January 24, 2010
An argument can be made among people from Wisconsin that going to Minocqua in northern Oneida County is simply wading into mobs of tourists from Illinois and Indiana, and, of course, who wants to do that?
I had been kind of like that. I had been there before, really only to drive in and out, through some very heavy traffic. But we had a beautiful day on September 6, 2009, and I decided, well, I'm going up there to see how "bad" it is. I have to tell you I had a wonderful time roaming around the town.
At this writing, we are in the thick of winter in Wausau, it cannot decide whether to rain, sleet or snow, it's cloudy, and I thought this a good time to remind ourselves of the approaching summer.
Minocqua is situated on Hwy 51 on a peninsula jutting out into the middle of Minocqua Lake. It is in the midst of many lakes, most of which are just to the east. This is fantastic country to be sure. I once had a 26 ft motor boat in Annapolis and enjoyed pouring money down the black hole as I romped around Chesapeake Bay, a body of water that can turn from glass to white knuckles in a hurry.
So it was with enormous awe that I entered town and crossed the lake into town, only to see the beautiful blue lake with so many motor boats and people enjoying themselves on family friendly waters. I crossed to the northern side, did a New York U-ey, went back to the south side, dumped the car, and walked the bridge to get some shots.
A landmark when entering Minocqua is The Waters of Minocqua, a hotel joined to the Minocqua Piers.
On this particular day, I would have sold everything I had to own that boat and be on that water instead of him --- Dude!
Let's see, this guy has his Milwaukee Brewers cut-off sweatshirt and Green Bay Packers hat on, he's got his radio-CD player booming, and his best pal, his dog is navigating the lanes ahead. Don't get much better than that!
Here we've got the whole family out for the day. Magnificent. The cares of the world are someplace else for them.
Great relaxation on shore as well. The great ships of Minocqua Lake safely berthed, picnic tables set, everyone clotching, fabulous.
Then, of course, the fleet of Sea-Doos passing out of the speed limit zone all set to fire their horses up to quell their need for speed.
After enjoying all this, I drove back to the north side, parked my Jeep, and walked around. I'll show some photos of the walk-around later, but first want to highlight what was the highlight of my day, The Little Brick Barn.
This is an antique store like I have never seen before. I forgot to take down the address, but I am pretty sure it is on E. Chicago Ave, virtually on the corner with Oneida Street. Back in the day, this was a home and to the right, the homeowner operated a small gas station.
Here's a look at the "old gas station."
It is owned and operated during the summer months by Anne Gausmann, the lady on the right in the green shirt. She is a delightful woman, dedicated to antiques, who also owns and operates antique shops on Grand Ave. in Wausau, inside the Marchetti Mansion and the Nathan House, which by themselves constitute another story.
The outside was decorated with more fabulous quilts than you can shake a stick a.
There are more as soon as you walk in the front door.
But the real excitement is to weave your way in and out of the narrow aisles to google and google at a treasure trove of antiques. How you will choose the aisles will often be dictated by how many other people are in there and where they think they are going!
I'll show you what I mean.
I have this last photo framed and hanging in my family room in Wausau. Visitors just stand there studying each item --- lots of fun!
I commend this marvelous antique shop to you. I'm going back to get something, that's for sure. I'd like to get something from the photo I have framed.
Let's now take a look at a few other views of the old city.
Anne Marie's Garden of Gifts, and by the looks of it some pretty alluring coffee for sale inside as well.
This shows a group of shops along Oneida Street, T. Murtaugh's Pub and Eatery catching my immediate attention on the corner.
This is a T-shirt type store on the corner of Oneida and East Chicago --- the wonderful blue paint job makes it really standout in an uplifting way I thought.
I'm told the Island Cafe, whether you eat inside or outside, is terrific.
I had walked in and out of a lot of shops and spent a great deal of time inside the Little Brick House, the day was growing short, so it clearly was time to go to Bosacki's Boathouse for a cool one.
There are a couple things you should know before I show some interior photos. I knew none of this when I was in there. First, the restaurant-bar has gone into foreclosure and at this writing will soon be auctioned off. Second, I've read reviews on it and they are not at all flattering, which might help explain the foreclosure.
All that said, I was treated very well, my sandwich was terrific, the location on the lake is superb, it is a key part of Minocqua's history, and the beers and service were wonderful. But the best part is the look of the interior. If you love beautifully carved and constructed wood, you'll love these shots. I'll close with them.
All I can say is the wood and design are spectacular. And, I had a great time with the people at the bar as well. What a great day.
Addendum: I understand Bosacki’s was sold and is now known as Matt Morgan’s. It has gotten rave reviews.