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August 23, 2019

Submitted photoTom Thielke is pictured with his wife Faye. Tom is holding a framed poster, just one artifact from his extensive collection of northern Oconto County history.
Submitted photo

Tom Thielke is pictured with his wife Faye. Tom is holding a framed poster, just one artifact from his extensive collection of northern Oconto County history.
7/3/2019 7:23:00 AM
'Logging, Locals, and Lakewood' July 27 at Holt & Balcom Logging Camp Museum
Submitted article

Lakewood historian Tom Thielke will present "Logging, Locals, and Lakewood" at 1 p.m. July 27 at the Holt and Balcom Logging Camp Museum. He will discuss the intersection of Holt Lumber Company's harvest of Northwoods timber with the establishment of a small town given a perfect name for its location: Lakewood.

At first Lakewood catered to lumberjacks and railroaders, but its success was primarily due to it becoming a commercial center to serve local farmers. These hard-working homesteaders were determined to squeeze a living from the cutover lands left behind by the logging companies. Tom's grandfather Gilbert Thielke was one of the entrepreneurs who helped make it happen. Gilbert established the first factory in the area, a cheese factory in the town center.

A lifelong educator, Tom loves Lakewood and local history so it is no surprise that he accumulated a large collection of Lakewood memorabilia. His wife Faye patiently watched it grow to overflow status in their spare room. After retirement she helped him pull it all together, and the result was "The History of Lakewood, Small Town Success in the Northwoods" published in 2009. The book, based on methodical research and sprinkled liberally with rare photos, is available at Lakewood Super Valu.

"Tom has been one of our most loyal Friends of the Logging Camp," says Museum Director Kathleen Marsh. "We are delighted he agreed to present this fascinating story, but his narrative is not just about Lakewood. This is the story of dozens of small towns that sprang up to serve the thousands of men cutting the timber that built 20th Century America. Most of those tiny settlements are long gone. Tom's presentation explains why Lakewood is not only still here, but a thriving Northwoods community."

The Museum will open at 10 a.m. on July 27. It is located off Highway F in Lakewood.

Take Highway 32 to County Trunk F; go east 1.5 miles. Turn right into the McCauslin Golf Course and follow the signs. Please park in the golf course parking lot.

A $5 per person donation is requested to assist with maintenance of the facility.

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