7-8-13 and 4-12-16
Marshall is a village with an interesting history. All told it had had 4 names, finally becoming Marshall in 1859. It all began in 1837 when Andrew & Zenas Bird and Aaron Petrie eyed the Marshall area as a great place to settle down after working on building the state Capitol. In 1838 the Bird’s place burned down and the first name was Bird’s Ruins for over a decade. The other names were Hanchetville and Howard City before finally becoming Marshall, named after Samuel Marshall.
We came to Marshall in 2016 because near this community is the darkest spot in Dane County for viewing the stars, the Milky Way core in particular. We weren’t disappointed. We did see it faintly and we will be back when we have a camera better suited for astrophotography. Here is our result. You can check the light pollution in your area here for star viewing.
We were near a farm and at dawn it really looked beautiful in siliouhette.
Marshall has 9 parks, and we visited three of them.
We started with Veterans Memorial Park on the west side of town. The village’s historical Bandstand from the late 1800’s is here also. The memorial was completed in 2008.
Next we headed to Lion’s Park. The Lion’s Club maintains these grounds and many community festivals are held here. The next one is the Riverfest on August 10. This park has a beautiful Rain Garden and is on the Maunasha River, the same river that runs through nearby Waterloo. The river also helps grind product for feed for Blaschka Mill, visible from the park across the road. On our return visit in 2016, we saw a new feature, a carved lion! Also a Free Little Library.
The view was just as pretty at dawn on our 2016 visit.
We were just leaving the park when I saw an animal crossing the busy highway, a Snapping Turtle! We RAN over to the road, Al tried to pick up the turtle, it nearly bit him! A large truck was coming and Al held up his hand to stop traffic. Someone from one of the stopped vehicles was able to help, he picked up the turtle by the tail and dropped him into the river. That turtle didn’t look real happy. At least his life was saved, our good deed for the day.
After that heart-stopping moment, our next stop was Blaschka Milling Co., one of the oldest working grist mills in Wisconsin. The history of this mill goes back to the early days of the village to grind the wheat, oats and other grain brought in by local farmers. The mill towers over the river.
Owner Pat Wells was there that morning, she is partner with her brother Bill Blashka. They love to talk to their customers and were happy to pose for a picture with us. We took this in the office, still heated by a pot-bellied stove in the winter.
They sell lots of products geared toward sustaining livestock. There wasn’t anything grinding when we arrived, but were happy to let us look around.
If you need anything, give them a call at (608) 655-3444. Their hours are 8:30-12 /1-5 Monday-Friday. 9-12 Saturday, Sunday closed. Thanks for your kind hospitality Pat and Bill!
After visiting the mill we explored downtown. There are many businesses to serve you here. The first one you see from the mill is a Subway sandwich shop. In the same building is Greenline Construction and Remodeling.
The next business is Steven’s Rocks and Gifts. He has served Marshall for 55 years now!
Across the street is Hansen Village Gifts.
Next door is the Marshall Pub.
Across the street is The Cut Above hair salon and they also do nails. Below are business hours.
Next on this side is the Marshall Area Historical Society Museum.
Next is the Silver Fox Bar and Grill, great place to watch Packer and Brewer games with your friends.
Rounding out the businesses on West Main are Nuelk’s Garage.
This building is currently not occupied but it catches the eye.
This was a former American Legion building, now a private home.
Tom’s Guns and Custom Woodworking is more than a gun dealer. He can also help you with making you a quality deer stand or any wood project you need. You can also drop off your dry-cleaning here for Lake Mills Cleaners and Dyers, Inc.
On the other side is Akido of Marshall, Shear Magic Hair Design and PEAK Garage Doors.
Marshall even has an Ace Hardware store, very friendly staff. Stop in if you need something. The store also rents U-Haul trucks.
The Farmers and Merchants State Bank is also home to the Marshall Visitor Center to get information on the area.
The Marshall Old Town Office Building on 301 W. Main with it’s clock keeps people on time downtown. Building is for sale.
In April 2016 after our star viewing we enjoyed breakfast at the Marshall Café and Restaurant. Breakfast was delicious and we will definitely be back again. The restaurant is located in Marshall Square Mall at the western end of Main St. There is also a Kwik Trip across the street.
Fireman’s Park is a great park with many facilities for groups large and small. This park is by the river with lots of shore for fishing and water sports. Also a great playground for kids. Since no kids were around at the time, we had some fun! Al hammed it up at the other end of a tube slide.
Marshall is really a great place for kids. This park also has a baseball diamond.
There also is a skateboard park across from the library called Deerhaven. Also BMX racing. Visit the Marshall Community Library too.
On the east side of town is Little Amerricka, a seasonal permanent amusement park.
We sure had a lot of excitement in Marshall, visitors are welcome here!