Wisconsin Central - Letters to the Editor
__________

The Living Room, a fun and colorful store. Thank you for putting the information out there about our store. We were thrilled when we saw it.

Kris and Lori, May 20, 2017
__________

Stockholm, a new generation brings a town back to life. What a charming article and I am delighted to see the little hotel and Lena's in your story.
Thank you for taking the time to visit us. We are all busy working hard to make it enjoyable for our locals and our tourist. I see that you're retired Air Force. My cousin retired in 2009. His retirement ceremony was at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. I had never been on an American base. I was very impressed and proud … Again thank you for sharing this article with us and you inspire me to travel Wisconsin in the near future. My goal is to divest in four years and take my doggy mates Road tripping. I am obsessed and in love with Wisconsin after having wandered half the world all my childhood and adult years till 2005 when my former spouse and I bought a second home and farm here in Stockholm … Every day that I can and I make myself find a time, I am out on the beautiful green earth or white snowy fields walking my dogs with the four wheeler or the snowmobile or my boots. I wish you another great day of exploration in Wisconsin.

Rebecca Pope, February 20, 2017

Stockholm, a new generation brings a town back to life. Thank you, Ed- Beth and I thought it was a very nice job, particularly regarding the weather you were dealing with. Also, it has to be one of the more factually accurate articles including Stockholm Gardens. Nice work, and it was a pleasure to read.

Harley Cochran, February 22, 2017
__________

Classic Barns. "On your website you show a barn you call the lone ranger--I think--in Vernon County--I know just where it is. I think the property is owned by a Baldwin and it is on Hwy 33 about 2 miles from where Wild Cat Mountain Park starts--there is a cemetery just a bit before it in the same valley--a rare African American cemetery where many of the local people of African American descent are still buried--this valley was called Cheyenne Valley and several of the early homesteaders were African Americans who came up from the underground railroad. The Burr Westlyn Church (church I grew up in nearby) was one of the churches supporting the underground railroad so I figure that's why they settled here. Speaking of barns--many of the area's famous round barns were built/designed by one of those African American settlers.... I found your website because I googled "barns of Wisconsin."

From a reader, September 20, 2016
__________

I love your website. Just came upon it quite by accident while doing some online research. My name is Rhonda Fochs and I am a retired history teacher. I live in Minnesota but have roots in northern Wisconsin. My grandparents and many aunts and uncles used to live in Iron County. My grandparents once owned property upn which the long ago, now gone town of Emerson once sat. From those days of my childhood, I fell in love with long ago, lost or nearly lost towns and it has been a passion of mine for all these years. Several years ago I began to research, document and write about Minnesota's lost towns, nearly 600 or more. But my heart has always wanted to do the same for northern Wisconsin. I have now embarked on that journey. It is a personal journey but one day I hope to write and publish my research, but that is a big when and if. I love all of your photos, you have quite an eye.

Rhonda Fochs, August 3, 2015
__________

Ashland's iron ore docks, a fascinating history. Thank you for this wonderful website. I grew up in Ashland (1930-1948) and spent many a quiet summer night listening to the ore crashing into the holds of the oreboats several miles away. I read about the demolition of the last dock recently with a heavy heart. Thanks again for your good work.

John Sandberg, July 27, 2015
__________

Brule River, she can trick you if you’re not careful. Just a note to tell you that I enjoyed reviewing your story of the Bois Brule River. I was raised in northern Wisconsin but live in California. As a child I enjoyed the fabulous canoe trips down the Brule River from Stone's bridge to highway 2 at Brule with my father. Being spring fed it was always the same level at about 130 cu ft per second depending on the rain showers. The history of the early explorers going up the Brule and down the St. Croix to the Mississippi was fascinating. As years passed I eventually canoed the total length of the river to the mouth at Lake Superior. Now my first trip was when I was 12 years old in 1954 so that
tells you how old I am.

