Tag Archive | train

Crivitz – Gateway to the North


6-24 to 26-2016

Village of Crivitz landscaping

Triangle Park – Waterfall over sign by Loyal Landscaping, 2009

Crivitz Gateway to the North sign

After being Yoopers for a Day, we arrived in Crivitz, WI at about 7:30 PM on the 24th. We are here since this is the place where Al has memories. His family used to have a cabin on Lake Noquebay when he was young and he wanted to see what the town looked like over 40 years later.  Crivitz recreation and a visitor guide can be found here.  See here also.

Crivitz is also well known for their large July 4th celebration. Enjoy their fireworks display!

Crivitz July 4th celebration

  We turned in and were greeted with a beautiful sunrise the next morning just before 6:30.

Crivitz sunrise 6:23 AM on June 25

After taking pictures at the waterfall sign, we had breakfast at the restaurant behind the sign, Charlie’s Island Café. Great food and they open early! We had breakfast there the next morning too, they have a yummy buffet.

Charlie's Island Cafe in Crivitz

Charlie's Island Cafe inside in Crivitz

It was time to explore the town. Right after breakfast we went to take a look at an abandoned farmhouse called “The Gingerbread House” just outside of town.  Apparently it is a photo subject the locals visit often.  We had a beautiful clear sky that morning and it made a beautiful backdrop.

Gingerbread House WM

An abandoned car on the property nearly overgrown.

Abandoned Car at Gingerbread House in Crivitz

Let’s see some of the businesses in downtown Crivitz. See a list of other businesses here.  Here is Soup to Nuts.

Downtown Crivitz

Sharkey’s Floral and Greenhouse

Sharkey's Floral and Greenhouse in Crivitz

Oak Hill Treasures

Oak Hill Treasures

The railroad track crossed here also. There were some cars here partially load with wood, waiting for the engine car to pick them up after loading.

Railroad Cars with wood in Crivitz

Piggly Wiggly and Subway

Piggly Wiggly and Subway in Crivitz

We left Crivitz for a little while and went to nearby Peshtigo to see the Peshtigo Fire Museum since that was also open that day.  We grabbed lunch at the Crivitz BP, they even had some tables to sit at inside.

We stayed at the Capri Motel. The room was nice and clean and large. A word of warning though, bring plenty of cash if you stay here, their Paypal® connection was down and we had to pay $100 in cash for two nights.

Capri Motel in Crivitz

In the afternoon we explored the Crivitz-Stephenson Historical Society Museum.  It was HUGE and contained some other out-buildings aside from the large main museum building.

Crivitz Historical Society Museum description

Crivitz-Stephenson Historical Society Museum

We sure had fun exploring the museum, good work Crivitz-Stephenson Historical Society!  It was time to head to Lake Noquebay Park on the south end of the lake.  It costs $3.00 for the day here. Went down to the shore and saw a lot of activity on the water on this warm summer afternoon.  Summer is fun here!  It has changed a lot in 40 years though, the now Timberline Resort has grown in size and Al did not recognize it from his memories.

Lake Noquebay views in Crivitz

After we enjoyed taking in the view on the lake we enjoyed dinner lakeside at the Timberline Bar and Grill. They had delicious seafood and I had  shrimp, Al had Taco Salad.  Timberline Resort restaurant in Crivitz

This concludes our one day exploring Crivitz.  We learned a lot about the area and it was interesting to Al all the changes that have happened over the years.

Crivitz Watertower

Welcome to Crivitz selfie

 

 

 

 

Pepin – Birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder


Mississippi River Crossing near Pepin WI

9-18-15

We crossed the bridge from Minnesota to Wisconsin from the Minnesota Great River Road and soon we were in Pepin.  This railroad community is a village of 837 on the shores of Lake Pepin (which is really a wide part of the Mississippi River) has many friendly people that we met and enjoyed talking to.  Pepin’s most famous residents were Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family in the late 1860’s-early 1870’s. Her first book “Little House in the Big Woods” takes place here.

