Laona and Vicinity Afford Views of Beauty
August 21, 1917 from the Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Laona, Wisconsin - To the tourist who has never visited this section when planning his family automobile trip, let it be said that a tour through Antigo, Neva and Crandon, ending at Laona, will prove an outing event long to be remembered. The hotel accommodation here are a surprise to first time visitors and afford every facility given the weary traveler in many of our larger cities. Laona's enterprising citizens, not content with their present commodious two-story brick school building, are now engaged in erecting another, which will be nearly 200 feet long by 104 feet wide. The structure will be furnished with modern improvements and is to cost $75,000 completed. The Connor Lumber and Land company transacts a great business here, both in the manufacturing and mercantile line. It is said that they have the best equipped mill for turning out lumber in all its varied forms in the state of Wisconsin. Thousands of acres of virgin timber lands are owned by them and will furnish cutting material for many years ahead. The pleasure seeker, particularly those of a romantic turn, can find recreation of all sorts. Both Silver and Birch lakes with their high banks bordered with forests not disturbed by man, extend to all a welcome not found in the southern sections, where summer resorting has become monotonous on account of the publicity and enforced obligations pressed upon one. Winding drives through dense forests for miles can be enjoyed and at certain stages along the route you pass some beautiful sheets of water that will tempt those who are fond of bathing and fishing as none of the more frequented fishing places can, simply on account of sheer obscurity. Farming is receiving considerable attention and is said to be well adapted for raising oats, barley, buckwheat, potatoes and vegetables generally. The soil is a slightly sandy loam somewhat similar to that at Waupaca. Potatoes yielded remarkably well last year, and of course shared in the high market prices. Reverend M. R. Laird and family of Lincoln, Illinois, occupy a cottage on Birch lake, as well as W. D. Connor and family.
Laona Is O.K.
September 7, 1918 from the Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh, Wisconsin (Letter to the Editor)
Laona, WI - Notwithstanding our entanglements with the Kaiser's demoralizing forces business appears to be moving along here with uninterrupted zeal. The only obstacle noticeable is a shortage of labor.
A number of girls dressed in bloomers have recently replaced young men in the large flooring mill of the Connor Lumber and Land company and are making good in their respective occupations. In fact, it has been said that they are already proving themselves more efficient than men. The new brick school house erected last year at the cost of $70,000 is a real model of modern architecture, embodying a fine , roomy gymnasium with stage and dressing rooms and a domestic science department equipped with the latest requirements in this essential brand of practical education. Shower baths and toilet rooms were installed with a distinct observance of sanitary needs, the use of marble being the most conspicuous feature. The public library is located in large, well lighted rooms at the east side and is in the charge of Miss Edith Birdsall. The school building has fourteen rooms and covers a ground space sixty by one hundred ninety feet in dimensions. Professor P.M. Brown, a young man of promise, is now here. He will be assisted by thirteen teachers. The Hotel Gordon, under the efficient management of Mr. and Mrs. George E. Maltby, is well appointed and affords every convenience possessed by much larger places. Tourists by trains and automobiles are daily visitors and all speak in highest praise of Laona's beautiful lakes, rustic winding drives that lead out through virgin forests for miles. Ex-Lieut Governor W.D. Connor owns a fine cottage on the shore of Birch lake, located one and one-half miles east of Laona, where his family spends every summer. Rev. M.R. Laird of Lincoln, Illinois, also has a cottage near Mr. Connor's. The latter, although a busy man, passes a portion of the summer at his Birch lake cottage, where a launch is always in readiness for a ride over this silvery sheet of water, two mile long by about one and one-half miles wide, with a high-banked island covered with forest trees near the center and opposite their cozy cottage some five hundred feet eastward. One not familiar with conditions in the northern part of Wisconsin, would be surprised to see the advanced methods pressed forward in the farming industry. The writer was amazed upon being treated to a most tempting six o'clock dinner at the Connor cottage whereat golden sweet corn and potatoes larger than a mans fist were served, grown in their garden not far from the cottage, which the latter, by the way, is surrounded on all sides by towering pines and winding, shady walks or paths. New settlers are locating hereabout in greater numbers each year. Land is still reasonable as to price, and can be made to produce essentials of life almost from the outset, if properly managed. R.J. Kraus
