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logroller

Wabeno, Wisconsin

Wabeno is a town in Forest County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,264 at the 2000 census.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 108.3 square miles (280.4 km²), of which, 107.3 square miles (278.0 km²) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.5 km²) of it (0.88%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,828 people, 497 households, and 341 families residing in the town. The population density was 11.8 people per square mile (4.5/km²). There were 845 housing units at an average density of 7.9/sq mi (3.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 74.84% White, 0.32% African American, 20.65% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 0.47% from other races, and 3.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.66% of the population.

There were 497 households out of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the town the population was spread out with 31.6% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $37,768, and the median income for a family was $42,500. Males had a median income of $27,321 versus $20,583 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,809. About 10.1% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.

History

Wabeno was built in an area where the timber was cleared by a tornado in June 1880. The name of the town is derived from "waubeno" a Potawatomi word for "coming of the winds." A brief lumber boom occurred when the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad pushed a line through the tiny town. In 1905, there were five sawmills in operation in Wabeno, togeher producing 35 million feet of lumber per year. The last of these mills closed in 1936.

Attractions

Wabeno is located just four miles up State Highway 32 from Northern Lights Bingo and Casino, run by the Forest County Potawatomi. For most of the year, it is also possible to travel from Wabeno to Northern Lights by either snowmobile or ATV, popular modes of transportation for locals and tourists in Northeastern Wisconsin. According to wistravel.com, lodging is available in Wabeno or at Indian Springs Lodge and Conference Center, adjacent to the casino itself.

The Wabeno area is home to the Lumberjack Memorial Snowmobile Trails, which are maintained by local Lumberjack Memorial Trail, Inc. This system includes over 100 miles of groomed and maintained snowmobile trails. More information can be found at www.lumberjacktrails.com

The Forest County Website lists a few of the other attractions in Wabeno: a green in the downtown area houses an old-fashioned band shell, a logging museum, a rare--and still functional--steam-powered Phoenix log hauler, a 20-foot fiberglass statue of Larry the Logroller and a World War II-era Sherman tank. Also downtown, a tiny 19th Century log cabin still in use as the Wabeno Public Library.

Annual Events listed include: A truck pull on Memorial Day; Steam-up Days (a celebration of antique technology) in July; the Logging Exposition and Harvest Festival on Labor Day weekend. Wabeno is home base for spring and fall dual sport motorcycle events hosted by the Wisconsin Dual Sport Riders.

Wabeno's tap water was selected as the best tasting water in the state in 2003, and this has led to the town bottling the water under the name of "Wabeno Water.

Schools

The Wabeno Area School District draws from several local communities including: Lakewood, Townsend, Carter, Blackwell and Freedom. The district consists of one elementary school and one high school. According the website of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association: the Wabeno school colors are purple and white; athletic teams sport the unique moniker of the Logrollers, and the mascot is Larry the Logroller. Due to small enrollments in both districts, Wabeno High School often co-ops programs with nearby Laona High School. These teams employ the nickname Rebels and the colors black and silver. All Rebel and "Roller" teams are members of the Northern Lakes Conference.

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