IMG_2561Little House in the Big Woods cover

We first had lunch at the open-air Garden Pub and Grille. What a friendly and fun place! Just bundle up when the weather is cool.

Garden Pub and Grill in Pepin

After lunch we went back to the 1870’s with a visit to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. She was born in this community in 1867 and they have never forgotten it.  The 2nd weekend in September the town has a Laura Ingalls Wilder Days festival, we had just missed it. Here is a video of the festival from 2012.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum

Museum Collage badge

In front of the museum is a group of pavers engraved with names of people who donated to support it.  Pave the Way is the name of their fundraiser and you can donate here.

We went in and saw a great many displays depicting life in 1800’s.  In the transportation room was a steamboat model that kids could go to the top and pretend to steer it. Boats were especially important for commerce before the railroad came.

Steamboat model at Laura Ingalls Wilder museum

Also a covered wagon which families traveled in as they settled the country. The first mobile home!

Covered Wagon at Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum

Home on wheels sign

Also fishing boats and tackle used in the late 1800’s.   Laura’s father caught fish on Lake Pepin to provide for their family.

Fishing display at Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum

Going Fishing sign

There was also a pearl button industry here too before the invention of plastic.

Pearl buttons and Shells collage

Just behind the Transportation room is the One-Room School room.

One Room Schools sign

School room at Laura Ingalls Wilder museum

The TV in the corner plays a slideshow of what Pepin was like when Laura lived there.  It show photos of her parents Charles and Caroline (who originally from Brookfield, WI!)  Also Grace, Mary and Laura (L-R).

Ingalls Family photos

On the other side of the building were the home life displays and a few family artifacts or friends of the family. Most were contributed by residents in the Pepin community. Home Life displays at Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum

Featured is a coverlet similar to one Almanzo Wilder’s mother might have made on her loom. Also on this table is a tin lantern similar to what Ma (Caroline Ingalls) used when she went out into the winter night and confronted a bear!

Aunt Barry's Double Weave Coverlet

Tin lantern from Illustration

There was also a kitchen display at the museum too.

Kitchen exhibit at Laura museum

Kitchen table at Laura Museum

A sign about Laura in the museum.

Laura sign in Museum

We had a great visit here, it’s worth it to get a gift from their large gift shop. I got this stoneware mug made by Deneen Pottery in St. Paul. What a great memento of our visit here!

Laura Museum Mug

This wasn’t all in Pepin to see. A little further down the road from here is the historic depot and marker dedicated to Laura. It was an actual depot in Pepin, now its a museum. It wasn’t open when we stopped by though.

Pepin Depot

Laura marker in Pepin

Here there was also a marker and anchor honoring  steamboat captain Phil Scheckel.

Phil Scheckel Steamboat Captain in Pepin marker

We also took a look at some of the businesses near the Pepin Marina not far from the museum.  A row of wheel rims made for a nice frame of their downtown. Also this sign.

Downtown Pepin WI

Pepin businesses

Paul and Fran’s Grocery, LLC reminded me of an old-time general store.  The one we really enjoyed visiting was the shop next to it, T. & C. Latané.  They specialize in custom-work in wrought iron, tin and wood. You don’t see many places like that anymore. Learn more from another visitor here.

Paul and Fran's Grocery LLC and T. & C. Latane

T & C Latane card

The ambiance was just as warm inside, including the owners Tom and Catherine. It turns out she also narrated the slide show we saw at the Laura museum too! Stop in if you would like quality work done by people, not a machine. I got a squirrel cookie cutter, you don’t find those everywhere!

T. and C. Latane store inside

Squirrel Cookie Cutter from Latane

We had to take a look at the Marina too. Train tracks cross the marina entrance, there was a lot of train activity today.  You could look across the river and see the cars on the Minnesota side.

Train going through Pepin

Pepin Marina

You could see darker clouds approaching and knew the rain was about to return. We made our way north to the final Pepin point of interest, the wayside making the cabin location where Laura was born.  There is a marker there also. The rain had also started by the time we arrived.

