Woodruff, WI

Woodruff (Ojibwe: Daashkiboojiganing) is a town in Oneida County, Wisconsin, United States. The census-designated place of Woodruff is located in the town.

The Town lies in the north central part of Oneida County, Wisconsin to the northwest of the City of Rhinelander. The Town of Woodruff is bordered by the towns of Minocqua, Lake Tomahawk and Newbold in Oneida County and Arbor Vitae in Vilas County to the north.

History

Woodruff was established in 1888 and is located in Northern Wisconsin in Oneida County. The Town of Woodruff, along with Arbor Vitae, are considered the “Crossroads of the North,” where Highways 51, 47 and 70 join.

The town is believed to be named for George Woodruff, owner of the Woodruff-Macguire Lumber Company. He often had freight labeled, “Ship to Woodruff at Muskonegan Creek, NorthWestern Terminal.” Thus, his name became associated with the site. The town boasts a rich logging history. Primitive, roughly constructed dams were built in the mid-1800s to back up water levels on area chains of lakes to form waterways for the conveyance of timber. Today, those forests and waterways are the centers of endless four-season outdoor recreational opportunities.

Woodruff is home to the World’s Largest Penny which commemorates a school fundraiser collecting pennies to raise money to build a hospital. Learn the story at the Dr. Kate Newcomb Museum.  Another significant Woodruff historical attraction is the Art Oehmcke State Fish Hatchery, which began in 1901. It continues to be one of the only hatcheries still operating in Wisconsin that is responsible for raising and restocking muskellunge, walleye and northern pike in lakes throughout the state.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 35.6 square miles (92.1 km2), of which, 28.5 square miles (73.9 km2) of it is land and 7.0 square miles (18.2 km2) of it (19.79%) is water. Elevation is 1,594 feet. The latitude of Woodruff is 45.896N. The longitude is -89.698W.

Population

The population at the time of the 2020 census was 2,044. There are 71 people per square mile aka population density. The median age in Woodruff is 51.5, the US median age is 37.4. The number of people per household in Woodruff is 2.1, the US average of people per household is 2.6.

Family in Woodruff

  • 61.6% are married
  • 11.0% are divorced
  • 25.7% are married with children
  • 6.4% have children, but are single

Race in Woodruff

  • 92.4% are white
  • 0.0% are black
  • 0.0% are asian
  • 0.8% are native american
  • 0.0% claim Other
  • 6.1% claim Hispanic Ethnicity
  • 0.6% Two or More Races
  • 0.0% Hawaiian, Pacific Islander

In the town, the population was spread out, with 21.8% under the age of 18, 3.9% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 24.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $35,335, and the median income for a family was $45,815. Males had a median income of $32,009 versus $21,964 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,508. About 8.3% of families and 10.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Major highways

  • U.S. 51 Northbound US 51 routes to Hurley, Wisconsin. Southbound, US 51 routes to Merrill, Wisconsin.
  • WIS 47 travels north to Lac du Flambeau and south to Rhinelander, Wisconsin.
  • WIS 70 travels east to Eagle River, Wisconsin and west to Fifield.

Airports

The Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport (KRHI) serves Woodruff, the county and surrounding communities with both scheduled commercial jet service and general aviation services.

Schools

The Town of Woodruff is part of two school districts: Arbor Vitae–Woodruff PreK to 8th grade, and Lakeland Union High School. Students may attend schools outside the district through the state’s open enrollment program. The Lakeland Campus of Nicolet Technical College is located in the Town of Minocqua next to Lakeland Union High School. 

The Minocqua Public Library serves the Town. The Library is part of the Wisconsin Valley Library System, and Woodruff pays part of its operational costs partially based upon circulation rates from Woodruff.

Colleges/universities with over 2000 students nearest to Woodruff: 

  • Northcentral Technical College (about 62 miles; Wausau, WI; Full-time enrollment: 3,356) 
  • University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (about 93 miles; Stevens Point, WI; FT enrollment: 9,089) 
  • Michigan Technological University (about 102 miles; Houghton, MI; FT enrollment: 6,078) 
  • Mid-State Technical College (about 103 miles; Wisconsin Rapids, WI; FT enrollment: 2,128) 
  • Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (about 110 miles; Shell Lake, WI; FT enrollment: 2,414) 
  • University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (about 117 miles; Eau Claire, WI; FT enrollment: 10,143) 
  • Chippewa Valley Technical College (about 117 miles; Eau Claire, WI; FT enrollment: 4,038)

Healthcare

Woodruff is served by Howard Young Medical Center, a hospital/medical center located in the town. This facility provides 24-hour emergency service and critical care. Marshfield Clinic in Minocqua offers general care and specialists including ambulatory surgery. 

