This was the first Harshaw Depot and Hotel built about 1888 on the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul Railway. A group of deer hunters posed after a hunt ca. 1900. The depot appears to have been built with used lumber, common at that time. The picture faces North along todays Harshaw Road and Bearskin Trail. There was a shingle mill operating , across the tracks,on the West side of the Bearskin Creek. It's not known when this building was replaced with a smaller one. The shingle mill is thought to have shut down about 1909. There was a railway spur built by John O'Day that went south from here to Camp Ruth, a logging camp, that was located near todays Hwy K and Rice Creek. The RR spur went alongside O'Day Lake, according to town records.
When the rails were taken up and the spur abandoned in 1909, part of it became todays Harshaw Rd. by 1911, according to old Cassian Road records. This allowed Harshaw residents a quicker route to Woodboro and Rhinelander. The route to Tomahawk then passed along today's Church Rd, to Lakewood Rd., to Fernwood Rd. , to Mitchell Rd, to McKay Rd and South, according to early plat books. These were basically wagon roads..
Because there was no easy way to get early automobiles north to Hazelhurst, or Minocqua until about 1915, newspapers reported that cars would be driven on the RR ties very slowly from Harshaw to Minocqua. This took about 3 hours. Drivers had to study the train schedules carefully.