Little House Wayside

Little House Wayside marker

Ingalls Cabin at Wayside

You could go inside too.

Laura wayside cabin inside

We take our leave of the Little House at the wayside steeped in the history of this community that played a part in the experiences of our favorite pioneer lady, Laura Ingalls Wilder! After we got back on the Great River Road, we saw a Lake Pepin marker.

IMG_2891

Lake Pepin Marker

Rhinelander- Home of the Hodag


July 6 to 8, 2015

Rhinelander sign WMRhinelander Water Tower

Rhinelander is a city of almost 8,000 in Oneida Co. It’s also the county seat.  We have been wanting to come here for a long time, this gateway to the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  We also wanted to see the mythical creature, the Hodag.  It was “discovered” by Eugene Shepard in autumn of 1893. This is the famous picture that he used to prove it was real.  He showed the hodag at the first Oneida County fair in a dimly lit tent.  People were skeptical about this creature, but believed it just enough to run out of the tent screaming when Eugene made it move, marionette-style. The hodag is still part of Rhinelander mythos today, now turned from a scary monster to a cute mascot for the community.

hodag_capture in Rhinelander

The first place one should stop is the Chamber of Commerce, where you can take your picture with the Hodag and pick up area information. It is at 450 Kemp St. We did just that! Don’t worry, this one is tame and LOVES posing for pictures 🙂  There are many more scattered throughout town, we saw as many as we could. This is a sample, we counted about 20 but probably missed some. You can get Hodag souvenirs here too.

Hodag and us 1500x WM logo

Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce Gift Shop

Hodags downtown, such works of art!

Hodag Collage

This video is a good summary of Hodag lore.

Lets take a look at the historic downtown, it was filled with many beautiful buildings.

Historic Downtown Rhinelander sign

City Hall-1908/9

Rhinelander City Hall WM

 District Library-1898  This is an Andrew Carnegie library.

Rhinelander Library WM

The Merchants and Trust Building, the library was in a room there before the current building was built.

Merchants Trust Bank Building in Rhinelander WM

My favorite building is the Courthouse, beautiful day or night! This is the view shortly after sunrise, then 2 AM on July 8. The night is short there this time of year. The dome is Tiffany glass, VERY unusual. It glows green at night.

Rhinelander Courthouse day WM

Closeup of the glass panels within each square that makes up the dome.

Courthouse Dome closeup FB

And at night, my favorite!

Rhinelander Courthouse night WM

There are also historical markers on site.

First Rural Zoning Ordinance Marker In Rhinelander WM

Onieda County Pioneers marker in Rhinelander WM

This sounds strange, but we often make a cemetery one of our stops. We stopped at Forest Home Cemetery to see the sites of two notable people buried here. This cemetery is large and it was a challenge finding them.  The hardest one was Eugene Shepard,  the man who “found” the first Hodag in fall of 1893. For someone who is largely responsible for Rhinelander’s identity, his gravesite is very humble. Here it is, plus it’s coordinates.

Eugene S. Shepard Gravesite in Rhinelander

N45º 37.867′  W089º 23.912

The other gravesite is John W. Heisman, founder of the Heisman Trophy. His is even more humble, it’s a flat marker. This is how we found it. Look for the Donaldson large monument, it is in front of that.Donaldson monument at Forest Home Cemetery in Rhinelander

John Heissman grave and trophy in Rhinelander

N45º 37.867′   W089º 23.973

——————————————————————————————————————–

We also saw a Packer house on 224 Sutliff Ave.

packer-house-in-rhinelander.jpg

Rhinelander also has two museums. The Rhinelander Historical Society Museum on 9 South Pelham St. was not open, despite the sign saying it was open when we arrived at 2 PM on a Tuesday.

