Amanda’s Weekly Archival Discovery

Happy Labor Day weekend Forest County Residents!

I am sorry to inform you that this is the last week I am working as the full time archivist at the Crandon Public Library. I will still be cataloging archival material ten hours per week so I will do my best to write a new blog post during this time. I am working on finishing writing my thesis on the disappearance of Keith Siding as a lumber town so if anyone has any information on the subject let me know.

I would like to invite everyone to an Open House at the Crandon Public Library, September 10th at 5-6:30 pm. I will be giving a presentation on the work I did this summer and I would love to share my exciting discoveries with everyone so please attend! There will be food!

Alright back to business.

Did you know that the United States government was considering abolishing Forest County in the late 1930’s-early 40’s? According to an article in the Forest Republican, The Department of Agriculture recommended that the federal government let the Forest Service take over the cut over lands, relocate the families living in Forest County, and begin a reforestation program. These harsh measures were due to the fact that 75% of the cutover land was not fit to be farmed and a large portion of the land had already passed into the hands of the government because of tax delinquencies.

They did not go so far as to disband the county but they did put drastic measures into place in order to deal with the horrendous economic situation in Forest County. In 1939, the government enforced “rural zoning” in which any residents that lived in a sparsely populated area, was subject to tax delinquency, or lived on land that could not be farmed or logged had to be relocated to a more heavily populated area. All of the small towns in Forest County cost the state and federal government a great deal of money because they had to provide funding for schools, roads, and medical treatment to every community. The government’s solution was to buy their land from them at a very cheap rate and provide them better land to live on that the newly removed residents had to pay for over time. They created government housing right in the City of Crandon for the elderly that still stands today. This is the reason why so many small towns and rural schools ceased to exist in Forest County.

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