Railroads in and near Star Lake, Wisconsin
Star Lake was the "end of the line" of the Wisconsin Valley Line of the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad (Milwaukee Road) (It became the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific later, after its rails reached the west coast). The tracks reached Star Lake in 1894 or 95, serving the new town of Star Lake and the sawmill to be moved by special train from McKenna, Wisconsin See Logging Companies of Star Lake. Details of the operations of the Milwaukee Road in the Star Lake area are contained in the subtopic, The Milwaukee Road.
The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad (Northwestern) ran a line from Chicago through Green Bay, Monico, Rhinelander, Manitowish Waters, and Hurley to Ashland, passing through Woodruff, where there was a switch that allowed for a connection to the Milwaukee Road Valley Line. At Monico a branch service came through Three Lakes, Eagle River, Conover, Land O'Lakes and on to Watersmeet, Michigan. Additional information about the Northwestern in the Star Lake area are contained in the subtopic The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad.
The closest other railroad providing service in the area was the Soo Line that served Rhinelander.
Many logging railroads were built in the area, some built by the Milwaukee Road and some by various logging companies. They each had some kind of contractual arrangement with the Milwaukee Road so that they could get their logs either to the mill in Star Lake or to the Milwaukee Road mainline from Star Lake to points south where a variety of logging companies had mills.
Timonthy Sasse has developed a very detailed history of logging railroads in Wisconsin. Rather than copy his detailed description here, the full text is available at the bibliography entry Vilas County Logging Companies' Railroad Operations.
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