Florence County, Wisconsin
Florence County, Wisconsin
Florence County Chronicles 2001
The idea for this book came about in 1991, when I visited National Mines Schools, National Mines, Michigan and their Art Program, taught by Bobbie Ameen. Their 8th grade Art program utilized a multi-disciplined approach, combining Art, History, and English. I admired their end-product, a book called Red Dust, a history of the National Mine and Ishpeming area, and decided to employ these teaching concepts here at Florence School with our 8th graders. With cooperation from our Junior High English Department, headed by Pam Smith, and our High School Information Processing class headed by Kay McLain, the students and I put together our own version, which we call, Florence County Chronicles.
Florence County Chronicles is a publication written and illustrated by 8th grade students at Florence Junior High School, Florence, Wisconsin during the 1997-1998 school year. We hope, through our efforts, to bring about a stronger bond between school and community.
Florence High School
Florence, Wisconsin 54121
THOSE WERE THE DAYS
By: Kristina Lemanski
Marge (Bruehl) Lemanski was born April 26, 1936, during the depression years. Her birth took place in the Gribble house located on Florence Avenue behind where the old liquor store was located. That winter her father worked at the C.C.C. camp for the twenty-five dollars they had to use for the care of her mother and herself, the baby. She grew up in the house the Bernhardts now live in on First Crossing Road west of town. She had three siblings: an older sister, Lorraine, and a younger brother and sister, Franklin and Kathy (Pipp). When she was growing up, she had no telephone, no television, and no running water; it wasn't until high school that they got running water. My grandma also told me that her mother had her and her siblings get in the tub every Saturday night. To wash up during the week they used the washbasin and washcloths and took sponge baths.
She went to school on the bus--an hour one way. In each class, there were only twenty kids or less. There was one teacher to teach all classes except music, for which they went to a different teacher. They had three recesses and for equipment they played on three teeter-totters, three swings, a slide, and a tree that usually became their goal when they played tag. They had no physical education until high school.
In grade school the popular way to wear your hair was in braids. Then in high school you usually got a perm from your mother since there wasn't any beauty shop. The clothing fads in high school included saddle shoes--if you wanted to be "in." They had to be dirty! So if you had new shoes, you had to break them in. They also rolled up their pants half way to the knee.
Friday nights after basketball games they had dances. Grandma had to show me how to dance the shotish but demonstrated how with my sister. She said, "It was a dance they did to get guys out on the dance floor." She was also in cheerleading for two and a half years, which Florence does not have anymore. School days were five and half hours from 9:00 to 11:30 then a hour and a half lunch break when they could go downtown to eat or hang out. Then students came back from one o'clock until four.
As for chores, my grandma had to fill the wood box for the kitchen stove. During summer she had to help hay and drive tractor. Also in the summer she worked at a fruit stand for twenty-five cents an hour. The fruit stand was located where the post office downtown now stands. When she was in high school, she worked at Cennedy's Restaurant for $3 a day. It was located where LaChapelle Insurance is now. She worked from 8-2 then 5-8, a long day. For fun she liked to sew and make her own clothes, which saved money.
I'm very thankful I got to interview my grandma. I enjoyed learning about her past.
IN THOSE DAYS
By: Tonya Smith
Sitting in grandma's neat, cleaning living room, listening to her talk about her childhood, made me realize that her childhood was very neat. Her childhood was a lot like mine, but she made it more fun.
My grandma was born on March 5, 1927. As she grew up she and her friends would go ice skating or riding bikes. Sometimes they played games all day or until the big whistle blew. The whistle was town curfew. Grandma said all the kids were like one big family.
When my grandma Joyce went to school, it started at 9:00. At 12:00 until 1:00 all the town kids would go home for lunch. Of course, they walked uphill both ways (ha,ha). After 1:00 she would go back to school and stay there until 4:00. Then it was time for doing homework and playing with friends. Back then the school building looked differently, but it was in the same spot as now.
As grandma finished talking, I realized that she may be a lot older than me, but when she was my age she did the same things as I do. Now when grandma tells me that she knows what I am going through, I know she really does.
My advice to you is don't tune your grandparents out; they do know what they are talking about.
THAT FOOD LADY
By: Alexa Tarter
Kathryn Lynn Ringer was born March 13th, 1963, at KI Sawyer Air Force Base with her fraternal brother Christopher J. Ringer, who was born six hours and one second later. They were boron into a family with three brothers, Tom (6), Jim (3), and Bill (2), and 1 sister, Laurel, who was 4 at the time.
After living in KI Sawyer for two or so years, her family moved to Attica, Indiana, and then to Williamsport, Indiana, where her mother and father are still living. Her father, William A. Ringer (Bill) is a doctor, and Marilyn, her mother, was a homemaker until her kids went to college 19 years ago.
Katie (as she is called) had a fun and busy life. "There was always something to do," she said with a smile. She began swimming at the age of 3, and was involved in 4-H, Girl Scouts, and just taking care of the animals, which included horses, cows and chickens.
