railroad treasure hunt.pdf
It’s a Railroad Buff Treasure Hunt!
Follow our map and discover railroad treasures from the past.
1. CCC Camp
The Civilian Conservation Corp was an agency of the U.S. Government that employed thousands of unemployed young men during the Depression. The CCC Camp in Star Lake, known as Company 650, undertook many local projects to improve forestry, build roads, upgrade fire protection, and restore natural areas damaged in the logging era. Star Lake’s CCC Camp was in operation from 1933 to 1942, making ample use of the Milwaukee Road passenger service.
The Milwaukee Road, or the "St. Paul" as it was originally called, built two trestles in Star Lake. Each of them enabled the railroad to reach facilities located across the water.
3. Shoreline coming to Star Lake
The shores of Star Lake formed the most attractive settings in Wisconsin for train photos, and throughout the railroad era professional photographers and many others took advantage of its natural beauty.
4. Old Milltown Depot
Friends of Star Lake has dedicated this property to local history. The Old Milltown Depot includes a new version of Star Lake’s Milwaukee Road depot plus a replica of the Route of the Hiawatha sign that originally stood just across the road. Future plans for the Old Milltown Depot include relocating the historic Fredrickson company house and turning both the depot and house into museums devoted to Star Lake and its history.
Star Lake’s second schoolhouse, built in 1921, was the first structure that arriving passengers encountered when driving out of the depot grounds. The Schoolhouse is today the Old schoolhouse Gallery, which features photography and other artwork for sale, as well as a room devoted to the history of Star Lake.
6. Former Depot Grounds
The Milwaukee Road passenger depot and grounds were located just down the driveway across from the Schoolhouse. Nothing remains today. After the end of the railroad era, several Milwaukee Road employees purchased property near the depot and converted rail cars into residences. Two of these private homes remain today and nearly impossible to distinguish from the rest of the home.
7. Historical Market and Photos
Installed many years ago is an oversize map of many logging camps that operated in Star Lake along with many vintage photos. This is one example of the longtime importance of community history to the people of Star Lake.
This is the third store at this location. In operation since the earliest days as a general store, today the store offers bait for fisherman as well as convenience store merchandise and serves as Star Lake’s post office. The Star Lake Store is an important center of life for the community.
9. Fredricksons Bait Shop
Fred Fredrickson, who arrived in Star Lake even before the railroad, established the much-loved minnow stand in 1935. The Bait shop, originally built from a Milwaukee Road boxcar, served as the family’s place of business for the next 63 years. In later years, Mr. Fredrickson’s two daughters, Hazel and Edith operated the business until 1999. The Bait Shop is a landmark, visited each summer by generations of residents and visitors who fondly recall the Fredrickson family.
10. North Star Lodge
During the railroad era, the Milwaukee Road tracks actually ended at the bottom of the stairway behind the lodge, which was originally known as the Hotel Waldheim. It was a luxury hostelry catering to wealthy sportsmen whom often stayed over extensive periods for fishing and hunting. In 1909, the hotel became Oliver’s Lodge, another resort for the well-to-do. It is now known as Hintz’s North Star Lodge, a complex that includes the original hotel plus cabins, villas and an outstanding restaurant.
Although under a variety of different names, Stillwaters, the local tavern has been in business since the Hiawatha paid daily visits to Star Lake. Sarah Rath wrote a book about the tavern a few years ago and called it "The Star Lake Saloon and Eatery".