Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

W OFF SECTION LINE RD (33-34) JUST S OF COUNTY HIGHWAY F, CA 2 M E OF STATE HIGHWAY 32

Architecture and History Inventory
W OFF SECTION LINE RD (33-34) JUST S OF COUNTY HIGHWAY F, CA 2 M E OF STATE HIGHWAY 32 | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:HOLT AND BALCOM LOGGING CAMP #1
Other Name:MCCASLIN BROOK FARM CAMP
Contributing:
Reference Number:23267
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):W OFF SECTION LINE RD (33-34) JUST S OF COUNTY HIGHWAY F, CA 2 M E OF STATE HIGHWAY 32
County:Oconto
City:
Township/Village:Lakewood
Unincorporated Community:
Town:33
Range:16
Direction:E
Section:33
Quarter Section:SE
Quarter/Quarter Section:NE
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1880
Additions:
Survey Date:1978
Historic Use:camp/camp structure
Architectural Style:Side Gabled
Structural System:
Wall Material:Log
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Holt and Balcom Logging Camp No.1
National Register Listing Date:12/22/1978 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the State Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation.

ROUND LOG CONSTRUCTION W/DOVETAIL CNR NOTCHING. OLDEST STANDING LUMBER CAMP IN WISCONSIN. SITE INCLUDES SECTION OF EARLY LOGGING SUPPLY RD. 75 X 26 FT. PLAN. 2 BAY DOGTROT STRUCTURE W/12' LONG OPEN CENTER BAY. 36.3' E. PEN IS COOK HOUSE & 26.5' W. PEN IS BUNK HOUSE. It remains where built in 1880 and site includes section of early logging supply road.

By 1850, as Eastern lumbermen flocked to the Wisconsin pinery, the lumber industry became a mainstay of Wisconsin’s economy. This phenomenal logging boom virtually stripped the state of its white pine forest in order to supply Midwestern settlers with the lumber needed to build farms and cities during the last half of the nineteenth century. The Holt-Balcom Lumber Company, owner of about one thousand acres of forest in Oconto and Marinette counties, was one of the many corporations that turned the Northwoods into board feet. The men who logged the forest lived in lumber camps like this one, which originally included not only this log bunk house and kitchen, but also a log blacksmith shop, a wooden horse barn, a warehouse, a truck garden, and spring pasture and hay fields.

The bunkhouse, probably constructed in 1880, is the oldest known logging-camp building in Wisconsin on its original site. The gabled structure consists of two pens divided by a dogtrot or breezeway, twelve feet wide. The larger, eastern pen was the cook house, and the smaller, western pen was the bunkhouse, where visitors can still see the loggers’ double-deck bunks. The men who constructed the building--perhaps Ernest Livingston and Henderson Bateman--used logs of white pine, peeled but left round. To connect the logs, they hewed the ends, making half-dovetail joints. They likely filled the chinks between the logs with slivers of stone or wood, covered with a lime-mortar daub. The McCaslin Lions Club of Townsend-Lakewood restored the building, which is now a museum, surrounded by a golf course.
Bibliographic References:HOLT, WILLIAM ARTHUR "A WISCONSIN LUMBERMAN LOOKS BACKWARD" (PRIVATELY PUB 1948). AMERICAN LUMBERMAN "1847-1938 FOUNDER'S IDEALS ARE CONTINUED FOR 91 YEARS" P51-58 V3141 (CHICAGO ILL. 12/17/38). OCONTO, OCONTO COUNTY REPORTER 6/21/1995. GREEN BAY PRESS GAZETTE 8/4/1996. Green Bay Press Gazette 12/4/1996. Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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