Stories of the Sheboygan County Marsh
The Sheboygan Marsh covers a large portion of Russell Township. This marsh was once a large lake covering 13,000 acres, approximately the size of Lake Mendota in Madison and was approximately 45 feet deep at one time. In 1870, a Sheboygan business man, John Bertschy bought the Sheboygan Marsh with the intent of draining it and turning it into farm land.
Sheboygan Marsh Wildlife Area lies in northwestern Sheboygan County just 1 mile west and north of Elkhart Lake. It covers over half of the townships of Russell and Greenbush. The area historically known as Sheboygan Marsh includes over 14,000 acres of land and surface water. It contains the largest restored wetland in the Wisconsin watersheds of lakes Michigan and Superior. The Sheboygan Marsh Wildlife Area portion of the marsh includes over 8,166 acres of public lands, of which Sheboygan County owns 7,414 acres and the state of Wisconsin owns 752 acres. The remainder of the marsh is privately owned.
This presentation will talk a bit about the rich history of the Sheboygan County Marsh, its zoo, the multiple attempts at draining it, the fires that ravaged it and much more.