Tag Archive | mural

The Historic Washington House Museum in Two Rivers


8-29-10 and 6-30-12

Two Rivers sign

 The Washington House in Two Rivers was built in the 1850’s as an immigrant hotel. Now, it is home of Berners Ice Cream Parlor which claims to be the birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae.

Washington House in Two Rivers

Ice Cream Sundae marker Two Rivers

 Once you step in the door, the first think you see is a bar and lots of artifacts behind and around it. The Berners Ice Cream parlor is not the original, but two chairs on display are from the original parlor.

Washington House bar in Two Rivers

Berners Parlor chairs in Washington House

Streight ahead is Berners, what an inviting ice cream parlor!

Berners Ice Cream Parlor in Washington House in Two Rivers

We had some ice cream, then explored the museum on the 2nd floor.

Washington House stage Two Rivers

In this room were stage performances, the murals are being restored.  These already were.

Mural Collage in Washington House

 This is the Waverly building, another business that started about the same time as the Washington House. It is still here and still owned by the same family. It’s now Waverly Inn Pub and Pizza.

Waverly building in Two Rivers

 Here are more of the exhibits, many interesting artifacts of days gone by.

Exhibit Rooms in Washington House in Two Rivers

The Barber Shop

 

Barber Shop Exhibit in Washington House in Two Rivers

 

Dentist

Dentist exhibit in Washington House in Two Rivers

Doctor

Doctor Exhibit in Washington House in Two Rivers

Room to Let

Room to Let Exhibit in Washington House in Two Rivers

Kitchen

Kitchen Exhibit in Washington House in Two Rivers

And much more!  It’s free to take the self-guided tour, but donations are gladly accepted.

Washington House donation box

Don’t forget to have an ice cream sundae at Berners’ before you go! We had a great visit here.

Strawberry Sundae

Coming Home to the Village of Park Forest


Illinois Trip – Day 2 -Park Forest

April 22, 2014

Park Forest sign

Park Forest is my hometown, I grew up here.   My family was here from 1966 (birth) to 1984 and it was a great place to grow up.  It was interesting seeing the changes 30 years after moving to Wisconsin. Park Forest is famous for being the first planned community after WWII.  An early nickname for Park Forest was “GI Town”.  Park Forest was built to address the lack of housing for all the returning vets of the the war. The village  was  ready for residents by 1948.  Enjoy this video showing the early history of Park Forest.

As of the 2010 census, the village had a population of 21,975, which is less than it’s peak of 30,000  in the 1960’s.   Park Forest  earned the “All American City” honor twice. The first time was in 1954 and the second time was 1976, when I was there.  What a time to be be there, when community pride was high.  

Let’s begin our tour of my hometown, right here with the sign at the edge of town at the intersection of Lincoln Highway and Orchard St.  Right across the street from here is another childhood memory of mine, this little structure at the edge of Olympia Fields, for a gated community called Maynegaite Woods.  When I was little I called this a “little castle” and always wanted to go inside.

Maynegaite signMaynegaite Little Castle

The Chinese house across the street.

Park Forest Asian house

We move further down Orchard, on our left is the building where the fire dept.  practice putting out fires.  I knew it as the Jaycee’s Haunted House, where we  went to get scared near Halloween. It is dedicated to Captain Adolph Pfeifer, who  died in the line of duty in 1963.

Park Forest Fire Dept. Training siteCaptain Adolph Pfeifer plaque

On our right is the Aqua Center, the outdoor pool complex where I learned how to swim.  They were getting it ready for summer.  This pool used to have a high dive.

Aqua Center

Aqua Center inside

Next to the Aqua Center is the Park Forest Public Library, where I spent MANY hours all the way through high school.  We had arranged a tour with the Library Director Barbara Osuch, to show us around.  She is very gracious and an asset to a place that was so important in my life.  I was especially impressed by the children’s area, completely revamped and modernized.   One theme has persisted over the years, kites.  When I was 12,  they had a  summer work shop on making kites out of plastic garbage bags and wooden dowels.  We made the kites, then went out to Central Park just outside of the library to fly them.

Park Forest Public Library

 

Park Forest Library Kid Zone

The view outside these windows facing Orchard USED to be my school, Lakewood. I was a student there from 4th-6th grade.  Here is a picture I took of the school in  1993  before it was torn down to make room for housing. Thanks for the great tour Barbara!

Park Forest Library windowsBarbara Osuch and us

Lakewood School 1993

Back behind the library is the Freedom Hall/Nathan Manilow Theatre, named after one of my town’s founders.  I have attended and even have performed there when I was a kid, tap dance recitals.  It opened in 1976 when I was 10.

Nathan Manilow Theater

Park Forest does not have as many restaurants as it used to have, but this red brick building on Orchard has housed a restaurant as long as I can remember. It has been Dunagains Irish Pub since 2013.

Dunagains Irish Pub

In the 70’s, the restaurant was called “The Country Squire”.  Here is an ad from 1977.

