.  Two of the 8 men jumped before the cars collided."

RLHe 10/11/1946: JOHN HERREM KILLS LARGE BLACK BEAR "John Herrem, in company with his wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Randall Wagner, and Clifford Waldhart, shot and killed a large black bear at Camp 28 of the RLLC last Saturday night shortly after 11:00.  The bear weighed 331 pounds when dressed.  

The two couples had gone to Camp 27 earlier in the evening where they were joined by Waldhart and journeyed to Camp 28 to station and be on the lookout for the bear, which it is reported had caused considerable damage around Camp 28 and raiding the pig pen. Stationed near the pen, they did not have to wait long before the marauder put in his appearance."

RLHe 3/14/1947:  INJURIES FATAL TO WOODS WORKER[13] "Ralph Boyk, about 55, a transient lumberjack working at Camp 27 of the RLLC, died en route to Wausau Memorial Hospital Monday, where he was being taken after having been struck by a falling tree.

Sawing with Herman Marschke of this village, and while felling a tree they had sawed and which split completely down, he was struck on the left side of his body.

He was conscious after the accident and complained of pain in his hip and shoulder and internally. Marschke and John Taplin, camp clerk, who accompanied him on the trip to the hospital, conversed with him the last time in Merrill.  He was found dead upon arrival at the hospital.

The body was taken to Helke Funeral Home in Wausau and a search for his sister, who it is thought resides in Chicago, is being made by Marathon County authorities. Although his billfold divulged an Iron Belt, Michigan, address, authorities were unable to locate relatives.

He has worked for the local lumber company on many occasions, but it appears he was not known in the village."

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Note that Camp 27 had electricity.  As of 10/7/2015 the source of the camp electricity is unconfirmed.  It was either from a generator at camp, or it may have come from utility sources; under the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, the federal government created and subsidized electric cooperatives which strung power lines throughout northern Wisconsin – areas shunned by for-profit electric utilities.  

Dan McCluskey grew up on his family’s farm in the Town of Greenwood, Taylor County, about 3 miles west of the Lincoln County line on the north side of CTH M [N5190 Maple Road].  Dan reports that his parents farm did not have electric power via overhead lines until 1947-48.  He often hiked through the neighborhood, including the sites of Camp 26 and 28 and he never saw power lines strung to company camps. He feels certain he would remember them had they existed there.

MOVIES:  On 1/9/2016 Brad Bacher of Merrill told Robert P. Rusch that a “Chris Hoffman” of Merrill took moves of former Camp 27 buildings just before they were razed by the DNR c. 1990.  Brad says he will supply Hoffman’s contact information to Robert P. Rusch.

28

5/24/1946 - 1948 (Camp 28 probably in operation prior to 1946)

 2 years

RLHe 5/24/1946:  GAS CARS COLLIDE ON COMPANY'S TRACK "About 9:00 last Sunday evening, two gas cars running on the RLLC's main line [railroad] track east of town collided, resulting in serious injuries to two passengers of the speeders.

The accident occurred while one of the cars was traveling east to Camp 27, about 12 miles from this Village, and carrying Albert Harzowoski, who received a fractured nose and Joe Lapinski. The other car was traveling from Camp 26 on its way to Camp 28, and carried as its passengers, Jessie Fishbeck, Dave Anderson, Andy Lake, Ed Rahn, Dick Hahn, Carl Bonke, Raymond Kasten and Fred Schultz. The latter received a broken shoulder and is now confined to the Merrill Hospital.

The 8 men stated after the accident that they saw the other car approaching and had practically come to a stop when the car carrying the two passengers struck them.  Two of the 8 men jumped before the cars collided."

RLHe: 10/11/1946:  JOHN HERREM KILLS LARGE BLACK BEAR "John Herrem, in company with his wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Randall Wagner, and Clifford Waldhart, shot and killed a large black bear at Camp 28 of the RLLC last Saturday night shortly after 11:00.  The bear weighed 331 pounds when dressed.  

The two couples had gone to Camp 27 earlier in the evening where they were joined by Waldhart and journeyed to Camp 28 to station and be on the lookout for the bear, which it is reported had caused considerable damage around Camp 28 and raiding the pig pen. Stationed near the pen, they did not have to wait long before the marauder put in his appearance."

