In 1933, Wisconsin became the first state in the country to ratify the 21st Amendment, which ended Prohibition.
Shawano County, located in northeastern Wisconsin, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The region was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Menominee and Ojibwe peoples, who relied on the area's abundant natural resources for their survival.

The first European explorers arrived in the area in the 1600s, with French fur traders establishing trade connections with the Native Americans. As the fur trade boomed in the 18th century, Shawano County became an important trading post and a focal point for European settlement.

During the mid-19th century, waves of German, Polish, and Irish immigrants settled in Shawano County, bringing with them their cultural traditions and skills in farming and logging. The rich soil in the county made it ideal for farming, and agriculture became a vital industry in the area. The logging industry also thrived, with the extensive forests supplying raw materials for lumber mills.

Over the years, Shawano County faced challenges such as fires, floods, and economic downturns, but its resilient community always managed to bounce back. In the 20th century, the county experienced significant growth in manufacturing and industry, diversifying its economy beyond agriculture and logging.

Today, Shawano County boasts a mix of rural and urban communities, with a population that cherishes its diverse heritage and natural beauty. From its Native American roots to its thriving agricultural and industrial sectors, Shawano County's history is a testament to the strength and perseverance of its residents.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Shawano County, Wisconsin.

  • 1690s – The land in present-day Shawano County is inhabited by the Menominee Native American tribe.
  • 1827 – The Menominee cede the land to the United States in the Treaty of Butte des Morts.
  • 1836 – After the establishment of Brown County, the area of Shawano County becomes part of the unorganized territories of Wisconsin.
  • 1842 – Shawano County is officially organized as part of Wisconsin Territory.
  • 1853 – The county's first permanent settler, John Durley, arrives in Shawano County.
  • 1856 – The county's first sawmill is built in Stockbridge.
  • 1861 – Shawano County is officially recognized as a county within the State of Wisconsin.
  • 1870 – The railroad reaches Shawano County, leading to increased economic growth.
  • 1884 – The county seat is moved from Shawano to Gresham.
  • 1903 – The county seat is moved back to Shawano.
  • 1935 – The Shawano County Historical Society is founded.
  • 1951 – Shawano County Airport is established.
  • 1975 – The Shawano County Historical Society Museum opens to the public.
  • 2005 – The Navarino Nature Center is established in Shawano County.