Historical Locations of Interest
Oneida County Courthouse
The 1908 courthouse is a gray limestone ashlar three-story Neo-Classical building with an octagonal, stained-glass, lantern dome, which becomes an internally-illuminated, greenish beacon at night. The architect of the Oneida courthouse, Christ H. Tegen, also designed the Manitowoc County Courthouse, built in 1906.
The third-floor, east stairhall contains a mural dated 1919 and painted by "F. Biberstein". It depicts a lumberman rolling on and directing floating logs - an ode to the History of Rhinelander. Across the light well, on the west wall, is a small mural depicting the "Hodag," a mythical monster of local legend.
Pioneer Park Historical Complex
Rhinelander has a hidden-gem at Pioneer Park. The free admission and must see Pioneer Park Historical Complex includes:
Logging Museum - Constructed in 1954, this is a replica of an old Logging Camp, complete with bunkhouse and cookshack.
Antique Saw Mill - Learn about different types of hard and soft wood trees.
CCC Barracks - Learn about the Civilian Conservation Corps, a fundamental group in the development in our National and State Parks.
One Room Schoolhouse - Visitors can engage in some hands on activities like making copies using a hectograph.
Fire Museum - Houses three restored fire engines including a horse-drawn model.
Restored Soo Line Depot - Visitors are allowed to climb into a restored SOO LINE train car and make sure and visit the lower level to see a 1000 square foot model railroad display.
Antique Outboard Motor and Boating Museum - Displays the highlights of Rhinelander's boating past.
Hours: 10am to 5pm
Open: Tuesday – Sunday (Memorial Day – Labor Day)
Closed: Mondays (except Memorial Day and Labor Day)
Open Fridays and Saturdays after Labor Day for the month of September
For more information call (715) 369-5004.
Rhinelander Historical Society Museum
Take a step back into the early days of Rhinelander at the Historical Society Museum. The little yellow house with a blue peak at 9 S. Pelham Street is a time capsule full of items from when Rhinelander was a bustling logging town. The museum acts as a monument to the families of Rhinelander. It reflects the elements of family life found in Rhinelander from around the turn of the century.
The museum is free to the public.
Hours: 10am to 4pm
Open: Tuesdays and Thursdays (Memorial Day - Labor Day)
Tuesdays (Labor Day - Memorial Day)
For more information call (715) 369-3833.
Burial Place of John Heisman
John Heisman, namesake of the College Football Heisman Trophy, was active in college athletics as a football player, coach and athletic director. Heisman's wife, Edith, had a sister who lived in Rhinelander and the two would occasionally travel to visit her. It was Edith's wish to be buried in Rhinelander and John's wish to be buried with Edith. After his death in 1936, Heisman's wife Edith buried John in the family plot in Forest Home Cemetery.
While some visitors leave the cemetery surprised after seeing Heisman's simple grave marker - his legacy continues to live on in Rhinelander. Local Artist, Bob Kanyusik designed and sculpted made a bust of Heisman out of black walnut that now sits in the terminal building at the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport.
Stop by the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce for a Forest Home Cemetery Locations of Interest Brochure.
These days the only football action at Sarocka Field is of the Pop Warner variety, but at one time the picturesque park was the epicenter of Rhinelander football culture. It was home to the Rhinelander High School team for decades and in 1935 the Green Bay Packers held practice. Some believe the 1935 practice sessions were the Packers first formal preseason training camp.
According to Packers lore, coach Earl "Curly" Lambeau scouted the Sarocka Field site in July 1935 and determined practicing there would help the team focus on the game with few distractions.
The history of the park itself is tied to football. It is named after a local star who died after suffering an injury. Antone "Tony" Sarocka was only 21 years old when he died hours after suffering a head injury during a Rhinelander Rhinos game in the fall of 1931. He was not wearing a helmet.
Those interested in learning more about Sarocka Field, should contact the Historic Preservation Committee at (715) 365-8606.