Tag Archive | Depot

Oconomowoc-Life Comes Naturally Here


12-24-16

Oconomowoc water tower

Oconomowoc is in Waukesha County,a city of 15,712. The program “Around the Corner With John McGivern” paid them a visit in 2014 too.

The name is from the Potawatomi Indian language, original spelling is “Coo-no-mo-wauk” meaning “waterfall”.  The city is located on Lac la Belle. We were here to celebrate Christmas and were at a house on the shore of this lake on the other side.  The view from there, you could see an island in the lake with a house on it!

lac-la-belle-in-oconomowoc

At the edge of town is The Inn at Pine Terrace. More on it from the Oconomowoc Area Historical Society in this video produced in 2013.

The Inn at Pine Terrace in Oconomowoc

The Inn at Pine Terrace in Oconomowoc

Inn at Pine Terrace history marker

Back downtown to see what we could in a couple of hours or so.  The view of downtown across from Lac la Belle. I can imagine it in summer filled with boats and people fishing. Oconomowoc view from Lac la Belle.

From the other side.  The clock tower is part of the historic City Hall building, built in 1886. The clock is accurate too!

Downtown Oconomowoc

A closer view.

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 Veterans Memorial Park is quite a tribute to local men and women who have served in our military.

veterans-memorial-park-in-oconomowoc

We especially enjoyed seeing the train depot, now a restaurant called Maxim’s Family Restaurant and Bakery.  The track is still active and we saw a train go through earlier in the day, it doesn’t stop.

Oconowoc former train depot Maxim's Family Restaurant and Bakery

Maxim’s Family Restaurant & Bakery in Oconomowoc

There is also a restored rail car, open in the summer and outdoor patio space.

Train Car at Maxim's

Our last stop was at the City Beach, lots of festivals take place here, as well as performances in the bandshell.

City Beach bandshell in Oconomowoc

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Concession stand.

Concessions at City Beach

Next time we hope to see more in nicer weather.  Make tracks to Oconomowoc!

Bird tracks in Oconomowoc

Seymour – Home of the Hamburger


6-26-16

Seymour-Home of the Hamburger sign

Downtown Seymour

Seymour is a city of almost 3,500 in Outgamie County, almost the smallest city in the country. It was incorporated in 1883.  Only 2 years later, the hamburger was born at the Seymour Fair.  Food vendor Charlie Nagreen flattened a meatball and placed it between two pieces of bread to make a sandwich easy to carry around.  The idea stuck and you can find them everywhere.

We made our way to Depot Street where the museums is located.  The Seymour Community Historical Society (1975) runs and maintains these museums and events held there.  The community celebrates their famous sandwich each August with Burger Fest, complete with a parade.

The museum grounds, an assortment of rail cars are also here.  Also many informative signs.

Seymour historic train depot

To the right of the depot.

1923 Seymour Rail Car at  museum

Across is the famous “Charlie Grill”, used to cook the world’s largest hamburger.

Charlie Grill in Seymour

Charlie Grill sign

To the left of the depot is a LARGE statue of Charlie, a great place for a selfie! We of course HAD to take one with a dramatic flourish!

Selfie with Hamburger Charlie Nagreen

Charlie sign

On the base of the statue are a series of plaques with Charlieisms.

Charlie statue plaques

The corner on Depot St. also has a Veteran’s Memorial.

Seymour Veteran's Memorial

That about sums up our visit here, we stayed for about 1/2 hour and had to continue our trip home.  We hope to come back someday for their Hamburger Fest.

Seymour Banner and Water Tower

Minneapolis – City By Nature


9-18, 19, 20-2015

Day 1- 9/18

We arrived in Minneapolis in pouring rain around 6 PM after leaving home about 12 hours earlier.  On the way we saw Pickwick Mill and Pepin while traveling the Great River Road.  Tired and hungry,  we stopped for dinner at Saguaro ( Arizona/Mexican cuisine). Turns out it is one of he best Mexican restaurants in Minneapolis.  We have to agree! The staff were friendly and we enjoyed our experience there.

