Park Falls, Wisconsin
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|Park Falls, Wisconsin|
|• Total||3.83 sq mi (9.92 km2)|
|• Land||3.60 sq mi (9.32 km2)|
|• Water||0.23 sq mi (0.60 km2)|
|Elevation||1,516 ft (462 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||2,395|
|• Density||683.9/sq mi (264.1/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Area code(s)||715 & 534|
|GNIS feature ID||1571039|
Park Falls is a town in Price County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 2,462 at the 2010 census. Located in the woods of north central Wisconsin, primarily the Chequamegon National Forest, Park Falls is a small community divided by the North Fork of the Flambeau River, a popular destination for fishing, canoeing and whitewater rafting.
The city began in the late 19th century as a small river village called Muskellunge Falls. It was later renamed Park Falls for the scenic beauty surrounding the former falls on the south side of town. With a pulp and paper mill, the town grew rapidly and was incorporated as a city in 1912.
At the height of the city's industrial success the city's population swelled to more than 4,000 residents. At the same time, commercial development fueled a sizeable downtown, which largely remains today.
Several residential neighborhoods, particularly along 1st Avenue North, were constructed of nearly identical homes and this affordable housing stock is one of the community's lasting assets.
Recent development, which mostly began in the early 1990s, has been primarily concentrated along Wis. Highway 13, a north-south highway that is the city's main thoroughfare.
Park Falls has been called the most geographically isolated community in all of Wisconsin. Several governmental offices are located there, including a school district, a National Forest Service office, an outpost of the Wisconsin Department of National Resources, and the northern office of the state governor.
Park Falls is located at (45.934590, -90.448538).
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,462 people, 1,096 households, and 622 families residing in the city. The population density was 683.9 inhabitants per square mile (264.1 /km2). There were 1,283 housing units at an average density of 356.4 per square mile (137.6 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.7% White, 0.4% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 2.3% Pacific Islander, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.
There were 1,096 households of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.2% were non-families. 36.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.78.
The median age in the city was 46.9 years. 21.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 19.9% were from 25 to 44; 30.7% were from 45 to 64; and 22.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.9% male and 51.1% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,793 people, 1,185 households, and 718 families residing in the city. The population density was 787.1 people per square mile (303.8/km²). There were 1,302 housing units at an average density of 366.9 per square mile (141.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.99% White, 0.11% African American, 0.43% Native American, 0.86% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.07% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.07% of the population.
There were 1,185 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% were non-families. 35.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.4% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 23.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 88.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,860, and the median income for a family was $42,930. Males had a median income of $31,855 versus $20,959 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,929. About 5.5% of families and 10.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.1% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.
The Flambeau River Papers Corporation (formerly Flambeau Paper Company), a namesake of the Flambeau River, was once the largest employer in the area. The mill, which closed in early 2006, underwent many name changes throughout its more than 100-year history. Its closure was a significant economic shock for the community. Local and state officials offered relocation, and educational and mental health services for displaced workers. A buyer was found for the mill and it was reopened in August 2006 as Flambeau River Papers.
The town's slowly declining population, eroding tax base and shrinking class sizes have created financial challenges for the Park Falls School District, geographically the largest school district in Wisconsin.
Sports and recreation
The Chequamegon Screaming Eagles (formerly known as the Park Falls Cardinals), have had a long-standing rivalry with the Phillips, WI school sports teams, the Loggers.The school district combined with the Glidden school district creating the Chequamegon School District. The school district's athletics programs have a history of state championships and record-setting athletes.
The abundance of public forests and several lakes, including the Turtle-Flambeau Flowage to the east of the city, has made Park Falls a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and ATV riding are popular attractions for residents and tourists alike and the town is connected to an extensive system of off highway vehicle (OHV) trails.
Park Falls celebrates its community festival, Flambeau Rama, every year during the first weekend in August. The fair is a popular event and many high school class reunions are held during the four-day event. In its early years, the Flambeau Rama was focused on the downtown business area, as an enticement to bring the community together, however, in recent years, the event has been moved to a field on the far north end of town, where there are no businesses to reap the benefits of the added foot traffic. As a result, the attendance has dropped dramatically.
- Shane Frederick, MIT management science professor
- David Greenwood (football player), NFL safety for three seasons
- Luke Timothy Johnson, theologian and writer
- Dennis Morgan, American actor-singer
- Eric Jarosinksi, blogger (Nein Quarterly)
Sign on WIS 13
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- David Greenwood NFL.com profile
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