Though the architectural ruins of CCC Camp Mercer are the most prevalent historic features on the trail today, more subtle landscape markers indicate an earlier camp occupied this same scenic part of the Northwoods.
In 1911, the LaPorte family was contracted to log three 40-acre parcels. Berms marked with arrows on this 1937 aerial photo show the location of the short-term LaPorte logging camp.
Deer hunters from the LaPorte camp return with a nice buck and a doe draped over a skidder sled.
LaPorte logging crew ready for a hard day of work in the woods.
LaPorte family, left to right, Nancy, Susan, George, Henry and Lloyd, in the logging camp’s kitchen.
In 1974, George LaPorte was interviewed by Manitowish Waters historian Michael Dunn, revealing:
“George LaPorte and his dad logged in 1910-1911 as contractors on 3 forties… where [the] CCC camp was in the 1930s. They put the logs into the river, boomed them to Manitowish, loaded them on rail cars to go to Scott & Howe, Ironwood.”
LaPorte’s 1911 river log drive was one of the last log drives for lumber mills on the Manitowish River.