It’s getting into the middle of September and we’ve begun our mad dash to South Dakota before the winter kicks in. We spent more time than we expected traveling around Michigan and stress levels are high. I just want to keep stopping so we can see as much of as possible, but we need to get to Rapid City, South Dakota so we can change our residency. Travel and living in our RV is so new and different. Mike keeps reminding me that we are not on vacation. This is our life. That didn’t stop me from dragging him to another Spencer town, though!
Welcome to Spencer, Wisconsin: 2 of 15
Located in central Wisconsin, just west of the city of Wausau. Founded in 1874, this village has about 2000 people and takes up a little over 2 miles. Funny story… Spencer is not the village’s original name! When they built it, everyone called it Bob.
(I’m kidding… but it’s close.)
Spencer, Wisconsin was originally built as part of the Wisconsin Central Railroad. At that time, people simply knew it as “Section 40”. When it began to develop into a village, people started calling it “Waltham”. A few years after founding Spencer, one of its settlers (who happened to own a very profitable sawmill and literally half the village) decided that he didn’t like that name. He thought it should be named “Irene” after his late wife. Then even more time passed and the villagers decided change the name again.
They finally named it Spencer. Local historians say that it was probably named after Spencer, Massachusetts. Several nearby towns were also named after places in Massachusetts, so it seems likely. So the next time you think you’re having an identity crisis—think of Spencer, Wisconsin. The little village they renamed at least 4 times in less than 150 years.
So this is the kind of sleepy little country town that you might pass through if you’re taking the scenic route. They came into existence because of the railroad and the Wisconsin logging/sawmill industry. There are a couple of satellite colleges, a performing arts center, and Land O’Lakes. We came, we saw… we selfied. Spencer, Wisconsin receded into the horizon behind us as we continued on our way to Rapid City.