The History of Menomonie
The history-rich town of Menomonie sits in the heart of the Red Cedar Valley of Northwestern, WI. This quaint little town was first settled in 1848 with the first permanent settlement established in 1830. But before then Menomonie was known for fur trading. While using the area for various trading with the Native Americans, the settlers were introduced to the tall and abundant white pine. This was the primary tree logged and processed at the mill. As the lumber industry took off in northern Wisconsin, Knapp, Stout & Co. in Menomonie was said to be the largest lumber firm in the world at one time.
The University of Wisconsin – Stout landed in Menomonie in 1891, founded James Huff Stout, a lumber industrialist who resided in Menomonie for the last 20 years of his life. Today the name Stout is readily associated with the University of Wisconsin-Stout and with the Knapp, Stout & Co. lumber company.
Living with the Seasons
Historically, the first people to inhabit this area of Wisconsin were the Menominee tribe who inhabited a huge area of Wisconsin and Michigan for more than 10,000 years. Menominee, named by the Ojibwe, “Manoomini”, translates to “wild rice people”. What is now known as Lake Menomin, “Manomin” meaning “wild rice”, was once a wild rice field. The Menominee people had a different name for themselves, “Mamaceqtaw”, which roughly translates to “the people that live with the seasons”. And that’s exactly what Menomonie still provides today: a town with people that are connected to nature, adapting with each season and finding activities to soak it in whether rain, sun, snow, or sleet.
Menomonie is also home to quite a few natural attractions like Lake Menomin, Red Cedar State Trail, Hoffman Hills, Devil’s Punchbowl, ideal fishing spots and much more. For over 170 years downtown Menomonie has been the center of the community and its history. Today, its rich historic architecture is home to the world-class Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, first-rate restaurants, and a large selection of independent locally owned shops, cafés, breweries, and much more.