Phelps: A Gem in Vilas County
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, this small town is nestled within the 650,000-acre Nicolet National Forest. Nearly 75% of the land in the township is Nicolet National Forest. And Ottawa National Forest is just two miles to the north in the Upper Peninsula of 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, award-winning school while living in the beauty of the Northwoods of Wisconsin. (The School District of Phelps has a tradition of providing high-quality education in a creative environment.)
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 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 and things to do, or the upcoming events in Phelps, Wisconsin. Or Download the 2016 Phelps Visitor’s Guide Here!
We can help make your Vilas County vacation the most memorable ever!
Phelps Chamber of Commerce Office Hours:
Monday – Friday: 9 am – 3 pm