Monday, August 27, 2012
Major Historic Railroads of Lincoln County
Dunfield Townsite just north of the Underdown on County J near Alta Junction where the Long Lake Line split from the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad System
Major railroads and logging railroads including the Wright Lumber Company line into the Underdown with Camps 1 & 2
Thanks to Robert Rusch of Rib Lake for the research
Thursday, August 23, 2012
A few days ago Irv Bork and I compared notes about historic sites in the Underdown. As a kid Irv herded milk cows in the Underdown so he knows it well.
Lumber Camp 1 was found on the Wright Brothers rail line just east of county forest land. Most of that line was graded by horses pulling slushers which were drags that would pull dirt from hills and drop it in the fills. The Greek Fill was actually done with shovels and steel wheelbarrows. The rail company had immigrants work off their lack of a sponsor by filling in that low part of the rail grade with manpower. The Kelsey (spelling unknown) Branch of rails was a good place to retrieve the cows in early summer when food was abundant.
The lumber camp just north of Underdown Lake was Camp 2, and Camp 3 was somewhere in the vicinity of Loop Road near trail X. The bike trail crosses the Camp 3 branch at the Monster Bridge and Blackwater Bridge. The location of Camp 4 is a mystery, but it was somewhere west of the others. My hunch is somewhere near Henson Lake.
The stone foundation and furrowed pine plantation first believed to be the home of Bill Underdown is actually the Scheidlow (spelling unknown) Homestead. The concrete and stone confirms it to be a more recent structure. Most earlier homesteads were just logs laid out right on the earth. A story I had heard recently was confirmed. Underdown's homestead was on the grounds of the current Lincoln County Landfill. The pine plantation north of the main Underdown parking lot was farmland at one time, and there was another homestead near the little parking lot on Loop Road. There is barbed wire and a balsam plantation on the site. I've also found barbed wire on the Roundtop Hill where the frost comes out early so the Borks could plant corn two weeks earlier than anywhere else before the county acquired the land by trade.
Before Camp Squawberry was a Girl Scout camp it was the Anderson homestead. A silo, foundation and chimney can still be found on the site. Not much is left of the Heineman ghost town that was leveled by fire in 1910. Some stone from the mill foundation hides in the brush near the railroad bridge pilings south of Heineman Road.