Tag Archive | tobacco

Edgerton – Connect to Endless Possibilities


9-6-14

Welcome to Edgerton dign

Formerly known as “Tobacco City USA”, Edgerton  looks toward the future while acknowledging its past and origins.  Used to be called Fulton Station before it was renamed Edgerton.  This community of 5,461 was named after by Benjamin Hyde Edgerton  or his brother Elisha in 1853.  Here are a couple of famous people who grew up here. This is the Sterling North House, now a museum.  The museum hold a book festival the last Saturday in September.

Sterling North House in Edgerton

 

Sterling North home marker

 

There is a larger Sterling North marker located at Albion Park. Also the former Albion Academy.

Albion Academy in Edgerton

Sterling North Marker in EdgertonAlbion Academy marker in Edgerton

Another historic marker is in town, including one explaining more about Edgerton’s tobacco heritage. It is located at N42º49.133′ W089º04326′, on Lord Street just south of downtown.

Edgerton Tobacco Lands marker

Edgerton was not just famous for its tobacco, pottery also played an important part in putting Edgerton on the map. You can find these origins at Clay Pit Heritage Park. Located at 305 W. Lawton St, you will find the log cabin of Pauline Jacobus, taken apart in another location and rebuilt here in 2003.

Pauline Jacobus cabin in Edgerton

Let’s head downtown and see some of the historic buildings there.

Downtown Edgerton sign

About 20 of the original tobacco buildings still exist, complete with the old signs painted on the side or front of the building.

Tobacco building in Edgerton

Tobacco building in Edgerton

Leaf Tobacco Building in Edgerton

 

These were turned into housing, Tobacco City Lofts. Great idea!

Tobacco City Lofts in Edgerton

We also stopped at the Edgerton Public Library, another beautiful historic building. While we were there, we met a couple of local historians, Larry and Beverly Witzel.  Larry’s family were among the original residents in this community.  They educated us about Edgerton and showed us some great books about Edgerton’s past. We saw a historic home that was in the book near the library.  Thanks for the history lesson!

Edgerton Public Library

 

Larry and Bev Witzel and us in Edgerton

The Andrew McIntosh home

Andrew McIntosh house in Edgerton

The former City Scales downtown, now Mario’s Italian Restaurant.

City Scales in Edgerton in the 1800's

Maroi's Italian Restaurant in Edgerton

 

Other Local Businesses Worth Visiting

Jim’s Auto Trim and Upholstery

Owner Ace Illbeck is a friendly guy who is never too busy to say “hi” to passersby, his dog is just as friendly.

Jim's Auto Trim and Upholstery in EdgertonJim's Auto Trim dog

 

Edgerton Oasis and Truck Stop – Exit off of I – 90

The friendly staff ready to answer your questions and help in any way.

Edgerton Oasis sign

Edgerton Oasis

On March 22, 2017 we had breakfast there at their Winchester Family Restaurant. Delicious food and friendly atmosphere.

Chamber of Commerce is located in the Depot. The Depot Cafe is no longer open (2018).

Edgerton Depot - Railway Express Cafe

 

Edgerton has many festivals throughout the year that draws people from all over the country.  Tobacco Heritage Days celebrates their tobacco history with many family activities.

This year we attended for the first time the 25th Annual Chilimania on September 6. What a great festival!  This is a chili-cookoff competition drawing people from miles around.  Many of the competitors even wore costumes.  Come to Chilimania if you like chili, as you get to taste the chili and vote for your favorite!

Chilimania Collage

 

Edgerton is a friendly community that we plan on returning to again and again. We had a lot of fun here!

Downtown Edgerton

Fitchburg – Get to Know Us!


5-17-14 and 3-27-17

Fitchburg - Get to Know Us sign

Fitchburg is a community of 26,260 near the south side of Madison.  It is actually quite an old community, but few of the original buildings still exist.  In the 1840’s settlers made their way here from many European countries, most of them from Ireland.  Something we discovered when learning about Fitchburg, most of the historic sites are in the rural part of town,  not the current center of commerce. Of the historic structures in Fitchburg, the most well-known one is the restaurant Quivey’s Grove. We have not eaten there yet, but hope to soon! Quivey's Grove

 

Quivey's Grove -John Mann House

We also discovered a new historic marker, not easy to find since it is in a small park in the rural area. The coordinates are  N 42º58.913/ W089º28.088 on Fitchburg Rd.

Fitchburg Marker

Monthey plaque Fitchburg

There is another new marker near historic Wendt Rd. and HWY. M  (N 42º57.727/W089º28.172) on the Badger State Trail.  It is two-sided and commemorates the Illinois Central Railroad and it’s role is helping Fitchburg grow. We saw a caboose from that railroad in Homewood, IL.  You can bike the trail all the way to Freeport, IL.

Fitchburg and Illinois Central markerIllinois Central Depot marker

Illinois Central Caboose

 

We also found two former one-room schoolhouses out in the country.

1. Maple Corner’s School

Maple Corners School Fitchburg

Maple Corners School building

2. Syene School

Syene School sign

Syene School building

Now I will show you sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Not far from there is the Nicholas Haight Farmstead, still an active farm today.  We could not get close as it is private property.

Nicholas Haight Farmstead

Also the McCoy Farmhouse, former home of a successful tobacco farmer.

McCoy Farmhouse marker

McCoy Farmhouse

The former Wisconsin  Industrial School of Girls, now the Oakhill Correctional Institution. The columns at the driveway entry still stand yet.

Wisconsin Industrial School for Girls entry

 

To learn more about Fitchburg, visit their library, the Historical Society is also housed there. It’s at 5530 Lacy Road.

Fitchburg Public Library

Also explore the Nevin Fish Hatchery, the oldest DNR-managed land in Wisconsin.  You can do some fishing here.

 

We go back in town to join the community in celebrating Fitchburg Days at McKee Farm Park.

Fitchburg days

We had a good time exploring the Fitchburg most people probably don’t know, very educational.

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