Country Squire Broiler ad 1977

The current business is still owned by the same family but has changed with the times.  They also still serve great food,  we found that out by having lunch there. I had soft tacos and Al had a Reuben.   Friendly staff  made us feel welcome and we would recommend coming here. They also have live music on some evenings.

Dunagains Collage

Lunch at Dunagains

No longer hungry, we continued our tour.  We got to the corner of Orchard and Indianwood, where my childhood Catholic Church resides called St. Irenaeus.  Some of my best memories are here, in the CCD religious program, and helping out at our summer day camp for two weeks every summer during high school.  It was just as beautiful inside, with distinctive stained glass windows.  We attended a Sunday service there in Oct. 2003 during our last visit.  Following are pictures from then.

St. Irenaeus Church St. Irenaeus inside 2003

St. Irenaeus windows

Just past the church on Indianwood  on our right is the bank and post office.  It was “The Bank of Park Forest” when I lived there. We sometimes sold Girl Scout cookies there in the post office. Drive-through on the right.

US Bank in Park Forest

Park Forest Post office

Across from the post office is the new Fire Department building. Also a memorial to fallen comrades.  Also a piece of metal from the World Trade Center.

Park Forest Fire Dept

World Trade Center metal

During my years there my family lived in two townhouses.   Homes are arranged in “courts”.  We visited my first court on Hemlock St. where I lived from birth to age 7.  We had to leave there because they were going to become condos, and they still are.

Hemlock court

This the back of our former apartment, this is a merge from summer 1974 and from this visit. This is my little brother and I, love that Schwinn Pixie bike I had then.

153 Hemlock 1974 and 2014

Our other apartment was on Forest boulevard, we lived there from 1974-1984. here in Court F-2.

Court F-2 Park Forest

We lived here, number 185 on the right.

85 Forest

There are individual trees in this court that I liked even as a kid, they are still here!  Also much larger!

Court F-2 tree 1 - 1986Court F-2 tree 1 - 2014

There are three red bud trees behind our former place, this is comparing 1986 and now.

Court F-2 Three Redbuds 1986Court F-2 Three Redbuds 2014

If you keep following the sidewalk, there once WAS a playground ahead. It is gone now.  Here is a picture I took of it in 1980. The same perspective NOW.

F-2 Park 1980

F-2 Former Park View 2014

On the right side of the picture used to be a road that went next to the park, the road has been gone for more than a decade, but the remnant still exists.  The park would have been left of this view.

Former Sears parking lot

The white structure you see behind the town homes in the top picture is a former landmark of Park Forest, the Tower. It was right next to Western Ave, which leads to Chicago Heights. Here is a better picture of the same tower.  This was 1989.

The Centre Tower 1989

In the middle of the former downtown was a slightly smaller version of this tower, but it had two clocks on it. Of course it was known as the Clock Tower.  It was the center of downtown when I lived there, and near it was (is) a stage for musicians to perform on summer nights.  Here is a newspaper clipping from 1977.  People playing frisbee on the lawn near the tower, this is classic Park Forest! the logo now and in the 1980’s.

Park Forest logo 2014Shop Park Forest sign

 

Downtown PF by ClockTower

Both of the towers are long gone, this sculpture is now in the approximate place of the clock tower.

Park Forest sculpture

This view is taken from the left side of the top picture, looking across.  On the right used to be a Marshall Fields.  The Marshall Fields building has since been torn down, this was my last photo pf the building. There is now a veteran’s memorial in the center of the picture.

Former Clock Tower view 2014

There are now two murals downtown.   This one is on the other side of the building on the left in above photo.  It is outside the building now occupied by the Tall Grass Arts Association (that used to be a Kresge’s). The second one is close to my Forest  Blvd. court.

Tall Grass Arts Association Building

 

Park Forest mural

Our visit is nearly over. Please be sure to visit the Park Forest 1950’s Museum, sponsored by the Park Forest Historical Society. It was not open the day we visited unfortunately 😦   The address WAS 141 Forest Blvd.  In 2016 it is at 227 Monee Road, inside St. Mary’s Catholic Church.Park Forest 1950's Museum

Right before leaving town, we stop by Thorn Creek Nature Preserve.  My Girl Scout troop went there a lot, a great day in a forest.

Thorn Creek Nature CenterThorn Creek Nature Center plaque

Another great attraction to visit is the new Rail Fan Park, opened July 28 of 2013. There is a viewing platform with a great view of a rail “clover leaf”, the only such rail juncture visible by the public.

Rail Cloverleaf

 

Rail Fan Park in Park Forest

We made a full circle, not far from here is where we began our tour.  It was great coming back home to my hometown.

 

Stop and Learn in Watertown


Wilkommen to Watertown

 

Downtown Watertown

Watertown is a city of 23,000 with a rich history carefully preserved.  It was founded by Timothy Johnson.  He arrived at the Watertown site 12-10-1836. He also co-founded nearby Johnson Creek. If you are heading to Watertown from the west, at Rest Area 13, where you can see a historical marker describing hills left by the glaciers called Drumlins.

