Cornell Pulpwood Stacker

Cornell Mill Yard Park, Cornell, Wisconsin

The last pulpwood stacker of its kind left in the world; Operational until 1971


Overview Looking Northeast

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in June 2015




What in the heck is a pulpwood stacker?

Well, the answer goes back to the days of paper making in Cornell. Paper and paper products are created from wood pulp. Wood arrived in Cornell by rail, in the form of logs that were 8 feet long and dumped into the mill pond. A conveyor lifted the logs to a saw mill that cut the logs into 2 foot long segments.

The two foot sections of logs were conveyed to the mill through a sluice. In the mill, the logs were ground into pulp for pressing into paper products.

The mill had a never-ending appetite for logs and a continuous supply was required to feed the hungry pulp mill. The idea was to create a back stock of logs to feed that hunger.

The pulpwood stacker was used to build a supply of back stock. It stands 175 feet tall, it is 36 feet wide at the base and 10 feet wide at the top. A conveyor comprised of steel rope, 1" in diameter, was populated with steel plates. Two foot sections of pulp logs were hauled to the top of the stacker by the conveyor, pulled by a 35 horsepower electric motor. At the top, the sections would tip over and land in a giant pile of pulpwood, where it waited for its trip down the sluice to be ground into pulp. The catwalk along the north side of the stacker gave maintenance workers access to the structure.

The stacker remained in use until 1971 and the mill closed in 1972. The giant mill pond was filled in, although its concrete walls can still be seen.

It is thought that this pulpwood stacker, designed in England and built by a firm from Minnesota, is the last one of its kind left in the world.

The stacker is a source of civic pride in Cornell and in case you wondered if there's a connection to Cornell University in New York, well, you're right.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 23, 1993
Reference number
Areas of significance
Industry; Engineering
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Manufacturing facility
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant year

Update Log 

  • July 3, 2015: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status, Added Description and Added Photos