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Founded in 1878 by Civil War veterans Francis Deleglise and George Eckart, Antigo was known to local native Americans as “wild woods”, a term still applicable today given the area’s bountiful wild areas. Though the pristine wilderness remains, Antigo embarks on the 21st century replete with resources that situate it on the cutting edge of technology, manufacturing and growth. From the 1880s until today, Antigo has utilized its resources and adapted to changes in a manner that has rendered it a vibrant, progressive and welcoming community.
The Langlade County Historical Society Museum was originally dedicated In 1905 as the Antigo Public Library, but became a museum when the library was moved to a new updated quarters in 1997. The outstanding facility houses artifacts from the logging and Indian era, as well as, handmade and early agricultural woodworking and lumbering implements. It also contains one of the finest archives in the north woods complete with old scenes and pictures of the early days of Langlade County and the City of Antigo. The Museum and Deleglise Cabin are maintained for the public’s enrichment though the efforts of the Langlade County Historical Society, a non-profit organization.
The Wolf River is one of the state’s richest resources. As the Wolf flows through the community of Lily, the river is a mischievous mix of boulder-strewn rapids interspersed with quiet stretches of water. The rapids become more intense the farther downstream you go. In the 28 miles it flows through the area, the Wolf drops 430 feet in elevation. Whitewater rafting and canoeing are popular sports that take advantage of the river’s boisterous nature – rafters and paddlers are rewarded with stupendous scenery, abundant wildlife and excellent water quality, while fishermen relish exciting and challenging forays with the brookies, browns, and rainbows in the Wolf and its tributaries.
The city of Antigo offers countless opportunities for recreational enjoyment. Home to 10 parks featuring playgrounds; baseball, softball, and soccer fields; tennis and basketball courts. The City also supports a supervised wading pool; fully equipped camping facilities, a skate park, and fishing opportunities on scenic Antigo Lake. Situated in Antigo, the 700-plus member Boys & Girls Club of Langlade County is another focal point for youth activities that include sports, fitness, and recreation. The 30,000 square foot Clara R. McKenna Aquatic Center, which opened in early 2004, features numerous programs ranging from swimming lessons to aquatic therapy.