Minocqua, Wisconsin

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Minocqua is a town in Oneida County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 4,859 at the 2000 census. The unincorporated community of Minoqua is located in the town. A large number of seasonal residents live in the town during the summer. The town is the largest population center near the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation.



Minocqua was officially organized on March 13, 1889. There are differing explanations for its Chippewa name, one of which is that Minocqua means "Noon Day Rest."[3] The name is also said to be derived from the Ojibwe word Ninocqua, meaning noon day rest.[4] The town might also be named after a tribal chief named Noc Wib or Minocquip. The town was probably first known as Maniwaki.[citation needed] Another explanation for the name may refer to the fact that the town is an island surrounded by several lakes (aqua). Residents call Minocqua the "Island City".

In 1891 the town consisted of 29 saloons, two hotels, two general stores, a small market and about 15 homes. In 1912, a fire which started across from where the post office sits today destroyed most of the buildings along Front Street. Locals tried to stop the fire with dynamite but that was a mistake and it blew the roof off and expanded and accidentally burned down 14 other commercial buildings.[4]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 168.1 square miles (435.4 km²), of which, 150.8 square miles (390.6 km²) of it is land and 17.3 square miles (44.8 km²) of it is water. The total area is 10.29% water.

Termed the "Island City," a portion of the town is situated on an actual island, which is accessible by bridge on Highway 51. Much of Minocqua has sandy soil, although areas of the far northwest and the northeast are clay. The majority of the soil is highly acidic and many areas are covered by forests. The marshes between Minocqua and Wisconsin Rapids are cultivated for cranberry production.

The highest point in Minocqua is Squirrel Hill, located near Winter Park (1735 ft per Wisconsin Blue Book). The second highest point on the island is located at Island Golf (1608 ft). The highest structure in Minocqua is the Lakeland Sanitary District water tower, a steel tank on Hwy 51 North put in place in the 1960s for improving water supply during the winter.

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