Marinette County

See Florence County for the following railroads that also had trackage in Marinette County. Quinnesec Logging Co., Holmes & Son Railroad, Sawyer-Goodman Lumber Company, Goodman Lumber Company and Dunbar & Wausaukee Railroad.

1.) Wisconsin & Northwestern Railroad. This railroad began operation in 1889 as the private road of the Bird & Wells Lumber Company of Wausaukee. Bird & Wells operated in the area just west of Wausaukee. In 1892 B&W sold 2.78 miles of track to the Milwaukee. It was the southmost portion of the MILW branch that ran northwest from Wausaukee through Athelstane and connected with the Dunbar & Wausaukee at Girard Junction. Bird & Wells maintained rights on their former line, and also on the Milwaukee branch to a connection with the Dunbar & Wausaukee. Several spurs were built off of the south end of the D&W for Bird & Wells logging. Holmes & Son were also active in the Phillipsburg area as well. In 1903 Bird & Wells Lumber became the J. W. Wells Lumber Company. The following year a18 mile line was constructed westerly from Phillipsburg on the D&W west about 18 miles. Part of this line was constructed on former rights of way from old D&W and Girard Lbr Co spurs. Wells incorporated the Wisconsin & Northwestern 0n July 21, 1906 as a common carrier. The common carrier portion of the line connected with the Dunbar & Wausaukee at Phillipsburg about a mile north of its Girard Junction connection with the Milwaukee. W&NW had trackage rights over the D&W and the MILW throughout its lifetime so that log trains could reach the mill. The W&NW ran almost due west from Phillipsburg ending in east central Forest County. The common carrier portion of the line ended at Taylor Rapids on the Peshtigo River in section 10 of tn 35N r 17E. In 1918 when the Dunbar & Wausaukee was abandoned, the portion of its line between Girard Jct and Phillipsburg became a part of the W&NW. The Wisconsin & Northwestern was abandoned in 1921.

2.) Wisconsin & Michigan Railway. The first predecessor of the Wisconsin & Michigan was a narrow guage logging railroad running five miles west from Fisher to Ingalls Mi. (on the Menominee River) In 1894 the W&M was incorporated and 54.1 miles of track were laid between Bageley Jct in Marinette Co. and Faithorn Jct(reached in 1895) where the W&M met the SOO. (This included the logging railroad at Ingalls whose guage was standardized. It became a branchline which was abandoned about 1902.) Trackage rights were obtained on the eight miles of Milwaukee track between Bageley Jct. and Marinette. On Sept 1,1895 the W&M took over the private rail line of the Peshtigo Lumber Company. Called the Peshtigo Harbor Railroad it consisted of about eight miles of track between Peshtigo Lumber Company's mill and a harbor on Lake Michigan. Constructed in 1862 and 1863, its purpose was to haul finished lumber to the harbor for loading onto ships. The Peshtigo Harbor was originally laid with strap iron on wooden rails, but was converted to regular rail in 1869-70. Its early construction date makes the Peshtigo Harbor the first track laid in the state of Wisconsin north of Green Bay!! The W&M extended its line south from Bageley Jct to Peshtigo to connect with this line. W&M wanted it because they wanted car ferry connections, and were unable to get land in Marinette or Menominee. The ferry was only a limited success and was abandoned in 1905. Peshtigo Lumber was the largest customer of the W&M and Peshtigo was the company's headquarters. The W&M had a large shop building there which repaired locomotives for other logging operators as well as taking care of the W&M's needs. Iron ore would be the next major draw as the line was extended north to Cundy Jct. (about a mile north of Quinnesec Mi) in 1901. Trackage rights were obtained on the Milwaukee allowing the railroad to extend service to Iron Mountain. In 1905 a 5.5 mile branch was built from Aragon Jct to the Aragon Mine at Norway. The iron mines along the W&M went bust in about 1910. On June 11, 1904 the W&M expanded by purchasing the Holmes & Son Railroad (see Florence Co) A track was built to link the W&M main with the Holmes & Son track at Miscauno Island. The W&M tried to break into the resort buisiness by building a hotel on Miscauno Island and hauling passengers there. This too was a buisiness failure. In 1905 the W&M rebuilt the Holmes line five miles to connect with the Dunbar & Wausaukee at Constine on the Florence-Marinette county line. In 1902 a branch was begun westward off of the main to the area around Lake Noquebay. It was extended again in 1905, and 1910. This branch was built to serve interests of the Peshtigo Lumber Co. (PEshtigo Lbr had looked into building their own railroad, but decided instead to contract the W&M to haul their logs.) Log trains between Lake Noquebay and Peshtigo soon became the W&M's chief source of revenue. Not to be outdone the Milwaukee built a branch to Lake Noquebay from the west as well. In 1914 logging was complete and the Lake Noquebay branch was abandoned. Without its chief source of revenue the W&M went bankrupt in 1918. In its reorganization, the former Peshtigo Harbor line was torn up and the former Holmes & Son line was sold to the Sawyer-Goodman Lumber Company. (see Florence Co page) The lines between Bageley Jct and Peshtigo, and north of Faithorn Jct. were torn up as well. W&M attained land at Menominee Mi and set up its headquarters there. For the next 30 years the W&M concentrated on being a bridge carrier betweeeen the Ann Arbor and the SOO Twin Cities-Sault Ste Marie main at Faithorn Jct. The track north of Faithorn Jct was relaid in 1925 including the branch to Norway. For a time the W&M was again prosperous, but the depression killed it in 1938.

3.)Fence River Logging Co. The Fence River Logging Co, in 1900, built a two mile spur off of the Milwaukee just north of Pembine. Fence River went out of buisiness in December of 1902.