Kretz Lumber Company and the Northcentral Technical College(NTC) –Wood Institute, both of Antigo, hostedTec sign KKretz Lumber co sign our 40th Forest History Association of Wisconsin annual meeting during October 2015. The 40th anniversary celebration included a full schedule of lectures and tours. The conference began with a tour on Thursday afternoon of the Northcentral Technical College – Wood Institute led by wood technology instructor, Travis Allen.Travis Allen Providing an overview of the Wood Technology Center of Excellence, Allen began by explaining that the facility is dedicated to training the next generation of skilled workers in the wood manufacturing industry. 

FHAW members were then treated to an interesting tour that included classrooms, a science lab and a shop space set up to simulate courses taught with equipment that includes computerized optimizing saws, a CNC router, moulder, dry kilns, testing equipment and a saw mill. wood tect 2Wood tect 1 wood tect 3 wood tect 4 Following the Wood Institute tour, FHAW members met at Antigo’s Hoffman House Hotel for the 40th anniversary banquet and general membership meeting. The hotel with its early 1900’s style, charm and beautiful antiques provided a great backdrop for the anniversary gathering. Friday morning began back at the NTC with lectures presented by Joe Hermolin, Sara Connor, Sara Repp and Ed Forrester. Hermolin, president of the Langlade County Historical Society began the mornings presentations speaking about “The Elcho Civilian Conservation Corps Camp.” Sara W. Connor, Vice president of the FHAW and author of “Wisconsin Flying Trees in WWII…” followed with “Wisconsin’s Primary Glider Pilot Training in Antigo.” She said, “There are many of the “Greatest Generation” who remember the Glider Pilot Training School. For others, this is new information, but an Antigo legacy of WWII.”

 Langlade County Forester, Sarah Repp, then spoke about “Antigo’s Urban Forestry and Its Progress.” The last morning presentation was by FHAW members, Ed Forrester and Frank Hitz on “The History of Logging Camps in Wisconsin: 1880s-1930. The presentation highlighted Frank’s monumental work creating a database of Wisconsin’s early logging operations. Following a short bus ride to the Kretz Lumber Company, Troy Brown, president, and Al Koeppel, forester, treated FHAW members to an interesting tour of the Ray Kretz Industrial Forest, a 29-acre working forest used as an educational tool to demonstrate the dynamics of forest management. Then came a quick stop at the company’s drying kilns. Next FHAW members toured Antigo’s Amron Plant. Amron, a division of AMTEC Corporation, is a world leader in the production of medium caliber ammunition cartridge cases for the US Department of Defense. At the White Lake Historical Society Judy Peterson, historical society board member gave an interesting talk about “Logging on the Wolf River.” Following a brief Q & A period, Judy and George Rock, society president, provided FHAW members a tour of the museum.