Drumlin historic marker near Johnson Creek

 German immigrants built many of the historic buildings all over town.  It’s home to the famous Octagon House (shaped like a stop sign), built prior to the Civil War.  The house is now the base of operations for the Watertown Historical Society, and is open for tours April to October, and some special events Nov-March.

Octagon HouseOctagon House marker in Watertown

Also on site is the first Kindergarten in the US.  The white building is behind the Octagon House along with the an early settler’s farm,  both restored. Watertown has many brochures for self-guided walking tours available.

First Kindergarden and Farm

 A marker commemorating this school is on the side of the building.

First Kindergarden marker in Watertown

 The red barn also has a marker.

Red Barn plaque in Watertown

We also paid our respects at Memorial Park, where a tall Civil War Monument stands, erected in 1899.  Also more recent monuments to soldiers in more recent wars.

Memorial Park Watertown

The downtown is quite beautiful too.  Be sure to stop by the Chamber of Commerce if they are open.

Watertown Chamber of Commerce

The beautiful Watertown Public Library, the present building in use since June 14, 1907.

Watertown Library

The Cole Memorial Bridge is the centerpiece of downtown, the Rock River runs under it.

Cole Memorial Bridge in Watertown

 

Cole Memorialbridge plaque

 

We also discovered this site was also important during the Black Hawk War of 1832.

Black Hawk Trail marker in Watertown

Many murals also adorn the sides of many buildings highlighting Watertown’s early history.  Here is a pretty circus mural, picture taken in 2010. It is somewhat obscured now by the business occupying the building.

Circus Mural in Watertown

 Watertown is known also for many buildings constructed of brick made from a special light color clay found near Milwaukee.  Because the clay was so plentiful, Milwaukee was dubbed “Cream City”  The Octagon House is built from this brick.

We have also enjoyed patronizing some of the great businesses here. Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters is our favorite place for the best coffee ever! Not just coffee but a cafe serving breakfast and lunch.

BB Building cropBerres Brothers Billboard in Watertown

Another great place is Mullen’s Dairy Bar downtown.

Mullens Dairy Bar

Another favorite place is Glenn’s Market and Catering. They make their own meat products and so much more!  Even have a selection of gluten-free products. We highly recommend stopping here for your grilling and party needs!

Glenn's Market sign in Watertown Glenn's Market and Catering in Watertown

 We also enjoy shopping at the Bethesda Thrift Store when we stop in Watertown. We always find great stuff here!

 Photo by Bethesda

Photo by Bethesda

Across the street from Glenn’s is the former Railroad depot, now Garden Path Floral Garden and Gifts.

Garden Path Florist depot in Watertown

If you look right of the depot, you see an impressive large building up on a hill. It’s Maranatha Baptist University, since 1968. One hundred years earlier in 1872, it was Sacred Heart College, then Sacred Heart Military Academy in 1955. Read about the early history here.

Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown

 

There is much more to learn in Watertown and will be back again soon!

Related Articles

* Alzheimer’s Speaks Blog

* USA Today

Obscure Madison Art-Winnebago Street Mural


Unlike the mural under the Monona Terrace, this one is older and painted by local artists.  I have not yet pinned down when it was painted. It’s on Winnebago St. in Madison.

It is hard to describe, shows Madison being tossed about by rough waters, and some “cow” hammerhead sharks. Some paint has fallen off too.  It’s too big to get in one shot so I split it in segments.  The first image is far right and moves left.

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Today’s Letter is “M” – Platteville


Platteville signSign 7-19 429

7-19-12, 7-4-19

Welcome to Platteville, home of UW Platteville and part of Wisconsin‘s proud mining heritage. One of the area’s big attractions is the big M on the side of a hill outside of town.  We could see it more than 10 miles away. A road goes right by it, and a parking lot just off the road.

M-closeup 7-19 543

At Clausen Park on the right side of the M, nearly overgrown by a large tree behind it.

Sign at bottom of M 7-19 553Clausen Park 7-19 555

We took the stairs up to the top of the hill, halfway there was a platform with a free viewing scope.

stairs_7-19 567

scope_7-19 578

We made it to the top, what a view! There are 200 steps. It’s said you could see three states from up there, you are in Wisconsin, but you could see Illinois and Iowa if you know where to look.

At the Top

At the Top

View 2_7-19 590

7-4-19

New views from the top. A storm was coming of course so visibility was obscured. Click on photo to enlarge.

We also discovered Turkey Vultures clustered around the tower.

See a video of our hike up the hill, it was so much fun!


7-19-12

We went into town after coming back down, what a workout that was.

 

Downtown_7-19 632

There were some murals downtown, they accept donations too.

Main St Murals 711

Farming 712

Capitol Cafe Mural 634

Farmers Market Mural 673

Platteville Pioneers

Platteville Pioneers

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Mining Mural 7-19 758

Mural 2_7-19 760Mural 3_7-19 754

Mural 4_7-19 753

Great visit to Platteville, a city with an important role in Wisconsin history.

Related Sites

*  Chamber of Commerce

*  University of Wisconsin-Platteville

*  Platteville Main Street Program

*  Discover Wisconsin – Platteville video