5 Places to See in Rhinelander if You Love History | Oneida County Courthouse

5 Places to See in Rhinelander if You Love History

5 Places to See in Rhinelander if You Love History

First called “Pelican Rapids” by early settlers in 1880, Rhinelander started out as a logging town. With it’s ideal location at the confluence of the Pelican and Wisconsin rivers, Rhinelander was one of the most important logging centers in the Northwoods. Needless to say, Rhinelander is rich in history. Be sure to check out these 5 places next time you visit!


1. Visit the Oneida County Courthouse

Built in 1908, the courthouse was designed by an architect from Manitowoc, WI named Christ H. Tegen. The interior features a Tiffany-style glass dome and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Be sure to check out the five self-guided walking audio tour plaques scattered throughout the courthouse!

Address: 1 S. Oneida Ave.


2. Drive past Eugene Shepard’s house

Eugene Shepard, the logger who created the legend of the Hodag, moved to Rhinelander in 1885. The house that he resided in still stands today, in town on Prospect St. (Please note- this home is still a private residence.)

Address: 405 W Prospect St.


3. Stop at the Rhinelander Historical Society Museum

View a large variety of historical objects and artifacts at the Historical Society Museum. Get a tour and hear fascinating stories of the early years of Rhinelander!

Address: 9 S Pelham St.


4. Explore Pioneer Park Historical Complex

The Pioneer Park Historical Complex features 7 museums, all in one complex. There is a replica of a late 1800’s logging camp, an antique saw mill, and also Civilian Conservation Corps barracks. Other museums include an old schoolhouse, fire museum, a restored Soo Line Depot, and antique boating museum.

Address: Martin Lynch Dr.


5. See the Pelican Rapids Boat Launch

Check out the confluence of the Wisconsin and Pelican Rivers at the Pelican Rapids Boat Launch. This is where some of the first settlers arrived and envisioned what later became the lumber mill and town. This location was home to John Curran’s trading post, who was one of the first settlers of Rhinelander. The trading post served as an excellent stopping point for those traveling up or down the rivers, and this location also became key for the transportation of lumber later on.

Address: Boyce Dr, between the bridge over the Pelican River and Shepard Dog Park, on the north side of the road.


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