fast facts

check  Rhinelander is the governmental County Seat of Oneida County.

check  Rhinelander is the commercial, industrial, and recreational hub of the Northwoods region of Wisconsin, serving Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s upper peninsula.

check  Rhinelander hosts 19 of the 25 largest employers in Oneida County and is home to various manufacturing/business headquarters.

check  Rhinelander is Forest Headquarters for the Nicolet National Forest which covers 664,822 acres of northeastern Wisconsin, including Oneida county.

check  Rhinelander is the center of higher education in the Northwoods, with Nicolet College anchored on Lake Julia promoting academics, culture, and arts.

check  Rhinelander hosts the largest commercial airport north of Mosinee with flights daily.

check  Rhinelander is home to the most comprehensive medical center and highest number of healthcare providers in the region, connecting people to a variety of specialists and high-tech medical care.

check  Rhinelander has the highest population in the northern region at over 7,500 people, 18,500 including surrounding townships. Rhinelander has a regional trade area of 200,000 which increases to serving a regional population of nearly 750,000 in peak summertime.

check  Products made in Rhinelander are distributed world-wide. Rhinelander is a leading producer of specialty paper products, flexible packaging, diesel engines, forest machines, defense and mining equipment, as well as supplier of laser printing parts, pet medicines and products, and much more.

check  Rhinelander is a retail hub with the largest concentration of major retail stores, combined with a unique downtown featuring eclectic, high-quality items.

check  Rhinelander hosts communications and media outlets and provides the region’s television coverage through regionally broadcast NBC Affiliate WJFW. Rhinelander is also home to National Public Radio affiliate WXPR. Both media centers boast studios downtown.

check  Rhinelander is committed to providing the highest quality public safety service. The city is home to the Oneida County Law Enforcement Center/Oneida County Sheriff’s Office and boasts an exceptional City Police and Fire Department. A significant component of their strategy is active crime prevention, but when crime does occur the Rhinelander Police Department is one of the best in the state. Rhinelander maintained a 63-72% clearance rate for property crimes for 2015-September 2017 – well above the state average of 27% in 2016. They maintained a 94-100% clearance rate on reportable violent crimes in 2015-September 2017, while the state average was just 52% in 2016.

check  The outlying communities surrounding Rhinelander make for peaceful living. The average work commute is just over 15 minutes. (Unless you take your bike, of course!)

check  Rhinelander provides both parochial (3k-grade 8) and public education.

check  Snow makes Rhinelander a winter wonderland with 60” of snow per year for skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

check  The YMCA of the Northwoods provides a regional resource for health and wellness.

check  Rhinelander is set on the Wisconsin River’s Boom Lake Flowage and as part of Oneida County, is home to 1,100 lakes. Parks and trails are abundant, including Hodag Park, Pioneer Park, CAVOC Trails, Bearskin State Trail, and many more.

check  Rhinelander is located at 45°38 22 N 89°24 44W.


Rhinelander was originally called Pelican Rapids by early settlers, named for the stretch of rapids just above the convergence of the Wisconsin and Pelican Rivers. Around 1870, Anderson W. Brown of Stevens Point and Anson P. Vaughn traveled up the Wisconsin River in order to cruise timber for Brown’s father, E. D. Brown. Upon arriving at the meeting point of the Wisconsin and Pelican Rivers at the site of John Curran’s trading post, and seeing the high banks along the rapids and the excellent pine stands, Anderson Brown envisioned a mill town with a lumber mill powered by the waters of the Wisconsin River.

Brown’s vision would not come to fruition for some years, however after subsequent expeditions with others including his brother and Rhinelander’s first mayor, Webster Brown, the brothers managed to convince their father and uncle to purchase the land from the federal government and build a town. In its charter, the city was named Rhinelander after Frederic W. Rhinelander of New York, who was president of the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Road at the time. This was part of a bid by the Brown brothers to induce the railroad to extend a spur to the location to further their lumbering business. Ultimately, after over ten years of negotiations, the Brown family agreed to convey half their land holdings in the area to the railroad in exchange for a rail line to their future city. In 1882, the railroad line from present-day Monico to Rhinelander was completed, jump starting the development of Rhinelander as the commercial hub of the region. (Wikipedia)


Photo by Warren Lynn. Used with Permission; all rights reserved.

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