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Nekoosa in Wood County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Point Basse
Point Basse Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Keith L, June 8, 2007
1. Point Basse Marker
Inscription. Five rapids covering a distance of about three miles in this area were referred to as Nekoosa (swift water) by the Chippewa Indians, who made their campground on high Swallow Rock overlooking these rapids. At the lower end of the rapids, Wakeley’s tavern served as a rendezvous and resting place for the river traveler and lumber raftsmen. Wakeley’s was the nucleus for the development of a settlement named Point Basse (low point). The name was later changed to Nekoosa.

The settlement became a key town during the colorful era when lumber was rafted down the river from the pineries of the North to Mississippi River markets.

Daniel Whitney built the first sawmill on the Wisconsin River here at Whitney’s Rapids in 1831, making Nekoosa the birthplace of Wood County. From this first harnessing of the river’s power developed scores of power facilities making the Wisconsin River the hardest-worked river in the world.
Erected 1963 by the Wisconsin Historical Society. (Marker Number 130.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society marker series.
Location. 44° 19.397′ N, 89° 53.273′ W. Marker is in Nekoosa, Wisconsin, in Wood County. Marker can be reached from
Point Basse Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Keith L, June 8, 2007
2. Point Basse Marker
Prospect Avenue (State Highway 73) half a mile north of State Highway 173, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located in Riverside Park (on the north side of the city), along the west bank of the Wisconsin River. Marker is in this post office area: Nekoosa WI 54457, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ed “Strangler” Lewis (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Veterans Memorial (about 500 feet away); Nekoosa War Memorial (approx. 0.9 miles away); Wakely’s Tavern (approx. 1.6 miles away but has been reported missing); a different marker also named Point Basse (approx. 1.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Nekoosa.
Dam and Swallow Rock Photo, Click for full size
By Keith L, June 9, 2007
3. Dam and Swallow Rock
Hydroelectric plant and paper mill are behind the photographer. Light colored mass of rocks broke apart in the spring of 2007.
Looking Downriver toward Dam Photo, Click for full size
By Keith L, June 9, 2007
4. Looking Downriver toward Dam
Looking Upriver toward the Markers Photo, Click for full size
By William J. Toman, September 19, 2010
5. Looking Upriver toward the Markers
Nearby Plaque Photo, Click for full size
By Keith L, May 26, 2010
6. Nearby Plaque
[Visible at the right edge of Photo 2.]
Wis. Rapids & vicinity Central Labor Council dedicates this living memorial to all workers of Nekoosa area who have lost their lives in their work place.
Categories. Industry & CommerceNative AmericansNatural FeaturesSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page originally submitted on June 8, 2007, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,481 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 8, 2007, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.   3, 4. submitted on June 11, 2007, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.   5. submitted on September 20, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.   6. submitted on May 27, 2010, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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