Saguaro restaurant in Minneapolis

Saguaro inside

Our dinners, we both chose the Taco Platter, but you could do a lot of mixing and matching. A great way to end our day and relax after a long day on the road.

Saguaro Dinner 9-18-15

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Day 2 – 9/19

The rain was gone and we were ready for adventure!  We took care of some family business first. My maternal Grandmother and her sister grew up here and we went to the Lyndale neighborhood where they lived.  Saw my former great-grandparent’s house, now rented by two tenants. It was good to see it again after 15 years.

Great Grandma's house 2015

We also went to the other side of their block where my teen grandma picked up some groceries for the family. I don’t know what it was called then but now it’s Kyle’s Market, open 9 to 9 daily.

Kyle's Market in Minneapolis

We also paid respects to my great-grandparents and great-aunt at Lakewood Cemetery along the shores of Lake Calhoun.  We also discovered the Pillsbury family is buried here, we could see the tall monument from my family’s grave site.  More on Pillsbury later.

Pillsbury family monument in Minneapolis

On our way to our next place we saw a vintage White Castle Hamburger building, now Xcentric Goods.

Xcentric Goods antiques in Minneapolis

We soon arrived Minnehaha Park, a popular park for over a century.  It’s also the center point of the founding of Minneapolis.  On location is the Princess Depot that used to bring people to the park on a train. Now, it’s a museum open seasonally.

Minnehaha Depot in Minneapolis

Minnehaha Depot Marker and picture

The first settler of Minneapolis, Colonel John H. Stevens  is memorialized here with his former home turned into a museum. Also a statue in front of the house.

John H. Steven's House in Minneapolis

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We happened to be there when the groundskeepers were making their rounds (you can see them behind the statue). Even though the museum was not really open for visitors at 7:45 AM, they did for us since they are just nice people 🙂 Lets go in! There is a plaque just outside of the door.

John H. Stevens House plaque

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That was fun, thanks for the great tour!  Now we proceeded to the other great attraction of this park, Minnehaha Falls.  As we got closer, you could hear the rush of water. The sunrise was illuminating the mist the falls created, beautiful!

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An interesting fact, President Johnson visited the falls in 1964, they marked where he stood in concrete and you can stand there too.

President Johnson's Visit at Minnehaha Falls

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There were stairs going down to the bottom of the falls, offering this view.

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The park also has a large pavilion for events.

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It was now almost 9, time for our next attraction.  We were treated to a great skyline view on the way!

Minneapolis Skyline view

The Basilica of St. Mary was our next stop, very beautiful!

Basillica of St. Mary in MinneapolisIMG_3279

We crossed the street to Walker’s Art Center and Sculpture Park to take our picture with the trademark Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture.  We were not the only ones taking selfies here  🙂 here is ours.

Greetings From Minneapolis!

The frame around the picture tells you what was coming up next.  It was time for lunch and we had it in the historic Band Box Diner.  There is only one in the whole city, and world!    We are lucky to have been able to eat there at all.  In March 2015 the 30-year old grill stopped working and they didn’t have enough money to  buy a new one. Not to worry though,  the customers banded together and raised the funds to buy a NEW GRILL!  We are so happy they did, this landmark restaurant is too good to close!

Band Box selfie

Bandbox inside

After lunch, time for our biggest attraction for today, Foshay Tower.  The W Minneapolis Hotel is also in this building.  It has the only sky deck in the Twin Cities for visitors to enjoy, the view is from 30 stories up.  For adults not staying there, it’s $8 to go to the sky deck. What a wonderful view! You could see St. Paul, also the Minnesota Twin’s Target Field inside the stands.

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St. Paul from Foshay Tower

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Our last stop for the day was St. Anthony Falls and Heritage Trail. Here is our location.

