Oldest Farms

Possible Early Elisha Pikes Mill Site ca 1890s

Possible Early Elisha Pikes Mill Site ca 1890’s

A Pike’s Creek Farm and Homestead

Bayfield Mercury – August 15, 1857

Publishers R.W. Hamilton and Alonzo Hatch

An in-depth look into Judge Pike’s first farm and homestead in Bayfield County, New Wisconsin is presented by Messrs Hamilton & Hatch.

“We rode four miles out into the country yesterday to the middle farm of Elisha Pike, Jr. and it is a farm that will do one’s eyes good to look at. His wheat, both spring and fall, is certainly as good as we have ever seen growing. We brought a few heads home with us that can be seen at our office. They are long and the kernel is large and plump, it cannot be beat anywhere. Then again his corn is thrifty and promising.  We enjoyed a roasted ear that was plucked before our eyes from a stalk upon which there was eight others well filled with large sound kernels. Next we went to the potato field and must confess that we never saw healthier, luxuriant vines coaxed from the ground anywhere at the east. His turnips also are of the very best description. We pulled and weighed one that balanced 5 lbs. 1 oz. From this we went to the garden where grows almost every sort of vegetable, cabbage, beet and cucumber of a very excellent quality. In addition to those more substantial and useful articles, we found a handsome and neatly arranged flower garden tended and weeded from day to day by the gentle hand of our friend’s fair daughter. Altogether Mr. Pike’s farm bears the marks of energy and industry. In two or three years he will have the most interesting place on the lake, and one that will be a credit to this section of the country”. 

Great Developments

Bayfield County Press – October 30, 1903 

Alonzo H. Wilkinson Tells of Large Sales of Cutover LandsFew Years Ago They Were Thought Not worth Paying Taxes on read the Press sub-titles.

A.H. Wilkinson who dealt extensively in Bayfield County lands mentioned that the past year of 1902 that he had seen “greater activity in the sale of real estate, broad acres and lots, in and about the town and for many years” he believed “the boom will continue until all the land within a convenient distance of town will be taken up and converted into farms”.

“It must be interesting indeed to those identified with the development of Northern Wisconsin, and more especially to those interested in the future welfare of our country and town to visit the County Registers Office and note the number of transfer of lands, from a few acres up to thousands of acres, recorded daily. In some instances it is the large investor purchasing lands at the present low values sell at a handsome profit, but in the majority of cases it is the laboring man, the man was small capital, seeking to build up a home for him and family which would be impossible in the older settled communities”.

“Five years ago lands, after the timber had been cut off, were in many instances not considered of enough value to pay taxes on even at a very low assessed valuation, today this land is been taking up and improved into valuable farms”.

“Lands in the town the Bayfield are exceptionally good along the lakeshore and are well adapted to fruit culture. That our businessmen and citizens are not slow in taking advantage of this opportunity may be seen by the number engaged wholly or partially in developing cutover lands”.

“Among those who become interested this year is Mr. Orlando Flanders who was clearing land for an orchard near Red Cliff. Mr.’s Henry Wachsmuth and Theodore Ernst will develop at least a part of their recent purchase on the place on the road next year. Mr. Theobald and Barningham will open farms on Section 16 near the Turnquist (August) farm next year. Mr. Henry Sykes (at Salmo State Fish Hatchery area) has 15 acres ready for cultivation. Mr. George Saegert, of Red Cliff, who purchased 10 acres of land this spring from the Dalrymple estate, will start a chicken ranch, having recently purchased material for the necessary buildings. Robert and Alex Mathieu are waiting for the timber to be removed from their recent purchase on Section 12 to commence operations.

Town treasurer Engledinger will build a residence on land north of town in this spring. Mr. Fred Brauns expects to set out small fruit and vegetables next year. Among others who have invested during the past two years in lands are John Kranzfelder, Charles Hendrickson, Martin Johnson, T. G. Gonia, O. P. Nelson, Ed Gonia, Henry Meyers and many others, are all interested in building a Bayfield in the surrounding territory”. 

This history brief was written by Robert J. Nelson. Generously sharing our local history through his research and writing.