Gary Knerr, July 4, 2015

PS. I put a slide-show video on YouTube on the Brule in case you want to look it up. Have a healthy, happy day
__________

The Prairie Dells, a secret and a fantastic sight in the wilds near Merrill. When I was a kid, probably late 80s or early 90s, we visited the partially blown up dam. It was rock and concrete if I remember correctly. They (whoever was blowing it up) had not used enough explosive so part of the dam was still there when my dad took us to check it out. Cool site.

Brandon Smelling, June 5, 2016
__________

Thanks for the great website. Wisconsin is a beautiful place. My family especially enjoys the driftless area around Prairie du Chien, and Dubuque and the Mississippi River.

Jennifer Marx, May 30, 2015
__________

Disrupted Dreams. When my family asked what I wanted to do for Mother's day, and suggested tock climbing, dinner...a movie--- I said "I want to go find the Remnants of Pokervilke, a ghost town in Dane County. We did not find much of that, but we did find an old Irish cemetery with a Church Site, a playground horse set from 1970, and a couple of mysterious, amazing farmhouses that I was so tempted to explore, but had my ten year old, and decided against it. With that said, there are many blogs with old houses, etc. but I found this one to be fascinating in its choice of places, and simplicity of writing - not simple writing- but more the type to allow the reader to share in your emotions, while feeling one's own intrigue and excitement. Thank you for this beautiful site.

Heather Donald, May 12, 2015
__________

Ashland's iron ore docks, a fascinating history. Thanks for sharing information about Ore Docks in Ashland, Wis. on your web page. The photos and maps are great and the entire page is very interesting. I recently read John Gaertner's book about the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway. he describes the Northern Pacific Railway east of Superior, Wis. I believe at one time this reached the village or Iron River, but I don't know whether it extended into Ashland. Do you know whether any of the former NP trackage is still in operation by Burlington Northern?

Mark Charles, October 13, 2014
__________

Flambeau River Papers, Park Falls. Just read your excellent article and the transformation of "the mill" in Park Falls, WI. I think the power company in Ashland has done the same type of conversion to "pulp" or "sawdust" from coal. When small town mills or power plants go thru these changes, do they qualify for Fed or State funding/assistance, or they are on their own? When "locals" took it over, did they qualify, too? Just wondering as it seems Obama wants to close down ALL coal run companies.

Gary & Daisy, September 14, 2014
__________

Brule River, she can trick you if you’re not careful. Along with donating I wanted to write and say thanks for logging all the miles and hours it's certainly taken to put together the Wisconsin Central site. My wife and I are from Montana and dearly miss exploring and discovering out there. We just got done reading your discovery of the Brule/St. Croix boundary and it makes us think there are exciting discoveries to make here as well! Thanks for being curious. It's inspiring. Keep up the great work.

Sean McMullen, November 6, 2013
__________

Gardner and Rodden, two Wisconsin WWII nurses, a kamikaze found their ship. Great article! My mom was a Navy flight nurse who evacuated the Marines on Okinawa during the battle! They were stationed on Guam and left that airfield at 0145 for the target areas! Yes they were only on the ground for one hour and the patients were stored in the caves! Mom was born in Racine WI. She is 92 and lives in Lake Geneva. I did an oral history on her experiences!
They were all serving their country with much pride and dedication!

Maureen, November 3, 2013
__________


Brule River, she can trick you if you’re not careful. I grew up in the township of Brule about half a mile from the FF bridge over the Brule. At one time that bridge was called the N P Johnson Bridge by the locals. NP Johnson was my maternal grandfather and had a homestead about a quarter of a mile west of my childhood home. I haven't been up there for a long long time. A lot of the locals referred to FF as the Finlander Freeway, never heard of it called the Mikkola Road before. We did have some Mikkola's from neighbors, they were Finns too. I'm writing about my family history and found your article when I was searching for something about the Brule Coop Park. I was rather amused at your amazement that the Brule flowed into Lake Superior, something I grew up knowing as did everybody else around there. In any case I found your article interesting.

Anna Rantala, September 2, 2013
__________

Wisconsin’s Culture --- Classic Barns, or ones I just think are neat. Love the photos! I too love barns, old and new. My siblings and I are trying to restore our family's old barn in Glandon, Wisc. Not sure if we can come up with the necessary funds but hope so. Check it out sometime. Corner of County G and Pit Road. Glandon use to be a logging town back in the day.