Mill Ruins Park and St. Anthony Falls  Heritage Trail

By then it was 3:30 and we had until 5, when we went to have dinner with some relatives.  A beautiful afternoon with many people there enjoying the day.

St. Anthony Falls and bridge

On the other side of the bridge you could see the remnants of the former flour-milling era.

Pillsbury and Gold Medal Flour factories

Pillsbury and Gold Medal Flour factories

Along the trail are also free viewing scopes that kids really enjoy looking in.

Sight seeing scopes for viewing

The trail goes by Mill Ruins Park, which is still undergoing development but the first phase is what you see here.

Mill Ruins Park sign

It is also a popular wedding venue, you could see the wedding party taking photos below.

Mill Ruins Park wedding

Mill Ruins Park 2

You could also see Mill City Museum from the trail, not enough time to stop there unfortunately. You could see people up there!

Mill City Museum in Minneapolis

A Segway Tour just went by us, they made a turn and went under our part of the trail on the Stone Arch Bridge.

Segway Tour on St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail

It was time to be on our way. We hear music from a street musician playing on his guitar as we head back.

Guitar Player at Mill Ruins Park

One thing we noticed about this friendly city, photo shoots!  We saw three today, there may have been more we didn’t know about.  We had a great day, on Sunday we were going to see some of St. Paul before going back to Madison.

Photoshoots in Minneapolis

 

 

Wisconsin Dells – 7 Blocks on Broadway


6-20-12 and 1-15-15 and 6-3-15 and many more

Wisconsin Dells sign

The Wisconsin Dells was founded as Kilbourn City in 1857. The name was changed in 1931. The Dells has been a vacation destination for over 150 years and you can see pictures and postcards of the early years here.    The site of one of the early theme parks called Fort Dells is marked by a sign, a Walgreens is there now.

Fort Dells marker at Wisconsin Dells

What you will see when you drive into the Dells along the Parkway and Broadway.

The population of the Dells is 2,678. Even though it is known as “The Waterpark Capital of the World”™  now, it is so much more.   My own Dells experiences goes back to my childhood in the 1970’s and 80’s.  Al’s family went to Jellystone Park, still going strong.   History is still an important part of the Dells and is the foundation for their continued relevance in the present and future.

We are going to explore 7 blocks on what is called “The Strip”, or Broadway Rd.  We start at the top of Broadway on the 100 block, just after we pass under the Amtrak (Empire Builder route) and Canadian Pacific train overpass.  The CP train carries freight, but during the Christmas holidays they host a Holiday Train. On the left side attached to the concrete bridge support is this plaque. We had to carefully walk under the bridge when the road was clear of traffic to get a picture of it.

Amtrak  and Canadian Pacific Train bridge in Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells Bridge plaque

 We took a look at the charming depot. It was built in 1989 after the original was damaged beyond repair in 1982. It resembles many historic depots we have seen in other towns.

Wisconsin Dells Amtrak Depot

 Close to here, also a right turn off Broadway are two other historical markers and a very tall flagpole, the long driveway leading to them identified by a brown “historical marker” sign. The first one is a history of the Wisconsin Dells. The other marker is on a large red rock in front of the flagpole, honoring Stanton Peter Helland.

Wisconsin Dells MarkerStanton Peter Helland plaque

Broadway – 100 Block

This is the view of the 100 block from  halfway up the hill near the railroad track. Each block has many great businesses to appeal to both visitors. and residents alike.   Downtown Dells has a website of its own since there is so much to do. Since we tend to be frugal travelers, the free parking downtown from October 15-May 15 appealed to us too.  The drawback of winter, not all of the businesses/attractions are open.

Broadway Ave in WI Dells

Showboat Saloon in the Dells

The first place on our right is the popular Showboat Saloon, styled to look like a river showboat. More than that, it is said that a ghost named Molly lives in this over 100-year old building in the upstairs apartment.  The building owner no longer rents it out due to the ghostly disturbances.

