"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
Green County Cheese Days in Monroe is back again, and this year I planned on taking the Barn Quilt and DeVoe Dairy Farm Tour. I had not done this before and I was excited! Our guides are Kris Winkler and Lynn Lokken. I went alone since Al couldn’t come with me on Saturday. The tour was sold out with over 60 people filling the bus!
We headed out at 11 AM, Kris and Lynn gave a running commentary during the tour. We saw a great many barn quilts. To do your own tour, you can get the map from the Green County Visitor and Activity Guide. There is a pull-out map in the middle of the publication. You can also see a Google map of the barn quilt locations from the website, Green County Barn Quilts. We saw as many as we could in 2 1/2 hours. Here is a small sample of the quilts we saw.
Kris and Lynn also pointed out several businesses and cheese-making places along the route. The first was Rackow’s Family Sausage with the distinctive pink silo!
This quilt was mentioned but we didn’t see it on the tour. This one was modeled after a scuba diving flag, a sport we participated in together for many years. It’s called, “Live and Let Dive”, #141 on the map.
On the tour, we also got a sneak preview of a brand-new goat and sheep dairy farm that is still in development. It’s called Ms. J and Co. This farm will be able to provide sheep and goat milk on a larger scale to cheese producers in Wisconsin. They are predicted to come online in 2020. It’s possible we may get a tour here at Cheese Days in two years!
The first room we entered is the Mounds Gallery. We learned a lot about the Indian Mounds in Wisconsin. We saw a short film made my members of the tribes involved. In the same room are arrowhead collections by Raymond Thomas Lawton.
The adjoining room has a Native American diorama and more artifacts.
A close up.
Inside of the home.
And the food they ate, either growing naturally or their own plantings.
He also went to the Wisconsin State Fair in 1859 and Abraham Lincoln was a guest speaker. Here are his impressions.
The Bird Room has MANY birds in display cases, some over a century old. This Bald Eagle is from 1904.
Another room upstairs is dedicated to Ft. Atkinson’s Police and Fire Department.
The Lorine Niedecker Room in addition to the display near the stairs.
The Duck Hunting Room showed hunting around Lake Koshkonong.
Canoe information, it may have been owned by William Hoard himself!
In the Play Room were toys from days gone by.
We went back downstairs to see a representation of how the Hoard house may have looked while occupied by him and his family. Displays are rotated occasionally to display different pieces.
The last part we saw in November was the Lincoln Era Library and Exhibit room at the back on the museum on the first floor. It spotlighted Lincoln artifacts, Fort Koshkonong and the Blackhawk War.
Fort Koshkonong as it originally looked in this display.
Here is what the site looks like NOW. It is presently a residential neighborhood.
A great visit to this museum had to be cut short by lack of time to finish it.
We’re back! Winter is over and it was time to complete viewing this amazing museum. Flowers were beginning to push up in the garden in front of the museum. These are Iris Reticulata, planted by museum volunteers. Beautiful!
We never got to see the dairy shrine side of the museum in November so we got back today. It took about 2 hours to see this part, it occupied the main floor and downstairs.
We entered into a large octagon-shaped room with a variety of displays and dioramas. Going around the perimeter of the inside of the room was a timeline history of the Hoard Museum and dairy technology developments.
Volunteer Joe Slaney (Volunteer of the Year!) began the presentation in the room, we moved from exhibit to exhibit in a clockwise direction, everything was cued to audio and video, a 3D presentation!
The presentation began with a video introduction about the Hoard Museum, then it instructed us to move left to the next panel.
#1 – Hoard Farm Replica
#2 – Modern Milk Marketing
This panel showed the many ways milk products were marketed to the consumers from 1 to 92. One of the most successful was the “Got Milk” campaign. Al and I participated in this when we went to Cows on the Concourse. Here is our milk mustache photo.
Milk use pie chart.
#3 – Daily Farmers of the 1800’s
A display depicting the dairy farmer in the 1800’s, also a room where ice blocks are stored that were cut from a nearby lake in the winter.
#4 – Farm Wife Makes Butter With the Milk
After her husband (or farm hand) milks the cow, she is responsible for processing the milk into butter or soft cheese. She often has a custom butter mold with her own unique design inside, marking it as her “brand”. She then sells the butter to her town’s general store for store credit or cash. Here are a couple of butter molds on display in the museum.
#5 – Modern Cheesemaking
Milk is now delivered to the cheese factory in large trucks, from there all kinds of cheese are made. We saw that in Arena and Rudolph.
#6 – Summary
That was an AMAZING presentation! In the center of this room is a library with dairy industry books and magazines.
We completed our visit by seeing the other MANY artifacts, too many to count. Here is an array of butter churns.
We will close our visit with a painting of the 7 Wonders of Wisconsin, the 7 cow breeds predominant in this state. This museum was well worth the time to see and we will return again to see any new exhibits, as they rotate some of them. Thank you Frank Hoard for this gift to the community.
You can’t have Wisconsin without cows, and this event celebrates them and National Dairy Month. The “concourse” refers to the Capitol Square in downtown Madison. It’s fun for adults as well as kids. you will also meet the young lady representing the Wisconsin Fairs and agriculture with the title, “Fairest of the Fair.” They are chosen on a yearly basis.
Fairest of the Fair ladies- 2011 and 2012
And of course, the cows! The kids get so excited! They even have a pretend cow to milk, and a mascot. We got our picture with him:)