Saturday, March 6, 2021

More Of The Old

 As many of you are already aware, I seem to have been on a history kick lately.  In fact, I'm almost getting the impression back that there's some genuine concern...concern that I'm too close to possibly living in the past.  Not to fear, I'm still a huge fan of my wonderfully modern Himalayan motorcycle and I do drive a minivan with power windows, automatic transmission too!

Not sure what it is, maybe I picked the wrong Major.  Still, I'm calling it and will continue to call it an interest, a curiosity, a hobby.  This paying attention to things I've been or been on the edge of being connected to is just incredibly satisfying, not sure what else I can say.  I'm not a lumberjack but I'm still okay.

You know how it is, someone asks a question about a text you sent, a 'quick' online search ensues and the next thing you know, the dishes never even got started let alone finished.  I've got to get my nose closer to a grindstone I guess.

If there's been a central theme, it's centered around our region, the Mississippi River and Wisconsin (this will likely reach a broader area in the next Post) and that would be only natural since this area is both what I know best and is the closest to my family history.

Horse-drawn Ferries across the Mississippi, replaced by a Spiral Bridge, replaced by a bridge named after our 34th President and now in 2020, an even newer bridge.  This was one subject that took on some other legs of its own.  Ike was there at the ceremony to christen the last new bridge and I knew a guy that while serving in the National Guard, was present that day performing crowd control.

Little humble Hillsdale, Wisconsin was the center of the next bunch of oldness.  As I was going through an old scrapbook, I came upon a local newspaper story, featuring my grandmother's sharing thoughts on how times and the people that had lived through them had changed their little community.

Dad was 4 years old, helping HIS dad build a house...

One of the barn raisings....

The Busy Hour....

The Herman A. family, oldest 6 of 9 children.  Looks like midwifing might have been an even better gig than modern day Influencers?

May 1914, last day of school.  Grandpa's younger brother Lorence, just behind the center parasol girl.

Fourth of July festivities, 1912....

And later, dad and his little sister.... you can tell that she was quite comfortable on the 4-legged ones.

This exact moment may very well have been the deciding moment that turned dad away from the equines to his Cushman and soon thereafter, a '35 Harley Davidson.

I'd seen all of the above photos before and knew of their existence though maybe would not have been able to direct anyone to their exact location.  It was this train photo however that sent me to the Internet to do a Blueberry Line search, the fry pan hadn't even been put in to soak yet at that point.


This book wasn't though it soon developed into what I was looking for.  I remembered another local story about The Blueberry Line but the search led me to Arlyn's website and his wonderful books highlighting a number of abandoned central Wisconsin Railroads.  I had to place an order before even getting up to go put the blue soap in the by then tepid water.

Correspondence back and forth followed and I learned not only about his other already published books but also about his current-in-process book, an abandoned line that ended just north of us in Ellsworth, WI (Cheese Curd Capitol of the World).  So far, this one has only been thumbed through but Arlyn has done a fantastic job with it.  I'm watching for his next one.

Wisconsin Railroad Books

Other than the history diversion I've been busy watching birds at the feeders.  We're cognizant of our neighbors' needs and for that reason I put together a tray feeder that has a peanut butter trough ... no jelly.  It appears to be a hit with at least some of the flyers.  Four varieties of woodpeckers, the Nuthatches, now House Finches, the old standbys too.  It's the weekend so once again a hike into the woods to exchange memory cards in the trail camera.

I had planned or soon will have, a Post highlighting the current status of our solar panels and output, another fun thing I've been watching.  If not next, then soon.  As of right now, there's a good chance the following Post will focus on some family history in far away central Montana.  Hillsdale and Wisconsin in general was where Gramp's family came from, Gramma's family was from Oskaloosa before their move West.

Hope everyone's staying healthy and ready for some public, outside time soon!

P.S. Himalayan is off the lift....maybe the wheels will turn tomorrow.


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