Old Military Road | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Old Military Road

Old Military Road | Wisconsin Historical Society

Langlade County Hwy. 55, 3.5 mi. N of Lily at Wolf River, Menominee County

In March, 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed an Act of Congress which enabled the states of Michigan and Wisconsin to begin construction of a road between Fort Howard at Green Bay and Fort Wilkins near Copper Harbor. It took one year to build the road from Fort Howard to Keshena. By 1869 it had reached the Michigan state line. First used for transporting federal troops and supplies, the road also was used by explor­ers, settlers, trappers and hunters. By the turn of the century it became an artery for the lumbering interests who kept the road repaired until it became a part of the state trunk highway system in 1923. Along this road are many points of historic legendary interest. Nine Mile Creek, Langlande and Lily were important logging centers. Way stations were established during the 1880's at the Otter Slide, three miles north of Sullivan Falls, the Gauthier Place near Shotgun Eddy, and Mag Lawe's station, two miles north of Keshena Falls, served both the lumber trade and weary travelers.

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