Abounds With Trout
Chicago’s Dean of Fishermen Says Rat River In Forest County is one of the Best
May 4, 1921 from the Stevens Point Gazette
Edward G. Taylor, Chicago’s dean of fishermen, has fished the big and little streams of this country, north, south, east and west, all his life. He has discovered more delightful spots than any other man known in the sport. Now he has discovered another spot, at Laona and in Forest county, Wisconsin. In an article to the Chicago Evening Post a few days ago, Taylor speaks at length of fishing as Laona and adjacent lakes and rivers. He writes: Laona is a small lumbering village 290 miles north of Chicago. It is situated in the very heart of the only virgin forest left standing in Wisconsin, and is literally surrounded by lakes and trout streams. Within the radius of six miles of the village are six large lakes and several smaller lakes, and several trout streams. Some of these lakes are surrounded by hills so covered by virgin forest that the tree growth extends right down to the water’s edge, and no roads have yet been built to some of them. All of these lakes contain pickerel and pike and small mouthed bass, while three lakes are stocked with brook and rainbow trout. One of the best trout rivers in all Wisconsin for wading and fly fishing is the Rat River. One can fish this river, using waders, from Laona clear down to where it joins the Peshtigo, and its waters contain brook trout and rainbow trout of large size – this is some fly fishing feast.”
Organizing To Help Tourist Biz
January 4, 1923 from the Eau Claire Leader
Laona, Wisconsin – Declaring that a modern tourist and development organization would add value of over $100,000,000 in five years and that the logical and sensible thing to do is to form such an organization. President William D. Connor Jr., has called upon the people through the daily press to enter aggressively into the campaign of the association this month. Four representatives of the Resort Association will begin the actual work of organization in the local communities, said Mr. Connor, and he is desirous that these men be given the most co-operation in order that they can cover as many cities, towns and villages as possible. The field representatives are James E. Coad, whose territory will be the Superior district including the counties of Douglas, Burnett, Polk, and Washburn and the Ashland district including the counties of Bayfield, Sawyer Ashland, Iron and Price; E.A. Franquemont, Eau Claire- Chippewa Falls district, including the counties of St. Croix, Barron, Dunn, Rusk, Chippewa, Eau Claire, Taylor, and Marathon; Blair Clerk, Green Bay district including Door, Brown, Shawano, Oconto, Marinette, Florence and Kewaunee; and Daniel H. McFarland, campaign director, Antigo district including Vilas, Oneida, Forest, Lincoln and Langlade counties. “These men have a tremendous task ahead of them as their work must be done in less than three weeks time,” said President Connor, “ and I trust that when they go to a city and consult the local leaders, the latter will consider it a duty and an opportunity of great service, and will call in for consultation a group of local leaders and take whatever responsibility is asked of them. “This whole proposition is a matter of voluntary service and teamwork. The people of Northern Wisconsin, I believe, are unanimously for it, but there must be a willingness on the part of local citizens to take responsibility and to serve if we are to really have a big effective organization of the citizenship of upper Wisconsin. “There will be a chairman of each the five districts and country and local chairman. The actual drive for the $5,000 fund to sell Northern Wisconsin to the world will begin all over the thirty counties of Northern Wisconsin on Tuesday, January 23rd. An endeavor is being made to complete the campaign in one day – something, I am told, that has never been done in a campaign covering such a wide territory. If necessary, however, the entire week will be given to completing the undertaking. “Northern Wisconsin has never before had such opportunity to win fame for itself as in this enterprise and the officers of the Association are hopeful that the campaign will be a remarkable success.”
