Flambeau Trail: Turtle Flambeau Flowage Dam

Photographed June 20, 2015
Erected by Wisconsin Humanities Council
and the National Endowment for the Humanities
Butternut, Iron County, Wisconsin
46° 4.408′ N, 90° 14.332′ W
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The Turtle Flambeau Flowage was born in 1926, when the Chippewa and Flambeau Improvement Company built a dam on the Flambeau River, downstream from its confluence with the Turtle River improving its usefulness for power-generating and papermaking downstream. After the dam’s construction, the water rose gradually for several years, until settling into roughly its current footprint in the early 1930s. Most of the land surrounding the Flowage was owned by the Improvement Company until 1991, when it was purchased by the State of Wisconsin. Until 1931, there were no roads between Mercer and this side of the Flowage making business nearly impossible for the resorts. Those that had been on lakes prior to the creation of the flowage were drowned out of existence.

Despite these hardships, local people continued to live and work in this area. Many worked for the Roddis Logging Company, which cut hardwood in the area north and west of the Flowage. They used an extensive Railroad system developed to transport timber out of the forest until 1938.

Many residents also gained experience fishing in the Flowage, which boasted a spawning ground near the dam. Some would use their experience to work as guides and resort proprietors, creating new business opportunities.
The marker is located at Turtle Flambeau Dam Road Boat Ramp and Picnic Area on northbound Turtle Flambeau Dam Road, between Koshak Road (to the west) and Upper Flambeau River Boat Landing Road (to the east), Butternut, Wisconsin 54514.

This marker is included in the Iron County Heritage Area series of markers. Click here for more information and to view all markers in the series.

 Look closely and you'll see the rain coming down . . .

Plenty of signs leading to the marker's location at Sportsman's Landing.

The marker is located in the Iron County Heritage Area.

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