Presque Isle Wisconsin History

Presque Isle Wisconsin History

presque-isle-history1Nearly 300 years ago, shipwrecked French priests on the shores of Lake Superior made their way down a river to an area they christened “Presque Isle,” or “Almost an Island,” because of the vast stretches of lakes and rivers that dwarf the land.

Development came to the area in the early 1900s with the advent of the logging era. In 1905, J.J. Foster built the Vilas County Lumber Company on the edge of a pond. The community that grew up around it was called Fosterville.

When William S. Winegar bought the mill in 1910, the fledgling community was renamed Winegar. The “lumber baron” era came to an end in 1933 when the mill closed, but the town of Winegar continued to grow.

Today, the world’s largest walleye rearing ponds occupy the old mill grounds. In 1955, the village name was changed once again. Reflecting the wisdom and farsightedness of early French missionary priests we became “Presque Isle – Almost an Island” again.

presque-isle-history2For more information about the cultures, personalities, and places that played vital roles in the history of Wisconsin’s Northwoods, be sure to visit:

Presque Isle Heritage Cottage Museum
Located on the corner of Hwy B & School Loop Road in Presque Isle.
Hours: Open Fridays 11-2, Memorial Day through Labor Day
Phone: 715-686-2481
The Heritage Society maintains this museum in an effort to preserve the past history of the town of Fosterville/Winegar/Presque Isle. They are recording the present history for the future. Their collections are assembled in a cottage museum they love to show residents and visitors

Other Historical

Boulder Junction Museum
Park Street
Boulder Jct, WI 54512
(715) 385-2617

Dr. Kate Museum
923 Second Ave
P.O. Box 851
Woodruff, WI 54568
(715) 356-6896
(715) 356-3437

George Brown Ojibwe Museum
603 Peace Pipe Rd
Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538
(715) 588-3333

Minocqua Museum
416 Chicago Ave
Minocqua, WI 54548
(715) 356-7666

Vilas County Historical Museum
P.O. Box 217
Hwy 155
Sayner, WI 54560
(715) 542-3388

P.O. Box 1059
Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538
(715) 588-2615