History of Drummond, Wisconsin

Prime timberlands contained a virgin forest of more than 80% white and Norway pine.

Lumberjacks used hand axes and crosscut saws to harvest trees for transporting logs to the Drummond mill via wagon, sleigh, waterways and train.

Upon reaching the Drummond mill, the logs were graded for quality, cut to boards, trimmed and cut to lumber length.

train in forestIn 1880, the Chicago, Minneapolis and Omaha Railroad began pushing a line toward Lake Superior. This track would open the forests of Bayfield County to distant markets.

In 1882 the Rust-Owen Lumber Company chose to locate a sawmill in Drummond. This is the same year the railroad arrived in Drummond. Work on mill construction begain by a crew under the supervision of Frank Drummond in the spring of 1882. During that summer workers built a boarding house, tenement houses, a horse barn and a company store. This new town, named Drummond, would be a company town - owned entirely by the Rust-Owen Lumber Company.

In 1891 the Rust-Owen Lumber Company established the Drummond & South Western Railroad (D&S Railroad).

Though change came slowly, the Rust-Owen Lumber Company finally allowed private businesses in town in 1921.

The closing of the sawmill ended the only way of life that many Drummond residents had known. Although some moved on, others chose not to leave their town. While the Town of Drummond's population dropped from 1,054 in 1930 to 776 in 1940, many people who bought their homes stayed in Drummond.

The programs of the Work Project Administration put Drummond's residents to work in the 1930's.

In 1937, the WPA began a resettlement project with the Forest service to establish farmsteads on Forest Service land. Local workers constructed 32 resettlements farmsteads.