The Definitive Guide to Sawyer County, Wisconsin
Sawyer County is a county located in the state of Wisconsin, United States. It is situated in the northwestern part of the state and is known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. Hayward is the county seat and largest city in Sawyer County. Hayward has a population of 2,318
The county is characterized by its abundant lakes, forests, and wildlife, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It is part of the Northwoods region of Wisconsin and is known for activities such as fishing, boating, hunting, hiking, and snowmobiling.
Sawyer County is also home to the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, and Native American culture plays an important role in the area's history and identity.
The county's economy is closely tied to tourism and outdoor recreation, with many visitors coming to enjoy the natural attractions and recreational opportunities it offers.
Sawyer County is located in the northwestern part of Wisconsin, and is bordered by the following counties:
The county is named after Philetus Sawyer, a U.S. Representative from Wisconsin. The terrain of Sawyer County is mostly forested, with some lakes and rivers. The highest point in Sawyer County, Wisconsin is Meteor Hill. It is located in the Town of Meteor, about 10 miles south of Hayward. Meteor Hill has an elevation of 1,801 feet (549 m) above sea level.
Meteor Hill is a small hill that is made up of sandstone and shale. It is thought to have been formed by glacial activity during the last ice age. The hill is covered in a forest of pine and hardwood trees.
There is a hiking trail that leads to the top of Meteor Hill. The trail is about 1.5 miles long and has a moderate elevation gain. The views from the top of the hill are excellent, and you can see for miles in all directions.
Meteor Hill is a popular spot for hiking, camping, and picnicking. It is also a popular destination for amateur radio operators. The hill is located in a designated Amateur Radio Relay Service (ARRL) grid square, and there is a small radio tower on the summit.
Towns and Villages in Sawyer County, Wisconsin
What is Sawyer County known for?
Sawyer County, home of Hayward Wisconsin, is known for its world-class events such as the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race and the Chequamegon Fat Tire bicycle race. Also, more notably, the world record for the largest muskellunge (musky) catch is held by Louie Spray. He caught a massive musky measuring 63.5 inches (approximately 161.3 centimeters) in length and weighing 69 pounds and 11 ounces on October 20, 1949, in the Chippewa Flowage in Sawyer County, Wisconsin, USA. This remarkable catch is still recognized as the world record for muskellunge. After much debate, this record has been questioned by many recordkeeping organizations. The current world record muskie was caught by Cal Johnson on July 24, 1949 in Lake Court Oreilles in Hayward, Wisconsin. The muskie weighed 67 pounds, 8 ounces and measured 60.25 inches in length.
Johnson was fishing with his son, Bill, when he hooked the muskie. The fish fought for over an hour before Johnson was able to land it. The fish was weighed on certified scales at a local hardware store.
The muskie was officially recognized as the world record by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) in 1950. The 69 pounds and 11 ounce Muskellunge caught by Louie Spray still remains, by some state officials, to be the world record musky. Nonetheless, Sawyer County is home to two of the top world record catches for Musky angling.
Sawyer County is also known for great fishing, miles of ATV trails and silent sport recreation.
What is the sales tax in Sawyer County?
What is the sales tax rate in Sawyer County? The minimum combined 2023 sales tax rate for Sawyer County, Wisconsin is 5.5%. This is the total of state and county sales tax rates. The Wisconsin state sales tax rate is currently 5%.
What is the oldest town in Sawyer County?
The oldest town in Sawyer County, Wisconsin, is Hayward. Hayward is not only the largest city in Sawyer County but also one of the first towns established in the county. It was founded in the late 19th century and has a rich history, making it one of the earliest settlements in the area. Over time, Hayward has grown to become a prominent city and a hub for tourism and outdoor recreation in northern Wisconsin.
Which schools are located in Sawyer County?
There are a variety of schools located in Sawyer County, Wisconsin. The largest school is the Hayward Community School District with an enrollment of 1,919 students as of 2023 with 159 teachers and a student-teacher ratio of 12:1.
The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School has a total enrollment of 362 students as of 2022 with 67 teachers, and a student-teacher ratio of 7:1.
