Upcoming Events

  1. Canceled due to Covid-19 concerns

    April 8 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  2. Canceled due to Covid-19 concerns

    May 18 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  3. Manitowish Waters Historical Society Board Meeting

    May 20 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  4. Railroads and Early Commerce Impacting Manitowish Waters

    June 13 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am
  5. Dillinger Pontoon Tour

    June 19 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

Event Highlight


Prehistory & Archaeology

Manitowish Waters Overview, Best Practices,Q & A, Laws

Early History

Fur Trade, Logging, Ojibwa, Missionaries, Railroads, Rest Lake Dam, Federal Agents, Civilian Conservation Corps-660th Company SF-79, Criminal & Nefarious Activities


Infrastructure, Federal, State, County, Local/Town


Hunting, Fishing, Biking, Snowmobiling, Skiing, Hiking, Water Sports, Community Center & Parks


Municipal, Chamber of Commerce, Schools, Rest Lake Dam, Fish Hatchery, Civic Organizations, Cultural Activities


Resorts & Accommodations, Manufacturing, Retail, Restaurants & Taverns, Agriculture

Latest Additions

A narrative written about Ralph Hanson’s involvement in the MW Sno-Skeeters

  Manitowish Waters Snow Skeeters began in the 1960’s as part of a community effort to promote the sport and improve local trails.  Over 50 years later, the Snow Skeeters continue their snowmobiling traditions and leadership in the Northwoods.  Please read the attached narrative  about Ralph Hanson’s involvement in the MW Sno-Skeeters as their lomg…

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Forest and Stream: How Fur is Caught IV – 1895

Click on the link below to explore the fourth article from a series published in Forest and Stream titled: How Fur is Caught IV 1895.   Most of the article is based in the Winchester and Presque Isle areas with detailed accounts of trail blazing, running a trap line, winter shelters and surviving the cold of the Northwoods…

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Forest and Stream: How Fur is Caught I – 1895

Click on the link below to explore the first article from a series published in Forest and Stream titled: How Fur is Caught I 1895.  This late 19th century publication contains detailed descriptions of trapping, logging, winter survival and hunting.    Most of the article is based in the Mercer area with detailed preparation and explanation…

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Dr. & Mrs E.A. Flancher and the Peggy Line by Michael Dunn

This is Micheal Dunn’s recollection of his interactions with Dr. Edwin A.and Louisa Flancher who had a summer home at Balsam Point on Manitowish and Little Manitowish Lakes. The narrative discusses how the Flancher’s house was built and summer life on the property. He recalls Mrs. Flancher talking about the “Peggy line” used by the…

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Felix the Muskie by Michael Dunn

A Michael Dunn story about a “trained” muskie that would regularly appear at Jens and Lenore Larson’s bait shop on Little Star Lake, much to the delight of their customers. A fun and interesting story that parallels the experiences of the team at Greer’s Pier, who have also had “pet” muskies enjoying free bait from…

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Mrs. Maude Johnson by Michael Dunn

A narrative by Michael Dunn reminiscing about a Mrs. Maude Johnson who the author remembers as their laundry lady when he was young. She lived at Woodchuck Hollow and then later moved to Little Star Lake where she opened Deer Trail Cottages. To view the document click on the link. Link to: Mrs. Maude Johnson by…

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Michael Dunn’s notes on lumber company complexes and distinctive equipment.

Michael Dunn’s notes on logging and lumber company complexes around Manitowish Waters and the distinctive equipment of logging railroads.  Importantly, Dunn adds insightful analysis of railroad logging in Manitowish Waters and the geographic limits of northern Vilas County creating numerous saw mills in Busswell, Winchester and Winegar. To view the document click on the link.…

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Michael Dunn cover letter to 2017 narratives

Cover letter from Michael J. Dunn III to John Hanson, MW Town Chairman dated 5/1/2017 referencing the attached copies of his historical narratives and personal reflections. His narratives or “sketches” include “A Look Back”-general history from 1600-1999, Logging history, logging notes, canals to Little Trout Lake, Flancher Family & Peggy line, Felix the Muskie and…

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“The Little Trout Lake Canals” by Michael Dunn III

“The Little Trout Lake Canals”. This narrative discusses the purpose and building of the canals from the railroad stations in Manitowish and Lac du Flambeau to Little Trout Lake to access a vacation estate owned by Richard H. Southgate. This document is the most comprehensive analysis of the canal system from White Sand Lake to…

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