Forest County

1.) J.W. Wells Lumber Company. This line operated south out of Beechwood Michigan which was on the C&NW line from Iron Mountain to Watersmeet. The company had only limited mileage in the far north area of the county. No dates of operation are known, but it is assumed tht the company operated in the early 1920's

2.) C. M. Christenson. A very small amount of trackage in the northwest corner of town 40N range 12E. See Vilas County page.

3.) Thunder Lake Lumber Company. Extensive trackage in the northwestern portion of the county. Trackage in the county was operated between 1920 and 1941. See Oneida County page for the history of this company.

4.) Sever Anderson Logging Company. Sever Anderson was a contractor for Holt Lumber Company of Oconto. From 1924 until 1930 he operated a railroad that ran northwest out of Tipler(Florence County) to the village of Alvin located in section 36 of town 41N range 13E. Logs were hauled south from Tipler to the mill at Oconto by the C&NW.

5.) Connor Land & Lumber Company. This company located in Laona operated several logging railroads including this one which joined with the C&NW about half way between Long Lake and Tipler at a location called Lindel's Spur. Exact dates of operation are unknown, but the line started operations about 1932 and was presumably abandoned in about 1940. Logs were hauled south from this line to Laona via the C&NW.

6.) Hiles Lumber Company. This line ran in a northeasterly direction from Hiles. It began operations in 1905 as the F.P. Hiles Lumber Company railroad. It was called the Hiles & Eastern. In 1906 the line was sold to the Forster- Whitman Lumber Company, and then to the Forster-Mueller Lumber Company in 1909. In the 1919 it became the Charlie Fish Lumber Company, also called the Forest County Lumber Company. Fish went bankrupt in 1929 and sold out to the Hiles Lumber Co in August of that year. Hiles Lumber's intent was to liquidate the company and sell off all assets including the railroad. Operations which had become quite extensive, reaching 20 miles northeast from Hiles, ceased in January of 1930.

7.) Haile & Mylrea Lumber Company. This rather small operation connected with the C&NW about 3 miles north of Newald. It ran westerly for about 3 miles. The company owned one rod locomotive. Operations ended about 1918.

8.) Connor Land & Lumber Company. This line owned by Connor connected with the C&NW about 1 mile south of Newald. It ran about 5 miles in an easterly direction into Florence County and also for about 4 milses southwest. Operation dates are unknown, but are presumed to be in the early 30's.

9.) Albert Hess Lumber Company. This line began operations in 1926. It had one rod locomotive and one shay. It ran north from a connection with the SOO about 3.5 miles east of Cavour where the mill was located. Hess had trackage rights from the junction to Cavour over the SOO's tracks. The line was only about 5 miles in length at its peak. Hess was said to be a "smalltime logger but a big time moonshiner". Operations ended in 1930. Hess' rod locomotive sat unused for several years until it was sold for scrap during WW2. Hess was a pioneer in that his company was very conservation conscious in a time when slash and burn and waste were very prevalent in the industry.

10.) S.J. Murphy Lumber Company. This was the earliest logging railroad in Forest County. It began operations about 1891 and ended in about 1897. Murphy's line extended northwesterly from a junction with the SOO about 2 miles west of Armstrong Creek. Murphy Lumber was originally located in Green Bay but relocated in Armstrong Creek and built their own railroad due to the feeling that the major railroads were charging exhorbitant rates for sawlogs to its mill. The SOO very much encouraged Murphy's move and supplied the company with rail for its lines. The SOO owned the southern 3 miles of Murphy's track. After Murphy discontinued operations, a portion of this track remained in service as a spur for sawlog and pulpwood loading by others.

11.) Underwood Veneer Company. This company was located in Crandon. It operated a logging railroad that connected with the C&NW Crandon branch about 5 miles west of town. Operations into Crandon were conducted over the C&NW's track.Operations over this portion of Underwood's railroads was from 1914 to 1925.

12.)William Rogers/Morse & Tradewell Lumber Company/Shawano Timber & Land Co. These three companies utilized the same line of railroad built originally by the Wm Rogers Lumber Company of Nashville (located about a mile east of the county line on the C&NW Crandon branch.) William Rogers began operations around 1906 and built about 3 miles of track south from Nashville. In 1913 the Morse & Tradewell Lumber Company of Antigo Wi constructed their line south off of the Rogers line another 6 miles into Langlade County. They owned one Shay locomotive and ended operations in 1920. Following this the northmost 4 miles of track were sold to the Shawano Timber & Land Co. They built a line into the Bishop Lake area. Operations ended in 1926. Shawano Timber & Land was located in Crandon, in the old Keith & Hiles mill.

13.) Keith & Hiles Lumber Company. This line ran in a easterly direction out of Crandon. It was begun in 1905 by the Boyd-McAlpine Lumber Company. Later that same year Page & Landeck Lumber Company bought the line. In 1908 Keith & Hiles became the new operator. Keith was a very active participant in the building of the Wisconsin & Northern Railroad, which is the present WC line between Neenah & Argonne. In 1907 the W&N constructed its line from Argonne to Crandon. Construction of the line south from Crandon began in 1913, much at the insistence of Keith who owned the timberlands south of there. Keith & Hiles' railroad operations were moved south in 1913 to Keith Siding about 5 miles south of Crandon. K&H operated here until 1918.