 Other businesses on that side are Vintage Photos, Wisconsin Dells Fudge, Professor Porter’s Old Time Portraits and Haunted Mansion. We had a saloon picture taken at Old Time Portraits in Nov. 2008. That was fun!

Broadway 100 block businesses

Old Time Photo 11-15-08 in Wisconsin Dells

 Wizard Quest was on the other side of the street on this block.

Wizard Quest at Wisconsin Dells

 In the summer you can stop at this booth for all the boat tour information and tickets. There are several booths available on Broadway. Next to it is Dairy Queen, Ripley’s Believe it Or Not,  The Candy Connection,  and Yuval Wear clothing.  Across from here is Swiss Maid Fudge.  This ends the 100 block.

Dells Boat Tour ticket booth

End of 100 Block of Broadway at Wisconsin Dells

Swiss Maid Fudge in Wisconsin Dells

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Broadway – 200 Block

We cross River Rd. and the first place is Nig’s Bar,  Souvenir City, Uptown Trading Post, the H.H. Bennett Studio and History Center, and Old Abe’s Old Time Portraits. Coincidentally, our visit on January 15 also happened to be H.H. Bennett’s birthday too! We visited the studio on June 14, 2015 to celebrate the 150th Anniversary.

Broadway 200 Block Businesses in Wisconsin Dells

H.H. Bennett and Old Time Pictures

H.H. Bennett Museum in the Dells

The Bennett studio is the actual one he worked out of, and we saw two historical plaques on the courtyard gate.

 H.H. Bennett Plaque at WI DellsOliver and Jean Dyer Reese plaque in the Dells

 Rounding out the block on this side is Cheese Cake Heaven®, open seasonally.

 Cheesecake Heaven in Dells

 From this side we look across the street to a wide variety of businesses, both old and new.  At the right end is T-Shirt Factory. Right next to it is the new Dells Distillery (2013), then MACS-Macaroni and Cheese Shop for great meal choices. We had lunch at the Distillery on 6-14-15. Great food here.

Buy clothes at Alpha Beta Karma next to Macs. Left of this store is another clothing store called Too Cute. Next in line is Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge, here since 1962.  Next is Scent-Sations. More great food at Monk’s Bar and Grill,  serving the Dells since 1947.

In the tan building next to Monk’s is Xpressit.  Then the popular Winnebago Gift Shop, where you can get moccasins and other apparel made by Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) Indians.  They have served the Dells since 1949 in a historic 1860 building.

Finishing up this block is the Dells Fudge Company, Animaland for toys and games.  Last is the High Rock Cafe.  This block is the most dense for businesses on this historic street.

Right side of 200 Block of Broadway  in Dells

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 Broadway – 300 Block

300 Block of Broadway in the Dells left side

We cross Oak Street to see what’s here, still plenty of places to see.  This is the left side, beginning with Wally World Arcade, a popular place since opening in 1998. It houses the Dells only antique carousel. Next is Elements Skateboard Shop, then the Dells Discount Outlet.  Rounding out this side is Book World, Wisconsin Dells Realty, Subway, Paintball Target Shooting and Best Bargain. A new Great Harvest Bread Co. recently opened here on the end cap of this row.

Great Harvest bread Co. in the Dells

On the right side we have Native Sun Resortwear and Gifts, Shirts R-Us (closed) and KDC Traders.  On the left is the historic Stroud Bank,  now The Wild Fun Zone.

300 Block of Broadway Right side in Dells

Stroud Bank plaque in the Dells

Wild Fun Zone Stroud bank in Wisconsin Dells on Broadway

Stroud Bank building on Broadway

This block concludes with Colotlán Mexican Restaurant and The Frozen Bear Frosty Treats.

The Frozen Bear on Broadway

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Broadway  – 400 Block

We are now at the halfway point of exploring this fascinating street in downtown Dells. But wait, there’s more! After crossing Elm St., continuing on the left side is the Goody Goody Gumdrop store. next is Unique, a t-shirt store.

