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Crivitz – Gateway to the North


6-24 to 26-2016

Village of Crivitz landscaping

Triangle Park – Waterfall over sign by Loyal Landscaping, 2009

Crivitz Gateway to the North sign

After being Yoopers for a Day, we arrived in Crivitz, WI at about 7:30 PM on the 24th. We are here since this is the place where Al has memories. His family used to have a cabin on Lake Noquebay when he was young and he wanted to see what the town looked like over 40 years later.  Crivitz recreation and a visitor guide can be found here.  See here also.

Crivitz is also well known for their large July 4th celebration. Enjoy their fireworks display!

Crivitz July 4th celebration

  We turned in and were greeted with a beautiful sunrise the next morning just before 6:30.

Crivitz sunrise 6:23 AM on June 25

After taking pictures at the waterfall sign, we had breakfast at the restaurant behind the sign, Charlie’s Island Café. Great food and they open early! We had breakfast there the next morning too, they have a yummy buffet.

Charlie's Island Cafe in Crivitz

Charlie's Island Cafe inside in Crivitz

It was time to explore the town. Right after breakfast we went to take a look at an abandoned farmhouse called “The Gingerbread House” just outside of town.  Apparently it is a photo subject the locals visit often.  We had a beautiful clear sky that morning and it made a beautiful backdrop.

Gingerbread House WM

An abandoned car on the property nearly overgrown.

Abandoned Car at Gingerbread House in Crivitz

Let’s see some of the businesses in downtown Crivitz. See a list of other businesses here.  Here is Soup to Nuts.

Downtown Crivitz

Sharkey’s Floral and Greenhouse

Sharkey's Floral and Greenhouse in Crivitz

Oak Hill Treasures

Oak Hill Treasures

The railroad track crossed here also. There were some cars here partially load with wood, waiting for the engine car to pick them up after loading.

Railroad Cars with wood in Crivitz

Piggly Wiggly and Subway

Piggly Wiggly and Subway in Crivitz

We left Crivitz for a little while and went to nearby Peshtigo to see the Peshtigo Fire Museum since that was also open that day.  We grabbed lunch at the Crivitz BP, they even had some tables to sit at inside.

We stayed at the Capri Motel. The room was nice and clean and large. A word of warning though, bring plenty of cash if you stay here, their Paypal® connection was down and we had to pay $100 in cash for two nights.

Capri Motel in Crivitz

In the afternoon we explored the Crivitz-Stephenson Historical Society Museum.  It was HUGE and contained some other out-buildings aside from the large main museum building.

Crivitz Historical Society Museum description

Crivitz-Stephenson Historical Society Museum

We sure had fun exploring the museum, good work Crivitz-Stephenson Historical Society!  It was time to head to Lake Noquebay Park on the south end of the lake.  It costs $3.00 for the day here. Went down to the shore and saw a lot of activity on the water on this warm summer afternoon.  Summer is fun here!  It has changed a lot in 40 years though, the now Timberline Resort has grown in size and Al did not recognize it from his memories.

Lake Noquebay views in Crivitz

After we enjoyed taking in the view on the lake we enjoyed dinner lakeside at the Timberline Bar and Grill. They had delicious seafood and I had  shrimp, Al had Taco Salad.  Timberline Resort restaurant in Crivitz

This concludes our one day exploring Crivitz.  We learned a lot about the area and it was interesting to Al all the changes that have happened over the years.

Crivitz Watertower

Welcome to Crivitz selfie

 

 

 

 

Tour the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum in Mackinaw City


6-23-16

Icebreaker Mackinaw sign

Icebreaker Mackinaw marker

Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum in Mackinaw City

We finished our day in Mackinaw City by exploring The Icebreaker Mackinaw, a decommissioned Coast Guard ship built to keep an open waterway in the winter.  It is open May through early October, admission is $11 for adults, ages 6-17 are $6. Get your tickets at the end of the pier in the ticket building.  It looks like a buoy.  There is also a ship propeller on display. The marker above is also nearby.

Icebreaker Mackinaw Ticket booth

We began our walk towards the ship, there were informational signs along the way.

Icebreaker information

 Al served in the Navy in the 1980’s, and he informed me that rank and decorations for service are the same in Coast Guard.  Al showed me the decoration he earned during his years of service.

Al's NAVY Medal

We approach the gangway and are welcomed aboard.  The staff are friendly and are there to answer any questions you might have.

Mackinaw gangway

We began with an orientation before our self-guided tour.  We saw a short film about the ship and it’s important role keeping the seaways open during WW II and after. The citizens of Mackinaw City didn’t want this ship to be sitting in a scrapyard after it was decommissioned. They banded together and purchased the ship and converted it into a maritime museum.  We are so glad they did!  The way between levels are essentially ladders, watch your step!

