Photographed June 18, 2015
Phillips, Price County, Wisconsin
45.671471,-90.39101 (entrance to the park)
Fred Smith created this information marker between 1948 and 1964, during the years he built the Wisconsin Concrete Park. Although he could neither read nor write, Smith narrated his thoughts to a typist. The typewritten page was taped between two pieces of glass framed in wood, and mounted on this concrete and stone marker. The original display no longer exists. In 1986 the artist's text was replicated on this information marker.
The last log drive in Price County was made by O. A. Peterson in the spring of the year of 1910. He had logged around Spirit Lake located in the south eastern part of the county during the 1909-1910 winter season and landed about one million feet of hemlock and pine logs on the ice of the Upper Spirit Lake to await the arrival of the spring breakup. During these winter months, Mr. Peterson, or Ole as he was usually called, built a 5 hp inboard motor boat for the purpose of using it to raft the logs from the landing through Upper Spirit Lake and Lower Spirit Lake to the outlet and into the Spirit River. When the ice broke, this boat was used to raft or tow the logs to the next lake. Through the narrow channel between the two lakes the logs were sluiced. The boat was again used to get logs to the Spirit River and from there the drive down the river began to Tomahawk. It took about three weeks for this but there was considerable delay because of colder weather again and snow storms.It required a crew of 25 men to operate this drive of about 35 miles to Tomahawk. Fred Smith was a member of the crew. The wage paid at that time was $2.00 for about a 24 hour day, from early morning until ate at night. The logs were sold and delivered to the Tomahawk Lumber Co. at a price of $8.00 M' for the hemlock and $12.00 for the pine.7/13/57
The marker and statues are located on the grounds of Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park, located on northbound Wisconsin Highway 13, at N8236 Wisconsin 13, Phillips, Wisconsin 54555.
NOTE: "The last log drive in Price County . . . " is near the entrance to Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park.
Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park
located at Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park.
"The last log drive" statues are at the entrance to the park.
Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete County Park is located in Phillips, Wisconsin.