Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

National Forest Rd. 2181

National or State Register of Historic Places
National Forest Rd. 2181 | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Franklin Lake Campground
Reference Number:88001573
Location (Address):National Forest Rd. 2181
Franklin Lake Campground
National Forest Road 2181, Eagle River Ranger District
Nicolet National Forest, Forest County
Date of Construction: 1936

The Great Depression spawned optimistic government programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which offered employment to Americans while conserving the environment and encouraging recreation. In 1936, CCC and WPA workers gathered on a scruffy piece of logged off timberland to build the Franklin Lake Campground.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented innovative New Deal programs to improve the economy and the welfare of those most affected by the Depression. One such program was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a work program for unmarried men ages 17-24 whose families received relief. After enrolling in the CCC, the men received food, clothing, shelter, education, job training, and thirty dollars a month allowance (twenty five of which went to the man┬┐s family) in exchange for working on projects that helped to conserve the environment or to promote recreation. Over 75,000 men from Wisconsin worked on CCC projects. Another New Deal Program, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), employed people in building projects that met public needs, but did not take jobs away from other workers.

CCC enrollees from Camp Ninemile in Vilas County worked with the National Park Service to create landscape, trails, roads, and campsites, while WPA workers from the Warvet camp in Vilas County constructed buildings. The campground includes 42 campsites, a picnic area, swimming beach, and ten buildings. The plan adopted Rustic style aesthetics blending manmade elements, such as trails and buildings, into the natural lakeside setting. The buildings' Rustic logs, stones, open porches, wide overhangs, and exposed rafters reflect the beauty of the landscape in which they are placed.

The Franklin Lake Campground is the largest grouping of Rustic style buildings in Wisconsin's National Forests, and is virtually unaltered. The campground is seasonally operated and open the public.

Period of Significance:1936-1938
Area of Significance:Architecture
Area of Significance:Entertainment/Recreation
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Applicable Criteria:Event
Historic Use:Recreation And Culture: Outdoor Recreation
Architectural Style:Other
Resource Type:District
Architect:USDA Forest Service
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:09/28/1988
State Register Listing Date:01/01/1989
Number of Contributing Buildings:10
Number of Contributing Sites:0
Number of Contributing Structures:0
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:0
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:0
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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