History: Squaw Creek and Northern Railroad
Contact: Helen Vater Blaha
Email: feasantman@pcpros.net

----Sources: MILWAUKEE JOURNAL, 1969

J. A. Reamer of Watertown knows about the Squaw Creek and Northern railroad, and he reckons that almost nobody else does. Let him tell it:

A long time ago in Withee, Wis., in Clark county, an old fellow named Fred Schumacher had a small lumber yard. With some cronies, he decided to build a sawmill to be known at the Squaw Creek Lumber Co.

They bought a tract of timberland in Taylor county, about 16 miles north of Withee. They built a band saw mill, a company store, a boarding house for men and a horse barn and a meeting hall and named their "town" Maplehurst.

The lumber they cut had to be hauled to Withee by horse wagon and sleighs but it soon became too costly. They decided to build a railroad from the Soo Line that ran between Owen and Ladysmith.

Schumaker and his friends made a deal with the farmers whose property the line was to cross. If they would permit its passage and clean the land over the route, they could ride free and ship any goods free for the next 20 years.

It was six miles from the Soo to Maplehurst, and the road ran from the Soo just across the Black river. The right of way was cleared and they managed to grade about three miles of it. And then they put up a big sign, "The Squaw Creek and Northern Railroad."

The boys went broke at the job. The work stopped and the buildings at Maplehurst were liquidated. The ties which had been brought were picked up by the farmers and used for fence posts, and they planted corn along the right of way.

The last time I was in Maplehurst, all that was left of the railroad was a pile of red brick from the boilers. I doubt if anyone living remembers that dream town. Fifty years ago, I saw the old sign, dusty and discarded, in Fred Schumacher's woodshed.

And that was the end of the noble dream.


Re: History: Squaw Creek and Northern Railroad
Contact: Lawrence A. Gueller
Email: guellag@rontiernet.net

Does any additional information exist regarding Mr Schumacher or his railroad?

Best Regards,

Lawrence A. Gueller



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