Navigation
Subheadings

Plum Lake

  • Article

    Plum Lake is a 1057 acre lake located in Vilas County. It has a maximum depth of 57 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from public boat landings. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. The lake's water is moderately clear. (From the DNR website.)

    One of the islands in Plum Lake is now called Goodspeed Island, named for the Goodspeed family that owned it for years, but no longer has any interest there. The most famous of the Goodspeed family was Edgar, a New Testament scholar at the University of Chicago. Some of the work on his translation of the New Testament was done while staying in his cabin on Paradise Island. In his autography, As I Remember, Edgar devotes a chapter to "The Island" telling of their time in the area before they purchased Paradise Island, including roaming around Razor Back (sic) Lake. In 1938 Goodspeed hosted the New Testament Committee for the Revised Standard Version of the Bible for a week away from things, so they could work uninterupted. The entire committee (Luther A. Weigle, Yale University, Chairman; James Moffatt, Union Theological Seminary, Executive Secretary; Walter Russell Bowie, Union Theological Seminary; Millar Burrows, Yale University; Henry J. Cadbury, Harvard University; Clarence T. Craig, Oberlin Graduate School of Theology; Edgar J. Goodspeed, University of Chicago; Frederick C. Grant, Union Theological Seminary; and Abdel R. Wentz, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg) except Wentz were present. The next year they met again for two weeks at Paradise Island and this time Wentz was present. The preface of Goodspeed's Short Bible is signed, "Edgar J. Goodspeed, Paradise Island, July 20, 1933." However, none of the writing about the Island indicates whether more than the Preface was written there. A brief biography (more than is available on Wikipedia) is contained in the Guide to the Edgar J. Goodspeed Papers at the University of Chicago.

    Thomas Goodspeed, father of Edgar, led the family in summering on Goodspeed Island. Thomas was instrumental in the founding of the University of Chicago, and after retirement wrote a history of the University of Chicago, some of the work being done on Paradise Island. [Guide to the Thomas W. Goodspeed Papers at the University of Chicago]

    Charles P. Forbes
    July 18, 2017
  • Bibliography

    Comprehensive References

    Major References

    ****. Atlas of Wisconsin. Milwaukee, 1878. View Full Entry
    Albert, Dennis. Regional Landscape Ecosystems of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. [General Technical Report NC-178 4th Revision, July 1974] St. Paul, 1974. View Full Entry
    Camp Highlands. Getting to Know Plum Lake, On the Islands, Five Pines. [Camp Highlands on-line Archives Magazine] Sayner, 2010. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Chicago, University of, Library. Guide to the Edgar J. Goodspeed Papers 1853-1961. [University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Centers, Finding Aids] Chicago, 2008. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Chicago, University of, Library. Guide to the Thomas W. Goodspeed Papers 1865-1927. [University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Centers, Finding Aids] Chicago, 2006. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Currey, J. Seymour. Vilas County Notes, 1906. [Manuscript Collection in the Archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Ashland, Call # Northland SC 28] Ashland, 1906. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Freeman, Tom [Photographer]. Boathouses. Manitowish Waters, 2015. View Full Entry
    Goodspeed, Charles T.B.. Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed. [Kessinger Legacy Reprintsd] Chicago, 2010. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Goodspeed, Edgar. The New Testament, An American Translation. Chicago, 1946. View Full Entry
    Goodspeed and Smith, ed.. The Short Bible. New York, 1933. View Full Entry
    Goodspeed, Edgar. As I Remember. New York, 1953. View Full Entry
    Judson, Clara Ingram. Jerry and Jean, Detectors. New York, 1923. View Full Entry
    Judson, Clara Ingram. Mary Jane's Vacation. New York, 1927. View Full Entry
    Perry, Ray. Badger Modern Magic--Muskies. [Wisconsin Conservation Bulletin, 5:12, Dec 1940, pp. 49-51.] Madison, 1940. View Full Entry
    Plum Lake, Town of. Planning for a Town-Wide Lake Management Plan. [Press Release, June 30, 2017] Sayner, 2017. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Richter, John. Orconectes Rusticus [Rusty Crayfish]. [Loon Hoots (Newsletter of the Plum Lake Association), June 26, 2014, pp. 1-5] Sayner, 2014. View Full Entry
    Roesler, Craig. Parasite Appears to Reduce Rusty Crayfish Populartions. [Lake Tides, Vol. 35, #4, Fall, 2010, pp. 4-5] Stevens Point, 2010. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Smalley, Martha, compiler. Guide to the Records of the Standard Bible Committee, Record Group 70. [Yale Divinity School Library, Guides to Record Groups] New Haven, CT, 1952. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Strass, Dierdre. Islands of Plum Lake. [Lakeland Times, August 13, 2004, p. 44.] Minocqua, 2004. View Full Entry
    Wikipedia. Thomas W. Goodspeed. [Downloaded, July 17, 2017, from the German Wikipedia page; machine translated.] San Francisco, 2017. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Wisconsin DNR. NHAL State Forest Timber Sales. [Wisconsin DNR Website, Revision of April 3, 2017, and related papers] Madison, 2017. View Full Entry
    Wisconsin, State of. Andrew L. Kreutzer. [Wisconsin Blue Book, 1901, p. 736.] Madison, 1901. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Wise, et. al. Parasite Found in Plum Lake. [Our Lakes, Vol. 1, #3, Fall, 2009, p. 3] Sayner, 2009. View Full Entry (Full text available)

    Minor References

    ****. Famous Children Visit in County. [Vilas County News-Review, August 22, 1935] Eagle River, 1935. View Full Entry
    ****. Plum Lake [Town] Sets Meeting on Lake Management Plan. [Vilas County News Review, July 5, 2017, p. 7A.] Eagle River, 2017. View Full Entry
    Anderson, Ken. Plum Lake Kicks Off $220,000 4-Year Plan to Manage Area Lakes. [Vilas County News Review, July 12, 2017, p. 9A.] Eagle River, 2017. View Full Entry
    Rose et al.. Water-Quality and Lake-Stage Data for Wisconsin Lakes, Water Year 2007. [US Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008–118] Middleton, WI, 2008. View Full Entry (Full text available)
    Wisconsin DNR. Vilas County Lakes Directory. [From Wisconsin Lakes, Wis. DNR PUB-FH-800 2001] Eagle River, 2002. View Full Entry
    Wisconsin DNR. Wisconsin Trout Streams. [Publication 213-69] Madison, 1969. View Full Entry
  • Links
  • Images
  • Miscellany

    NAME OF THE LAKE

    Seymour Curry, visitor at Bent's Camp around the turn of the century, in his historical notes states, in regard to the name of Plum Lake: "Named in honor of a man of that name whose initials are not known. He is a lawyer of Chicago, and was a frequent visitor to the region." Curry

    INVASIVE SPECIES

    The DNR Invasive Species Inventory for Vilas County Lakes, shown under LINKS in this Topic, 2011, shows these invasive species in this lake: Banded mystery snails, Chinese mystery snails, and rusty crayfish.

    AIS BOAT INSPECTIONS

    The DNR website provides this data for Plum Lake (Access off Razonback Road)

    Year: 2007 / 2008 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011

    Boats Inspected: 236 / 113 / 155 / 261 / 262

    People Talked to: 498 / 273 / 368 / 598 / 597

    Manhours used: 128 / 76 / 100 / 160 / 154

    For the Town Lake access:

    Year: 2008 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011

    Boats Inspected: 42 / 302 / 13 / 5

    People Talked to: 100 / 76 / 30 / 14

    Manhours used: 33 / 31 / 9 / 7