Rising Star Mill – Nelsonville, Wisconsin

Rising Star Mill

The Nelsonville Mill is one of the oldest mills in central Wisconsin and the last of its kind in Portage County. On September 10, 1855, Jerome Nelson purchased land and water rights from Anna and Charles Stoltenberg on which to “construct and maintain a mill dam.” Nelson, for whom Nelsonville is named, built the dam and sawmill upon his return from serving in the Civil War. The Mill was built around 1860 by Jerome Nelson, and operated as a business until 1984. Of particular interest is the Woodward Governor on the turbine, which was ordered in 1917 for the Jackson Milling Company.

Wisconsin Power and Light took over the mill in 1929. In 1936 they closed down the Nelsonville Mill because it was unable to produce enough electricity economically.  The Department of Natural Resources purchased the land and the mill in 1984 in order to gain control of the dam. The building was sold to the Portage County Historical Society in January of 1985. The Dept. of Natural Resources removed the spillway in 1988 to restore almost a mile of the Tomorrow River to a Class A trout stream.

This image was obtained during Spring. Brown tones of last year’s growth nicely contrasted with  new spring green.  An early morning fog was just in the process of burning off, allowing the early morning sun to highlight the mill.

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One Response to “Rising Star Mill – Nelsonville, Wisconsin”

  1. jairy hunter Says:

    Love that, Pete. You’re really good. I’d love to see your shots on flickr so I can follow them effortlessly!

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