Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mercer in Iron County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Roddis Line – Lake of the Falls

Iron County Heritage Area

 
 
Roddis Line – Lake of the Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 22, 2011
1. Roddis Line – Lake of the Falls Marker
Inscription. The felling of Iron County’s great stands of timber began in the late 1870’s. The white pine was the first to be cut. Down the Turtle River and over Lake of the Falls, buoyant pine logs were floated to sawmills further south.

Spring, when the rivers were highest, was log driving time. Dams were constructed on the Turtle River here, at the Lake of the Falls, and upstream at Shea’s Dam to provide the flush of water needed to push the logs downstream.

The colorful pinery days were intense, but short. By 1906 the last stands of white pine had been cut.

The valuable virgin hardwood timber that remained offered a bigger challenge – it did not float like pine. The Roddis Lumber and Veneer Company solved the problem as early as 1903 by creating a “logging railroad” extending into the timberlands west of Lake of the Falls.

By mid-1920’s the “Roddis Line” railroad had spread like branches on a tree connecting 15 logging company camps to the mainline track. Timber continued to flow, by rail instead of water, to sawmills. Dwindling supplies of wood and the Great Depression forced the Roddis Line to abandon its operations in 1938, ending Iron County’s logging railroad era.
 
Location. 46° 8.994′ N, 90° 9.629′ 

Roddis Line – Lake of the Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 22, 2011
2. Roddis Line – Lake of the Falls Marker
"Old Kate" the first Roddis Line engine
W. Marker is in Mercer, Wisconsin, in Iron County. Marker can be reached from County Route FF 4 miles west of U.S. 51. Click for map. Marker is located in Lake of the Falls County Park near the boat launch. Marker is in this post office area: Mercer WI 54547, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Flambeau Trail – Two Ways to Go (within shouting distance of this marker); Flambeau Trail – The Mercer Depot (approx. 4.8 miles away); Flambeau Trail – Turtle Portage (approx. 5.4 miles away); Flambeau Trail – Continental Divide (approx. 5.6 miles away); Flambeau Trail – Turtle Flambeau Flowage Dam (approx. 6.5 miles away); Roddis Line – Turtle-Flambeau Dam (approx. 6.5 miles away); Roddis Line – Nelson Camp 1 (1925-1930) (approx. 7.1 miles away); Roddis Line - Roddis Lumber and Veneer Company (approx. 7.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Mercer.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels
 
The Falls of Lake of the Falls image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 22, 2011
3. The Falls of Lake of the Falls
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 509 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.   3. submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement