About 1900 Sprague’s Falls on the St. Croix River, five miles north of Baring, was identified as an ideal location for a dam and a paper mill by a consortium of businessmen. The St. Croix Paper Company was formed, land was purchased, and in 1905 the largely uninhabited area around the falls was cleared. In the summer of 1906 the Woodland Mill was constructed by approximately a thousand Italian contract laborers. By the end of September of 1906 the mill had produced its first paper, and in 1907 a second paper machine was added. In 1909 the town had grown to over 800 people, some the Italian laborers who had built the mill. Woodland prospered and the mill continued to expand. It remains a successful operation today.
The foreground of this photo shows the mill pond, the large expanse of water which held many thousands of logs cut the previous winter and driven downstream during the spring thaw.
Caption written by Al Churchill