Nestled in the southeastern corner of Vilas County in northern Wisconsin, located just outside the City of Eagle River.
The Town of Washington was established in 1914 after it detached from what was then the Town of Eagle River. Vilas County was historically forested land before settlement. Several Native American settlements of the Chippewa band were sustained by the forests, game and fish in the abundant lakes. We know that Native Americans traversed the area, canoeing the many lakes and establishing woodland trails, which in many cases were the forerunners of latter-day roads. The sites of the encampments and burial grounds are still in evidence.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 47.5 square miles (123.2 km2), of which, 41.4 square miles (107.2 km2) of it is land and 6.2 square miles (15.9 km2) of it (12.93%) is water.
The population in Washington is 1,587. There are 38 people per square mile aka population density. The median age in Washington is 53.1, the US median age is 37.4. The number of people per household in Washington is 2.0, the US average of people per household is 2.6.
Family in Washington
- 69.6% are married
- 12.4% are divorced
- 17.4% are married with children
- 6.1% have children, but are single
Race in Washington
- 94.2% are white
- 0.0% are black
- 0.7% are asian
- 1.2% are native american
- 0.0% claim Other
- 1.8% claim Hispanic Ethnicity
- 2.1% Two or More Races
- 0.0% Hawaiian, Pacific Islander
In the town, the population was spread out, with 20.4% under the age of 18, 4.8% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 31.4% from 45 to 64, and 19.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $34,961, and the median income for a family was $39,211. Males had a median income of $31,250 versus $22,574 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,544. About 3.2% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.
The Town of Washington has the service of one principal arterial (U.S. Highway 45), one minor arterial (State Highway 70), four major collectors (State Highway 17, Chain O’ Lakes Road, Range Line Road, and a portion of Military Road), and three minor collectors (Town Line Road, E Dollar Lake Road, and Dollar Lake Road).
Airports serving Washington
The Eagle River Union Airport is located approximately 3 miles west of Washington. This facility provides charter services and facilities for private and corporate air transportation. Commercial flights are available during the summer. There is also a heliport located at the airport that is used for emergency related flights.
The (King’s) Land O’ Lakes Municipal Airport is located approximately 12 miles northwest of Washington. This airport provides general aviation charter services and has no scheduled flights. Charter services are available to destinations throughout the Midwest. The airport is designed to accommodate virtually all small general aviation aircraft.
The Rhinelander/Oneida County Airport provides commercial air service. The Rhinelander/Oneida County Airport is a short haul air carrier airport. This airport serves scheduled, non-stop, airline markets and routes of less than 500 miles.
The Town of Washington is in the Northern Pines School District, but the Wisconsin Open Enrollment program allows children to attend other nearby school districts, provided that the district has the necessary space to accept the student. The elementary schools that serve students in Washington are located in Eagle River and Saint Germain, and the Northland Pines High School is located in Eagle River. In addition to public schools there are several private K-8 schools in the Washington area.
The Nicolet Technical College district includes the Town of Washington, and has its Lakeland Campus located in the Town of Minocqua as well as its main campus in Rhinelander.
The nearest hospitals are Ascension Eagle River Hospital in Eagle River and Ascension Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander. However, the Ascension Eagle River Hospital is a critical access hospital, and is for shorter-term care and acutely ill patients. Ascension Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander is used for long term care. The nearest full service medical facilities are Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff or Ascension Saint Mary’s in Rhinelander. There is also an Asprius Clinic located in Eagle River and Land O’Lakes. There is a Marshfield Clinic located in Eagle River.
Outdoor Points of Intererst
The Town of Washington is bordered by the Towns of Conover and Phelps to the north, the Town of Hiles (Forest County) to the east, the Town of Three Lakes (Oneida County) to the south, and the Town of Lincoln to the west. The City of Eagle River is in close proximity to the Town and serves the business and social needs of the Town
Living in Washington offers residents a rural feel and most residents own their homes. In Washington there are a lot of bars and parks. Many retirees live in Washington and residents tend to be conservative.
