300 years ago, shipwrecked French priests on the shores of Lake
Superior made their way down a river to an area they christened "Presque
Isle," or "Almost an Island," because of the
vast stretches of lakes and rivers that dwarf the land.
Development came to the area in
the early 1900s with the advent of the logging era. In 1905, J.J.
Foster built the Vilas County Lumber Company on the edge of a
pond. The community that grew up around it was called Fosterville.
When William S. Winegar bought
the mill in 1910, the fledgling community was renamed Winegar.
The "lumber baron" era came to an end in 1933 when the
mill closed, but the town of Winegar continued to grow.
Today, the world's largest
walleye rearing ponds occupy the old mill grounds. In 1955, the
village name was changed once again. Reflecting the wisdom and
farsightedness of early French missionary priests we became
"Presque Isle - Almost an Island" again.