In Vilas County, the heart of Wisconsin's lakes and forests




RECYCLING EXTRAVAGANZA, October 14, 2023, 9:00 - Noon

The Town Board has been asked to help promote a special half-day recycling event open to all of Vilas and Oneida Counties.

Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations of Onalaska, WI, one of the event sponsors, will have two semi trailers at Riverside Park in Eagle River and will accept specific items including certain electronics.

This is a free event, but participants are asked to bring an unexpired, nonperishable food item for the Vilas County Food Bank as an entrance pass.

Click HERE for more details including acceptable items.


FIBER OPTIC UPDATE - August 5, 2023

Upon receipt of a State grant in 2020, the Town contracted with ChoiceTEL of Eagle River to install fiber optic cable throughout the community and to connect all homes and businesses who wished to subscribe to ChoiceTEL's services. The grant is a 50% cost share between the State and St. Germain property owners.  ChoiceTEL started cable installation during the spring of 2021 and projected a completion time of two to three years.

In the meantime, unbeknownst to the Town, Charter/Spectrum received a Federal grant enabling installation of fiber optic cable, with no local cost share, throughout much of Northcentral Wisconsin, including parts of Vilas County and all of St. Germain. No one knew of this until the spring of 2022 when Charter/Spectrum crews showed up with lots of equipment and started burying cable. Additionally, whereas the one small ChoiceTEL crew stopped installation work during the winter months, Charter/Spectrum crews continued working throughout the winter of 2022-23. 

Spring of 2023 revealed that Choice/Tel would need longer than the two to three years they had originally projected, whereas Charter/Spectrum anticipated completing fiber optic cable installation by October of 2023, although completion of customer hook-ups may take into the winter of 2023-24. Those time projections appear to remain on track as of early August.

There is little advantage to having two internet providers installing fiber optic cable throughout the Town, especially when property tax dollars are paying 50% of the installation costs of one of the providers. Therefore, ChoiceTEL has stopped cable installation with only parts of the Town completed.. There now needs to be a reckoning amongst the State, ChoiceTEL and the Town to determine how much of the Town's original 50% project allocation has not been spent and can become available for other uses.

Approximately 1,000 St. Germain addresses had pre-registered for ChoiceTEL services before Charter/Spectrum became an option. ChoiceTEL is now offering subscriptions only in areas where they completed cable installation before terminating their project. In all other areas, Charter/Spectrum will be the only fiber optic provider.

Basic services to have been provided by ChoiceTEL, are very similar to Charter/Spectrum's services, as are the rates. However, Charter/Spectrum also offers additional features which would not have been available with ChoiceTEL.  

Persons outside the areas where ChoiceTEL completed cable installation have the option of either waiting for Spectrum to contact them, or visiting Spectrum's web page to subscribe.

The Town Board hopes this update resolves some of the recent confusion with this topic.    


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(Update adopted March 25, 2021)

Links to lake organizations and other sites of interest
Facts about St. Germain
History of St. Germain
Veterans Memorial Wall
Wisconsin Open Meetings Law Summary

LINKS (all links exit this town website):


HISTORY OF ST. GERMAIN: (extracted from St. Germain Chamber of Commerce website)

The first white man to set foot on Wisconsin soil was Jean Nicolet, who was sent here by Samuel Champlain, Governor of New France, Canada. The idea at the time was to find a short route westward to India and China. In July, 1634, furnished with a few imperfect maps, Nicolet set out in a canoe to make peace with the Indians and open new territory. Many priests followed and Father Claude Allouez built the first chapel in Wisconsin in 1665, near Ashland and Washburn.

