Fire Tower overlooking Nekoosa Edwards Paper Company lands
Nekoosa Paper Company goes back to 1893, it merged with a paper company in Port Edwards to form the Nekoosa Edwards Paper Company, or Nepco. Nepco was purchased by Great Northern in 1970 and taken over by Georgia Pacific in 1990. The mill was sold in 2001 to Domtar, a Canadian paper company. Where this tower fits into all this history, or if it even fits into the corporate history, is unknown.
This was not a privately owned paper company tower. It is the Nursery Tower, built by the Wisconsin Conservation Commission (predecessor of the modern DNR) in 1932. It was manufactured by the International Stacey Company and is a standard height of 99' 9" to the bottom of the cab. The Nursery Tower was staffed regularly during spring fire season until 2015 when the WI DNR decommissioned it's lookout network.
The NEPCO Lake Tower was indeed a private tower. The lake and surrounding property was owned by NEPCO Paper and was a recreation site for their employees for many years. The tower wasthere to ensure that the large acerage of NEPCO owned pine forest was under survellience for fires.
I used to enjoy going there as a kid to swim in the lake and have family picnics.
I'm afraid I have no information on when the tower or the station was closed