Goodman, Wisconsin

US Highway 8

Lumber Company Town that survived and flourished

Photos 

Historical Marker

GOODMAN

The lumber companies which created many of the communities in northern Wisconsin have passed from the scene, but the villages remain, monuments to the hardihood and persistence of the residents who worked and lived in these communities. Goodman was a company town founded in 1908 by the Goodman Lumber Company which owned 100,000 acres of woods surrounding the village. Unlike other company towns now gone, Goodman continues to flourish. Many wood and brick buildings were erected. The first building, a hotel, was built in 1908. A large steam driven sawmill was completed in 1909. In subsequent years, the company built a department store, office, cluhouse with bowling alley and movie theater, back, high school, grade school, and over 100 homes. Unlike some former sawmill towns, now ghost towns, Goodman survived by adapting to change. Selective cutting replaced clear cutting. The company sawmill still exists. A veneer plant was builtin later years. The original stand of trees and the people who cut them are gone, but the town, mill and surrounding woods remain.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in July 2015

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Description 

Goodman is another logging town that survived, much of it due to the foresight of the town's founder, one Robert B. Goodman. Unlike the lumber barons to the west, who clearcut an area and moved on, Goodman realized the longevity would come from selective harvesting and managing his forests.

He founded the town around his sawmill, which still operates. Company-built houses still line the streets of modern Goodman. The eighth cutting from original Goodman Lumber Company land was made in 1999. Over 400 million board feet of lumber has been harvested yet the lands are forested about the same as they were in the 1920s.

In the center of town is the Goodman Club House, still in operation. Goodman park, south of town, is operated by Marinette County and features walking trails and a footbridge over the beautiful Stong Falls, one of many waterfalls in Marinette County.

Post office dates: Oct. 6, 1908-Present

Update Log 

  • August 8, 2015: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status, Added Description and Added Photos

Sources