Phelps: A Gem in the Northwoods of Wisconsin
Phelps, Wisconsin, is a gem that few people know about!
Phelps is located about 15 miles northeast of Eagle River, Wisconsin, in Vilas County. With a population of just over 1,500 people, Phelps is nestled within the Northwoods of the 650,000-acre Nicolet National Forest. Nearly 75% of the land in the Phelps township is Nicolet National Forest. And, Ottawa National Forest is just two miles to the north, in Upper Michigan. The headwaters of the mighty Wisconsin River and the Deerskin River begin in Phelps and other waters flow into Lake Michigan.
Phelps is a great place to start a business, raise a family, and send your children to a world-class school while living in the beauty of the Northwoods Wisconsin. (The School District of Phelps has a tradition of providing high-quality education.)
Phelps is also a fantastic four-season destination for all outdoor enthusiasts!
History of Phelps, Wisconsin
The history of Phelps, Wisconsin, is inextricably intertwined with the fur trading and logging days of the 18th and 19th centuries, and later, with the tourism trade. The first Europeans in the area were the French fur traders. Inhabited by Chippewa Indians, Lac Vieux Desert was a crossroads for the fur trade.
The abundance of rich forest land drew the first business to the area in 1896. Not long after that, a town was settled. The town’s biggest growth spurt took place from 1906 to 1912 when Finnish people moved to the area to farm and work in the lumber mills and forests. Originally known as Hackley, the town was renamed Phelps in 1912 (due to confusion with another Wisconsin town named Hatley).
Make sure to check out the Phelps Historical Museum, where many incredible photos and artifacts are on display.
Today, Phelps, Wisconsin, is a dynamic, forward-looking community blessed with an abundance of natural resources and year-round vacation opportunities.
Phelps Chamber of Commerce
Stop by and see us at the Phelps Chamber of Commerce! We’d love to share what we know about Phelps and the surrounding area.
We can provide information about Phelps Chamber of Commerce membership, local Phelps businesses, or the upcoming events in Phelps, Wisconsin.
And, we can help make your Vilas County vacation in Northwoods Wisconsin the most memorable ever!
Phelps Chamber of Commerce Office Hours:
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 10am – 4pm
Saturday 10am – 1pm
Interested in joining the Phelps Chamber of Commerce? Download a membership form here.