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Wisconsin Historical Society History Center and Archives

Area Research Center

Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center

History Center and Archives
Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center
29270 County Highway G
Ashland, WI 54806-9339

Phone: 715-685-2647


Hours: 1 pm – 4:30 pm, Tuesday through Friday and by appointment

Contact:  Linda Mittlestadt, Archivist

The History Center and Archives (part of the Society's Area Research Center Network) houses manuscripts and local government records from Ashland, Bayfield, Forest, Iron, Oneida, Price, Sawyer, and Vilas counties.

College students and faculty, genealogists, local historians, and other researchers are encouraged to use the collections.


Almost 125 series of local government public records include proceedings of the Ashland County Board (1860-1932) and the Forest County Board (1885-1916), records (1858-1876) of the Town of La Pointe, City of Rhinelander records, Ashland County Circuit Court records, correspondence (1891-1898) of the Bayfield County Superintendent of Schools, naturalization records for Ashland (1879-1992), Bayfield (1859-1945), Forest (1859-1995), Iron (1893-1954), Oneida (1887-1954), Price (1870-1954), Sawyer (1885-1954), and Vilas counties (1876-1949), and pre-1907 birth, death, and marriage registrations.

The ARC holds over 77 collections of papers and records produced by private organizations and individuals. Among them are the papers (1883-1922) of entrepreneur Thomas Bardon and of missionary Iraneus Frederic Baraga; records (1943-1986) of Trees for Tomorrow, Inc.; records (1854-1959) of Brown Brothers Lumber Company of Rhinelander; papers (1943-1976) of Alvin E. O'Konski, Republican Congressman from Wisconsin's 10th District known for anti-communist activities and stance against Viet Nam War; records (1939-1967) of Penokee Veneer Company; reminiscence (1957) of Margaret Eastman Runkel recalling life at Lac du Flambeau government school for Indian children; papers (1986-1990) of Nick Van Der Puy, outdoor guide from Eagle River and member of Citizens for Treaty Rights; interview (1955) of Henry J. Wachmsuth, German immigrant (1881), lumberyard worker and Mayor of Ashland; records (1834-1961) of the Oulu Evangelical Lutheran Church; papers (1950-1976) of Victor Wallin, state assembly member and local civic leader; and several unpublished local histories.

Finding Aids

Detailed research tools at each ARC location include a checklist of holdings, and registers and inventories for large collections. At the History Center and Archives a general guide provides a listing of their holdings.

Network Transfer Provision

This feature makes available at Ashland one of the nation's richest collections. Requests for transfer of collections may be made by contacting the History Center and Archives.

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