This abandoned railway was originally built in 1906 by the Chicago & North Western Railroad, and subsequently served the C&NW for the next 82 years. The C&NW ran most of their express trains from Chicago, IL, to Green Bay/Escanaba, WI, along this route, including the Flambeau 400 and the Peninsula 400. These passenger trains ran up until 1971.
In 1988, the C&NW sold over 200 miles of its track, including this line, to the Fox River Valley Railroad, who ultimately merged with the Wisconsin Central in 1993. Abandonment of the line came under WC's ownership in 1996, when they removed the 10-mile segment between Rockwood and Denmark. The remaining track on either side of this abandoned line is still in use: one serves a local that runs from Manitowoc to a limestone quarry and fertilizer plant in Rockwood, and the other is used to serve a feedmill in Denmark from Green Bay.