RLHe 1/24/1947:  JAKE MELASKI INJURED WHILE WORKING IN WOODS "Jake Melaski, while at work in the woods shortly before noon Wednesday at Camp 28 of the RLLC, received serious injuries when a pulpwood dray hitched to a team of horses he was driving, struck an obstruction, knocking him to the ground and passing over his body.

He was immediately brought to this Village where he received treatment to his injuries at the office of Dr. A.S. Horn and rushed to the Wausau Hospital in the Taylor ambulance."

RLHe 2/20/1948:  RIB LAKE BUSINESS PLACES TO CLOSE NEXT WEDNESDAY FOR WOODS OUTING "In observation of cutting the last of the RLLC's standing timber east of town this week, the Rib Lake Commercial Club and Village, in cooperation with the lumber company, will sponsor an outing for local citizens at the company's holding near Camp 28 next Wednesday, February 25, and at which time the last standing tree will be cut. The Herald was informed Monday that sawyers would fall the last tree this week Wednesday, but that a large tree would be left standing for cutting the following Wednesday at the time of the outing.

Businessmen and their wives are expected to attend the outing, as all business places in the village will be closed. Transportation will be furnished to and from the woods by the lumber company's logging train, and the noon meal will be served at the camp.

Those planning to attend the outing are requested to make reservations in advance by contacting Elmer Taylor, Chairman; George Seidel or Art Schultz, members of the Commercial Club's committee; and it is very important that the committee members know in advance the number of people who plan to attend.

The company's train will depart from here, near the roundhouse, at 8:30 a.m., and it will arrive back in the Village on the return trip at 4:45 p.m.

It is suggested that warm clothing be worn, as a large part of the day will be spent in the woods, observing operations and taking of pictures.

Although it will be a day for observing the cutting of the last tree on the local lumber company's holdings, it will also be the depletion of the great forest in this region - and, the end of the lumberjack era, which surely can be credited with having brought many of the early settlers here, and the developing of this community started.

Woods operations will not be completed for at least another month.  It will possibly be several months later before all remaining logs have been transported over the company's railroad and into the local sawmill."

(2/25/1948 Last Log Ceremony - see Camp 28 #11190A, 10335, 12309 and 12310 [photo]);

RLHe 3/5/1948: LARGE NUMBER ASSISTED WITH CUTTING OF TREE "During the ceremonies held at Camp 28 of the RLLC, east of town last Wednesday, Feb. 25, when the last merchantable tree on the company holdings was cut, a number of local citizens and others took turns with either an axe or cross-cut saw in assisting with the felling of the big pine.

Under the supervision of Fred Schumann and Walt Esswein, company sawyers, the following helped with the work: Harry Bodle, Spencer; Dio Walty, Greenwood; William Fischer, Medford; Ole Peterson, Phillips; Emil Hinz, Walter B. Chilson and Arthur Taylor, Merrill.  From this Village, Charles Seidel, Conrad Niggemann, George Thums, Chester Curran, Henry Mathias, Elmer Taylor.

John Mauch, Edwin Martin and Richard Upjohn, Vern Bokath, Millard Kapitz, Rev. Edward J. Charek, Rev. Roman Schwieterman, Frank Becker, Louis Bednarek, Ed Synnott and Rudy J. Mueller. Mike Schwartz and Carl Seidel then completed the job. The tree was sawed into logs by Nick Blennert and John Schreiner. 

Undoubtedly the owners of the land where the tree stood, Edwin Martin, William and Verl Bokath and L.L. Arnold, who purchased 400 acres from the company several years ago for hunting territory, will place a sign on the stump, calling visitors' attention to the fact that it was there that the last pine stood and which brought over 300 people to witness its fall and the end of the logging era."

RLHe 4/28/1948: MILL EMPLOYMENT TERMINATED FOR 25 "With the shutting down of one of the band saws [one side of the mill] of the RLLC's sawmill here Tuesday afternoon, about 25 employees were notified not to report back to work Wednesday morning.  This layoff will be permanent insofar as the local company is concerned.

The closing down of one side of the mill had been anticipated for some time, and as an official of the company informed this writer, it was done for economical reasons only. The company has an estimated cut of about 6 weeks for the one side operating.

The men whose employment was terminated will receive their vacation pay and will be eligible for unemployment compensation."

