Located in Rhinelander, the Home of the Hodag, the Logging Museum is the only authentic logging camp in Northern Wisconsin. Here, you can go back to a time that has long been forgotten, the days of Boom Sticks, Bullwhackers, Cant hooks, Tote Roads, and Cook Shanties. The Rhinelander  Logging Museum is a true to life replica of a lumber camp from the 1870's, when Northern Wisconsin was still a virgin forest. The Logging museum is a perfect way to start your Northwoods vacation.

The Museum is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, 10-A.M. to 5-P.M. daily. There is no admission charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.  Don't forget your cameras.

 

     Main Entrance   



During the late 19th century, as civilization forged into the last northern outposts of Wisconsin's virgin wilderness, one type of man came first, the logger. It was he who hewed out the" tote" roads which were the first feelers of civilization's farms and cities. And yet, because he was a true provincial, cut off from niceties of that Civilization, the loggers developed their own unique and colorful  culture.

 


Cook Shanty
 

 



The true to life lumber camp of the 1870's  consists of  a bunkhouse, a cook shanty, and a blacksmith shop. These are constructed of Norway pine logs. The early cook and sleeping shanties all came under the same roof, but were latter separated with a cross walk between them for sanitary reasons.

 

 

 

 


 

Logging Equipment
 

 
As you can see here, the chinking between the logs is plaster, however, the early lumber camps used sphagnum moss. Many of the tools and equipment used by the early loggers are on display at the Logging Museum, including a Road Icier, the 'Big Wheels' used to haul the logs, a Steam Hauler, and the Thunder Lake 80,000 lb steam engine, the last of six, that ran the narrow gauge railroads with logs.   
   

The Hodag
 

 

 

 Back to Rhinelander Resorts

On the first night of the arrival of lumber camp novices, an Indian from the camp would go out in a nearby swamp and make the most blood-curdling and terrifying noises. The tenderfeet were told that this was the Hodag wandering his native wilds. Many a tale was spun by the loggers about this mythical animal and a great number were taken in by the hoax.  Latter, Gene Shepard, a pioneer and timber crusier, caught the beast on camera. Thus, the legend of the Hodag was born.