Carolyn Le, July 28, 2013
__________

Thank you so much for all of the pictures, etc. you have done. Wow did it bring back memories. I was born in Ashland and still have family there as well as Bayfield (in fact I will be in at the Big Top on July 6th). Most of my family now lives in Douglas County. For about 10 yrs I loved 1/4 mile from Amnicon falls. I would walk there all the time. My brother is one of the maintenance workers for Pattison State Park (16 yrs now). Last Oct. I was taking my time going through back roads and took a lot of pictures of the King school/ town hall in Cloverland. In your picture the front doors are closed...when I was there both doors were open and one was off its hinges. I did go around and look in all of the windows...wow is all I can say. Still had tables and piano and old refrigerator, etc.

I love going through Corucopia. I always have to stop for the water.

Thank you again for taking the time to post all of your pictures. It really makes me homesick. I live in Denver, CO now. Oh and I have vague memories of seeing that old gas station/store in South Range, WI. I use to live in South Range at the trailer park. The trailer park was called Sybilla's. There was a shooting on night there in the 70s so the family moved to property on Rockmount road..the Rockmount road closest to Hwy 2. Rockmount road would start at Hwy 2 and wrap around and came out at Hwy 53. I believe now they have changed the name of one of them, because it was too confusing for people. Up the road from where I lived there use to be a round barn...new owners tore down the barn even though there were people including the state trying to save it. Thank you again,

Jonell Kivisto, June 16, 2013
__________

Walldogs of Plymouth, Wisconsin --- describing the town’s history through wall art. I like your blog page (about Plymouth). If you get a chance to visit Plymouth again, perhaps you’d be interested in seeing our newly renovated Arts Center you took the shot of the Sargento Mural on our building. We just completed our $1.5 million expansion and renovation. I think our building fits nicely with the beautiful architecture of the downtown. Thanks much for helping to promote Wisconsin’s small towns.

Donna Hahn, March 24, 2013
__________

Classic Barns, or ones I just think are neat. I came across your photos today and so enjoyed all you have on line. I am a person who loves barns and I want to take my granddaughter with me to take photos of barns in Monroe county and special barns in WI. I love barns so much that I bought a barn and remodeled it when I lived in WA state. I see you took photos near Warrens, where we live. Love your work.
If you know of a special barn I could show my granddaughter I'd appreciate it if you could point it out for us. She is going to college in Minneapolis, MN and is majoring in photography and art. Thanks again for having these barns on to look at.

Karen, September 16, 2012
__________

Brokaw, once a "company town," now just a neat little village hosting Wausau Paper. I happened upon your page about Brokaw. I was looking for something entirely different (floods in Oconto County) but it looked so interesting I had to take a look. I understand how you see something and then want to know more about it. Good for you that you pursue it. You have done a lot of research on a lot of different places. I did notice, though, that on the Brokaw page Kaukauna is spelled wrong, and you say it is by Stevens Point but it is actually by Appleton. Keep up the good work of preserving history.

