Griffith, Edward Merriam
Report of the State Forrester of Wisconsin For 1911 and 1912
Democrat Printing Co., State Printer
Original Date

There are multiple online sources of this document--see the catalog entry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison library.

The text entries shown are the key sections dealing with Star Lake.

  • UW Madison/Wis Hist Soc
URL (full text)

"J. B. Cook, Forest Ranger, Star Lake." (P. 2.)

"During the winter of 1912–13 a ranger cabin is being built at Star lake in T. 41, R. 8 E." (P. 51.)

"In order to have a fairly large and permanent experimental plantation it is proposed to reforest, in the spring of 1913, a long point in Star lake, Vilas county, which contains about 100 acres, and the following plants grown in the state nursery will be used:

White Pine ..... 50,000
Norway Pine ..... 50,000
Western yellow pine ..... 10,000
Scotch pine ..... 5,000
Norway spruce ,,,,, 5,000

"A permanent accurate record of this plantation will be kept and it should prove a very valuable guide to all future tree planters of northern Wisconsin." (P. 66.)

"Naturally the cost of road construction varies very greatly where in one case an old railroad grade can be utilized, while in another the road must be built through heavy brush or timber. The cost of construction under varying conditions is shown in the following typical cases:

Road and fire line built on an old railroad grade from Star lake to Camp 12. Distance 8 miles. -

Character of work. / Total Cost. / Cost per mile
Cutting brush / $56.85 / $7.10
Removing ties / 58. 08 / 7.26
Removing rock and sod / 9. 20 / 1.15
Plowing and dragging / 49.85 / 6.23
Board of men / 85.90 / 10. 73
Board of team / 33. 40 / 4.17
Total / $293.28 / $36.64"

"On most of these old railroad grades the brush is very thick. This must first of all be cut out to make a good wide road, then piled and later on burned. The heaviest part of the work is removing the ties, which are often heavy birch trees which have become firmly imbedded in the turf. The ties are piled up along the road and when thoroughly dry are burned. After the rock and sod have been removed, the road is plowed and dragged and then with a little use the road packs firmly and becomes a very useful highway as well as an excellent fire line. It will be noted that the cost of building the above road on an old railroad grade was $36.64 per mile, and it is interesting to compare the cost of the following road which was built through very brushy country, especially as the work was done under the same forest ranger with practically the same crew of men:

"Portion of the road from Star lake to Sayner. Distance 2 3/4 miles. Character of work / Total Cost / Cost per mile
Cutting brush / $113.95 / $41.44
Removing stumps 44.85 / 16. 31
Plowing and dragging 32.20 / 11.71
Scraping / 70.05 / 25.47
Shovelling and grubbing / 125. 70 / 45.71
Dynamiting / 19.00 / 6.91
Burning brush / 26.45 / 9.62
Board of men / 215.30 / 78.29
Board of team / 86.95 / 31.62
Total / $734.45 / $267.08

"As a road from Star Lake to Sayner was badly needed, and as it will be very generally used by the public, more time and money was spent on it than would usually be the case.

"However, probably every railroad grade which has been util ized in making a road has saved the state at least $150 per mile." (Pp. 69-70.)

"A few small communities within the forest reserves, notably Woodruff, Sayner, Star Lake, Manitowish and Mercer, are going to find it very difficult to raise sufficient funds to provide good schools and to pay the expenses of local government on account of the state's owning so much land upon which no taxes can be paid." (P. 79)

"Comfortable houses for the rangers, with barns, wood and ice houses, etc., have already been built at the following ranger stations: Little Carr lake, Plum lake, Oxley and Rest lake; and during the winter of 1912–13, houses will be built at Star lake and Carroll lake. All ranger stations are connected by telephone with the nearest towns and with the forestry headquarters building." (P. 81.)

"This purchase [from N. A.. Coleman for $1,000] was an island in Star lake and included all the timber on the island except the pine. The pine timber, also, was purchased from the A. H. Stange company and partly paid for by an exchange of timber on another description of state land." (P. 101)