We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Condos in the Woods

The Growth of Seasonal and Retirement Homes in Northern Wisconsin

Rebecca L. Schewe, Donald R. Field, Deborah J. Frosch, Gregory Clendenning, and Dana Jensen

Publication Year: 2012

Scenic rural communities across the nation and around the world have been transformed as they have shifted away from extractive industries such as agriculture, mining, and forestry and toward recreation-based development relying on tourism, vacation homes, and retirees. These communities have built new economies and identities based on local natural resources and are highly dependent on the natural environment. With these changes have come new questions: Do retirees and seasonal residents fit into their new surroundings? Do longtime and new residents share the same values and visions for the future? Do diverse community members disagree about how to manage their forest and water resources?
    Condos in the Woods explores how these issues are reshaping community structure, employment, and inhabitants’ attitudes toward their environment in the Northwoods. Looking at trends from the 1970s to the present, this work moves from the national scale to the Pine Barrens region in northwestern Wisconsin and examines the approaches of residents to the management of their natural resources. At the heart of this story, the authors find that despite the diverse makeup of such communities, residents share many common goals and values and display more successful integration than previously expected.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

Series: Wisconsin Land and Life


pdf iconDownload PDF

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF


pdf iconDownload PDF
p. v

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. vii-viii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
p. ix

Thank you to our friends and colleagues for their support and advice during the preparation of this manuscript. Thank you especially to editor Steve Tomasko for his time and expertise. Thank you to our many reviewers and colleagues for your thoughtful comments and suggestions: Richard Krannich, A. E. Luloff, Thomas...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 3-8

Along the rural roads of the Wisconsin Northwoods around Sand Lake, the forested woodland occasionally breaks, revealing small cabins nestled in the trees and sometimes large, modern homes on the shoreline. On a summer evening most of the homes will be full of family and friends, lights in the windows and cars in the driveway. Visit between November and...

read more

Chapter 1: Rural People and the Land

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 9-27

This is a story of northwestern Wisconsin. A story about the transformation of a rural region once defined by the dominant extractive activities of forestry, mining, and agriculture into one defined by the non-extractive amenity attributes of the land, forests, lakes, and wildlife. It...

read more

Chapter 2: The Pathway to Change and Settlement in the Pine Barrens

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 28-42

This story features the twenty-first-century cultural landscape and the current forces of change altering the social fabric of communities in the Pine Barrens of Wisconsin. But in order to understand the present transformation of the region, we briefly characterize the past human imprint...

read more

Chapter 3: A National Perspective on the Reinvention of Rural Areas

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 43-55

In recent decades, there has been an ebb and flow of population and changing demographic composition of communities as some parts of rural America have been rediscovered. In this chapter, we examine three national trends in rural community change: in-migration, rural housing growth, and growth in...

read more

Chapter 4: The Regional Context of Reinvention of a Rural Area

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 56-66

While rural American communities have recently transformed significantly in terms of population, environment, and social organization at the national level (as discussed in the previous chapter), northwestern Wisconsin has undergone its own unique changes. In this...

read more

Chapter 5: Community Attachment

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 67-84

In the previous chapters we introduced the changes that are taking place in rural communities on national and regional scales, setting the context for our closer examination of Burnett and Washburn Counties. In this and the following chapters we begin the third level of our three-tier analysis: a close examination of how new and seasonal residents fit into Northwoods communities...

read more

Chapter 6: Local Social Ties and Community Participation

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 85-101

In the previous chapter we introduced the residents in our study and examined the community attachment of seasonal and permanent residents. We found that seasonal residents do indeed report lower levels of attachment to their host communities. However, those who re - ported spending more time...

read more

Chapter 7: Resource Management and Land-Use Planning

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 102-120

As Pine Barrens rural communities have undergone rapid changes in population and social organization, these transformations have had impacts on the management of natural resources and the environment. Population growth and residential development profoundly alter the physical...

read more

Chapter 8: Patterns on the Land

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 121-130

The sociology of natural resources involves the study of the interaction of human societies with their environment, specifically the variety of patterns of definition, discovery, and use of natural resources. Rural communities, in particular, have historically been closely tied to their natural...

Appendix A: Chapter 5 Statistics

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 131-134

Appendix B: Chapter 6 Statistics

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 135-142

Appendix C: Survey Methodology

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 143-150

Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 151-166


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 167-182

E-ISBN-13: 9780299285333
E-ISBN-10: 0299285332
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299285340
Print-ISBN-10: 0299285340

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Wisconsin Land and Life
Series Editor Byline: Arnold Alanen, Series Editor See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 817068570
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Condos in the Woods

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Burnett County (Wis.) -- Social conditions.
  • Washburn County (Wis.) -- Social conditions.
  • Wisconsin -- Rural conditions.
  • Vacation homes -- Wisconsin.
  • Second homes -- Wisconsin.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access