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

Holcombe Logging Disaster

Holcombe Logging Disaster Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Keith L, July 21, 2011
1. Holcombe Logging Disaster Marker
Inscription. On July 7, 1905, sixteen loggers of the Chippewa Lumber and Boom Company attempted to break a log jam on the Chippewa River at Holcombe below Little Falls dam, one of the largest wooden dams in the world. The batteau boat they were riding in reached the log jam but got beyond the mens control in the wild current of the rapids. At 10:30 in the morning the boat capsized.

The following eleven men drowned:
Oscar Barquest - Cadott Max Billard - Drywood Saul Brackett - Eau Claire Henry Bryon Furgeson - Chippewa Falls Louis Gokey - Flambeau Andrew Gonyea - Jim Falls Ole Horne - Chippewa Falls Burt Larry - Anson Paddy Leyden - Drywood Joe Peloquin - Drywood Adolph Toutant - Cadott

These five men miraculously survived:
John Dressel - Chippewa Falls George Kaiser - Chippewa Falls Eddie Martin - Chippewa Falls William Smith - Drywood Emil Toutant - Cadott

Dressel, Kaiser, and Smith jumped onto the log jam itself when the boat struck it. Martin and Toutant were swept through the rapids and were picked up later a mile down the river nearly exhausted. Sixty other loggers of the Chippewa Lumber and Boom Company witnessed the accident from the shore and quickly launched another batteau to attempt rescue.

Chippewa County Historical Society
Holcombe Logging Disaster Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Keith L, July 21, 2011
2. Holcombe Logging Disaster Marker
[marker at right]
Sign #4

Erected by the Chippewa County Historical Society. (Marker Number 4.)
Location. 45° 13.366′ N, 91° 7.068′ W. Marker is in Holcombe, Wisconsin, in Chippewa County. Marker is at the intersection of 275th Street (Main Street) and 262nd Avenue (Spooner Avenue), on the left when traveling south on 275th Street (Main Street). Click for map. Marker is in Holcombe Town Hall Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 26179 275th Street, Holcombe WI 54745, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Holcombe Indian (here, next to this marker); Jean Brunet (approx. 4.3 miles away); Pulpwood Stacker (approx. 4.3 miles away); Ezra Cornell (approx. 4.3 miles away); Cornell Pulpwood Stacker (approx. 4.4 miles away); Cornell Women's Club Tablet (approx. 4.8 miles away); The Cobban Bridge (approx. 9.2 miles away); Bohemian National Cemetery (approx. 12.4 miles away).
More about this marker. The Chippewa Falls Daily Independent newspaper listed the missing men in this order and with these spellings:
Saul Bracket - Eau Claire Louis Cokey - Flambeau Max Billiard - Drywood Paddy Lyden - Stanley Ole Home - Chippewa Falls
Holcombe Logging Disaster Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Keith L, July 21, 2011
3. Holcombe Logging Disaster Marker
Holcombe Town Hall Park
Joe Pelloquin - Drywood Andrew Gonyea - Jim Falls Oscar Berquist - Cadott Bert Larry - Anson (township) Henry [Byron] Ferguson - Chippewa Falls Adolph Toutant - Cadott
Later, the newspaper changed Ferguson's name from Henry to Byron.
[source: link #1]
Also see . . .
1. McMillan Library. Lumberman on the Chippewa; Tragedy at Little Falls. "A log jam had developed below the Little Falls Dam (Holcombe) and seventy or more drivers were recruited in Chippewa Falls to break it up. William Irvine, general manager for Chippewa Lumber & Boom Company, told Andrew Gonyea, a driving foreman, to round up as many men as he could find and get them to Little Falls on the morning train." (Submitted on August 2, 2011.) 

2. CStPM&O & CNW. Holcombe, Wisconsin. (Submitted on August 2, 2011.) 

3. History Of Lake Holcombe. (Submitted on August 2, 2011.)
Categories. Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
Tablet at Flag Pole Photo, Click for full size
By Keith L, July 21, 2011
4. Tablet at Flag Pole
[right edge of photo #3]
Est. March 16, 1905
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 709 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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