Nation To Hear Of State Beauty
October 13, 1923 from the Eau Claire Leader
Antigo – The Great Lakes, as well as the inland lakes, the Mississippi river and the streams of Wisconsin, all will be included in a nation- wide publicity campaign to be fostered by interests representing all Wisconsin, meeting here Wednesday and upon a consolidated organization that shall represent both the northern and southern sections of the state. Consolidation of the Land O’ Lakes association and the Wisconsin, the Wonderland association, was agreed upon following addresses by Ray Smith, Burt Williams, A.S. Hadfield, Frank Cleveland, John P. Hume, and others from Milwaukee. The speakers addressed the annual meeting of the Land O’ Lakes association, presided over by W.D. Connor, Jr., Laona. Support of every proper conservation movement in the state, particularly with relation to forests, game and fish was resolved. A request to lumbermen and land owners asking them specifically to preserve the fringes of forests on the banks on the lakes and streams in the state, on the ground that they are vital to the continued appeal and picturesque ness of these waters. A movement to urge additional marking of secondary highways, expressing full appreciating for the excellent system on the main highways. A move to abolish duplicate names now applied to lakes and streams of Wisconsin – it was pointed out that here any number of Mud Lakes, Stone lakes and others, leading to confusion and to urge early early placarding of every lake and stream in Wisconsin with its name. These officers and directors were elected: President, W.D. Connor, Jr.; vice-president, T.J. Koerner; secretary, E.O. Barstow; treasurer, Edward Hagen: remaining board, Otto P. Walch, H.V. Joannes, W.H. Schafield, W.D. Connor, W.E. Brown, C.A. Rudquist, Philip Young and G.A. Griswald. Directors – For Price county, Joseph Kolar; Iron county, Charles Lacy; Forest, Walter Bruss; Bayfield, Otto Curtis; Burnett, Mrs. J. Christensen; Oneida, A.O. Dorwin; Vilas, Charles Welgand; Lincoln, F.P. Werner; Langlade, L.A. Maier; Shawano, Mike Walrich; Brown, H.V. Jones; Ashland, John L. Chappel; Door, E.M. Laplont, and Marathon, W.R. Schofield.
Can’t Really Live in City; Poet Finds Haven in Forest
July 7, 1926 - Ironwood Daily Globe
Chicago – “A civilization that makes a man unable to live with himself and his family, unable to find contentment in simple, wholesome home life close to the soil, that makes a man dependent on an artificial, hectic jazz life outside of his home – a civilization like that is tragically defective somewhere.” That short statement sums up the creed of Law Sarett, poet, scholar and woodsman. It is the creed that made his life as professor at Northwestern University seem barren, cramped and unreal to him, so that last winter he abruptly gave up and went to look for a wilderness haven. In Virgin Forests – He has found what he was looking for. This summer he is going to build a home for himself, his wife and their son in the little town of Laona, up in the Virgin forests of Forest county, Wisconsin. There they will and try to regain their vigor by getting close to the earth. Click here to read the complete article and to learn more about Lew Sarett
Adult White Fish Are Planted In Lake
November 23, 1926 - Sheboygan Press (UP)
Laona, WI - A large number of adult white fish and lake trout from Sturgeon Bay were planted in Birch Lake, near this city, by Laona sportsmen. A quantity of lake trout from four to five inches in length were also placed in the lake. The fish are expected to thrive.
