The first hydroelectric power plant in the United States was built in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1882.
Burnett County, located in Northwestern Wisconsin, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Before European settlement, the area was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Ojibwe, Dakota, and Potawatomi. These tribes relied on the county's abundant natural resources, such as the lakes, forests, and fertile land, for their livelihoods.

The first European visitor to the area was French explorer Jean Nicolet in 1634, but it wasn't until the mid-19th century that settlers began to permanently inhabit the area. The establishment of logging camps and sawmills brought an influx of people, attracted by the vast timber resources in Burnett County. The area quickly became a hub for the timber industry, with logging operations and sawmills popping up all over the county.

As the logging industry flourished, so did the communities in Burnett County. Several towns, including Grantsburg, Webster, and Siren, were founded to support the growing industry and provide services to the loggers and their families. However, by the early 20th century, the timber resources began to dwindle, leading to the decline of the logging industry in the county.

In more recent history, Burnett County has shifted its focus towards tourism and recreation, taking advantage of its natural beauty. With over 500 lakes, the county has become a popular destination for fishing, boating, and other water activities. Additionally, the county's forests provide ample opportunities for hiking, hunting, and wildlife observation. Today, Burnett County continues to thrive as a vibrant community, embracing its history while looking towards a sustainable future.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Burnett County, Wisconsin.

  • 1856 - Burnett County is established on February 6th.
  • 1885 - The Village of Grantsburg is incorporated.
  • 1925 - A disastrous forest fire burns a large portion of the county.
  • 1940s - Construction of the Danbury Dam begins as part of the controversial St. Croix Dam project.
  • 1970s - The county experiences growth in tourism and recreational activities, including fishing and boating.
  • 1992 - The Siren National Golf Club opens, becoming a popular destination for golf enthusiasts.
  • 2001 - The interest in ATV trails leads to the establishment of the Burnett County ATV Association.
  • 2013 - The Webb Lake community celebrates its centennial anniversary.
  • 2020 - Burnett County celebrates its 164th anniversary.