By the time John Baptiste DuBay made his home in what would become Mosinee, he had already had a long and distinguished career. He had managed the Lac du Flambeau trading post for the American Fur Company, managed a similar post near Fort Winnebago and even operated a small trading post some 11 miles north of Stevens Point, which was widely known as “DuBay.” Trading posts were the centers of settlements, where mostly European traders collected the beaver pelts and other furs harvested by Native Americans, which were exchanged for trade goods. But over-harvesting of beaver had led to near extinction in places and the changing tastes in fashion away from beaver-felt hats led to the almost complete collapse of the fur trade in the mid-1800s. Some fur trade continued, but by the time the newest Americans were moving up to harvest the Pinery and settle in the Wisconsin River Valley, the fur trade was not the lucrative occupation it once was. John DuBay got his start as an enterprising fur trader, but was much more to the community. In about 1845, he was hired by Portage County to survey and blaze a trail from Stevens Point north to Wausau. (At that time Portage County included the modern-day counties of Wood, Marathon, Lincoln and more). This would bring lumbermen up to develop the communities in Marathon County and beyond. Almost a century later, the road DuBay laid out was further developed and improved to become the core of U.S. Highway 51. Between 1939 and 1940, the highway was developed to prepare for another, larger project; building a new hydroelectric dam near Knowlton. This dam was built by Consolidated Water Power in Wisconsin Rapids in the early 1940s and it shifted the course of the Wisconsin River to create a new lake. The resulting body of water was named “Lake DuBay,” in honor of the pioneering citizen of the Pinery.