She graduated from Seeger Memorial High School in May of 1981, and then went to Purdue University in August of '81. She transferred to Illinois in 1982 and then came back to Purdue the spring of 1984. However, during the summer of '82, at a party at Purdue University, she met Bob Tarter, who was her future husband. Dating each other for three years, they eventually married May 12th, 1985. They moved from West Lafayette to Lebinin, Indiana, where Nate was born; to Roberts, Illinois; to Sibley Illinois, where they had me, Alexa Tarter; then to Iron Mountain, Michigan, where Madison was born. They then moved to Williamsport, Indian; to Iron River, Michigan; and finally to Florence, Wisconsin, where Megan and Wyatt were born. Bob and Katie moved to Florence because they loved the land and the weather, especially the snow.
Katie is a Nutrition Educator working for the UW Extension and her office is located at the DNR Center. She goes to Florence and Aurora Elementary School, which earned her the affectionate title "That Food Lady." She enjoys her job very much, because she likes working with children and she likes the adults she works with including her co-workers.
"That Food Lady" drives a green mini van, which has gone through a lot. Not only has it hit several deer (which eventually caused a broken headlight, more commonly known as a "budido"), but it has also suffered the loss of some side paneling. Countless act of eating in the car add to its character.
In conclusion, Katie had lived a wild and fun life, and it has resulted in five loud children, one goofy husband, and a great old van.
HEARTBEAT...OR WAS IT?
By: Jenny Phelps
Have you ever seen or heard something spooky? Many people don't believe in things like that, but I do. When my dad was about seventeen he and his friends heard and saw something they'll never forget...
About fifty people knew, but only about half actually went out there. The other half--oh they might have been too proud to admit they were wrong, didn't have a care, or...were just plain scared. Right now you don't really know what I'm talking about, don't worry it gets better.
The whole thing takes place at the Aurora Dump. There was a sound that would start real softly, "do do...do do...do do..." Then it would get a little bit louder, "Do Do...Do Do...Do Do..." Then it would get even louder, "DO DO...DO DO...DO DO..." After that it would get really soft again. You know what I'm talking about...right? A heartbeat.
Is that what you thought? No one knew where it was coming from. To add to the spookiness the dump would flare up one in a while, because they used to burn it. People would walk down the road to try to see what was causing it, but no one would dare go into the woods. They even searched in the day, but no one could find a trace of anything.
Oh your probably thinking I'll tell you some teenagers were doing it. Wrong! To this day my dad and his friends know who or WHAT was causing it. Even though it only lasted one summer it still makes a pretty good story.
THE FAMILY BUSINESS
By: Justin Nacius
The middle-aged man I interviewed about his family business of logging was by dad, Bill Streu. He explained himself with full details. According to him logging is hard because of long hours and being away from home. He started logging at the age of twelve when his dad, Kenneth Streu, died. "I am thirty-nine years old and have been logging for twenty-six years."
The logging business is peaceful, and it helps the natural resources. The hard part comes from all the maintenance and getting cheated on money or wood to cut. The worst thing is cutting wood for private land owners because they want almost all the money and don't understand. But cutting for the government is the best way to go because you don't get cheated, and it's the fairest way to log. I am fourteen years old and I just started logging. I don't know everything about logging but I knew what it is and how it works and why.
The easy way to log is to have a processor that cuts the trees. A skidder picks up the cut trees and piles them on a bunk. It takes trees to the landing and makes and pile of the trees and sorts the different kinds of trees. The long trucks then come and pick up the wood and takes it to the mill. The trees are used for paper, cardboard, and other products the we use in everyday life. Logging is important and helps natural forests in today's world.
In the future, my dad foresees that the worst part about logging will be the shutting down of national forests and bans against logging if Al Gore gets in as president of the United States.
AMAZING UNCLE MIKE
By: Robert Grell
Mike Grell is the writer and creator of Jon Sable, Maggie the Cat, and Green Arrow Longbow Hunter. He is my great uncle. I hope to find out everything I can and here is where I begin, so pay attention if you need some tips.
My uncle, Mike Grell, was inspired to draw comics because he was not good at math, so throughout math class, he drew. He became a professional when his friend told him it was easy money. That was at the age of twenty-six years old. He came up with John Sable, Maggie the Cat, and Shaman's Tears from friends and characters from Shaman's Tears. It takes him thirty minutes to six hours to draw a picture, about two weeks to make a comic, and about one year to make a book. Sound pretty hard but that's exactly what I want to do, so I'm getting prepared. He plans on making books until he runs out of ideas. So far he has made about 250 comic books and is still going. If you read Sable you will see words of praise on the back of his book from the very famous Gene Simmons of Kiss, one of his good friends.
Mike lived in Florence for twenty-two years and misses it. Since he is so busy he doesn't get to come to Florence very often. He came up with Jon Sable partly because he lived in a hunting family. In his free time, he rides his horse and jousts. He also does archery and most importantly lives with and spends time with his loving wire, Lauri, in Lake Stevens Washington.
That's it! Now you know what my uncle does, and I'm proud of it! I miss him very much because last time I saw him I was very young. All I have left now are memories.
ALL ABOUT MY "POPS"
By Alicia Hehn
As I entered my dad's den, I immediately saw all his wonderful hunting gear. Everytime I see his hunting things, I think of him getting a big buck. I remember him sitting by himself in the woods.
