Stories of Metonga : Part 2

Welcome back! I hope you all enjoyed learning a bit about the name of our Lake Metonga. We did receive one comment that asked about a sign near the South end of the Lake that mentioned an Indian Chief’s name as being the source of the name Metonga. If anyone has any information on this sign, please let us know!

Today we are jumping back 132 years to March of 1887. March 1887 was much like the March of 2019. Forest County residents were tired of the snow (“and still more snow”) and the ice and were beginning to think about Spring and Summer weather. On March 3, 1887, the Forest Republican began offering a series of articles titled “Lakeland” featuring Metonga as its first in the series. Our Stories of Metonga presentation and blog series will follow the path of this article’s afternoon cruise around the lake with stories, photos and historical research.

Page  1 of Forest Republican, published in Crandon, Wisconsin on Thursday, March 3rd, 1887. Crandon Public Library Digital Archives.

Historical Perspective

In March of 1887, the state of Wisconsin was 39 years old and Forest County was not yet two years old.

Forest County was created by an Act of the Wisconsin Legislature in May of 1885, taking land from Lincoln, Langlade and Oconto counties to form Forest County.

In March of 1887, the shape of Forest County is a bit different than it is today. If you notice on the map below, the Western towns of Pelican Lake, Monico, Gagen and Three Lakes are within the boundaries of Forest County. It would be another 39 years, in 1926, when the shape of Forest County finalized with a U.S. Supreme Court hearing deciding in favor of Wisconsin and eliminating Iron County, Michigan’s overlap of Forest County. [source: The Newberry Library. https://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/documents/WI_Individual_County_Chronologies.htm#FOREST: accessed 08/20/2019]

[source: Historical U.S. counties on Google Maps. Randy Majors. https://www.randymajors.com/p/maps.html : date accessed 08/20/2019]

Forest County officers included E.O. Woodbury as Sheriff, Charles C. DeLong as County Clerk, Louis Motzfeldt as Treasurer, D. Babock as our District Attorney, J. Monaghan as Superintendent of Schools, H. Graeff as Register of Deeds, Clark Whitbeck as Clerk of Court, B.H. Darling as our County Judge, A. Vanzile as County Surveyor and A.J. Beudette as County Coroner.  

Next week we will get our first glimpse of Lake Metonga via the county road! Have a great week!–Michelle

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