RLHe 5/23/1948:  LAST TRAIN OF LOGS TO ARRIVE TODAY "The last train of logs from the woods of the RLLC, east of town, will arrive in Rib Lake today over the company's tracks that have carried thousands of loads in the past. Chester Curran, engineer; Randolph Wagner, fireman; and John Herrem, brakeman, who have been employed on the railroad for many years, will deliver the last train load to the sawmill.

Since the cutting of the last pine on the company's holdings February 25, when some 300 persons gathered at Camp 28 to witness the felling of the last tree, a small crew of men have been employed, loading the remaining logs onto flat cars.

R.J. Mueller, resident manager of the company, informed the Herald this week that there are a sufficient number of logs on cars to operate the mill until about the middle of next week. It is expected that the last log will be put through the band sawmill Wednesday.  

Consequently, that will cease sawing operations in this village, which was started in 1881, after the erection of the first mill by J.J. Kennedy.

The local company will continue to employ a number of men for some time in loading lumber from the yards, pulling of the railroad tracks and other work."

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Photographer was Norman “Jake” Jacobson.

The preeminent Wisconsin logging railroad historian was James P. Kaysen.  He spent decades mapping the old rights-of-way.  His maps are in the archives of the Wisconsin State Historical Society.  

Kaysen created his railroad maps by adding his data to United States Government Quadrangle, “Quad,” maps.  His Quad of “Rib Lake” says that when the Rib Lake Lumber Company’s logging railroad ceased operations in 1948, “it was Wisconsin’s last logging railroad.” (emphasis added)

** Note: The actual dates of operation of the camps were beyond the dates shown in this list. Under some editors, the Rib Lake Herald regularly carried news from the camps; under other editors, there was little or no news of the camps. The Rib Lake Heralds published between January 1, 1922 and January 1, 1939, are largely missing; a variety of Rib Lake Lumber Company Camps operated during this timeframe. Information regarding those camps was lost with the destruction of these editions.

Numbered documents shown here may be viewed on the CDs entitled Rib Lake History, Documents & Photos; a copy of the CDs is available at the Rib Lake Public Library.  As of July 31, 2008, an effort is underway to put the collection online.

References to the annotated chronology are to the Annotated Chronology of the Rib Lake Herald.  It is available online at www.riblakehistory.com.

Special note regarding the numbering of camps shown here.  This chart covers only the 28 numbered camps operated by the RLLC following the purchase of its stock by the United States Leather Company/Central Leather Company on 3/23/1906, and running to the liquidation of the RLLC in 1948.  The prior owners of the RLLC and its predecessors used many of the same numbers to identify its camps.  In addition, the Rib Lake based tannery numbered its camps.  Finally, even some of the bigger jobbers numbered their camps; for example, William H. "Bill" Natzke operated his own jobber camps 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 between 1923 and 1941, producing logs for the RLLC.

                                                        

        Robert P. Rusch

        N8643 CTH C

        Rib Lake, WI  54470

        rprusch@riblakehistory.com

        715-427-3444


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[1] The 4/5/1912 article of The Rib Lake Herald did not expressly refer to Camp 1.  Rather, it referred to the “Athens train.”  The Rib Lake Herald customarily used the word “Athens” or “Goodrich” as a reference to Camp 1.

[2] Camp 6 made tan bark.

[3] Camp 6 was about ½ mile from St. Clair Lake as the crow flies.

[4] What is the purpose of stamping logs?

[5] 41 railroad cars – i.e. flat cars loaded with logs pulled by one locomotive .

[6] A lengthy and informative article on this was printed in American Lumberman; see the Photo & Document Collection at www.riblakehistory.com.

[7] A sprinkler is a sleigh with a water tank used to “sprinkle” water and build an ice road for the steam hauler.

[8] Running six camps in a single winter was probably a record for the Rib Lake Lumber Company.  

[9] Kapitz & Hughes were cedar cutters – here they housed their men at Camp 10 of the RLLC.  

[10] The RLLC sawmill had burned in July of 1914.

[11] Orville E. peterson was allowed by the RLLC to house his men at Camp 9 and cut cedar posts and pulpwood.

[12] As of 10/1/2015 there exist few known copies of the Rib Lake Herald covering Camps 19, 20 and 21.  This is because almost no copies of the Rib Lake Herald between 1922 and 1940 are extant.

[13] This is the third death at a RLLC camp since 1/14/1944. – RPR.