The 1400 hundred people that live in the Laona area are heirs to the
shared heritage of the timber industry. The turn-of-the-century marked
the founding of Laona - just 20 years prior to logging's heyday. Around
1876, the pine loggers came into the area and cleared off the pine stands
scatted thought out the hardwoods. William Duncan Connor purchased 100,000
acres of timberland in Forest County and started the Connor Lumber and
Land Company. When the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad came to the
area the initial logging of the area took place between 1900 and 1910
and has been going on ever since. A member of the Connor family has
operated a sawmill in the community ever since.
The Lumberjack Special is a vintage 1916 Vulcan steam engine that was actually used by the Connor Lumber and Land Company in their logging operation is now used to pull a passenger train to the Camp 5 Farm & Museum. The Camp 5 Farm Museum is educational and just plain fun for all ages. When at the Farm, you can enjoy the Nature Center; the museum and its logging lore, complete with working blacksmith shop; the Green Treasure Forest Tour provides a living demonstration of how scenic stands of timber can be harvested and beautiful; a float trip on the Rat River, provides scenery, bird watching and an understanding of ecology.
Sandwiches, snacks and refreshments are available as well as gifts and souvenirs at the 1900 vintage Cracker Barrel Store.
The Community Soup is an annual event sponsored by the Laona Lions Club on the first Sunday in August at the public beach. Hundreds of visitors and townspeople gather for a day of reunions and free soup from the worlds largest soup kettle.