Camp 15

Compiled by Gary Johnson, FLCF member

The Town of Lincoln once had four logging camps, with Camp 15 being located in the present Lincoln Community Forest. This logging camp known as Camp 15 was owned and operated by the Willow River Lumber Company around 1914, in the SE ¼ of Section 21, T45N, R5W. Nels Swanson was the Camp 15 Foreman, he was a true Homesteader with his property being in Section 32.

The Camp kitchen and dining hall was the log house that had been previously built around 1888, by Gust Brandin, a Homesteader. The Superior and South Eastern Railroad had a main line of tracks with three spurs to the Camp 15 area, in Section 21


Logging camp location on a section map –  Township of Lincoln

Camp 15 – was a Willow River Lumber Company Camp, situated in the SE 1/4 of Section 21, T45N, R5W, near the old Joseph Larson place on the Marengo River. Nels Swanson was Camp foreman and the operation of this camp was about 1914.

1914 – Loggers and cooks in the white apron’s are standing in front of Gust Brandin’s, homestead cabin in Section 21 located on the south side of the Marengo River. The loggers are eating a meal at the Brandin homestead house.

Gust Brandin homestead was registered of 120 acres on September 12, 1893 the North 1/2 of the Northwest quarter and the S.E. 1/4 of the N.W. 1/4.

The Logging Railroad Era
Logging railroad track map of the Superior & South Eastern logging railroad in Bayfield and Ashland Counties in the early 1900s.

Gust Brandin log house, built in 1888.

This picture is of the only two-story log house in the Birch Lake area. It was located on the south side of the Marengo River Camp, which was located north of this cabin about 1/2 mile.



1962 – The log house as it looked before Clarence Isberg look before he sold the farm.

In 1963 the Isberg’s sold the farm to a Chicagoan, Mr. McClucky and moved to rural, Ashland, Ws.

When Clarence Isberg was fourteen years old his mother died. Clarence’s father died one year later in 1931. Later he worked in the CCC camps.

In March 1938 he married Alberta Kelly.  They lived in the Birch Lake area while Clarence worked on the WPA Program for a year or more.

Then they bought the Gust Brandin farm.  Having taken care of Mr. Brandin for some time, Benny, the son offered the farm to Clarence. Clarence Isberg farmed here till 1963, then moved to Ashland.

​Clarence and Alberta had cows on this farm – first they separated the milk and sold the cream to Midway Creamery between Sanborn and Marengo. Then to Russell’s Creamery at Ashland. Later on milk trucks came around and picked up milk and brought it to the Sunnyside Cheese Factory.

As the years passed a kitchen addition was put on the north end and an enclosed porch on the front. Regular siding was put over the logs. This house was restored to its original log structure in the late 1980s.

These pictures were taken of the remodeled Gust Brandin house in section 28 in, 2003.


Anna Martina Brandin (daughter from Gusts second marriage was born March 5, 1898) in Lincoln Township, Wisconsin. She lived with her husband, Edward Bloomquist, in Spokane, Washington. They had two children. (1984 Grand View Book)

​Gust Brandin died November. 18, 1936 in Lincoln Township, Wisconsin. Rebecca Brandin died on April 25, 1924. Mr. and Mrs. Brandin are both buried in Birch Lake Cemetery.