Marker 346: Rib Lake Lumber Company

© Photographed June 28, 2013
Erected 1997
Rib Lake, Taylor County, Wisconsin
45° 19.098′ N, 90° 12.096′ W
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In 1882, speculator J.J. Kennedy constructed a small mill along the shores of Rib Lake, founding the Rib Lake Lumber Company. In spite of several mill fires, the company grew to produce over a billion board feet of lumber. At first dependent upon horse-drawn sleighs for hauling logs, the company developed into a large industrial complex when a railroad spur was constructed to connect Rib Lake to the Wisconsin Central Rail Road line. By the 1920s, the Rib Lake Lumbering Company included many specialized buildings and machinery, several lumber yards and an intricate tramway system and railroad servicing area. This area of Rib Lake was once known as the “hot pond,” where mill steam thawed frozen logs before the bull chain pulled them into the mill. Two buildings remain from the original complex: a machine shed and lumber drying kiln. After the area’s available timber was depleted, the mill closed in 1948, ending the era of huge logging operations in Wisconsin.
The marker is located on Rib Lake at a small park near a boat landing on eastbound State Highway 102, just east of its intersection with Mill Lane, near Rib Lake, Wisconsin 54470.

. . . holds its place in Wisconsin's history as the site of a booming lumber mill.

Rib Lake can be seen in the background.

Photographed in a downpour!

Signage leading to marker location.

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