Following the priests and missionaries were the fur traders who heard of the vast amount of furs in this area. Notable among the fur traders was Nicholas Perrot, who in 1665 began a career of exploration and discovery in Wisconsin, which lasted more that 30 years…to about 1695. The king of France staged a pageant on the far shores of Sault St. Marie, at which the representatives, Simon Francois Daumont and Sieur de St. Luson, took possession of all the Western country for the French sovereignty. Nicholas Perrot was notified in advance to have all Wisconsin tribesmen send their chiefs for this great occasion, and there they persuaded the Indians to let them annex this country to France. Later Nicholas Perrot became governor general of the new French territory west of Lake Michigan. He built a number of French posts. As long as he ruled in the West, the French trade and influence was supreme. Many Frenchmen came to this territory and manned these posts. The traders were licensed by the French government and were under strict regulations. Unlicensed traders went farther into the wilderness, traded his wares with the Indians and sold his furs to the Hudson Bay Co. This caused so much trouble that the French governor revoked all licenses and in 1696 ordered all posts evacuated and all traders and soldiers to return to Ottawa, New France. Some of the soldiers, among them Jean Francois St. Germaine who had married an Indian maiden, rather than return to New France and face charges, deserted the garrison and settled with the tribe of which his wife was a member.

Many years passed of which there seems to be no record of the St. Germaine family. Later we find many members of the St. Germaine family with the Lac du Flambeau band of Indians, whose chief was Keesh-ke-mum, or Sharpened Stone, who was one of the greatest Chippewa Chiefs. The Chippewa sold all their lands by treaty in 1842 but continued living in the area. Later they moved to the Lac du Flambeau reservation as the white man moved into the territory. One of the first white men to settle in this area was James Lynch, a Canadian, who came here in 1842 to trap. He married an Indian maiden named Ramona. Nine children were born to the couple; the oldest was Biddie who later married a St. Germaine from Lac du Flambeau.

In 1857, the U.S. government sent surveyors into the area. Their records show that Big St. Germain Lake was named St. Germain Lake by the Indians. Records also show an Indian burial ground on the south shore of the lake.

In August of 1857, John Curran and Dutch Pete came up the Wisconsin River by canoe from Merrill to Eagle River, with many portages over the rapids. They mention passing St. Germain Creek (now Rhinelander) and Otter Rapids (near Eagle River). According to Mr. Curran, the St. Germain Lake was named for a beautiful Indian princess whose tribe camped on their shores.


Veterans Memorial Wall

In recognition of all our veterans, it was the initiative of the St. Germain Lions Club to spearhead the planning and completion of the Veterans Memorial Wall.  The Memorial Wall that stands today serves as a reminder of all the men and women who defended our country in times of war and peace.  The walls are comprised of 820 bricks with the names of veterans (living and deceased) who served in our armed forces.

Memwall1 Memwall2



  • 1991: The town board designated the area at the corner of the intersection of Hwy 
    155 & 70 as "Veterans Park".

  • 1999: Lion Ken Oldenburg asked St. Germain Lions Club if they would sponsor the 
    building of a Veterans Memorial and at that time a committee was chosen. 
    The committee consisted of Jack Gardner- Chariman, Mike Herrmann- 
    Treasurer, board members- Ken Oldenburg, Byron Wechter, Wilmer Weber, 
    Bill Sunderlage, Frank Johnson, Ron Hutts, Craig Callies and Fred Radtke. 

  • 2001: Waldman Construction was asked to submit plans for such a memorial, hence 
    the five staggered walls.

  • 2001: The St. Germain Lions Club sold bricks for $50.00 each at the Monday flea 
    market and through ads in the newspaper.

  • 2001: The first brick for the Veterans Wall was sold in April of 2001, and brick 
    number 532 that completed the five walls was sold in September 2001.

  • 2002: There was need to expand, so four more walls were built. The 
    first bricks for these walls were sold in March 2002, and brick number 
    288, which completed the second phase was sold in November 2002.



On Sunday May 26, 2002, an estimated 700 to 1,000 people witnessed the dedication of the Memorial Wall.  The ceremony included:

  • Guest speaker Col. Scott McFarland.

  • A fly over by J. Berntlinter.

  • Eulogy by Pastor Joe Hueneman.

  • Members from the five services raised the flags.

  • Town Board Chairman Brian Sherren and the Town Board were present.

  • The VFW and the American Legion were represented by George Stevens (Three Lakes) and Bob Means (Eagle River).

  • The Honor Guard was from the VFW Post, Three Lakes.

  • Band music provided by the Northland Pines High School.


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