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Birchwood, Wisconsin facts for kids

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Birchwood, Wisconsin
Downtown Birchwood on WIS48
Downtown Birchwood on WIS48
The Bluegill Capital of Wisconsin
Location of Birchwood in Washburn County, Wisconsin.
Location of Birchwood in Washburn County, Wisconsin.
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
County Washburn
Village 1903
 • Total 1.25 sq mi (3.23 km2)
 • Land 1.08 sq mi (2.79 km2)
 • Water 0.17 sq mi (0.43 km2)
1,329 ft (405 m)
 • Total 442
 • Estimate 
 • Density 396.66/sq mi (153.20/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Area codes 715 & 534
FIPS code 55-07575
GNIS feature ID 1582812

Birchwood is a village in Washburn County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 442 at the 2010 census. The village is located within the Town of Birchwood.


Knapp, Stout & Company

Knapp, Stout and Company was a logging company in Northern Wisconsin. Founded in 1846 William Willson brought the company together. The company was originally owned by; William Wilson, Andrew Tainter, John Knapp, and Henry Stout. Knapp, Stout and Co. became the largest lumber company in the world. In 1873 they owned 115,000 acres of pine forests. They put out 55,000,000 ft. of lumber, 20,000,000 shingles, and 20,000,000 lath annually. The company owned six big farms with six, or seven thousand acres of improved land to supply the lumber camps with pork and wheat.

First Settlers

Knapp, Stout, and Co. had a major impact on Northern Wisconsin. The large lumber company brought the SS and Omaha railroads to northern Wisconsin. They also created many logging camps that turned into small towns. Birchwood is located where it is due to the Birch Lake lumber camp, and the crossing of the Soo and the Omaha railroads.

Birchwood WI was platted in 1901. Birchwood was originally named Loomis after Wilbur Loomis, one of the first residents, and the first storekeeper. In 1912 the name was officially changed to Birchwood due to a political argument, and the abundance of birch trees in the area.

The Birch Lake Dam

The Birchwood dam was first owned by Knapp, Stout and Co. The first dam was built in 1881 from logs. The dam was enlarged by Knapp, Stout, and Co. in 1893 when they found that the first dam was too small. In 1911 the dam was sold to Chippewa Light & Power Co., who built the first concrete dam. The dam was sold again in 1915 to the Wisconsin-Minnesota Light and Power Co. In 1916 the Wisconsin-Minnesota Light and Power Co. Brought electricity service to Birchwood.

Birchwood's Best

In 1903 the Ahnapee Veneer and Seating Co. came to Birchwood and built a mill where Birchwood’s Best now stands. They ran the mill until 1906 when it burned down. It was immediately rebuilt and remained the Ahnapee Veneer and Seating Co. until 1921. In 1921 the name was changed to the Algoma Panel Co. and again in 1931 to the Algoma Plywood and Veneer Co. In 1931 the mill was sold to the U.S. Plywood Corp. In 1943 the U.S. Plywood Corp ceased operations. Eleven months later a new corporation was formed and named the Birchwood Lumber and Veneer Co. The different companies that owned the mill did their own logging until 1932, when they started hiring agencies to do the logging. Throughout the various companies that have owned and ran the mill, it has always been Birchwood’s principle industry.


In 1902 the settlers of Birchwood, most young with children, were face with the issue of a school. A piece of land was set aside for a school and they built Birchwood’s first school, consisting of one room. A new, state graded, school was built in 1903. In 1909 the school became over populated and classes were split up between the Methodist and Lutheran Churches until an addition was built. In 1921 a high school was built out of brick. This is the same building that is now used, with a few additions.


Birchwood is located at 45°39′26″N 91°33′15″W / 45.65722°N 91.55417°W / 45.65722; -91.55417 (45.657262, -91.554367).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.26 square miles (3.26 km2), of which, 1.09 square miles (2.82 km2) of it is land and 0.17 square miles (0.44 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 565
1940 531 −6.0%
1950 502 −5.5%
1960 433 −13.7%
1970 394 −9.0%
1980 437 10.9%
1990 443 1.4%
2000 518 16.9%
2010 442 −14.7%
2019 (est.) 428 −3.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

Birchwood Wisconsin Sign WIS48
The sign for Birchwood on WIS48

As of the census of 2010, there were 442 people, 200 households, and 118 families residing in the village. The population density was 405.5 inhabitants per square mile (156.6/km2). There were 290 housing units at an average density of 266.1 per square mile (102.7/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 98.2% White, 0.2% African American, 1.1% Native American, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.

There were 200 households, of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.5% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.0% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.79.

The median age in the village was 43.7 years. 20.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.3% were from 25 to 44; 26.9% were from 45 to 64; and 21.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.


Birchwood has a public school (Birchwood Public School), consisting of grades preK-12 with approximately 350 students. Birchwood also offers two charter schools, Birchwood Blue Hills Charter School and Birchwood Public Montessori, as well as Bobcat Virtual Academy.

See also

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