Neshkoro is the perfect place to learn about mills and how important they were to early settlers and continuing on through the years. The historic three story mill in Neshkoro started its life in the 1860s in Shawano, Wisconsin. In 1905, it was moved board by board to Neshkoro where it continued grinding wheat, rye and other grains. It may have replaced the mill shown below. After that is an older photo of the mill that now stands on the Neshkoro Mill Pond.
Not shown here, but still standing is Date's Mill just south of the Marquette County line in Columbia County. That's where the Muirs got their shingles cut for the Hickory Hill barn.
There were many different kinds of mills important to early settlers. Saw mills to cut lumber, grist mills to grind wheat and other grains, woolen mills in several Marquette County communities, and a little later came sorghum mills. Sorghum mills were sometimes called sorghum presses and didn't take water power to operate. Usually, a horse or two were hitched to the machinery and walked in a circle to turn the press. There are some photos of sorghum mills here. Sorghum produces a sweet syrup that can be substituted for sugar. It used to be grown in the fields here especially when sugar was in short supply like during war time, the Spanish-American War, WWI and WWII.
Above, woolen mill and grist mill in Montello. Below, sorghum mills or presses.
This photo below shows a view of Neshkoro from the top of the mill. See the building with the tower in the foreground? That was the firehouse. The tower is where the firefighters would hoist and hang their hoses to dry. As you drive through other communities in Marquette County, watch for old buildings with towers like that. There are still some standing and you can be sure they were the old firehouses.
The mill pond is so important to the community of Neshkoro that they painted a mural on a building down at the boat landing in town. Neshkoro also became a mural community. Walk through this old mill town and look at all the murals that tell the history of Neshkoro. You can read more about them below and also by following the link to the Marquette County Barn Quilt and Hidden History Mural Trail.
Don't leave the Neshkoro Area without visiting the Neshkoro Community Trail that begins behind the Neshkoro Community Center. It's a beautiful sauntering trail that winds through Stan-o-Gene Park and stands of red pine and hard woods. As you can see from the photo, the trail is beautiful summer or winter, spring or fall.