Country About Crandon Sportsmen’s Paradise
July 7, 1930 - Appleton Post Crescent
In this article permit me to speak of a region which might well be termed a sportsmen’s paradise. I refer to the country about Crandon. Its lakes and streams contain practically every kind of game fishes. They range from the land-locked salmon, ciscoes and whitefish down to the humble perch and blue-gills. Bass, wall-eyes, pike and pickerel are common. Until I personally visited this region I had rather vague idea of its possibilities. It is not advertises as are many other parts of our state where the fishing is nowhere as good. Stone Lake, or in the language of the Chippewa’s, Asinig-amog, lies close to Crandon, in Forest county. It is five miles long and about a mile wide: its southern end dotted with pine-covered islands around which the water is very deep and cold. Small mouth bass predominate with northern pike, salmon, trout and whitefish abundant. On account of the water being so cold the bass do not finish spawning until the latter part June to the middle of July. For that reason, the last two weeks of July and the balance the open season find them ready for almost any kind of lure. What is, perhaps, somewhat unusual is the fact around the lily beds the small mouth bass will take artificial flies equally as well as around the rocky shores of the islands. Five to six pounders are not at all uncommon. The pike and salmon run up to twenty to thirty pounds in weight. The trout are taken by deep trolling, and no fine fish exists from an epicurean standpoint. Another nice feature of this lake is that is surrounded by virgin pine and hardwood. Owing to the beauty of its natural environments is often referred to as the “Lake Champlain of the West.” There is a resort with fine accommodations, and also cottages which may be rented from private owners at Crandon. In addition to the wonderful fishing Stone Lake has to offer, we must not forget that in this vicinity are the headwaters of the Brule, Peshtigo, Pine, Popple, Wolf, Oconto, Rat, Lily, Alvoy, Jones, McDonald, Otter, Nine Mile, Riley and Indian waters. What other region can boast of such an array of streams? Brook trout up to six pounds and rainbows up to ten have been taken from these streams. As a rule, in these waters the bottoms are gravelly, and they are wide enough to permit the use of plenty of line, therefore the fly fisherman will appreciate what is in store for them. Deer and small game are plentiful, for the state maintains a 46,000 acre game refuge there which propagates for the surrounding country. At all hours of the day deer can be seen in or near this refuge. Fishing is allowed in it but no hunting.
State Conservation Program Aided by 21,000 In CCC Camps
October 3, 1935 from the Sheboygan Press.
Madison, Wisconsin - More than 21,000 young men assembled in 108 Civilian Conservation Corps camps are helping to carry out the conservation of Wisconsin, records of the state conservation department show. Most of the camps are operating in the forest areas of the state but others are carrying on erosion control, park development, stream and lake improvement and other work. Extensive work is being done in the forest areas. Fire lanes are being cut and roads constructed to make forests more accessible for fire fighting purposes. Slash is being removed in some areas, ranger telephone lines are being improved, land is being planted to trees and many plans that have been halted in the past because of lack of personnel are now going forward. A total of 70 camps are operating in the state and national forests. A total of 21 camps are operating in the erosion control program and 16 camps are doing park improvement work. The Biological Survey operates one camp in Wisconsin.
Feed For Deer To Be Studied
January 25, 1943 from the Ironwood Daily Globe
Madison, Wisconsin – (AP) Members of a citizens committee appointed by Virgil L. Dickinsen, chairman of the state conservation commission, will visit Wisconsin’s deer yards soon to study the condition of herds and determine how much winter feed is available. They decided at a meeting here Saturday to make the tour, but the dates were not determined immediately. The committee includes Professor Aldo Leopold of Madison, chairman; J.R. Jacobson, of Superior; John O. Moreland, of Hayward; Joyce M. Larkin, of Eagle River; Dr. E.G. Ovitz, of Laona; Mrs. Harry Thomas, of Sheboygan, and Henry C. Kuehn, of Milwaukee. Dickinsen told the group that the commission had paid more than $15,000 in the last six months to settle deer damage claims, or $4,000 more than the annual allotment set up in the budget for this purpose. This indicated, he said, that the animals could not find sufficient food in the woods and were raiding farms. W.S. Feeney, game biologist making a special study of the deer herd, said practically all reproduction of cedar, favorite winter feed for the animals, had been stopped because of over browsing. He showed pictures of yards in which trees were stripped of foliage as high as the deer could reach. William F. Grimmer, state superintendent of game management estimated it would cost $1,000,000 a year to carry on a successful winter feeding program, and added that it would be impossible to handle the transportation problem involved. Several committee members suggested that the state should undertake a program of acquiring cedar swamps for use as winter yards. They agreed there was no summer food shortage. Professor Leopold, who described similar experiences in Michigan and Pennsylvania, urged speedy action to forestall widespread starvation, emphasizing that Wisconsin had an especially heavy snowfall this season. Conservation Commissioner Wally Adams, of Conover, attended the meeting.