Rhinelander Historical Society Museum WM

We were fortunate however to see the Rhinelander Logging Museum.  It is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  the museum is located at 135 South Stevens Street at Pioneer Park. See next post to read about our experience there 🙂

Pioneer Park Historical Complex in Rhinelander WM

We also had a great visit at Hodag Park, on the shores of Boom Lake. Here you will find the Hodag historical marker and several shelters and playground. There are also Hodag Water Shows in the summer.

Hodag Marker in Rhinelander

Hodag Park collage in Rhinelander

Rhinelander has many restaurants. We ate at two of them. We had a dinner and breakfast at the Friendship House on 2260 Lincoln St . They open early which was great for our busy day of exploring.  We were treated like regulars, the staff takes great pride in their work.  Our coffee cup never had the chance to get empty. Chris told us proudly he made the pies, you know we had to have a piece! Al and I shared a piece of Strawberry Cream. Selection changes daily.

Friendship House in Rhinelander

Friendship House Strawberry pie in Rhinelander

The other place is where “Around the Corner With John McGivern” visited, Joe’s Pasty Shop. We wanted a simple meal after spending Tuesday exploring all over town. The have four flavors ready-to-eat and many more you can bring home frozen ones to cook later.  Delicious! View John’s entire visit to Rhinelander last summer.

John McGivern pic at Joe's Pasty Shop

Joe's Pasty Shop in Rhinelasner

Joe's Pasty Shop Menu in Rhinelander

Joe's Pasty Shop Collagein Rhinelander

We stayed two nights at the Days Inn downtown, only a block from the courthouse which made my night photo of it a short walk away. The only drawback is there is not a free continental breakfast. It was a good excuse to go back to the Friendship House after a fine dinner there the night before.

Days Inn in Rhinelander

We didn’t get the chance to go to this, but the Hodag Country Festival held every July is probably their biggest event of the year.  In 2015 it was July 9-12. The local radio station Hodag Country 97.3 FM WHDG is your official source of information and even a webcam of the festival. They stream so you can listen anywhere, download their app too for your mobile device.  Their sister station is Hodag Legends 101.3 FM or 1240 AM WOBT.  Rhinelander’s Public Radio station is WXPR 91.7 FM.

WXPR 91.7 FM in Rhinelander

On our way out-of-town as we headed to Lac du Flambeau on July 8, we saw a caboose on the outskirts of town outside of Evergreen Acres. On our right as we headed north.

                N45º 41.535    W089º 30.457

Soo Caboose in Town of Newbold in Rhinelander

Thanks for the great time Rhinelander, we enjoyed our visit!

Keep Calm and Love Hodag selfie

Stevens Point – Gateway to the Pineries


7-6 and 8, 2015   Portage County

An introduction to the Stevens Point area.

Stevens Point sign

Stevens Point is the Portage County Seat, with a population of 26, 717 with a rich history in the logging industry in the 19th century. We stopped at Pfiffner Pioneer Park  and found out why it’s called the “Gateway to the Pineries”. there is a marker there about that, as well as a marker dedicated to George Stevens, whom the city was named after.

Pfiffner Pioneer Park sign WM

Stevens Point Gateway to the Pineries marker WM\

George Stevens Plaque in Stevens Point

There are other signs at this park describing the interesting history of Stevens Point. They even made pearls buttons!

A Point in Logging History sign in Stevens Point

Before Refrigerators sign in Stevens Point

Buttons From the River sign in Stevens Point

The Riverfront Arts Center is in this park also. You can see the Pineries and Stevens marker in this view.

Riverfront Arts Center in Stevens Point WM

The view across the Wisconsin River shows the water  tower and New Page Paper Mill company.

New Page Paper and watertower in Stevens Point

My husband lived here for one year while he went to college at the University of Wisconsin in 1980.  Former Gov. Lee Dreyfus was inaugurated here on 1-1-79. He relates his experiences here when we last visited in 2001. It’s on that rock in front of the building.

UW Stevens Point Lee Dreyfus WM

Stevens Point is also home to a rather rare and unusual water feature, The Boy With a Leaking Boot. Here it is in operation.

