Tomahawk to Star Lake, WI
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The lines are adjacent to railroad still operated by Tomahawk Railroad, and Canadian National. These lines were former WC/SOO.
I Have Wanted To Purchase The Tomahawk Railroad Since Some Time And I Have A Good Historic Back Ground On The Location Which The Abandoned Train Yard Had Been Closed Since 1945 Which The Train Yard Had Been Closed Around 1980 And Had Been Used To Provide Stored Carload Which Had Been Abandoned Around 2000 When Wisconsin Central Railroad Had Been Purchased Since Much Stored Had Been From Wisconsin Central Railroad Since Canadian National Railroad Had Much Room Around The United States And Canada The Stored Carload Had Been Stored Some Where Else Or Sold.
The Line Had Been Unused From Tomahawk Railroad Which This Line Had Been Used From Milwaukee Road Which Had Been Abandoned Since 1980 And Had Been Turned In To A Public Trail.
The Old Train Station Had Been Abandoned Since 1980 And Had Been Turned In To A Business Which This Station Had Been Used From The Milwaukee Road From Northern To Southern Wisconsin.
The Old Shed Had Been Used For Another Person And Business Which Had Been Unused From The Railroad Since There Has Been More Than One Shed Around The Present Time Tomahawk Railroad Train Yard Since More Than A Decade And This Had Never Been Used. This Could Have Been Used For Milwaukee Road But I Have No Clue What This Would Have Been Used For.
This line once passed thru Minocqua. I spent a lot of time in Tomahawk and Minocqua when I was young. Twenty years ago I found some old postcards at the original Northern Pines Resort in Minocqua (before it was burnt down). I don't know how to upload them, so I'll post a link to them in DropBox.
Steam Train, Minocqua 1887 https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/90881209/TrainfronAdobe-vi.jpg
Fishing Camp, Tomahawk Lake 1907 https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/90881209/Picture13-vi.jpg
Northern WI has no commuter or visitor train lines. It would be nice to get something going to relieve reliance on the roads, even is seasonal.
If you have old maps prior to World War 2 of Vilas County. It is not hard to follow the right of Way for The Milwaukee Road and Northwestern Railroads. The Road through Sayner, Plum Lake, and Star lake is obvious, The Wye in Star Lake and the Logging Railroads to Michigan usually end at swamp which still shows some the Trestles going across them. Interesting stuff if you like history
In Tomahawk, follow County road east past Interstate 39 turn north on Kings road and you will find an old paper mill on the Wisconsin river and was serviced by the Marinette, Tomahawk and Western Railroad.
I had a high school friend whose parents had a cabin on Star Lake. It was a converted Milwaukee Road boxcar. He has some pictures of it, when they tore it down to put up a new house. I believe it was his Grandpa Schultz who worked for the Milwaukee Rd that was the original owner.
I spent summers from 1966 to 1979 at a Scout camp near Boulder Junction, in Vilas County. Both the Milwaukee Road and the North Western still served the Minocqua-Woodruff area for freight, though only the C&NW still had a passenger train. The Milwaukee Road depot in Minocqua had been converted to a police station and Chamber of Commerce, I believe, later a library. The porches at both ends had been enclosed to create more room. The Woodruff depot was the log cabin, just across Highway 47 from the North Western track. There was still a loop by the depot there, installed years before to turn the Northwoods Hiawatha, which had an observation car. One summer around 1973 or so, I was in Minocqua and saw maintenance equipment tearing up the track. I took a few pictures, but unfortunately I did not date them, so I am not even certain of the year. I know it was around the mid-Seventies.
Oh -- one further note. The branch up through Sayner to Star Lake had another branch, from Arbor Vitae north along the east shore of Trout Lake to Boulder Junction. The County Museum in Sayner has photos of the area, including one of Star Lake when the hillside was covered with dozens of houses.
According to my understanding, the Star Lake branch continued West, along the north side of White Sand Lake (where our Canoe Base was) into Boulder Junction. There was a lumber railroad built North from Arbor Vitae that intersected the Milwaukee Road about half a mile or so east of town. The Milwaukee bought the line and abandoned the portion back to Star Lake, as the other was shorter. I've driven on these old roadbed back in the Sixties. Most of them are now snowmobile trails, and can easily be distinguished on old maps.
The Milwaukee also had logging branches out of Boulder, one running west, and the other north along what is now County M to Papoose Lake and to a place named Blue Bill, near the Michigan line. There is still a road up there with that name. I knew a lady, Clara Wilfer, who lived up there and remembers flagging the train to go into Boulder. When they tore up the track about 1932, she and her husband got several lengths of rail to use at the bar they had. I have many times placed my foot on the old Milwaukee Road bar rail while having a drink at Shrimp's Cocktail Bar and Wildlife Museum on County M north of Boulder. And yes -- that really was its name!