Icebreaker orientation and video

 

Stairway on Icebreaker

 The Ward Room

Ward Room on Icebreaker

Chief Petty Officer Mess

Chief Petty Officer Mess

1st Class Petty Officer’s Lounge

First Class PO Lounge

Battle Lantern

Berthing Crew Quarters for the Women Crew Members

Berthing Quarters on Icebreaker

Berthing Quarters locker

Watch your step!

Door on Icebreaker

If this ship were operating, you would get a pair of ear plugs before entering the Engine Room, our next stop.  Jim told us about how the engine worked.

Ear Plugs and Engine Room sign

Stairway to Engine Room

Engine Room of Icebreaker

Jim on Icebreaker describing engine

The engine room was impressive even silent, we could imagine the power it would have running.  We went back up the ladder to the Main Deck again.  The route is clearly marked with arrowed signs.  Saw this plaque commemorating 50 years of ice breaking on the wall.  Congratulations on a half-century of fine service to the fleet!

50 Years of Ice Breaking

Since I am a cook, the galley was of particular interest to me.  I took a picture through the plexiglass.   There was a small monitor with a video describing kitchen operations. One of the docents answering people’s questions in this area offered to take me inside the kitchen, thanks!  This kitchen is bigger than I expected for being on board a ship, very impressive!

Galley sign

Ship Galley facts

Icebreaker Galley

Galley in operation on Icebreaker

Icebreaker Galley inside

After the galley went out to the deck. we are looking to the former Railroad Dock area of the marina.  On shore is a marker describing it.

Railroad Dock in Mackinaw City

Railroad Dock marker

Now we enter the Enlisted Crew area.

Mess Deck info

Scullery and enlisted crew

Engineering Office

IMG_2118

HALON Storage

Halon Storage

Executive Officer Office

Executive Officer office on Icebreaker

Log Room

Log Room on Icebreaker

Now we head upstairs to the deck and Pilot House.  What a great view up here!

Icebreaker deck

Pilot House on Icebreaker

Inside Pilot House on Icebreaker

And now the view from the deck!  Ferries, freighters and  parasailing all at the same time.  This is a very busy place in the summer!

Parasailing and Mac island

Freighters passing each other

Flag on Ice Breaker

Our tour is at a conclusion.  Allow yourself at least 2 hours to explore the ship, and be sure to pick a memento at the Ship Store.  If you don’t have time to take the tour, you can still stop in the store.

Ship Store sign

We highly recommend coming here for the tour.  We learned a lot and had a great time.  It’s not every day you get to see the inside of a Coast Guard Icebreaker.

Icebreaker Mackinac Museum selfie 2 IMG_2111

UPDATE 8-1-17!

The Icebreaker Mackinaw is in need of a complete repainting to preserve the hull. A Gofundme

account has been set up for donations. Please help if you can!

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 1990s are now gone and the trash has been cleaned up.

We used 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 always enjoy visiting Redgranite 🙂

Thanks for Visiting Redgranite sign

49th Annual Mad City Model Railroad Show and Sale


2-20-16

Alliant Energy Center sign

Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall

This was our first time going to this railroad show, cost was $11 at the door. We parked for free one mile away at Olin Park, it would have cost us $7 and it was a beautiful day for a walk anyway.  The major sponsor is The South Central Wisconsin Division National Model Railroad Association Midwest Region.  See the info booklets for the show here.

This building is bigger than it looks, and there were plenty of displays in the hall area. The ticket booths looked like little train ticket counters, cute!

Ticket Booth at Model railroad show

Trains were the main exhibits here, but there was one that stood out from the crowd.   There was an exhibit dedicated to the Late ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald that sank on November 10, 1975.  There was even a ship bell that kids had fun ringing. Jim Ferguson ran this exhibit.

Edmund Fitzgerald Exhibit at Train Show

Let’s hear the bell!

We went inside and were amazed by the sheer volumes of trains of all sizes. The smallest trains were the size of a glue stick to ones large enough to give people rides. There were two of those! Here is a sample of all of this activity.

We also saw booths from some of the train attractions we have visited before.  The Fennimore Railroad Historical Society Museum, home of the “Dinky” train. Read about our visit here in 2013.

Fennimore Railroad Historic Museum

Fennimore Railroad Museum

Another place we have been to represented here was the North Freedom Mid-Continent Railway Museum. We have enjoyed two rides on their full-sized train, lots of fun!  See more about our visits here. The Autumn train ride is especially exciting.

Mid-Continent Railway Diesel Train

This display is by the Wisconsin Garden Railway Society. We have seen them at two other events. One was Olbrich Botanical Gardens Holiday Express. Also at Janesville’s Rotary Garden Holiday Light Show.

Wisconsin Garden Railway Society

This very impressive display by the Powers Family is a tribute to the circus.  They will be visiting our church St. Peters in August.

Model Circus train at St. Peters

Foster Family Train display at train show

Enjoy a ride on the large circus train that was there too.

Circus Train ride at train show

Many souvenirs were available for purchase too, from t-shirts to train cars and of course, train hats and whistles.

Train hats at train show

An enjoyable morning for any train enthusiast, we are glad we went.