The Birth Of Lone Rock, The Community

The Railroad

The site of Lone Rock was chosen several months before by the railroad, Milwaukee and Mississippi.  The company chose the sites of what would become towns and villages along the route on the basis that early wood burning locomotives hadto be refueled every six or seven miles.   The railroad came to the  site, Lone Rock, in October, 1856 when the line between Madison and Boscobel was completed that year.   The line reached Prairie du Chien in 1857.   Over the years the railroad first known as the Milwaukee and Mississippi changed  the name to become the Milwaukee and Prairie du Chien, then Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul and finally as the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific R.R.  The Milwaukee Road.   Lone Rock became the shipping hub of the county.  Sheep, cattle and pigs were shipped from here to eastern  markets.   Lone Rock grew to population of nearly 1000.  The first depot was erected in 1858.  After it burned a new brick building was constructed.   William Craig was the first depot agent.   In 1870 a narrow gauge track from Lone Rock to Richland Center was started and was called the Pine River and Stevens Point R. R.  In 1880 it was sold to the Milwaukee and Mississippi and eventually  became a part of the Milwaukee Road.   The depot underwent alterations over the years, in 1954 the freight portion was torn down.  In 1970 it was abandoned and burned.  Burned?   So many small communities have saved their depots and turned them into community assets.  It's a shame that Lone Rock wasn't able to do this.

Railroad engine serving the line from Lone Rock to Richland Center.  1876

The  Community

Lone Rock City was Plat - Southeast quarter of Section 12, Town 8, Range 2 East.   Lone Rock Village was 80 acres adjoining Lone Rock City on the north.   40 acres was added on the west of Lone Rock City (Daley Addition) and 40 acres added to Lone Rock Village on the east, this part being in Sauk County.

When Lone Rock was first laid out there was only one building on the plat - a log house in Lone Rock Village.  It was occupied later by a Mr. Colder, the first village blacksmith.  But it wasn't long before several buildings were erected.  In the fall of 1856 J. O. Phelps, the first merchant, had erected a building on the corner of Oak and Richland Streets.  .......

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