The Resort Era
The resort era in the Northwoods begins as the logging era ends, though there was substantial overlap. (In a sense the logging era has never ended, since their continue to be extensive logging operations.) For the area north of Wausau, resorts and tourism began slowly during the second half of the nineteenth century, with fishermen and hunters being the major source of visitors. As the century ended, there began to be an influx of vacationers whose main intention was to relax, enjoy the lakes--including fishing--and escape the heat of the cities to the south.
In Star Lake the "hotel" was one of the early buildings built. It became the No topic [75 waldheim] (later Oliver Lodge and North Star Lodge) and its history is written in a separate topic. There were No topic [74 other resorts] on Star Lake as well.. No topic [81 ballard lake], No topic [88 white birch lake], and No topic [86 lake laura] also saw resort development.
Nearby towns saw similar development. In fact, in No topic [185 sayner] development along the shores of No topic [312 plum lake] was much more extensive than on Star Lake, though the lakes are of similar size.
An interesting aspect of the resort era, virtually unknown in the inland Star Lake area, was the developing tourist industry along the shore of Lake Superior. With the opening of the Soo Locks at Sault Sainte Marie in 1855, travel to No topic [lakesuperior lake superior] ports from Chicago and points east became possible. After a decline during the Civil War, steamship travel on Lake Superior became popular. One could sail from Buffalo or Chicago, go through the St. Mary's Ship Canal into Lake Superior and head west through the last visiting numerous ports in Michigan and Wisconsin. No topic [1764 wis mag of hist.]
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+++Vilas County Resorts in 1930
In 1930 the //Vilas County News// reported that "an informal survey indicated that Vilas County alone boasted 229 resorts, enough to host a total of 8,808 people" as reported in the //Vilas County News-Review's// Backward Glances, September 1, 2010.