Term: Rustic Road (Historic Marker Erected 1976)
Hwy. 102, 5 mi. NE of Rib Lake, Taylor County
This historical marker commemorates the first official Rustic Road in Wisconsin following state legislation authorizing the maintenance and identification of scenic roadways under the State Rustic Roads Board of the Department of Transportation. With its dedication September 27, 1975, this road became one of the first roads in the nation to be preserved for its rustic and scenic characteristics. Rustic Road Number One winds for approximately five miles from this site, through outstanding forested glacial topography. When originally laid out as a town road in 1895, the surveyors attempted to follow surveyed section lines, but the road had to be curved around the numerous lakes it encountered. The road has been witness to the cutting of the original pine and hardwood forest, the collection of hemlock bark for a now defunct tanning industry, amid the creation and later abandonment of dairy farms. Rustic Road Number One is intended by the Rustic Roads Board to be the first of a statewide network of Rustic Roads maintained for "unhurried, quiet and leisurely enjoyment."
[Source: McBride, Sarah Davis. History Just Ahead (Madison:WHS, 1999).]