Redgranite – Home of Wisconsin’s State Rock

1998-2005  4-30-16 and

9-30-16

Welcome to Redgranite

Redgranite Water Tower and Banner

The Village of Redgranite  is located in Waushara County and home to 2,149 residents.  This community has the proud distinction of once having been the state’s main source of Red Granite and became its namesake.  Learn more about the village history here. Now, the community best known for its patriotism and probably the biggest Labor Day celebration in the county.

We will begin our exploration. In the center of downtown is Veteran’s Memorial Park where a monument of red granite proudly stands.  Also one dedicated to all veterans of the community. The Labor Day celebration takes place in this park too.

Veterans Memorial Park in Redgranite

There is a village water pump, dedicated in 2012. You can buy a brick lining the edge with the engraving of your choice.  There was once a three-story yellow schoolhouse on the site of this park.

Redgranite Water Pump

Also a Lions Club Concession building with a beautiful mural inside depicting the quarry in operation.  I joined all the sides together and made it flat.

Redgranite Lions Concession Building and Shelter

Mural at Redgranite's Veterans Memorial Park

Continuing down the street on the same side is the Redgranite Post Office, a sturdy  and attractive building.

redgranite-post-office-wm

King Memorial Park on the corner of Hwy. 73 and Foster St. has a gazebo and Free Little Library. A church used to stand here before a fire destroyed it in 1986. The land was donated by the Bannerman  Granite Company in 1904.

King Memorial park in Redgranite

King Park story in Redgranite

King Memorial Park in Redgranite

Speaking of Bannerman, enjoy a ride on the 7 mile long Bannerman Trail, formerly a railroad track for Chicago and  Northwestern.

Bannerman Trail sign in Redgranite

Redgranite has many businesses to serve you. On the west side is Lucassen’s Sentry grocery store. We remember it was once a Piggly Wiggly in the early 2000’s.  It officially Became a Sentry on March 15, 2016.

Lucassen's Sentry in Redgranite

On the east side of town is a Kwik Trip, the west side has a Shell and Subway inside.

Kwik Trip and Shell gas in Redgranite

We had a delightful lunch at B. R. Diner which has won accolades for cleanliness and delicious food. We both enjoyed a taco salad there for lunch. It has been open since 2000.

B.R. Diner in Redgranite Collage

B.R. Diner Cleanliness Certificate

On previous visits we also enjoyed lunch at the Curve-In Café  just past the Shell. They also have great food.

Curve-In Cafe in Redgranite

A restaurant on the west side called Granite Inn.

(Went out of business October 2016)

Granite Inn in Redgranite

The former restaurant Nut-N-Fancy next to the Post Office also has beautiful stonework. It is now closed, we have seen many businesses open and close in this location.

nut-n-fancy-wm-img_8660

Nut-N-Fancy stone exterior in redgranite

Visit are the Redgranite Public Library to learn more about the community.

Redgranite Public Library

The Old Time Machine, Inc.  for custom welding and machining needs.

Old Time Machine Inc in Redgranite

Across the street from the Veterans Memorial Park is Burman’s Card and Gift Shoppe, The Post Office Bar and Mosier’s Sporting Goods. Sorry, these three businesses do not have websites. Burman’s was originally the bank.

Redgranite Businnesses

Get a haircut at Nuance Hair Design.

Nuance Hair Design in Redgranite

Another place to eat are Elmer’s Place.

Elmer's Place in Redgranite

Knock down a few pins at Lambeau Lanes, Red Rock Pub and Pizza,  and Sanicker’s Pub.

Redgranite Businesses 2

lambeau-lanes-bowling-at-redgranite-wm

The original Village Hall building next to Lambeau Lanes, currently vacant.  The new building is behind it

village-hall-building-redgranite-img_8731

A former business in town, in 1998. A pickle factory.

Ripon Pickle Company Redgranite 1998

We have now reached the famous quarry that made this community in the late 19th century.  Here is an aerial photo, Google Earth.

Aerial of Redgranite quarry

It has changed a lot in the 11 years since our last visit. Most of the trees surrounding the quarry in the late 1990’s are now gone and the trash has been cleaned up.

We used to to scuba dive in the quarry.   I shot video of one our dives back in 1998. We found a lawn chair, boat, and snowmobile on the bottom.  I hear there is a school bus on the bottom too.

If you decide to go into the quarry to swim or dive, please take caution. It can be a dangerous place, three people have drowned there in 2015 alone.  The water is always cold at depth and it may be as much as 210 feet deep. We stayed under 40 feet and had a great time 🙂

Here is then and now, similar vantage point.

Redgranite Quarry 1998 and 2017

Another current view, including the platform left from the mining days.

Redgranite Quarry 5 panorama platform

The ruins of a building that was part of the quarry operation.

Redgranite ruins

We were back on 9-30-16 to see fall color at the quarry, beautiful!

redgranite-quarry-fall-wm-img_8686

redgranite-quarry-wm-20160930_093841

We explored the west side of it this time since we missed that on our April visit.  We went into the woods and made a new discovery, more remnants of the former mining operation! We found this concrete structure, similar to the one on the other side!

concrete-structure-at-redgranite

Al stood next to it for scale, he is 6’3″. It appears to be almost 18 feet high.

al-and-concrete-structure-at-redgranite

Behind this was more to see, three concrete “walls” with doorway cutouts on one end. They were hard to photograph because the are closely surrounded by forest overgrowth.

wall-structures-at-redgranite-img_8715

Here is a side view of one of the walls.

concrete-wall-side-view

Also back there was what appeared to to the remnant of a track where perhaps small cars were leaded with granite that went to the quarry edge.  Just guessing of course.

railroad-tie-at-redgranite-wm-img_8717

And the best artifact of all!  We found a brick mostly buried in the dirt near here.  We extracted it. The brick was manufactured by Langenberg Brick Manufacturing Co. in Stevens Point around 1900 approximately.  Here is a historic photo of the brickyard.

State Historical Society

State Historical Society

Excerpts about the brick company found in Google Books from 100 years ago.

stevens-point-langenberg-location-1907

langenberg-brick-manufacturing-company-info-in-google-books

Their bricks also built the former insane asylum in Marshfield, long since demolished. Learn more about this industry here.

langenberg-brick-found-in-redgranite

Redgranite’s website is very helpful, it has a map of the village pointing out the historical buildings. We used that to help us find them, a great guide!

A word of warning, if you take a picture of the “House of 7 Gables” on 403 Foster Rd, you do it at your own risk. The lady of the house threatened to call the police if you take a picture her house, even though it is legal if you don’t take the picture on the owner’s property.   I will respect her wishes and it won’t be published here. 

The first house built after the quarry business began.  It was built in 1894-5.

18- 306 Foster Rd. First house after quarry industry began

The Bannerman House on 313 Foster Rd. is where the quarry owner Hedley Bannerman lived.

Hedly Bannerman house in Redgranite

On 414 Foster is the Pickett Fence House, there are 1300 pickets in total.

16-Pickett Fence House in Redgranite

 This is old Water Street Jail, built around 1900.

Water Street Jail in Redgranite

St. Mark’s Catholic Church was originally made of wood and built in 1906.  The building was replaced in 1960 and made of stone, the rectory is especially colorful. The prevalence of quarries in the area means many houses and businesses made use of this stone.

St. Mark's Catholic Church and Rectory Stone

The brick building was built between 1904-08 and currently houses Wemmer’s Motorcycle Parts and Repair and Redgranite Laundromat.

Historic Brick building 1904-8 in Redgranite

 

We had a good visit to Redgranite and hope to be back for Labor Day 2016.

Thanks for Visiting Redgranite sign

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