Town of Rib Mountain

3700 N Mountain Rd, Wausau, WI, 54401
(715) 842-0983

History of Rib Mountain

Prior to 1905, the area now known as the Town of Rib Mountain was part of the Town of Weston (now the Village of Weston). In 1905, the Town of Erickson was created, which was named after Weston Town Chairman George Erickson. The Town of Erickson was later renamed Town of Flieth and kept that name until it was changed to the Town of Rib Mountain in 1930.

Many of the first people coming to the Town of Rib Mountain were German. When the first settlers came, Rib Mountain was isolated from Wausau by the Wisconsin and Rib Rivers. Cow paths, wagon trails, and logging roads were the first roads in the township. Logging, mining, and farming were common activities early in the township's history.

In 1951 when the first Town Zoning Ordinance was being created, a unique street naming idea was employed by the Town Board based on birds and flowers. The "bird" streets are north of the mountain, while the "flower" streets are south and east.

In October of 1963, the Highway 51 Beltline was opened after six years of construction. The total project cost at that time was $8,759,800. . Times have changed from the days of the late 1800's when people traveled to Wausau and Schofield by boat or canoe!

In 1985, the Town formed a Sanitary District and installed sewer and water services. With these public utilities in place development, both residential and commercial, increased. The estimated 1930 population in Rib Mountain was 1,400, and in 1970 it was 5,800. 

Today, with a population of  7,634, the Town of Rib Mountain in Central Wisconsin anchors the Southwest corner of the Wausau Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area.  Rib Mountain lies in the heart of Marathon County, at the crossroads of Interstate 39, State Highway 51 and State Highway 29 East/West interchanges.