About This Place
Balsam Lake is a village in, and the county seat of, Polk County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 950 at the 2000 census. The village is located within the Town of Balsam Lake.
The area in and around Balsam Lake was originally inhabited by a large band of Chippewa Indians. They referred to the area as "Innenehinduc," which means "place of the evergreen." This may have been due to the large amount of Canadian Yew, an evergreen shrub, which grew in abundance there.
The town was organized on January 8, 1870, and was named after the lake that lay within its borders. The first businesses included a blacksmith shop, a bank, a creamery, two sawmills, a hardware store, and a general store. Governmental buildings included a courthouse and a log schoolhouse.