The South Branch Manitowoc River Watershed lies primarily in Calumet County, but extends west into Manitowoc County and south to Fond du Lac County. The watershed is 121,021 acres in size and includes 228 miles of streams and rivers, 86 acres of lakes and 21,288 acres of wetlands. The watershed is dominated by agriculture (73%) and wetlands (18%) and is ranked high for nonpoint source issues affecting streams, lakes and groundwater.
The South Branch Manitowoc River Watershed is located primarily within the Southeast Glacial Plains Ecological Landscape which makes up the bulk of the non-coastal land area in southeast Wisconsin. This Ecological Landscape is made up of glacial till plains and moraines. Most of this Ecological Landscape is composed of glacial materials deposited during the Wisconsin Ice Age, but the southwest portion consists of older, pre-Wisconsin till with a more dissected topography. Soils are lime-rich tills overlain in most areas by a silt-loam loess cap. Agricultural and residential interests throughout the landscape have significantly altered the historical vegetation. Most of the rare natural communities that remain are associated with large moraines or in areas where the Niagara Escarpment occurs close to the surface.
Historically, vegetation in the Southeast Glacial Plains consisted of a mix of prairie, oak forests and savanna, and maple-basswood forests. Wet-mesic prairies, southern sedge meadows, emergent marshes, and calcareous fens were found in lower portions of the Landscape. End moraines and drumlins supported savannas and forests. Agricultural and urban land use practices have drastically changed the land cover of the Southeast Glacial Plains since Euro-American settlement. The current vegetation is primarily agricultural cropland. Remaining forests occupy only about 10% of the land area and consist of maple-basswood, lowland hardwoods, and oak. No large mesic forests exist today except on the Kettle Interlobate Moraine which has topography too rugged for agriculture. Some existing forest patches that were formerly savannas have succeeded to hardwood forest due to fire suppression.
Citizen Stream Monitoring
Collect chemical, physical, and/or biological water quality data to assess the current overall stream health. The data can inform management decisions and may be used to identify impaired waters for biennial lists.
Fond du Lac County - Nine Key Element Plan Development
Great Lakes Nine Key Plan Development
Jordan Creek EAP Project
Watershed History Note
The Village of New Holstein was founded by immigrants from the province of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. In 1845, Ferdinand Ostenfeld emigrated from Schlewsig-Holstein, drawn to northeastern Wisconsin by letters from a friend who had immigrated to Wisconsin from Hamburg. Ostenfeld struck up a friendship with the community's hotelier, George White, and in the fall of 1847, Ostenfeld and White traveled to Hamburg and convinced many friends and relatives to immigrate to the Calumetville area to create a farming community. Many were highly-educated professionals and trades people, and few had any practical farming experience.
Seventy emigrants left Hamburg in April 1848, arriving in Wisconsin in few months later. Ostendfeld and White helped each family select an 80-acre (or larger) plot. With help from Prussian settlers in nearby Marytown, many families had erected a small log cabin within two weeks of their arrival. Another group of immigrants from Schleswig-Holstein arrived in June and July 1848. The Gisbert Timm family was among this group, and Herman Christian Timm was then 14-years old. The immigrants settled in close proximity with one another, and at Ostenfeld's suggestion, the area was named, "New Holstein".
In the 1850s, more Germans settled in New Holstein Township. Businesses multiplied in the township and civic and cultural organizations were also founded during this period. By 1860, 217 families resided in New Holstein Township. All but four were of German origin. In 1871, voters authorized the purchase of $30,000 stock in the Milwaukee and Northern Railroad. The line was constructed through New Holstein village in 1872. The arrival of the railroad sparked a construction boom in New Holstein and gave it an economic advantage over neighboring villages. Herman C. Timm moved into the village, built a warehouse alongside the railroad line and opened a grain dealership.
In 1879, Herman C. Timm built the community's first grain elevator, on the site of his agricultural warehouse. In 1900, the H. C. Timm Elevator Company's two elevators had a capacity of 16,000. In 1908, the H. C. Timm Company purchased the former Greve Elevator Company, bringing the firm's capacity to 31,000 bushels. Two other local businesses that prospered during the first decade of the twentieth century were the New Holstein Canning Company, canning pears and corn, beginning in 1900, and the John Lauson Manufacturing Company, makers of gasoline engines. Thomas Edison awarded a contract to the Lauson Manufacturing Company to make engines to power his electric light plants.
The village of New Holstein grew steadily following World War II, rising to a population of 1,831 in 1950 and leaping to 3,012 by 1970. The New Holstein Historical Society manages the Timm House Historic Site which represents the time period from 1898 - 1905. The total restoration of the property (interior and exterior) was completed in 2007 at a cost of $1.25 million.