Kwin-ness-sec - “Smoking River”
Founded in 1858, Quinnesec is the oldest town on the Menominee Range. Located near the falls of the Niagara, Wisconsin on the Menominee River, this village was laid out in 1877 by John L. Buell while it was still a wilderness. Buell was a strong believer in the future prosperity of the range, and while it was still a wilderness, arrived in the area and cleared a portion of the town site and erected the first buildings, among others the Quinnesec House.
For some time after the village was inaugurated, Mr. Buell was unable to find anyone bold enough to cast their fortunes in it, and for a time it looked as if the new town must die alone. But after the valuable qualities of the iron deposits had been established and the advent of the railroad had been promised, the town grew up at once, and was for a long time one of the most successful business points during its life as the terminus of the line. After the mines of the range began to develop and the line was extended, Quinnesec began to lose some of its resources, and a relax in business life was the natural result. Today it presents the appearance of a good, solid little business town with limited resources, Though unable to manifest the vigor and life of its pioneer days, it seems to pursue the even tenor of its way, and carry on a thriving trade. In the event of new iron discoveries, which is almost a foregone conclusion, the village will receive new resources and increase in wealth and population. The town is well laid out; has a good public hall, three church buildings--Swedish Lutheran, Swedish Methodist and Catholic.
The wood products industry still provides significant employment in Dickinson County. The Champion International Pulp and Paper Mill in Quinessec is the county's largest single private employer.
Quinnesec is situated on US-2 midway between Iron Mountain and Norway.