Redefining the Nature of Logging Towns: The First and Second Phases in the Evolution of Tomahawk, Wisconsin, 1886-1940
Lilek, Nicholas A.
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This paper examines the early history of the city of Tomahawk, Wisconsin, a settlement in the north-central part of the state that was originally founded as a logging town. The typical life cycle of a logging town in the late 19th and early 20th centuries involved a miniature population boom as the mills came followed by up to a couple decades of furious logging and prosperity (depending on the size of the forested areas nearby). Usually, though, after the logging industry would leave as abruptly as it came once the trees thinned out, leaving these towns devoid of an economic function; there was little the towns could do to survive and they often vanished. The analysis in this paper focuses primarily on the economic (side industries such as a tannery, metal works, and shoe company) and social developments (largely through city planning efforts) that took place in the city of Tomahawk between 1886 and the end of the Second World War, proposing that the evolution that occurred during this time period enabled the city to survive and prosper long after the bulk of the saw and paper mills had left the area.
Tomahawk (Wis.)--Economic conditions.