A Dells Visitor Center is next to Unique. This side of the block concludes with Eagle Wings Sportswear, Dells Mining Company and Famous Dave’s BBQ. The right side is even more interesting.  We begin with Chalet Lanes and Lounge and the Bavarian Village with German Glockenspiel.  Let’s watch it tell the Pied Piper story!

Left side

400 Block of Broadway in Dells left side

It was so interesting inside, so much candy and treats!

Goody Goody Gumdrop store inside on Broadway

Right side

Chalet Building in Wisconsin Dells on Broadway

400 Block of Broadway Bavarian Village on Broadway in Dells right side

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Broadway – 500 Block

 At this point we are heading out of the heaviest shopping and attractions part of the street.  There are still some places yet to see though.  On the last long shopping strip on the left side are several shops.

500 Block of Broadway left side in Dells

The first is a BMO Harris Bank on the left corner, then an Italian restaurant called Carvelli Pizza and Pasta House.

500 Block of Broadway Carvelli

Next is Affordable Leather and More, Cutting Edge Fitness,  Paint It! Pottery Shop and Clothing Company for women’s clothes. The last business on this side of the street is a women’s boutique called Flirts.

500 Block of Broadway-Flirts

On the right side is Fitzgerald’s Motel.

500 Block of Broadway Fitzgerald's Motel

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Broadway- 600 Block

On the right side of this block is the Colonial Motel.

600 Block on Broadway Colonial Motel

This house on the left is Screnock & Field Law Office.

600 Block of Broadway Screnock & Field Law Office in Dells

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Broadway – 700 Block

On our left is the Roadhouse Saloon. And the Starlite Motel.

700 Block of Broadway Roadhouse Saloon

700 Block of Broadway Starlite Motel in Dells

We reach another historic site on this block in Bowman Park.  This is the Dells Country Historical Museum.

700 Block of Broadway Dells Country Historical Museum

The yellow metal lion in front of the Bowman House is itself historical and has a plaque.  it is possibly over 200 years old.

Dixon Lion Plaque at Bowman House in Dells

700 Block of Broadway Dixon Lion

It was a nice day to explore this famous street in the Dells and see all it has to offer. We will be back soon!

Mazomanie- Turn of the Century Railroad Town


1-11-14

Mazomanie sign

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Our first big adventure this year took place in historic Mazomanie.  This is one of Wisconsin’s older villages,  platted in 1855 and was incorporated as a village in 1885.   Edward H. Brodhead, Chief Engineer of the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railroad, named the village. It is an Indian name meaning “Walking Iron”, a perfect name for the railroad town.

We began our day near the Depot and walked around in Promenade Park, a community gathering place for many events in the summer.  A city clock is there too. It’s across from the depot, the track is now for Canadian Pacific freight trains. The Depot is now the village library.

Mazomanie Depot and Clock

Next to the Depot is the former Power Station, now a museum.  The jail was also housed in this building.

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After exploring here we headed toward downtown, the American Flag flying  proudly.

Downtown Mazomanie

It looks like the turn of the last century. That’s because Mazo has 34 buildings on the Registry for Historic Places, a lot for a community of 1,600.  Not all the buildings are occupied at the moment, but soon may be with improvement in the economy.

Mazo also has the distinction of seeing the first circus performance by the Ringling Brothers. A plaque is on one of the buildings.

Ringling Brothers sign

Turn right on Crescent St. and you can see the former Town Hall and Carriage shop.

Former Mazomanie Town Hall

Mazomanie former Carriage Shop

It’s 11:00 and we had lunch at the wonderful Old Feed Mill.  It once was a flour mill and took care of the grinding needs for the community. They still do grind flour, but now it’s used to make bread from scratch at the restaurant.

