Whispers of the Past A History of the Chippewa Flowage...



Whispers of the Past A History of the Chippewa Flowage… gives a detailed historic account of what life was like for the people of the “Chippewa Basin” long before the Chippewa Flowage was created in 1923. Dating back to the time of the fur trade, the era of when the Sioux and Ojibwe Indian tribes battled for dominance of northwestern Wisconsin, the heyday of the logging industry, and the existence of the stopping places and early resorts of the region before the flowage was formed, this book takes the reader back in time and chronicles the lives of many of the tribal families of the settlements near Chief Lake and Meda (Scott) Lake and, of course, in the village of Pahquahwong. This saga also spotlights the non-tribal people and their families who were displaced by the forming of the Chippewa Flowage: the homesteaders and early settlers of the Chippewa Basin.

Once logging began in the area during the 1870s, European men of many nationalities moved into the “Basin” to work as lumberjacks, raftsmen, and camp bosses… many of whom married into the Tribe. What resulted was a multicultural population that made up the backbone and character of the people who occupied the Chippewa Basin. Working towards a common goal, these peoples of various backgrounds and cultures shared their skills and knowledge with one another in order to survive those often-harsh times.

Where there were foot trails, there were now roads… where not only wagons could travel more easily, but also the first automobiles began to venture out on. From soil enriched by their blood and sweat, out of the desire to build a better life for themselves, there came to be homes, gardens, stores, churches, and saloons within the Chippewa Basin… all vestiges of a growing society.
However, this transformation of daily life paled in comparison to the change that was looming on the horizon for the inhabitants of the area, a change that was to be of a magnitude that most citizens could have never imagined. For in 1923, the communities of the Chippewa Basin would come to be extinguished by a flood, literally being covered up by the “tides of progress” that were ushered in by the demands of modern times.

What resulted – at the expense of the three hundred plus people who were displaced – was the Chippewa Flowage… a unique blend of God’s handiwork and man’s intervention. Once the flowage was formed in 1923, boat liveries and resorts sprang up to cater to the eager anglers and vacationers who wanted to fish and recreate on the wonderous Chippewa Flowage.

Since 1923, fifty-six different tourist related “mom and pop” resorts existed on this most unique body of water. Many of these businesses have faded into history along with the tall standing timber that used to be scattered throughout the flowage… but enough of these places today survive to ensure visitors a fine place to stay, recreate, relax, and fish.

With 304 pages, an 8 1/2” by 11” format, and filled with nearly 500 historic photographs, maps, and illustrations, Whispers of the Past, A History of the Chippewa Flowage, is available in a high quality, laminated, soft cover