Tag Archive | Mill

Token Creek – Home of the Biggest Little July 4th Parade!

 10-13-17 and other visits

Token Creek is an unincorporated community that is part of the village of Windsor. The town of Burke also has some sections here as well. We are going explore Token Creek, past and present.

We had the pleasure of celebrating July 4th here in 2017, so much fun! They distill July 4th to the basics, honoring all veterans , joining family and community together for a day of fun. A favorite tradition is holding hands and singing along to Lee Greenwood’s famous song, God Bless the USA. They call it the “Circle of Freedom”. See it here.

Token Creek also has many businesses on Portage Road and Highway 19. A popular restaurant is on the corner of Hwy 19 and Portage Rd is the Paddle Inn.  We need to eat there sometime.

Turn right at the corner and you find several more.

Gentle Breezes Hot Air Balloons  has been giving you a ride to remember since 1990. Before that there was a different balloon company here called Token Creek Balloons, different ownership. At one time, the water tower near our home was painted with their logo. It now is blue and says “DeForest”.

Juke Box Bandstand provided great music at the Token Creek July 4th celebration. DJ Marc Lovicott did a great job keeping the crowd dancing as well as staging the entertainment and parade. If we needed a DJ service, I would choose them!

Store your stuff at Token Storage.

Take care of your pet at Token Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Back on Portage Rd, visit The Keg.

Next is the parks, Token Creek cares about the wildlife in the are and makes sure they have a place here too.  Token Creek itself is still a work in progress. Across 19 from Portage road is a sign about that.

Continue down the road and you will get to the Token Creek Conservancy, where the old grist mill used to be. 

At this pond behind the sign, only the disabled are allowed to fish here. Just beyond this sign is the Token Creek marker you see at the top of the page.


A little past here is more of the park and the cemetery where the Veteran’s Remembrance Ceremony was held on July 4th. First the bridge over the creek.

The mill used to be in this area, now a beautiful park. To the left of the parking lot is the cemetery.

Keep walking streight ahead through the parking lot and you will soon come upon a bridge over the creek. Also a plaque on a rock to the right of the bridge.

A man was fly fishing on this beautiful fall day.

A view of the cemetery.

Our last stop today will be Token Creek County Park.

Here you will find the other marker in Token Creek, near the park entrance.


You can camp here too.

Enjoy the pine forest with many mature trees.

I enjoyed my visits to Token Creek. To learn more about the community in the 19th and 20th centuries, I have a copy of this book, Token Creek by Mae Bork. The book is now out of print, but I found a copy here if you are interested.

Grafton – Quality Life, Naturally


Grafton sign

“Holy Grail of the Blues”

Grafton is a village of 11,459 in Ozaukee County. Being close to Milwaukee, it is close to where all the fun is.  Grafton itself has plenty going on, and found out more after stopping at their Chamber of Commerce to get some information. From their website you can see their latest publication.

Grafton Chamber of Commerce

Grafton has a beautiful downtown with many historic buildings. Especially the Hotel Grafton on the right, now an apartment building.. Right here is also the Paramount Plaza and Walk of Fame, honoring famous Blues musicians who recorded here in Grafton.  The Walk of Fame is designed like a piano, with the honoree engraved into the black “keys”. The Grafton Blues Association keeps things happening downtown by hosting the Paramount Blues Festival here, the park even has a stage for performances.

Downtown Grafton

Walk of Fame in Grafton WIParamount Plaza info

Paramount in Grafton

Paramount Plaza stage

This so much looked like the cross walk in the famous Abbey Road album by the Beatles we HAD to recreate that here.

Abbey Road Re-Creation

 Many other interesting historic buildings downtown house a wide variety of businesses.

Heinz and Sons Auto Body in this beautiful stone building.

Heinz and Son's Auto Body in Grafton

Bloomin’ Olive Floral and Gift Gallery and Solari Salon in another stone house.

Bloomin' Olive Floral and Gift Gallery and  Solari Salon


The former Grafton State Bank building, currently empty but still impressive.

Grafton State Bank building


The West Falls Center has the distinction of being the tallest building in Ozaukee county and being on a hill makes it more so.  It’s  7-stories tall and looks like a flat-top pyramid. It was built in 1973.

The West Falls Center in Grafton

Especially interesting are the former flour and woolen mills, now the hub of art in Grafton.

The Arts Mill used to a flour mill and later a woolen mill, now grinding out great works of art.

Arts Mill in Grafton WIArts Mill back Grafton

Across the street is the Riverwalk along the Milwaukee River, and an overlook with a great view of the dam.

Grafton Riverwalk


Grafton Dam

Grafton is the place to go for great art, music and scenery. Come spend a day, or a week!


 Related Articles

* Paramount Blues Fest – Port Washington-Saukville Patch

Mazomanie- Turn of the Century Railroad Town


Mazomanie sign


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.


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