The Winter School District is the smallest of the three schools with just 245 students with 21 teachers, and a student-teacher ratio of 12:1
The Wisconsin state-wide average for student-teacher ratio is 15:1, according to www.publicschoolreview.com
Who is the largest employer in Sawyer County?
The largest employer in Sawyer County is the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa with 900+ employees on the payroll.
The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
There are currently 7,275 Lac Courte Oreilles(LCO) tribal members.
The LCO Reservation, located mostly in Sawyer County, totals 76,465 acres, approximately
The LCO Tribal Governing Board is composed of seven members.
The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin historically occupied a vast territory within a 100 mile radius of the present location of the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation located near Hayward, WI. The Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) people are one band of the large Ojibwe Nation that originally occupied the upper eastern woodlands area of the North American continent. The Treaty of 1854 established the LCO reservation.
In the years of 1825, 1837, and 1842, many bands of the Ojibwe Nation entered into sovereign treaties with the United States. In the treaties, the Ojibwe Nation ceded territories of land, which became a part of the United States and reserved unto themselves rights to use the land and its resources. In 1854, the Treaty of LaPointe established specific territorial rights of the LCO people including the right to hunt, fish, and gather in the northern third of Wisconsin. The off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights of the Ojibwe people were recognized in 1983 after years of litigation in Lac Courte Oreilles v. Voigt, 700 F.2d 341 (7th Cir. 1983). In addition to Wisconsin, off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights were subsequently established in the State of Minnesota in a similar treaty rights case involving a Minnesota tribe.
At the time the LCO reservation was established, the tribal elders wanted to protect certain resources that included wild rice beds and fishing areas on the Grindstone, Chief, and Lac Courte Oreilles Lakes. The land was also rich in timber stands of oak, conifer, maple, hickory, cedar, and birch. There were bountiful fishing sites on the Chippewa, Chief, and Couderay rivers as well as hunting and trapping areas for waterfowl, deer, bear, beaver, mink, muskrat, and other game. The Tribe also used historical water transportation routes via the Chippewa, Flambeau, and Namekagon rivers.
Although the tribe already had a traditional government that provided safety and welfare to its people, after years of resistance, the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe adopted an Indian Reorganization Act Constitution in 1966. The constitution establishes a seven member Tribal Governing Board to make decisions on behalf of the LCO people on the areas of land, establishment of a tribal court, ordinances, contracts, agreements, governmental negotiations, tribal businesses, housing, etc. The constitution recognizes the sovereign immunity of the tribe along with jurisdiction within its territory on and off the reservation. The LCO Tribe is a federally recognized tribal government that exercises its rights of sovereignty and governance established by the treaties of 1825, 1837, 1842, and 1854 along with its constitution, initially adopted in 1966.
LCO youth are educated in three primary school districts. These districts are:
Lac Courte Oreilles Head Start/Early Head Start provides early education to tribal children and their families:
Waadookodaading – Ojibwe Language Immersion Charter School:
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa K-12 School System
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa University serves higher education needs in Northern Wisconsin:
Community Health Center
Mushkiki (Medicine House):
Sawyer County Housing Statistics
There is a housing shortage in Sawyer County with a reported 16,193 residential units in Sawyer County, and 8,705 as recreational housing units. These come in the form of second or third homes, or more commonly known as vacation homes or seasonal homes. Also included in this number include those for sale, those rented via AirBNB, VRBO or direct recreation rentals and those that remain vacant. There are just 7,488 residentials units in Sawyer County for those that live and work here full-time and year-round.
In short, this creates a housing shortage with 18,295 full-time year-round residents seeking to fill just 7,488 units or 2.44 residents per residential unit. The Wisconsin average of residents per household is 2.38, which indicates that Sawyer County does in fact have a housing shortage.
Sawyer County Unemployment Rate
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development indicates there are 6,725 employees participating in the local workforce, and Sawyer County has a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.8%, which is 1.2% higher than the Wisconsin state average of 2.6%. The national unemployment rate is 3.8%, which puts Sawyer County on par with the rest of the United States of America.