Flambeau Trail: Manitowish

Photographed June 19, 2015
Mercer. Iron County, Wisconsin
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Main streets developed at the cross roads of resources, transportation, and people. The town of Manitowish grew up on timber and the railroad.

By the turn of the century, the “inexhaustible” stands of white pine had been cut from northern Wisconsin and floated to sawmills down waterways like the Manitowish River.

Lumberman William Henry Roddis was one of the first to recognize the value of the area’s untouched virgin stands of hardwood timber. But hardwood timber, unlike pine, did not float. It could not be “driven” downriver to mills.

Roddis pioneered the use of railroads to transport logs rather than rivers. By 1903, his “Roddis Line” logging railroad was a growing network of mainline track and spur routes that connected logging camps deep in the forest to lumber mills.

Roddis established a logging mill here that operated through the mid-1930’s and established Manitowish as a shipping point for timber.
The marker is located on northbound Manitowish Road, just north of its intersection with U.S. Route 51, Mercer, Wisconsin, 54547.

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.

 The Manitowish Depot, circa 1919

The marker is at an entrance to the Flowage Area Business Trail.

photographing the marker. The episode will air Fall 2015.

The marker is directly across from the Lazy Ace Saloon.

The marker is located in Mercer, Wisconsin.

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