The Boy With The Leaky Boot in Stevens Point WM

Boy With Leaking Boot sign

Many of the early settlers in Stevens Point were Polish, and to honor that heritage, they have a statue of Casmir Pulaski.

Casmir Pulaski Statue in Stevens Point WM

At St. Peter Catholic Church, Cardinal  Karol Wojtyla from Poland came to this church during its Centennial. Two years after this visit he was elected Pope John Paul II.

St. Peter Catholic Church in Stevens Point WM

Stevens Point also has a sister city in Poland.

Stevens Point sister city in Poland

Stevens Point also pays homage to its railroad history, still very active. This is the depot with a train present.

Stevens Point Depot and train WM

Across the street is the Southside Railroad Complex, complete with steam engine and Soo caboose.

Southside Railroad Complex Marker in Stevens Point

Southside Railroad Complex WM

Southside Railroad Complex Front and Back WM

Funds are still being raised for continued renovations of the cars.  Go to SOO2713.org to learn more. There will be an open house here on Sept. 19.

Southside Railroad Complex Open house

For those wishing to arrive in Stevens Point, the Municipal Airport is there to serve your needs.

Municipal Airport Collage in Stevens Point

Downtown is beautiful, having preserved many historic buildings still in use with many businesses. The Mathias Mitchell Public Square has been a gathering place for the community for over a century.

Public Square in Stevens Point WM

Public Square Markers Stevens Point

In the square is also a fountain, complete with a performance schedule.

Public Square Fountain and schedule in Stevens Point

Other features downtown, the former Opera House, “The Fox on Main” is currently vacant. Donations are being collected to refurbish this historic building.

The Fox on Main Opera House in Stevens Point WM

The Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum can also be found on Main.

Central Wisconsin Children's Museum

At the back of the Portage County Public Library parking lot is a marker, it was the site of the first public building in town.

Stevens Point First Public Building marker WM

All this exploring can make you hungry, and we had lunch at two top places. On July 6 we went to the Hilltop Pub and Grill on 4091 Main Street. What a beautiful building too! The food was also delicious, I had the beef brisket sandwich and Al had the Chicken Flippers from the appetizer menu. Yum!

Hilltop Pub and Grill in Stevens Point WM

Beef Brisket Sandwich and Chicken Flippers at Hilltop in Stevens Point

On July 8 we went to Al’s Diner, tucked away in a residential neighborhood on 3324 Jefferson St. We felt welcome from the moment we walked in, and left as friends with the owner Gail Guzman.  Also one of the local ladies were there and we chatted with her as well. We will be back next year on our return visit!

Al's Diner Collage in Stevens Point WM

The menu, also the place mat!

Al's Diner Menu in Stevens Point

We saw one final marker before our visit concluded, the Jordan Dam and Power Plant and marker at Jordan County Park. It is a little hard to find, is was hidden by a large bush in a circle turn-around area. It is on the right side of highway 66 as you leave town.

Jordan Dam marker in Stevens Point

Jordam dam and power Plant marker in Stevens Point WM

Jordan Dam in Stevens Point

It was a great visit to Stevens Point , we are so glad we had a chance to look around!

Amherst and Amherst Junction


7-6-15     Portage County

Amherst and neighboring Amherst Junction was settled around 1852, most settlers Yankees and English-speaking Canadians. It may have been named after the hometown of one of the settlers from Amherst, Nova Scotia.

We first stopped in Amherst Junction. The historic State Bank Building.

Downtown Amherst Junction WM

Amherst Junction State Bank Building WM

A couple of businesses, Carbo’s Junction Bar and Lake Emily Inn.

Carbo's Junction Bar and Lake Emily Inn in Amherst Junction WM

The first thing we noticed were two railroad tracks, upper and lower. A sign nearby explains the history of that.  Only freight trains use these tracks now.

Amherst Junction Dual Tracks WM

Amherst Junction Dual Level Tracks WM

The sign is on the Tomorrow River State Trail.