Kitty Warner, September 5, 2012
__________

Gardner and Rodden, two Wisconsin WWII nurses, a kamikaze found their ship. I have just finished reading the info about the Comfort and the wonderful tributes to nurses. The Comfort story you tell is fabulous - putting all the versions together. A friend is the niece of one of the American Red Cross aides who was on the ship when it was hit and I have tried to find a lot of sources to tell her family. Unfortunately I was not able to interview anyone from the Comfort for my book,
No time for fear, voices of American military nurses in World War II, published by Michigan State University Press, it contains oral histories of nurses who served overseas in every theater of war. Included are many nurses who were from Wisconsin, or were trained there. Of course Camp McCoy was where many were stationed (including my aunt) before going to assignments in Europe and other areas.
My papers have been donated to the Women in Military Service for America, or I could tell you which of the nurses I know who were from Wisconsin. A few are Janet Haddon Hoffmann from Madison, Audrey Lampier, Marion Hein Burrell, Gladys Weltzien Hesson, and Margaret Bell Rasmussen from Milwaukee.
If you wish to look at a copy, try the local library and they will order it through the InterLibrary Loan dept. It can also be purchased through Amazon.com, which has used and new copies.
Thank you for the interesting webpage and the vast information about so many subjects. Writing the book when I did changed my life as I now still research everything I can find about WWII nurses, and give talks when asked - to honor these brave women who are seldom recognized. There are now several books about them, or written by them, but weren't yet published when MSU Press took a liking to mine.
Diane Burke Fessler, August 10, 2012
__________
Ashland's iron ore docks, a fascinating history. Just got through reading your article on the Ashland ore dock. Fascinating history, and great pictures. It's a shame that it is being demolished. I just wanted to contact you with some additional detail on the dock's operation. I'm by no means an expert, but also a photographer with a bit of a fascination for the Marquette Soo Line dock, which still stands, but with no approach trestle. The architecture of the offshore concrete portion of the Marquette dock is very similar to the Ashland dock. I have a page on the Marquette dock with facts and pictures. Many of the external links are broken, as I have not taken the time recently to keep things updated due to changing life priorities. http://www.andylphoto.com/trains/trestle/

There is also a facebook page (not mine) for the Ashland ore dock, with many pictures of the dock, including some views of the top.

Also in Marquette is an active pocket dock, owned by Cliffs Michigan Operations, formerly the LS&I. The LS&I dock actually is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Functionally it's the same, and I've been privileged to have been on top of the LS&I dock, and talked with one of the workers. You are correct...there are pockets, like vertical silos, in the concrete portion, and open spaces between the rails, allowing the ore cars to drop their loads into the pockets. The pockets are spaced appropriately for ore cars. Not sure off the top of my head if . The pockets can hold two cars worth of ore, and each carload is about 70 tons. For some larger boats, they will also do what's called a "run-through." The dock is loaded with two cars worth in each pocket, and another string of full cars staged on the top of the dock. As each pocket is opened and the ore loaded into the boat, while the pocket is open, they will then dump the car above that pocket, allowing the ore to just "run through" the pocket into the boat. Thus, while the dock can only hold two cars worth, with minimal effort, they've just loaded three cars of ore per pocket.

There are two parts to the loading operation. At the bottom of the pocket are steel doors securing the ore. During loading, the chute is lowered, then the doors are released, allowing the ore from the pocket to escape and flow down the chute into the boat. Historically, this has been done by hand, but the LS&I went through a few years ago and installed hydraulic actuators on each pocket to make it a safer operation.

I hope I was able to add something to your knowledge base. :) And if you haven't already, consider this an invitation to Marquette to view a dock in operation!

Andy LarsenA most interesting old barn in small town Hutchins. Thanks so much on your write up of the Hutchins Barn. I was looking for info on Silos and came across your article. I had to read the whole thing. Great pictures. Someday I may make it over to Wisconsin and see it in person if it is still there. Thanks again for preserving a part of Wisconsin's history.

Cynthia, July 19, 2012
__________

The Prairie Dells, a secret and a fantastic sight in the wilds near Merrill. Fantastic job of documenting the essence of this area!

Michael Zahn, June 27, 2012
__________

Wisconsin’s Culture --- Neat Buildings and Homes. Thank you for posting my building. A definite labor of love. My husband and I moved to Algoma because we were able to purchase the old coast guard house. I hope you will find time to spend a bit more time in Algoma. It is rich with history. Some of the local people would like to have Algoma be the "best kept secret" but I am telling everyone! Thanks again!

Lynn M. Truckey, Steele Street Floral/Good Tidings Nautical Gifts, June 25, 2012
www.algomaflowers.com
__________

Clearview Nursery, Weston, a walk through natural wonders. My name is Kate Sanft and my mother Dana who was the long time manager of the garden center is now the official owner. I came across your pictures by accident, but was thrilled to see that you enjoyed the garden center. I was so surprised felt like I should email you and thank you. Please come in again soon!

