Portage County Time Line
1975 thru 1998
|1975|| Since little of the McDill pond is in the village limits, Whiting proposes
abandoning the McDill dam to ease the village tax burden.
The Chicago and North Western abandons its line from Wisconsin Rapids to Bancroft.
The J. H. Morgan House, Plover, and the David McMillan House, Stevens Point, are the first and second county listings in the National Register of Historic Places.
|1976|| Portage County celebrates the United States Bicentennial.
The first National Wellness Confer-ence is held at Stevens Point.
Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, soon to be Pope John Paul II, visits the county.
Fire destroys 5,000 acres of the Dewey Marsh.
|1977|| Enrollment at UWSP reaches 8,900 students.
Fire destroys 7,000 acres in southeastern Wood County and the Town of Grant in Portage County.
Irrigators capable of watering the corners of center pivot irrigated fields are first used in the county.
|1978|| University Chancellor Lee Sherman Dreyfus becomes the first county resident
to be elected Governor of Wisconsin.
The state of Wisconsin shuts down the Whiting village water system because of high levels of nitrates.
|1979||Ore-Ida Foods opens a vegetable potato processing plant in Plover.
County resident William Bablitch is elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
|1980||County population: 57,421
The number of people employed in agriculture in the county drops to a low of 1,690.
|1982||With the national economy in recession, the county unemployment rate reaches
Gross farm sales exceed $90 million, with about one-half coming from vegetables.
|1983||Stevens Point celebrates its 125th Anniversary as a city.
Celestial Farms opens a potato processing plant at Plover.
The “New Hope Pines” white pine woodlot becomes a state natural area.
|1984||The Manufacturers Direct Mall and Outlet Center opens at Plover.
Farm debt loads increase to an average of $116,000 on average assets of $344,000.
|1985||The Center Point Mall opens at Stevens Point.
The county adopts a Farmland Preservation Plan to regulate rural development and help farmers remain on the land.
The final services are held at the Beth Israel Synagogue.
|1986||Hmong immigrants from Southeast Asia begin to settle in Stevens Point.
Portage County has 1,110 farms and 287,000 acres of farmland.
|1988||County farmers are beset by drought and a tough economy.|
|1990||County population: 61,405; Village of Plover, 8,176.
After a court battle, Stevens Point succeeds in annexing valuable commercial property along Highway 10 east of Highway 39/51.
|1991|| The Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame opens at the UWSP.
State Highway 10 from Amherst to Stevens Point is upgraded.
Several power generation companies announce plans to build a new generating plant in the Town of Plover.
Residents organize POWER, a group opposing the construction of high power electric transmission lines in the county.
|1992|| A new county library is constructed in downtown Stevens Point.
Stevens Point native Suzy Favor makes her first of two appearances in the International Olympic Games.
Portage County marks its Sesquicentennial.
|1993||Development accelerates on Highway 10 east of Highways 39/51.|
|1996|| After 92 years at Stevens Point, Normington Dry Cleaners closes.
UWSP and the village of Plover begin work to restore a remnant of native pine savanna landscape along the Plover River.
|1998|| County population (est.): 64,490; Village of Plover, 10,515.
Work begins on the county’s second highway bridge across the Wisconsin on County HH in Stevens Point.
At Plover, old St. Bronislava church is demolished.
Portage County helps the state celebrate its Sesquicentennial.
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