Our History

A Logging Camp and Company Farm Become the Non-Profit Wisconsin Forestry Museum

In the late 1890s, Camp Five began operations as a logging camp in northern Wisconsin. All logging camps were numbered sequentially as railroad logging operations were opened in new areas. In 1914, Camp Five became the local lumber company’s farm raising meat, produce, and draught horses for the company town of Laona and the company area logging camps. 

In 1969, Camp Five Museum Foundation was founded by Gordon R. Connor and Mary Roddis Connor in anticipation and in honor of the United States Bicentennial in 1972.

The Mission is “the public education of Wisconsin forest history, multiple-use sustained yield forest management, and people and their environment.” Camp 5 Museum Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit operating the Wisconsin Forestry Museum and Laona and Northern Railroad.

The site is unique as the former logging camp has become the Wisconsin Forestry Museum and in 1996 was designated on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Visitors arrive at the Wisconsin Forestry Museum on the Laona and Northern Railroad. Running on the same tracks for 99 years, the “4-Spot Lumberjack Special” is a Vulcan 2-6-2 steam engine hauling two historic coaches and three cabooses. 


  • 1996 Camp Five was added to the National Register of Historic Places by the US Department of the Interior.
  • 1987 Presidential Environmental Youth Award, from the United States Environmental Protection Agency for Camp Five’s education and ecology program for Boy Scouts
  • 1978 Forest History Association of Wisconsin award
  • 1975 Arbor Day Foundation National Award in Education for the Green Treasure Forest Tour
  • 1970 Wisconsin State Historical Society Award of Merit
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