The Old Feed Mill

Old Feed Mill front side

We actually were here about 9 AM, and owner Dan Viste posed for a picture with us, his wife Nancy (co-Owner) took the picture.  He talked to us for awhile about the history of the mill and the revitalization efforts downtown.  Thanks for your time Dan!

Dan Viste Feed Mill owner and us

He also told us about an exciting new venue for the Mill, Weddings!  Many have taken place the mill, but now they have a 2nd location called Sugarland. It’s huge, includes a large barn for receptions and a Southern  plantation-like home on the grounds.  Also a majestic old Oak tree that many ceremonies are held under.  Its in nearby Arena.

Sugarland book

We enjoyed a fantastic lunch here.  Al had Pot Roast, Mushroom and Barley soup and Raspberry Crisp for dessert.  I had Broccoli Cheese soup, Meatloaf and Carmel Chocolate cake.  Very delicious, and we had to take some home since we couldn’t finish it all 🙂

Old Feed Mill Collage

Just after we arrived, some other guests had arrived, but were having trouble getting up the ramp to the side door because of some melting water that was turning into ice (it was just above freezing).  Al went out and helped them.  We got a surprise as we prepared to pay our bill, the three ladies he helped covered our bill for lunch!  We tried to thank them but they were already gone, we found out right after they left.  We were happy to help them and that was very sweet 🙂

On our way out of town, we happened upon the base of operations for David Bicknase, pianist at The Edgewater Hotel (before closing for renovation).  He is giving piano lessons here in this historic building not on our list, the former Music Conservancy Hall building.

Piano Man Studio - David Bicknase

 

Mazomanie is a great place to visit with friendly people. They invite you to The Gandy Dancer Festival in August, honoring the long-standing railroad heritage of this proud community.  There is live music and fun for the kids. You may even see a train go by!

We were treated to a great shot of a train going right by the depot near the end of our visit. A fitting conclusion to a perfect day.

Train and Mazo Depot

New Glarus – Wisconsin’s Little Switzerland


11-6-10 and other visits

Wisconsin is a state diverse with many cultures, many from parts of Europe. New Glarus was settled by immigrants from Switzerland in 1845 from the canton of Glarus.  People have continued to immigrate here since then and kept the Swiss culture forefront in the city’s atmosphere.  It’s a great place to visit when a trip to Switzerland is not possible.

New Glarus sign

One of  the first views upon entering town is two flags and a sign.

New Glarus sign

 

And the great view looking up the  street.

New Glarus downtown

 

New Glarus  is also the trail head of the Sugar River Trail.

Sugar River Trail sign

It used to be a railroad track.  The Trail  goes all the way to Brodhead. The restored depot is now a gathering center for visitors and residents alike.

New Glarus Depot

 

New Glarus also is known for the beautiful “Cows on Parade”.  Beautiful painted cows are all over town in front of businesses.

New Glarus Hotel Chef cow

 

This cow is in front of the New Glarus Hotel Restaurant, a huge Chalet-style building like many downtown. We enjoyed a great lunch there once.

New Glarus Hotel

 

 

Across from the New Glarus Hotel is The Maple Leaf Cheese and Chocolate Haus will make your mouth water upon entering.

Maple Leaf Cheese and Chocolate Haus

 

A bit further up the street is the famous New Glarus Bakery. Their Stollen pastry is in big demand.

New Glarus Bakery

 

Stollen

At the end of the street is the beautiful Swiss United Church of Christ. In front is a statue dedicated to the early settlers of New Glarus.

Swiss United Church of Christ and statue

 

What was formerly Robert’s European Imports and Gifts, is now Esther’s European Imports. Among their wares are Swiss Army knives and much more.

Esther's European Imports

 

The New Glarus Primrose Winery is also a great place for wine and gifts. Most made from Wisconsin grapes.

New Glarus Primrose Winery

 

Open during the summer is the Swiss Historical Village.

Swiss Historical Village sign

 

Swiss Historical Village building

 

For a great visit to the Old World without needing a passport, come to New Glarus!

 

 

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