Oneida County maintains a countywide ambulance service in conjunction with Howard Young Medical Center and St. Mary’s Hospital. The service maintains a number of ambulances with back-up. Two of these ambulances are based at Howard Young Medical Center to serve Woodruff and the surrounding area.

Hospitals and medical centers in Woodruff: 

  • HOWARD YOUNG MED CTR (Voluntary non-profit – Church, provides emergency services, 240 MAPLE ST) 
  • DR KATE’S WOODLAND MANOR (8591 WOODRUFF ROAD – PO BOX 859) 
  • DAVITA – NORTHERN STAR DIALYSIS (311 ELM ST) 

Heliports located in Woodruff: 

  • Howard Young Medical Center Heliport (60WI)

Outdoor Points of Interest

The Raven Trail is a recreational trail in Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest in Woodruff, Wisconsin. The trail has five loops available for use. The Yellow Loop is one and a half miles (2.4 km) long. No pets are allowed on this loop. The Green and Blue Loops are both three and a half miles (5.6 km) miles long and rated intermediate difficulty. The Red Loop is five miles (8 km) long and is rated expert. Pets are allowed on the Green, Blue, and Red Loops when there is no snow. These trails are open for hiking and cross country skiing. The Lakeland Area Mountain Bike Organization has recently created a skills course on a portion of the Raven Trail. Depending on which loop an individual uses, they may see Clear Lake, Inkpot Lake, or Hemlock Lake. Clear Lake Campground is located close by.

Brandy Park, located in the Town of Arbor Vitae, is jointly operated by Arbor Vitae and Woodruff through the Brandy Park Commission. Facilities include baseball and soccer fields, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, playgrounds, swimming beach, pier, shelter buildings, restrooms, grills, picnic tables, walkways and parking. Across Lemma Creek Road there is a skate board park, and ice skating rink with a warming house and restrooms. 

The Town’s outdoor recreation facilities are augmented by facilities provided by the Northern Highland–American Legion State Forest and the local school system. The WDNR maintains public campground facilities at Lake Cunard, Carrol Lake, Clear Lake, Tomahawk Lake, and Buffalo Lake within the Town of Woodruff. The Raven Trail system and the Madeline Lake Trail system have groomed cross-country ski trails maintained by the WDNR. Boat landings provided by the WDNR exist on Minocqua, Tomahawk, Clear, Madeline, Carrol, Dorothy, Sweeney, Cunard, Hasbrook, Gilmore, Johnson, and Buffalo lakes.

Great Lakes or Chains

List of lakes in Woodroof:

Mid Lake. Mid Lake is a 221 acre lake located in Oneida County. It has a maximum depth of 12 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. The lake’s water clarity is low.

Clear Lake. Clear Lake is a 873 acre lake located in Oneida County. It has a maximum depth of 95 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from public boat landings, public beaches. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Trout and Walleye.

Tomahawk Lake. Tomahawk Lake is a 3462 acre lake located in Oneida County. It has a maximum depth of 84 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from public boat landings, a public beach. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. The lake’s water clarity is very clear.

Carrol Lake. Carrol Lake is a 330 acre lake located in Vilas, Oneida Counties. It has a maximum depth of 27 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye.

Sweeny Lake. Sweeny Lake is a 191 acre lake located in Oneida County. It has a maximum depth of 18 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. 

Hasbrook Lake. Hasbrook Lake is a 307 acre lake located in Oneida County. It has a maximum depth of 50 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Walleye. The lake’s water clarity is very clear.

Gilmore Lake. Gilmore Lake is a 314 acre lake located in Oneida County. It has a maximum depth of 24 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing. Fish include Musky, Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye.

Buffalo Lake. Buffalo Lake is a 105 acre lake located in Oneida County. It has a maximum depth of 27 feet. Visitors have access to the lake from a public boat landing. Fish include Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Walleye.

Art Centers, Community Centers, and ETC

The Town Hall, Police Department, and Community Center are all in one building that was constructed on State Highway 47 just east of downtown in 2007. The Community Center has a 180-person capacity; with restrooms, a full kitchen, and a 15-person conference room that doubles as a storm shelter. The old town hall was located several blocks northeast of the current building, and is currently for sale. The Town garage and fire department are located behind the Town Hall in a separate building also constructed in 2007.

The non-profit Lakeland Community Senior Center serves seniors from Woodruff and the surrounding area with a variety of programs. The Center is a host site for Oneida County meal programs. 

The Dr. Kate Museum and Historical Society is a non-profit facility supported in part by the Town of Woodruff. The “World’s Largest Penny” site is a part of Woodruff’s community identity associated with the history of Dr. Kate.

Average Home Price Sold

2018 Ave Price Sold: $202,913.00

2021 Ave Price Sold: $430,687.18

2023 Ave Price Sold: $295,701.47

To find out more about Onedia county and all the wonderful things that the Northwoods has to offer click here.