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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Rhinelander in Oneida County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Hodag

 
 
The Hodag Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 21, 2010
1. The Hodag Marker
Inscription.  This mythical creature is the official symbol of Rhinelander. It was created in 1896 by "Gene" Shepard, Rhinelander pioneer timber cruiser and famous prankster. Shepard claimed to have discovered the animal in the woods near Rice Creek. He "captured" it by blocking the mouth of its den with rocks and rendering it unconscious with a chloroformed sponge on a long pole. Actually fashioned by a skilled woodcarver named Luke Kearney, the original Hodag was seven feet long and thirty inches high, black and hairy, with two horns on its head, twelve horns along its spine, and short powerful legs armed with long claws.

For years Shepard exhibited the Hodag at county fairs in a dimly lighted tent, controlling its movements with wires. Many spectators believed the animal was real. Shepard would assure them that he had captured it on "Section 37" and that it ate "nothing but white bulldogs and those only on Sundays."

Erected 1973

 
Erected 1973 by the Wisconsin Historical Society. (Marker Number 191.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker
The Hodag Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 21, 2010
2. The Hodag Marker
is listed in this topic list: Entertainment. In addition, it is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society series list.
 
Location. 45° 39.117′ N, 89° 24.708′ W. Marker is in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, in Oneida County. Marker is on Hodag Park Drive west of Messer Street, on the right when traveling west. Marker is in Hodag Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rhinelander WI 54501, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First Rural Zoning Ordinance (approx. one mile away); Veterans Memorial Monument (approx. one mile away).
 
Also see . . .  Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce. About the Hodag. (Submitted on July 24, 2010.) 
 
Hodag Park image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 21, 2010
3. Hodag Park
The marker is in the background to the left of the Hodag Park sign.
The Hodag image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 21, 2010
4. The Hodag
Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce
450 West Kemp Street
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 24, 2010, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 734 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 24, 2010, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
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May. 27, 2020