STOP 5: PIONEER CEMETERY
The logging era in northern Wisconsin started in earnest around 1880. Burnett County was one of the earlier areas targeted by the timber industry due to the St. Croix River and its tributaries, such as the Yellow and Namekagon Rivers that provided routes to float logs to mills downstream. While the barrens had relatively few large trees for harvest, it did have abundant prairie grasses and forbs for cattle grazing, and sandy, stump free soils for farming. Once logging opened up the North, settlers soon followed. By the turn of the Twentieth Century, farming had largely replaced the timber industry in this region of the state.
On July 18, 1906, Mr. H. Hillock and his wife, Jennie Hillock of Hamilton County, Iowa, sold three acres of their land for one dollar to the Evergreen Cemetery Association to provide a final resting place for the residents of Blaine Township. The Pioneer Cemetery in front of you has been locally known as Forest Home Cemetery, Hillock Cemetery, and Evergreen Cemetery. It served the needs of area citizens for the next 25 years or so. In all, about three dozen settlers were buried here. A record of the cemetery prepared in 1987 stated in part, “These inhospitable barrens saw the individual sacrifice and hardships of the Indians and early settlers in their attempt to eke out a living in this non-fertile environment. Evergreen Cemetery remains as a memorial to the strength and courage of those people who once lived here.”