Cranberry Island Picnic Area is located within the Town. Cranberry Lake Island is owned by Vilas County and is approximately 25.7 acres in size. The picnic area has 2 fire rings with attached grates, 2 cooking grills, and 2 picnic tables. There is also a boat dock and toilet facility located at this park. This picnic area can only be accessed from the water.
Portions of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest are also located within the Town. The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest covers more than 1.5 million acres of Wisconsin’s Northwoods, with about 9,329 acres located within the Town of Washington. The Anvil Lake Recreation Area, Blackjack Springs State Natural Area, and Pat Shay Lake State Natural Area provide recreational opportunities within the National Forest to Town residents and visitors.
There are also two campgrounds within the Town, the Anvil Lake Campground and the Chain O’ Lakes Campground. The Anvil Lake Campground is included in the Anvil Lake Recreation Area, and consists of 18 campsites equipped with fire rings and picnic tables, with access to drinking water and vault toilets. The Chain O’ Lakes campground offers campers large wooded sites that include a fire pit, picnic tables, and water and electrical hookups for RV’s at each site.
Great Lakes or Chains
The Town of Washington contains 16 named lakes within the Town and 6 lakes along the Town’s eastern border with the Town of Lincoln. Within the area, the lakes are of glacial origin: some formed in broad, deep depressions in the drainage system while others are in depressions in the glacial drift. Eight lakes within the Town of Washington are a part of the famous Eagle River Chain of Lakes. The Eagle River Chain of Lakes is considered to be the highest profile system in northern Wisconsin, and thus experiences high levels of users, in addition to high levels of fishing due to the excellent fishing opportunities along the Chain. The following provides additional information about the larger lakes within the Town of Washington.
Cranberry Lake. Cranberry Lake is located in the southwest portion of the Town of Washington and crosses into Oneida County to the south. This lake is 924 acres in size and is part of the Eagle River Chain of Lakes. As part of the Eagle River Chain of Lakes, Cranberry Lake is a popular tourist destination during the summer months. Water quality for Cranberry Lake is considered to be “Good”.
Anvil Lake. Anvil Lake is located in the eastern portion of the Town. This lake is 377 acres in size and is a part of the Anvil Lake State Natural Area and Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Water quality for Anvil Lake is considered to be “Good”.
Scattering Rice Lake. Scattering Rice Lake is located in the western portion of the Town. This lake is 263 acres in size and is part of the Eagle River Chain of Lakes. As part of the Eagle River Chain of Lakes, Scattering Rice Lake is a popular tourist destination during the summer months. Water quality for Scattering Rice Lake is considered to be “Fair”.
Voyageur Lake. Voyageur Lake is located in the southwest portion of the Town. This lake is 143 acres in size and is part of the Eagle River Chain of Lakes. As part of the Eagle River Chain of Lakes, Voyageur Lake is a popular tourist destination during the summer months.
Deerskin Lake. Deerskin Lake is located in the northern portion of the Town. This lake is 301 acres in size and has water quality that is considered to be “Excellent”.
Carpenter Lake. Carpenter Lake is located in the middle of the Town of Washington. This lake is 339 acres in size and has water quality that is considered to be “Good”.
Lower Ninemile Lake. Lower Ninemile Lake is located in the southeastern portion of the Town of Washington and crosses into Oneida County to the south. This lake is 849 acres in size and has shallow depths throughout the lake with a maximum depth of 5 feet.
Art Centers, Community Centers, and ETC
Eagle Lake Park is located within the Town. Eagle Lake Park is owned by Vilas County and is approximately 10 acres in size. The facility includes a swimming beach and a boat landing with a 6×24’ portable pier. Restrooms are provided at this park, along with picnic tables, grills, and a pavilion. The facilities at this park meet ADA standards.
The Washington Town Hall is located at 2301 Town Hall Rd, Eagle River, WI 54521. The Town Hall is used for Town business and monthly Town meetings. The Town Hall can be rented for private parties and other events
Average Home Price Sold
2018 Ave Price Sold: $294,235.23
2021 Ave Price Sold: $442,763.88
2023 Ave Price Sold: $420,886.07