Kate Sanft, May 20, 2012
__________

I can get lost in your site. Thanks for all the work.

Joan M. Kuehl, May 20, 2012
__________

Marinette Marine, the Freedom combat ship and the lighterage cargo system. I found your web site very interesting. I am a history buff and would like to know if the combat ship USS Freedom has Woodward controls on the two prime movers? Fairbanks Morse in Beloit,Wisconsin came to Woodward in Rockford,Illinois in the 1930's to have Woodward design and manufacture diesel engine governors for their diesel engines. Today Woodward is the world's oldest and largest designer and manufacturer of prime mover controls. If you like prime mover control history check out the www.oldwoodward.com web site. Your web site is very informative and keep up the good work. Have a great day!

Brad Johnson, May 13, 2012
__________

Interesting Laos history. Hello my name is Lam Phandara and I’m from Laos living in the USA for almost 34 years now. i would love to learn more about Laotian history even though I’m from Laos. I don't know much as my family didn’t tell me a whole lot.

Lam Phandara, April 6, 2012

Editor’s note: I have done several stories that have Laotian history in them. On this site, The Hmong, a gallant American ally, a “people in exile,” a people of dignity. On my Talking Proud site, Ban Laboy Ford and Electric Goons.
__________

Neat Buildings-Homes. My parents grew up in the Merrill area. I am a Wausau boy and currently own property in Minocqua (although I live in St. Louis). Just want you to know how much I enjoyed seeing your lovely photos of so many great Wisconsin structures. Thank you very much!

Paul Devantier, April 6, 2012
__________

Neat Buildings-Homes. Hello. Just want to say the Neat Buildings-Homes section of the Wisconsin blog is lovely. I live in DC and was researching 'brick facades' and one of your photos came up in the google search so I clicked on it. You photos make me want to walk those streets. DC has some areas like this and we are working hard to preserve our history as well as enable development. Good job on you and Wisconsin!

Lisa Fricano, March 22, 2012
__________

As I’m teaching fourth graders about Wisconsin’s geographic regions, I’m excited by your photos! It’s obvious you’ve enjoyed many intriguing treks through Wisconsin’s rich environment, and I’m thoroughly jealous!! During my travels, I’ve focused attention to collecting relevant photos, amateur and limited though they are, but yours are truly wonderful. My primary question: would you mind if I use some of your photos in my classroom? Giving ten-year-olds the opportunity to actually see (rather than “visualize”) Wisconsin’s geography is essential to enhance their understanding and ignite their passion about our state. I would be grateful for the opportunity to share your photos with my students by printing some to display and/or (ultimately) including them in PowerPoint or PhotoStory presentations for only our West Salem students. I would naturally credit you with sincere gratitude. (I’ve experienced the frustration of copyright infringement.) Additionally, my three colleagues (sadly) lack the experiences provided by your journal and photos. I will most definitely share your website with them, with hope they’ll experience the same exhilaration I aim to provide my students.

I look forward to hearing from you. More importantly, thank you! Exploring your website has made this a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Continue to enjoy your travels; and I’ll continue to check for updates to your site so I can tag along. Thanks for sharing your talent.

Heidi Ebert, Fourth Grade Teacher, West Salem Elementary School, March 4, 2012

Editor’s note: I have tried to make this web site teacher and student friendly. Teachers can feel free to use our stuff so long as it is limited to education use at their schools, and not commerce use.
_________

Northern Wisconsin's Bayfield Peninsula, what fun! and Ashland's iron ore docks, a fascinating history. Wanted to let you know I really enjoyed your site. I've written three books on the Apostle Islands and know the Ashland/Washburn/Bayfield area fairly well. My wife and I spend about five months each year at our home east of Ashland on Chequamegon Bay. I inherited the home from my dad who was born in Ashland in 1909. I'd like to suggest one correction to the photo caption you took of the Ashland oredock pilings cut down to the water. That is not the Minnesota shore in the background but the north shore of Chequamegon Bay, where Washburn is located. I'm attaching a few photos of the hundreds I've taken of the Apostle Islands and the surrounding area that I think you'd might enjoy.

