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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Search Results for: Keyword: 'vieux desert'

Term: Wisconsin River Headwaters (Historic Marker Erected 1954)


Hwy. 45, 1.5 mi. S of Land 0' Lakes, Vilas County 

About two miles east of here, the Wisconsin River has its source in Lac Vieux Desert. Several spellings and meanings were given to the name of the stream in early days. The Algonquian "weer-konsan" means "the gathering of the waters." The Winnebago "wees-koos-erah is quite different, meaning "river with flowery banks." With its partner, the Fox River, the Wisconsin provided a super-highway for Indian, explorer, adventurer, missionary, and settler and was a "main street" for the fur trade. The Wisconsin River travels nearly the entire length of the state and emp­ties into the Mississippi just below Prairie du Chien, about 300 miles from here. Because there are nearly 50 power and storage dams along its route today, the Wisconsin has been called "the hardest working river in America."

[Source: McBride, Sarah Davis. History Just Ahead (Madison:WHS, 1999).]

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