100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Flooding Hits Wisconsin

Wausau, Wisconsin on the Wisconsin River was discovered by French explorers and settled in the mid 19th century. In the 1840’s the lumber business began to grow and Wausau became the county seat for Marathon county. When the railroad came through in 1874 the town continued to flourish when other town and village faded as the lumber dwindled.

On July 23, 1912 rain started in Marathon county and didn’t stop. Though there had been floods before, it had never been this bad.

“All wagon road bridges were either gone or unsafe in northern Marathon and southern Lincoln counties and there was no means of communication open whatsoever.”

A 16 foot section of a dam broke and a railroad bridge was saved when someone had the foresight to send loaded lumber cars on it to keep it from being washed away. Downtown Wausau was flooded and a million feet of logs and lumber was in the debris. Its a miracle that only one person was killed.

The Great Flood of 1912 – Wausau, Wisconsin
July 23, 1912


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