The Milwaukee & Northern – Appleton Branch

The M&N constructed a 4.7-mile branch line from Menasha down into ‘the Flats’ at Appleton, Wis., in 1880 (the Appleton Branch).

Appleton Depot
The M&N depot at Appleton, Wis., circa the 1960s. Photograph from the collection of Larry Easton.

The circa 1880 M&N depot in ‘the Flats’ at Appleton, Wis., photographed circa the 1960s. This view is looking northeast from Oneida St. (originally Lake St., now Olde Oneida St.). Photograph from the collection of Larry Easton, a founding member of the MNRHS.

Riverside Paper was a customer on the Appleton Branch in ‘the Flats’ at Appleton, Wis. This view is looking north from the aptly named Canal St. (now the Newberry Trail) circa 1915. The box car on the left is Pere Marquette PM 41064, the one on the right is Milwaukee Road (MILW) CM&StP 66886. The sternwheeler Herman Hitz traverses the canal in the foreground. The paper mill was built by the Riverside Fibre & Paper Co. circa 1895. The Chicago & North Western (C&NW) rails ran along the north side of the mill, it was probably served by both railroads. It closed in 2005 or 2006. The mill complex was eventually razed and some bland apartment buildings, the Landing at Eagle Flats and Riverwalk Place, were built on the site in 2011-12. Photograph courtesy of the Neenah Historical Society.

Riverside Paper at Appleton
Riverside Paper at Appleton, Wis., ca. 1915. Photograph courtesy of Neenah Historical Society.

The steam stern-wheeler Herman Hitz was built for the Cook & Brown Lime Co. by George D. Ryan & Son at Oshkosh, Wis., in 1910. It was 115’ long, 25.2’ wide, 5.5’ deep, 180 gross tons, with a crew of nine. It primarily hauled lime, brick and stone, manufactured by Cook & Brown Lime Co., on Lake Winnebago and the Fox River. Sometimes it also hauled other commodities, such as grain, to Green Bay and returned loaded with coal. The vessel was named for Captain Herman Hitz, who had piloted the B. F. Carter for the Cook & Brown Lime Co. for 28 years. The Cook & Brown Lime Co. was also a M&N customer.