In 1883, John S. Monroe built a log cabin which became one of the three original buildings in the area that would become the Village of Wausaukee. The cabin became a boarding house, post office, eatery, and later a hotel.
The area was established as a hub for the logging and timber industry. A railroad station was built along the Milwaukee & Northern railroad line in 1883 and the rail stop was called Wausaukee.
The Beach & Bishop sawmill was the first mill established in Wausaukee and was followed by the Bird & Wells sawmill around 1887. The first store established was the Bird & Wells Lumber Company. The third sawmill was created by a man named Dutton who later sold it to the Laun brothers. The Laun brothers later opened a hardware and general store in the area that remained in business until 1967.
Numerous businesses sprung up in Wausaukee to support the logging community including grocery stores, restaurants, churches, schools, saloons, barbershops, hotels, and a distillery.
George E. Bogrand Sr. founded the Wausaukee Independent Newspaper in 1895. He also became Postmaster, President of the Wausaukee State Bank, member of the Telephone Company Board of Directors, and Director of the Board of Education.
Rail traffic thrived in the 1900’s, moving timber products out and bringing passenger traffic into and through the area. This continued until the end of the logging boom.
Around 1910 the logging industry began to move east of the Wausaukee region. As logging began to diminish, farming and dairy cattle became the main industry in the area. Immigrant farmers were sold the deforested land after logging operations moved on.
The Wausaukee Feed Mill was built by H. P. Christ in the early 1900’s. The mill began grinding and storing grain and then shipping it out on the rail lines. The mill continued operation until 1974.
Other industries that were established in the area include: a pickling station, blueberry production, curtain hanger extension maker, sheep farming, bakery, broom factory, land sales, potato farming, soda pop production, a distillery, cigar factory, and a black smith.
Some of the more historic buildings in the area include:
Adams & Ruggles Distillery 1900
Hotel Wausaukee 1889 (Located at 502 Main St., it is the only original hotel structure still standing.)
Exchange Hotel 1888 – 1911
Shepherd Hotel – 1910
Atlas Hotel 1888
Knights of Pythias building
McNeely’s Livery Stable then Drug Store
Spangler Black Smith Shop – 1958
St. Augustine’s Catholic Church 1889, Convent 1906, and school 1906 – 1970
Wausaukee Presbyterian Church 1890
Christ & Smith General Merchandise 1930’s