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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wausau in Marathon County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Big Bull Falls Birthplace of Wausau

 
 
Big Bull Falls  Birthplace of Wausau Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, May 16, 2011
1. Big Bull Falls Birthplace of Wausau Marker
A lumberman stands in front of a tree in the left side photo.
Inscription. In the early 1800s, timber supplies were coming to an end in the eastern United States. The Westward Expansion—the settlement of the prairies and mountainous regions west of the Mississippi—was driving the hunger for more timber with which to build homes, barns, towns and railroads.

Stories spread quickly of mammoth-sized pines at a place called Big Bull Falls in the Wisconsin Territory.

[photo captions]
The first American to build a sawmill at Big Bull Falls in 1839 was George Stevens, a lumberman from New York.
Courtesy of the Marathon County Historical Society, Wausau, Wisconsin.

← Virgin pines, such as these photographed in Marathon County in 1865, drew lumbermen here, just as gold lured miners to California during the Gold Rush.
Courtesy of Marathon County Historical Society, Wausau, Wisconsin.

George Stevens was ecstatic about Big Bull Falls. He wrote to his partners in St. Louis, "It is decidedly the best Mill Site I ever Saw or heard of in the Union & being the head of navigation & the timber much better above than below & 30 miles of handsome river to float loggs down & the timber in many places standing on the bank can be felled and rolled in without a team."
Joshua
Big Bull Falls  Birthplace of Wausau Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, May 16, 2011
2. Big Bull Falls Birthplace of Wausau Marker
[left side of photo]
Hathaway's survey map of Big Bull Falls, 1839.
Courtesy of Marathon County Historical Society, Wausau, Wisconsin.


In this letter to his partners in St. Louis, Stevens describes the difficulties in getting to Big Bull Falls, the hardships in trying to live and build a mill here, as well as his joy in the fabulous rivers and pines.
Courtesy of Marathon County Historical Society, Wausau, Wisconsin.

[logos of] River Edge Parkway Welcome Home Wausau
 
Erected by River Edge Parkway, Welcome Home Wausau.
 
Location. 44° 57.675′ N, 89° 38.03′ W. Marker is in Wausau, Wisconsin, in Marathon County. Marker can be reached from Scott Street (State Highway 52) near Washington Street. Click for map. Marker is in Big Bull Falls Historic Park. A small parking area inside the park can be reached from eastbound Washington Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 204 West Scott Street, Wausau WI 54403, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Big Bull Falls (here, next to this marker); Why is it called Big Bull Falls? (a few steps from this marker); Business Boomed at Big Bull Falls (within
Big Bull Falls Historic Park image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, May 16, 2011
3. Big Bull Falls Historic Park
The marker can be seen in the distance.
shouting distance of this marker); Wausau Water Works (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Federal Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pioneer Rehabilitation Center (approx. 0.3 miles away); Third Marathon County Courthouse (approx. 0.4 miles away); First Workers' Compensation Law (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Wausau.
 
Also see . . .  History - The Wausau Story. (Submitted on July 7, 2011.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 633 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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