Chute Pond DamView from downstream.
“Virgin white pine of northeastern Wisconsin attracted early settlers to northern Oconto County. When the virgin forests were depleted, the rocky, sandy soil and the northern climate proved too hard to make a living. Marginal farms were abandoned and the area was destitute and under-employed during the late 1920s and early 1930s. The area looked very bleak and desolate. The answer appeared to be the growing resort industry. The WPA built Chute Pond Dam corrected and conserved the flowage of the Oconto River. This dam was constructed in 1937 on the site of an old log dam (parts of which still remain under water a few feet from the present dam) which had been washed out several years previously.
The dam’s construction contributed to the growth of recreational opportunities in the area and brought additional local jobs. Chute Pond Dam creates an approximately 440-acre lake that is used for camping, boating, and fishing. The shoreline of Chute Pond is now home to a YMCA camp, many summer homes, a public campground, and a county park. The county park and the other tourist areas around the pond generate year around activities. As a result, the once desolate barren area, that had been shorn of its virgin forests, then burned over and abandoned, has become a place of beauty enjoyed by many. The increased recreational opportunities support the regional economy with money spent at local businesses, thereby providing work for area residents.”
Project originally submitted by Erin TerBeek on October 2, 2012.
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