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The Shanty Boy Hill was the only cemetery between Winchester and Fosterville/Winegar.


The Shanty Boy Hill can be reached by following Vilas County Highways B or W into Presque Isle. W ends at the junction with B. B continues through Presque Isle to the state line where it becomes Michigan 64.

You can park at the Presque Isle Town Hall or the Presque Isle Soviety Heritage Cottage. A shrt couple block hike takes you to the site from either location.

Question arises, is there any graves from the 1918 influenza pandemic.

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Sign was built by Terry Tassi.

Shanty Boys/Lumberjacks were the men that cut the large trees, skidded them and hauled them to a landing for “jamming” the logs onto sleds, wagons and railroad cars. This was very physical and dangerous work. Many Shanty Boys lost their lives doing this daily work. This was the only cemetery between Winchester to Fosterville/Winegar for burying these men.

Lumberjacks of the Vilas County Lumber Co. era were known as Shanty Boys because of the condition of the shanties (which were built on skids so they could easily moved from Camp to Camp.) eight to ten men lived in when working in the piney woods. Lumberjacks or Shanty Boys lived an independent life style that emphasized manly virtues in doing dangerous tasks. Men earned praise for their skills in doing their work, for being competitive, and for being aggressive. When not at work, they played rough games, told tall tales, and won reputations for consuming large amounts of food.

Men lost their lives doing their daily work at the mill, and in the woods. This was dangerous, remember this was prior to OSHA. The danger to Shanty Boys woods included cutting the large trees, skidding and hauling them to a landing for “jamming” the logs onto sleds and RR cars. This was very physical and dangerous work. A slip of an ax, a twisting tree falls in the wrong direction, and a man’s life was cut short!

The Shanty Boy Hill is a historic “Potter’s Field” where these men were buried from both Winchester and Fosterville/Winegar.

The “Shanty Boy Hill” was the only cemetery in the Winchester and Fosterville/Winegar area of Vilas County. Locals were buried here whether they died from natural causes or from a lumber company injury. If relatives didn’t have the money for a head stone a wooden cross would be placed at the grave. Some graves did not show names because the deceased were only known by nicknames or, it has been reported the mills didn’t want to be identify with deaths they could possibly be libel for.

Clark Nokes, an 11 year old boy who lived in Winchester skipped school one day and went down to the Turtle Lake Lumber Company where he apparently fell into the log pond and drowned when the Pond Tender went home to change his wet cloths. His grave was marked with a rectangle of bricks and a wooden cross.

This old cemetery fell into disuse. The Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce offered a prize of $10 to a North Lakeland School elementary school student who could best name this old cemetery. The name "Shanty Boy Hill" was chosen. Brenda Vinal, a 4th grade student, being the winner. This historic cemetery underwent a face lift by the Winegar American Legion Post #480 and others in 1981.

Many bodies have since been moved to the Presque Isle Evergreen Cemetery, which is west on Vilas County Highway W.

An old apple tree at the edge of the cemetery is thought to maybe have been planted by the legendary Johnny Appleseed.

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