The Mystery of the Concrete Pillars

The Mystery of the Concrete Pillars (HM29LU)

Location: Rice Lake, WI 54868 Barron County
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Country: United States of America
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N 45° 29.884', W 91° 43.9'

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To quote from the Rice Lake Chronotype, September 30, 1920:
"Extensive improvements are being made at the yards of the Park Falls Lbr. Co. in this city.
Monday Cyrille Mercer and a crew of carpenters began working at erecting a monorail system which will be used to carry logs to landing or storage and to the mill."
"Heavy concrete bases for this system had been laid during the summer and the carpenters are now erecting huge pillars or posts which will support the trackage.
These are 12 X 12 timbers of western pine, 42 feet in height.
The trackage is a monorail in the form of a 15 inch I beam, which will bear an electric engine of about 8 tons in weight and a capacity to pick up a fourth of a carload of logs."

The monorail system was quite extensive. It ran from the "big mill" (present day Johnson Truck Bodies) to the "little mill," which was located where the old UBC Lumber now stands. The monorail also ran across main street into the west and south side where piles upon piles of finished lumber were stacked.

The monorail was in use until the early 1930's when the depression made the mill unprofitable while hardwoods were becoming scarce.
When the lumber complex was destroyed by fire in in 1934, the land was purchased by William Stein for

back taxes, and Stein Steel became the owner.
After World War II, the monorail was dismantled. Tom McGiffin remembered his father Francis operating a caterpillar in 1946 that knocked down and buried most of the pillars, leaving only the ones that are seen today.
HM NumberHM29LU
Placed ByNational Lumbering Hall of Fame
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, July 21st, 2018 at 1:04pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 599094 N 5039064
Decimal Degrees45.49806667, -91.73166667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 45° 29.884', W 91° 43.9'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds45° 29' 53.04" N, 91° 43' 54" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)715
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100 Stein St, Rice Lake WI 54868, US
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