Permanent Exhibitions

Logging & Lumbering

Welcome to Sawdust City.

Travel back to the days when massive lumberyards lined the Fox River, waterways ran thick with fresh-cut timber and Oshkosh was known as one of the lumber capitals of the world. From life in a northern logging camp to lumbering inventions and innovations, this exhibit cuts through six decades of logging history. Discover the history behind the 19th century lumber boom that transformed the city and put Oshkosh on the map and learn what brought the industry to a screeching halt 60 years later.

Logging artifacts, scenes and maps reflect on the great logging days of northern Wisconsin and their effect on the state’s landscape and population. A scale model of the Paine Lumber Company, one of early Oshkosh’s leading lumber mills, puts the sheer size of Oshkosh’s lumber industry into perspective. From boom to bust, experience the vastness of the industry that not only revolutionized the community, but also helped build the nation.