Jackson County

1.) Wakefield & Trow. This line, located at Merrillan, was a wooden tram with a homemade steam locomotive built by the Union Iron Works of Oshkosh Wi. It began operations in 1878 and is arguably Wisconsin's first logging railroad. Operations ended in the early 1880s.

2.) Goodyear Neillsville & Northern. This was a common carrier railroad owned by the C. A. Goodyear Lumber Company. In 1883 the Milwaukee Road began constructing a branch northeasterly from Mather in Juneau County until it reached a village by the name of Goodyear in west central Jackson County the following year. The village is long gone but its location was in section 16 of town 21N range 1W. On May 24, 1889 the Goodyear Lumber Company incorporated the Goodyear Neillsville & Northern to haul logs to its mill at Goodyear, and to connect with the GB&W main at the station of Pray. The line never seens to have reached the GB&W, (it ended at a gravel quarry about 2.5 miles short of its goal) but it built a rather extensive network of spur and branch lines north, east and south of Goodyear. A portion of the line extended west for about 6 miles and then south for another 6 miles or so terminating about 2 miles southeast of Millston. When the timber was exhausted, operations were terminated on Jan. 22 of 1895. Goodyear relocated its mill in Tomah, and its logging operations were moved north to Oneida and Vilas Counties in Wisconsin (see those pages for more), and Gogebic County Michigan. The village of Goodyear in western Jackson County soon ceased to exist. However Goodyear wasn't out of the logging buisiness until 1917. The GN&N has the distinction of being the southmost of Wisconsin's logging railroads.

3.) Mc Millan-Salsich Lumber Company. On the same Milwaukee branch that ran to Goodyear was a spur to another village by the name of McKenna located in section 21 of the same town. Here McMillan-Salsich had its sawmill. In 1887 construction began on a narrow guage railroad to feed logs to the mill. Light construction was the name of the game as rail was only 20# on main lines. Secondary lines and spurs had wooden rails. Lines were built in both an easterly and westerly direction from McKenna. In 1891 McMillan-Salsich became Williams Salsich & Co. The line lasted only as long as the timber and operations ceased in 1894. At this time Williams Salsich relocated to what is now Star Lake. The rail on the Milwaukee branch was torn up and used to build the line to Star Lake. The Milwaukee then transported the mill and all of the buildings in McKenna lock,stock, and barrel north (free of charge) and set up the Village of Star Lake. (see Vilas County page) The Milwaukee also provided rails to the Williams Salsich Company at Star Lake as narrow guage and 20# rail both dissapeared at this time.




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