Welcome to the Town of Round Lake
The Town of Round Lake is located in the northwest part of the state in Sawyer County, Wisconsin. The town shares municipal borders with six towns and one county:
- Town of Chippewa (Ashland County)
- Town of Hayward
- Town of Hunter
- Town of Lenroot
- Town of Spider Lake
- Town of Winter
- Ashland County
The Town of Round Lake was created in 1913 from detached portions of the then existing Towns of Hayward and Lenroot. The first town meeting was held on July 7, 1913.
Much of the town’s development is centered on the lakes and rivers. The Town of Round Lake is home to individuals who support local tourism, the recreation industry, its northwoods character and natural beauty. The town covers approximately 76,800 acres of land area of which approximately 80 percent is forest. The town has an abundance of surface waters in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. In all, the town has 140 miles of shoreline, covering approximately 5,780 acres, and 70 miles of rivers and streams. The town boasts a large number of rich wetland areas.
The first white settlers (about 1784) to the area were French fur traders who wintered near Lac Courte Oreilles. At that time the Ottawa Indians (close relatives to the Ojibwas) inhabited the area. The major waterways of the Namekagon and Chippewa rivers allowed for easy travel around the entire region. Travelers down the Namekagon could reach the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers without portages. The Chippewa was used to go north to the Bad River and eventually to Lake Superior with a difficult portage at Glidden.
Fur trading was prominent in the area until 1839 when the first sawmill was constructed near Chippewa Falls. There were 50 logging camps in Sawyer County during the peak years of 1880-1890. The last log drive was made down the Chippewa River in 1917. Sawyer County was created on March 9, 1853. Agriculture began twelve years later. Immigrants practiced slash-and-burn agriculture as they came to the area via railroads. By 1940 there were 1300 farms covering over 129,000 acres. In 2007 there were 231 farms in Sawyer County covering about 47,000 acres.
The first fishing resort was established on Spider Lake in 1892 and catered primarily to lumbermen. As railroads lines became more established and better roads were constructed, the tourist industry began. Fish and game quickly became economic factors as the tourist industry grew. Other forms of recreation such as hunting, skiing, boating and riding soon became popular. This increased opportunities for year-round residents to make a living.
The average growing season for farmers in Sawyer County varies slightly by location but average between 108 and 111 days. The warmest month in Sawyer County is July, with an average daily high of 78.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest month is January, with an average daily low of –5.1 degrees Fahrenheit. Precipitation records reported at the weather stations report annual precipitation of 32.24 to 32.36 inches. Annual snowfall totals reported an average 58.1 inches to 61.6 inches. The cold winters and falls, combined with the often-moist air, makes excellent snow conditions for winter recreational activities such as snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.