A handful of summer residents began to appear in the Manitowish Waters area in the 1890's, mostly seeking world class fishing and hunting. At first, camping along the shore of a lake or renting a modest cabin for the summer emerged as their standard accommodations during the late 19th century. At the turn of the 20th century, summer residents slowly began to acquire land and enjoying their own summer cabins. With limited railroad access to what will become the community of Manitowish Waters, summer residences along the chain of lakes will develop more slowly than surrounding towns.
After WWI, the construction of highway 10 boosted development along the Manitowish Chain. The roaring 1920's brought more folks to the Northwoods seeking a permanent family cabin on the chain. Bullish real estate plans spurred by as soaring stock market will crash in the fall of 1929. Though, huge real estate development plans on the southeast shore of Rest Lake collapsed. Some will find real estate bargains during the Great Depression and joining the growing number of summer residents. Ultimately, the USA's victory over the Axis Powers during WWII will launch the rush of modern summer residents in the town of Manitowish Waters.
For more in depth stories and images regarding Manitowish Waters early summer residents please select "Full History" below.
The Northwoods offered great outdoor sporting opportunities with an abundance of lakes, streams and forests. Before WWII and air conditioning the chain of lakes offered a summer escape from the hot, humid close quarters of urban centers. A cabin along cool northern lakes was a prized property. Porches were designed to catch cool lake breezes for both relaxation and sleeping. Across the nation, people suffering from ailments like asthma and allergies were encourage to come north for the summer.
To explore the early Summer Residents of Manitowish Waters further, just click on the lakes and streams links below to to see pictures and read the stories from our town's past.
Wild Rice Lake and Trout River
Manitowish and Little Manitowish Lakes
Little Star Lake
Island Lake and Rice Creek
Fawn and Stone Lakes
Clear and Big Lakes
Vance, Sturgeon and Benson Lakes
Circle Lily, Dead Pike Lakes
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