Larry Newman, March 4, 2012
__________

You have some nice shots here. They bring back memories of my travels through the state in my old Morgan roadster.

Ken Wightman, February 27, 2012
__________

Kamikazes Attack USS Comfort.. I happened to be “googling” my mother tonight and came across your story. My mother, Mary Rodden Nagel, died in 2002 on February 1st. She and Doris (Gardner) remained friends all of that time. I would love to be in contact with you.

Ann Nagel Tittiger, September 8, 2011

Editor’s note: Ann is referring to our story, Kamikazes Attack USS Comfort. Mary Rodden and Doris Gardner were aboard, survived, were friends, and both were from Wisconsin.
__________

Book
Kamikazes Attack USS Comfort. I am the author of No time for fear, voices of American military nurses in World War II, published by Michigan State University Press. First published in hardcover in 1996, it is in its 4th printing (softcover).

Writing this book changed my life and I now spend a lot of time speaking to groups, and collecting info about these brave women.The book is limited to overseas experience. I interviewed almost 200 and have more than 100 oral histories in the book, covering all theaters of war. There were some I could never reach, and then recently a friend told me about her aunt who was on the USS Comfort when it was kamikazied, and soon will share her letters with me. Because of that I began Googling the subject, and found your website - WOW!

There is so much I want to share, but hope you will include my book in your site somehow. Among some reasons: many of "my nurses" were from Wisconsin, or trained sometime at Camp McCoy: book includes stories from the first flight nurses; African- American nurses serving in the segregated army; nurses who were prisoners of the Japanese in the Philippines, and many many more stories - all true.

Now that most of them are gone, I am hoping that their relatives will be involved in finding about their experiences.
I have most books that are about or by the nurses of the 1940s, and continue to find new ones. One day I will be able to make a good list!

I may never get to read your whole website, but much of what I read today relates to so much of what I know. And, my husband flew C-123s in Vietnam in 1963-64, when no one knew what was beginning to happen there. But that is another story for another day.

Thanks for writing all that you have, and keep up the good work. I will be checking in pretty constantly for a while.

Diane Burke Fessler, June 6, 2011
__________

I came across your website after typing in "Schuster's round barn" on Google images. (My daughter is going to have her birthday party at that farm.) I enjoyed looking at your photos but wondered if you have seen the stone barn on the corner of Reiner Rd and Burke Rd. I believe it would be considered in the town of Burke, east of Madison. I pass it every now and then and wonder if it is being preserved in any way. If you're in the area it's worth a look. Thanks again for your photos.

Victoria D.
__________

Classic Barns, or ones I just think are neat. I ran across your website last night and thought you might like to add the Chase Stone Barn to your gallery. I run our town website, www.townofchase.org, and I have many photos of this barn and the complete history of it.

In summary, the barn was built in 1903 and is on the State and National Register of Historic Places because it is one of the last surviving all-fieldstone barns in the country. Our town purchased it in 2007 so that we could protect it and make it part of the new Chase Stone Barn Park. The town is currently in the process of raising funds to help restore the barn and develop the park. Once complete, the barn and park will be a gathering place for all types of events.

The barn measures 100' long by 60' wide and the walls are two feet thick. The stones were gathered from local farm fields over a century ago, however their origin was Canada. Massive glaciers pushed and tumbled the stone to the Wisconsin region during three known ice ages over the past 70,000 years. Some of the stones are over 2 billion years old!

The barn was once part of a very large farm. Today only the stone barn remains.

Thanks for your time,

Kristin Kolkowski
Stone Barn Committee
Town of Chase, Pulaski, Oconto Cty, WI
February 10, 2011

Editor’s note:

Kristin,

Thank you very much for the tip on the barn and the photos. I did not know about it. Your photos are wonderful. That said, I like to post my own photos on the web site so come spring, I will get over there. I will probably do a story on it as well, like I did with the round barn at Willow Springs here in Marathon. Thanks again.

Regards,
Ed Marek

PS I think in the interim, I will post some of what you sent in my letters section to get the word out quickly by that route.

Barns

BarnsA

__________