Reminders of the Milwaukee & Northern – Menasha Branch – High Cliff Spur

The M&N constructed a 2.13-mile spur from High Cliff Junction to the lime kilns at High Cliff, Wis., in 1891. High Cliff Junction was Milepost 7.3 on the Menasha Branch. The Milwaukee Road (MILW) abandoned this spur in 1957, about a year after lime production ceased.

Looking northwest along the former M&N Menasha Branch toward High Cliff Junction from Stommel Rd. at the Town of Harrison, Calumet Co., Wis., on 20 March 2021. The turnout was located approximately 900′ from the road. This line was originally laid by the M&N in 1871. It is currently operated by the Canadian National (CN). Photograph by Tom Bruss.

Looking north along the former M&N right-of-way from the intersection of Golf Course Rd. and Spur Line Ct. at High Cliff, Wis., on 20 March 2021. The trail to the left does not follow the right-of-way, the tracks ran due north from here, to the left of the fire hydrant. Photograph by Tom Bruss.

Looking northeast along the former M&N right-of-way at High Cliff, Wis., on 20 March 2021. The tracks curved from northeast to north here across High Cliff Golf Course, crossing this small pond to the right of the tiny island and to the left of the largest tree. Photograph by Tom Bruss.

Looking southwest along the former M&N right-of-way leading at High Cliff, Wis., on 20 March 2021. A culvert, still performing its intended function, passes under the right-of-way near the center of the scene. Photograph by Tom Bruss.

A culvert, still performing its intended function, passes under the former M&N right-of-way at High Cliff, Wis., on 20 March 2021. At the far end of the culvert, a telephone pole lies on the ground, with some line and a guy wire still attached. Photograph by Tom Bruss.

Looking northeast along the former M&N right-of-way at High Cliff, Wis., on 20 March 2021. An old telephone pole, with some line and a guy wire still attached, lies along the right-of-way. To the right of the telephone pole, an old culvert under the right-of-way still performs its intended function. Photograph by Tom Bruss.

An old Evans & Howe brick lies next to the former M&N right-of-way at High Cliff, Wis., on 20 March 2021. Photograph by Tom Bruss.

Looking northeast along the former M&N right-of-way at High Cliff, Wis., on 20 March 2021. At first glance, I thought that it was a neat retaining wall next to the right-of-way. Then I looked around and realized that it is not retaining anything. It was likely a loading dock. Photograph by Tom Bruss.

Looking northeast along the former M&N from Lower Cliff Rd. at High Cliff, Wis., on 20 March 2021. The High Cliff Post Office and General Store, built in 1855, can be seen in the background to the left. Photograph by Tom Bruss.

Looking northeast from Lime Kiln Rd. toward the former M&N right-of-way at High Cliff, Wis., on 20 March 2021. The lime kiln ruins are out-of-frame to the right. Photograph by Tom Bruss.

Lime kiln ruins at High Cliff, Wis., on 20 March 2021. Limestone quarrying, and later lime burning, was established here ca. 1855 by the J. A. Day & Co., later Cook, Brown & Co., later Cook & Brown, later Union Lime, later Western Lime. The latter company closed the operation in 1956. This facility was served by the M&N, and later MILW, from 1891 to 1956. Photograph by Tom Bruss.