Marker 94: Lac Vieux Desert

 Erected 1960 by Wisconsin Historical Society
Phelps, Vilas County, Wisconsin
46° 7.289′ N, 89° 9.144′ W

Here rises the Wisconsin River. Many feet have trod this spot in many kinds of shoes from moccasins of French traders and Indians, boots of loggers, early settlers and the Army to sport shoes of today's tourists. This procession began before the first map of this lake was published in Paris in 1718. Jean Baptiste Perrault wintered here in 1791. Capt. Thomas Cram, Surveyor, parleyed with Chief Ca-sha-o-sha in 1840. In the 1850's Drapers built the first white settler cabin. Leonard Thomas married Draper's daughter and in 1884 built the first summer resort. In 1860 the Wausau-Ontonagon road crossed here, joined later by the Military road from Green Bay. Indian trails, canoe and mail routes, log drives and oxen hooves marked this spot the hub of pioneer activity. Known as Kat-ik-it-i-gon and Old Planting Ground, the French name of Lac Vieux Desert is accepted for this beautiful body of water.  
The marker is located approximately 200 yards east of a small parking area on West Shore Road, north of its intersection with County Highway E, Phelps, Wisconsin 54554.

I first attempted to photograph this marker on March 30, 2013 -- but a sudden snow storm made access to the marker impossible (see below). I visited the marker site again on May 31, 2013. This is a very isolated location. I followed the path for as long as I felt comfortable, but did not see the marker. As no one knew where I was and as I was very far off the beaten path, I decided to turn back. Maybe on a third trip!

 No dogs allowed! :(

First attempt 3/30/2013:

I was unable to access this marker because of snow and also because of the onset of a sudden snow storm. This location is in the middle of nowhere. I was alone, and Dexter was not allowed to accompany me (see "no dogs" sign). So, we'll just have to return at another time -- the location is gorgeous!!


Gardengirl said...

We found it today. It's about a 3-4 minute wAlk from the bridge.

Melinda Roberts said...

Thank you for the update! And the reminder that I need to return to this location :)

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