Hanger Hits The Road: Barnes, Wis.

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We are beginning a new feature segment at FOX 21 called “Hanger Hits the Road.”
Every Wednesday, FOX 21’s Dan Hanger will take you to a small town in the Northland to find out what makes it tick. In this first story, we take you to Barnes, Wisconsin.

You know you’re out of the big city when the signs for directions are on one corner and made out of wood.

“We don’t stand out as a shopping center or anything,” said longtime resident Lou Peet. “You could miss it if you don’t go to the right places.”

The small town of Barnes, Wisconsin is an hour south of the Twin Ports.
The population is roughly 800, but it quickly rises in the summer to 2,500 with tourists and cabin owners.

“I’ve known about it my whole life. My folks honeymooned up here in 1940. So I know it well,” Peet said.

Peet lives, breathes and even prints her heart and soul in Barnes.

She’s basically considered the town’s only source for local news, with her monthly publication of the Barnes Blog News.

But that doesn’t mean nothing is going on in the town.

There’s a new town hall nothing’s going on here.

“This is a very big deal. This is our clerk. This is her office,” explained Tom Krob, the chairperson for Barnes.

And the first-ever tourism committee is in place to show off the 10,000 acres of lakes and streams.

“Really beautiful water, which creates a lot of activities for water sports — anywhere from water skiing and tubing to the quiet sports of tubing and kayaking,” Krob said.

There are a couple convenience hot spots like the longtime Cabin Store, which was built in 1947 and now has a little bit of something for everybody.

“We want the canoers, the bikers, the ATVers, the boaters, snowmobilers,” said PJ Foat, owner of the Cabin Store.

And if you don’t feel beautiful, there’s always the one and only Debbie’s Hair Design — where the real stories get told, like the buzz of the so-called Shoe Tree.

Yes, you heard it right – the Shoe Tree.

It’s full of old and used shoes, and a staple in the town for decades.

It’s a small-town charm with a big outdoor appetite for recreation, but possibly time for Hanger to hit the road for now.

“We’re a short trip from Duluth-Superior, and as chairperson I guarantee you will have a good time when you visit us,” Krob said.