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Langlade County News

A Little Bit Of History From Langlade County Historical Society

August 22, 2013

The saga of the lumber era in Langlade County would be incomplete without reference to stopping places along the Military Road and Lake Superior Trail, both of which ran along parts of the Wolf River. These trails connected Green Bay and Shawano to lac Vieux Desert in the Michigan Upper Peninsula.

"Old Dutch" Frank built the first stopover in the early 1860s near Lily. It was taken over in 1867 by Henry Strauss who fled Germany after his involvement in the 1848 rebellion and sought isolation in the northwoods. In 1874 Christopher Hill and Horace Rice built a complex of three cabins just off the Menominee Reservation. It later became a popular destination for tourists interested in hunting and fishing. Another proprietor was George Gardner, a Stockbridge Indian, for whom the Gardner Dam on the Wolf River was named. In 1872 Charles Lazerlere opened a stopping place at Langlade on the Wolf River, as did John Yates, whose place was about 1/3 mile down from Lazerlere's. hi Polar, for whom the village of Polar is named, also built a stopover cabin with Louis Motzfeldt in the region. Fred Dodge built a stopping place near what is now Hollister in 1877. Some of these stopover proprietors also traded with the Indians as a means of earning a living.

When lumbermen and early settlers trudged along these routes, sometimes with livestock, they had many options for a safe if rugged layover. Especially on a cold winter's night these travelers would gather for an evening of merriment. These cabins and stopovers and their proprietors played a vital role in opening the resources of Langlade County to the outside world.

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