Tomorrow River State Trail Collage WM

We then went went to the nearby village of Amherst to see the dam and bridge.

Amherst sign and watertowerAmherst banner

Amherst Downtown

Amherst Dam WM

The bridge and even a sign describing its history.

Mill Street Bridge in Amherst WM

Mill Street Bridge History in Amherst

Sometimes vehicle trouble can happen on the road, we were hearing a loud scraping sound when the brakes were applied. We discovered Amherst had an excellent auto repair shop called T & T Automotive. We went right there and they took care of us in one hour, even though we just dropped in.  We give them a stamp of approval for their fast and excellent service.

T and T Auto in Amherst

T  and T Automotive in Amherst approved

We will be back in Amherst perhaps next year to learn more about this town. This community saved our trip and maybe our vehicle from damage.

Civil War Reenactment – Milton


5-16-15

Milton House

We attended Milton’s Civil War Reenactment and Encampment on this spring day.  We enjoyed our first visit to Milton last year and thought we would enjoy going to this festival.  It used to be in Evansville but now moved to Milton. Some tents were set up behind the Milton House where the soldiers were mustering for battle at Milton College up the street.

Civil War soldier muster in Milton

After lining up in formation, we slowly marched to the college.

Civil War soldiers march

We arrived at the college, stopping many passersby in their track who may not have known about this event 🙂  Let’s watch some of their drills.

After we enjoyed watching them practice, they posed for a picture by the Beloit College sign.

Civil War Soldiers Sepia in Milton

We marched back to the encampment at Goodrich Park where activity was picking up. Someone was even cooking over an open fire. People in period clothing read stories to the kids about life in the 1860’s, children played in period clothing also.

Encampment in Milton

Civil War Crafts and Entertainment

It was fun looking back in time, knowing the Milton House was a part of this scene then, recreated now.  We saw a lady crossing the track in period costume. You could almost imagine it was a steam train instead of a modern diesel.

Lady Crossing Railroad Track in Milton

Trees Grow in Brooklyn


3-21-15

Brooklyn signtree city usa

Many trees in fact, grow in Brooklyn.  The village of 1,413 is a designated Tree City since 2013. Located in both Dane and Green County, it’s a great place to visit close to Madison and Oregon.  It was named Brooklyn by settler Hiram Capwell after he succeeded in luring the railroad to lay track through his property.

We first went to Liberty Pole Hill Park, a former Civil War recruitment site.

Liberty Pole Hill Park sign

Liberty Pole Hill in Brooklyn

A historic bell can be found outside at the fire department.

Fire Alarm Bell in Brooklyn

 Edmund Andrews, a prominent businessman from New York, had the house built in 1976. It is on 100 West Main.

Edmund Andrew House in Brooklyn

Brooklyn used to be the site of the Capitol Chair factory, a stone building near the tracks behind the Edmund Andrews house. The structure still stands.

Chair Factory building in Brooklyn

Brooklyn also has an active community center.

IMG_6166

 Downtown is the Brooklyn Jacycee Childrens Park, lots of fun for the kids!

Brooklyn Jaycee Children's Park

Not far from here is the village gazebo near the tracks.

Brooklyn Gazebo

We also discovered the former blacksmith shop nearby.

Blacksmith shop in Brooklyn

We tend to gravitate towards historic churches also. and the Brooklyn Community United Methodist Church has beautiful stained-glass windows. It was built in 1902. One of the ladies working there happened to see me admiring the church from the outside and invited me in to look around and to see the beautiful windows from inside. Thank you!

Brooklyn Community United Methodist Church

Brooklyn Methodist Church Windows

Shop at Market Place Trash & Treasures store for previously-owned items.

Market Place Trash and Treasure in Brooklyn

Relax at the Anchor Club, open since 1949!

Anchor Club in Brooklyn

For a relaxing day in the country and lots of trees, come to Brooklyn!Downtown Brooklyn