14.) Underwood Veneer Company. From 1925 until 1933 Underwood operated a line from Pearson in Langlade County northeasterly to a connection with the Wisconsin & Northern about 6.5 miles south of Crandon. Underwood operated over the W&N from this junction north into Crandon. Cars of logs cut for Underwood came north into Crandon, but cars of logs and bark for the Wolf River Lumber Company were delivered to the C&NW at Pearson.

15.) Yawkey-Bissell Lumber Company. Y-B was located at White Lake and began operations of a logging railroad there in 1917. Y-B had a trackage rights agreement with the SOO to operate its trains between Crandon and White Lake over the SOO's tracks. Yawkey-Bissell had extensive operations in the southeastern portion of the county tied to the mill via these rights. Y-B's own lines connected with the SOO at 1.) Choate, just over the border in Langlade County but with extensive trackage in Forest County as well 2.)About 2 miles north of the county line 3.) at Pig Snout Siding located about seven miles north of the county line. Yawkey-Bissell got into trouble with the Wisconsin Railroad Commission in 1929. The WRC ruled that no trains could operate on a Class 1 railroad's tracks unless equipped with air brakes and automatic couplers. Yawkey-Bissell log trains had neither. An agreement was worked out, however in which a SOO Line pilot was required on every log train and Y-B railroad equipment had to pass inspections by the Railroad Commission. Yawkey-Bissell's operations in Forest County ended in the late 1930's but operations continued in Langlade County until 1946. (see Langlade County page for more info.)

16.) Connor-Flanner Railroad. This line was jointly owned by Connor Land & Lumber of Laona and the Flanner Lumber Company of Blackwell. It operated from 1927 until 1932. Both Connor and Flanner had other railroad operations. (Flanner's were narrow guage) The line extended about 6 miles westerly from a junction with the C&NW about 4 miles north of Laona.

17.) Laona & Northern Railroad. This common carrier railroad (a subsidiary of the Connor Land & Lumber Co.) was incorporated on June 7 of 1902, and was constructed the same year. The original line ran northerly from Laona to a connection with the SOO at Laona Jct (about 7.5 miles north of Laona) A big question exists about how much railroad was L&N and how much was Connor's private logging railroad. Starting in about 1905, Connor began constructing a branch south from Siver Lake that eventually was over 15 miles in length extending into Langlade County. Connor conducted extensive logging railroad operations off of this line. The Silver Lake branch was abandoned in 1942 ending the L&N's career as a logging railroad. The original L&N remained in operation as a common carrier until 1986 and a portion of it remains today as the Camp 5 Farm and Museum. In 1914 a lumberjack claimed a recently logged off tract of land as his own. He proceeded to build a house over the top of the logging spur built to that tract. The lumberjack steadfastly refused to move or allow his house to be moved, keeping Connor Lbr. from removing the track. Eventually the man was lured away from his house by a ruse. While he was gone company crews jacked up the house and pulled up the track.

18.) Flanner-Steger Lumber Company. From about 1908 until 1927 F-S operated a narrow guage railroad that ran northeasterly out of Blackwell. After 1927 F-S was reorganized as the Flanner Lumber Co. It got rid of its narrow guage equipment and jointly built the standard guage Connor-Flanner Railroad with the Connor Lumber & Land Co of Laona.

19.) Goodman Lumber Company. From 1909 until 1939 this company carried out extensive logging railroad operations in Forest, Florence, and Marinette Counties. In Forest County its operations were extensive but confined to town 36N range 16E. See Florence County page for history. Operations in Forest County occured in the late 10's and early 20's.

20.) Connor Land & Lumber Company. From 1934 until 1937 CL&L leased C&NW's track running east from Blackwell to section 26 of town 35N range 16E. It constructed several spurs off of this line. Logs were hauled to the old Flanner Lumber Company mill in Blackwell, which Connor was also leasing at this time. This line had originally been built in 1904 by the C&NW to serve a mill owned by Connor at the end of it. By this time that mill was long gone

21.) Wisconsin & Northwestern Railroad. This line was owned by the J.W. Wells Lumber Company and came into town 35N range 16E from the east. Operations were in the late 1910's. (See Marinette County page for history of this company.)

22.) Wabeno Otter Lake & Eastern Railroad. This line was owned by the Menominee Bay Shore Lumber Company of Soperton. It operated easterly out of Soperton and covered the southeast corner of the county. Operations began in 1905 and ended in 1930. In 1930 rail and equipment were moved north to a new operation in the Long Lake area of Florence County.

23.) The Oconto Company. This line was begun as the Miner Brothers Lumber Company, based in Carter, in about 1906. It ran both in an easterly and westerly direction out of Carter. Miner Bros. sold out to the Oconto Company in 1920. Oconto Co operated the line until 1923.