Minocqua, Wisconsin

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Minocqua, Wisconsin
Town
Entering downtown CDP Minocqua
Location of Minocqua, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 45°50′48″N 89°49′50″W / 45.84667°N 89.83056°W / 45.84667; -89.83056
CountryUnited States
StateWisconsin
CountyOneida
Area
 • Total168.1 sq mi (435.3 km2)
 • Land150.8 sq mi (390.6 km2)
 • Water17.3 sq mi (44.8 km2)
Elevation[1]1,598 ft (487 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total4,859
 • Density32.2/sq mi (12.4/km2)
Time zoneCentral (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s)715 & 534
FIPS code55-53225[2]
GNIS feature ID1583727[1]
 
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Minocqua, Wisconsin
Town
Entering downtown CDP Minocqua
Location of Minocqua, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 45°50′48″N 89°49′50″W / 45.84667°N 89.83056°W / 45.84667; -89.83056
CountryUnited States
StateWisconsin
CountyOneida
Area
 • Total168.1 sq mi (435.3 km2)
 • Land150.8 sq mi (390.6 km2)
 • Water17.3 sq mi (44.8 km2)
Elevation[1]1,598 ft (487 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total4,859
 • Density32.2/sq mi (12.4/km2)
Time zoneCentral (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST)CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s)715 & 534
FIPS code55-53225[2]
GNIS feature ID1583727[1]

Minocqua is a town in northwestern Oneida County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 4,385 at the 2010 census. The census-designated place Minocqua and the unincorporated community of Rantz are located in the town. Minocqua is commonly referred to as "The Island City." [3]

History[edit]

Minocqua was officially organized in the year 1889. While there are varying explanations regarding the meaning of the word "Minocqua", most credit its origin to the Island's first inhabitants, the Ojibwe Indians.[4]

In the late 1800s, Minocqua was a logging town. The first white child born in town was named Minocqua Clawson. Clawson Hill was a famous landmark in town and is the current location of the Pointe Resort & Hotel at the south end of the Highway 51 bridge.

The railroad was a critical component of Minocqua's early growth. The Milwaukee Road originally came to the area to provide access to timber. Later, railroads catered to sportsmen and tourists, transforming Minocqua into the vacation getaway it remains to this day. The two railroad trestles that brought trains to the Island are still intact and serve as the trailhead for the Bearskin State Trail that provides hiking and biking in summer, and snowmobiling in winter.

Much of the town's business district was destroyed by a major fire in 1912. Many of the buildings on the main street today were built after the fire. Although the last several decades have brought a higher percentage of visitor-oriented retail stores, the downtown still retains a U.S. post office, banks, restaurants, and a barber shop. The Island, Minocqua's civic center, contains the Campanile Center for the Arts, the Minocqua Police Department, Minocqua Fire Department, and the Minocqua Community Center, which houses the town offices and public library.

Landmarks on the Island include Torpy Park, the Belle-Isle building, the Minocqua Community Center, Bosacki's Boathouse (now The Boathouse), T Murtaugh's Pub and the Thirsty Whale. Town offices and the Minocqua Public Library are located in the Minocqua Community Center. Bosacki's burned to the ground in 1972. Although state regulations prohibited the structure being rebuilt over water, a public outcry convinced the DNR to allow it to be rebuilt where it had been.

There have been 30 town chairmen in the history of Minocqua. The list of early town chairmen reads like a who's-who of the early Minocqua settlers...names like A.O. Dorwin, Jacob Huber, Thomas Bolger, William Schlecht, and Dr. Torpy.[clarification needed]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 168.1 square miles (435.4 km²), of which, 150.8 square miles (390.6 km²) of it is land and 17.3 square miles (44.8 km²) of it is water. The total area is 10.29% water.

Termed the "Island City," a portion of the town is situated on what was an actual island, which is accessible by bridge on Highway 51 and "the fill" to the north. Much of Minocqua has sandy soil, although areas of the far northwest and the northeast are clay. The majority of the soil is highly acidic and many areas are covered by forests.

The highest point in Minocqua is Squirrel Hill, located near Winter Park (1735 ft per Wisconsin Blue Book). The highest structure in Minocqua is the Lakeland Sanitary District water tower, a steel tank on Hwy 51 North put in place in the 1960s during the winter.

The community of Bo-di-Lac is located in the western portion of the town bordered by Squirrel Lake, Diamond Lake, Booth Lake, and the town of Lac Du Flambeau (Bo-di-Lac is short for "Booth-Diamond-Lac du Flambeau).

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there are 4,835 people residing in the town occupying 2,079 households. There are a total of 4,835 housing units in town of which 2,493 are seasonal in nature.

The racial makeup of the town is 96.1% White, 0.2% African American, 1.7% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. 0.8% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

26.4% of the town's population is age 65 or older while 16.3% is below the age of 18. The median age is 51.6 years. The average household size is 2.11 persons.

Education[edit]

Minocqua has one public elementary school, Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk Elementary School, and one high school, Lakeland Union High School. A satellite campus of the Nicolet Area Technical College is located next to the high school.

Tourism[edit]

Tourism plays a substantial role in the economy of Minocqua. As a forested lake community, there are many outdoor summer activities, such as fishing, camping, waterskiing, boating, hiking, bike riding, berry collecting, and swimming. Minocqua is home to the world's oldest amateur waterski team, the Min-Aqua Bats.[citation needed] Minocqua's nightlife includes bars featuring live music in the summer. During the fall, rifle and bow hunting draw many visitors, as does the annual downtown merchants' Beef-a-Rama held the last Saturday in September. Winter activities include snowmobile festivals, Nordic (cross country) skiing, ice fishing, downhill skiing in nearby hills, snow tubing, sleigh rides, and snowmobiling. Minocqua is home to Minocqua Winter Park, a premier cross-country skiing venue as well as a sledding mountain and ice-skating pond.

A business strip runs through downtown Minocqua ("The Island") with tourist attractions and shopping.

Arts activities include the Tommy O's Northern Stars Playhouse, the Campanile Center for the Arts, and the annual HMMGG Festival of Arts and Culture.

Images[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°52′17″N 89°42′40″W / 45.87139°N 89.71111°W / 45.87139; -89.71111