My dad was born on August 9, 1958, which makes him forty-two years old. He was born in Saint Mary's Hospital, Milwaukee. he lived in Milwaukee until he turned eighteen. When he turned eighteen he got a job at the Flitz Service Company. That is where coin machines are fixed. After he got the job, he moved to Aurora and still worked for Flitz.
At the age of sixteen, my dad first went hunting and got a buck. He still lived in Milwaukee at the time; but when it came to hunting, he and his brothers went hunting in Boscobel, which is the west side of Madison. Boscobel has very nice green land and a lot of space. He had always wanted to hunt on a game farm but never got a chance yet. He had been hunting for twenty-six years and still is hunting.
When my dad goes hunting, he sits and walks. He mostly sits though. When he sits, he listens to music and eats peanuts or chili. When he walks, he doesn't leave anything behind. He has the portable hunting shack. When he goes hunting, he takes his four wheeler. He walks for two hours and sits for five or six hours.
When it is hunting season, my dad never goes along. He always has somebody with him. He goes hunting with two to twelve people. Some of the people he hunts with are Sherry, Jeff, Bob, Boo, Kevin, Dan, Grandpa, Andrew, Cory, Robert, Ben, and me. He has two sisters, but only one hunts, and he has four brothers that all hunt.
What he liked most about hunting is being out in the woods and being away from "the wife." He has this one hunting spot he called "Death Valley" because he always got a deer there. The past two years he hasn't gotten anything. Now he calls it "No Deer Valley."
Speaking with my my dad was very fun. I hope to do this again. It made me feel closer to my dad. I found out that hunting isn't the only thing that he likes.
INTERVIEW WITH AN ARMY VETERAN
By: Aric Hicks
This is the story of Ken Baiel during his experience in the time period of the Vietnam Conflict. I will find out what went on during his army years. He joined in January 1967, and got out in January 1970.
Ken first joined when he was twenty years old because he got a notice that he was going to be drafted. If he enlisted himself, he would be able to choose the places that he'd always wanted to go visit. That was definitely better than going to war.
Ken had always wanted to go to Germany, he thought. His decision was to go to school in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, because he always wanted to go to Washington D.C., and is wasn't too far from there.
"I ended up going to Heavy Equipment Repair School in Virginia," he said as he put his hand to his head in thought. "There were almost 150 students and the top 20 percent stayed for another eight weeks of advanced training. There were twenty six of use left and out of that class nineteen remained and seven of us went to Germany." Ken was one of the seven.
While staying in Germany a year and a half, he was fortunate enough to see some interesting places like Rome, Hidleburg, Switzerland and even Paris. From there his whole battalion was moved to Fort Reilly, Kansas. A favorite location was Rome, "There were just so many sights to see."
His rank was specialist E-S. His salary was $180 a month including free room and board and food.
Some favorite activities during his experience were playing volleyball and going to the pool. He enjoyed his stay in the army because he learned a lot of things, got an education, and went to places that he'd probably never see again.
Ken is best at dealing with different situations that he didn't have time to prepare for, like basic training. He could throw a grenade over on hundred yards. A trophy was given to him for outstanding trainee; and he learned how to shoot an M-14 .308 shell. It sure appears to have been an interesting experience.
I thank him for sharing his story with me. People only live one life and can know about other people's lives through stories. I am very interested in joining the army, and he has given me some option on what I can do while I am in the service. I hope you enjoyed this thoughtful man's story.
MY MA'S HOBBIES
By: Nathan McLain
Debra McLain: short, cheerful, always full of energy, blue eyes, and brown hair. She helped me be what I am today.
When my mom was my age, she played many sports and also did many other hobbies. Some of the sports she now plays are the same ones I do, like basketball. There are also some sports that she doesn't play like I do such as soccer and skateboarding. The hobbies she enjoys are gardening, reading and playing outside.
My mom wasn't the only one enjoying these games and hobbies. She also played these sport with her friends, sisters, and classmates. She even wrestled with her sisters and her oldest sister always won. She played with two really good friends who lived about half a mile away from her house. They were the same age and the same grade.
Those are my mom's hobbies and sports she enjoyed in he childhood days and the things that make her happy.
By: Sam Harrison
My father, James Harrison, grew up on a farm. The thing he recalls the most is the hot summer days baling hay while his older brothers raked it. The farm he lived on was in Fence, Wisconsin. He has six brothers, two young and four older.
In the summer my dad would bale hay, feed and milk the cows, clean up around the barnyard, pick rocks in the fields, and build new fences. For fun in the summer he would chase chickens and play on the bales.
In the winter my dad had to walk two miles to go and bring the cows in for milking. Sometimes they would get a ride from the last cows.
In the spring when all the snow melted, there would be ponds in the field; he would play in them in his spare time. Also in the spring he would help his father make maple syrup. The production that they made was one of the largest in Wisconsin. After they made it, they would sell it.
My father enjoyed his years of farming, and he will always remember it.
By: Terry Eager
It all happened forty nine years ago when my mom, Dedra Eager, was born. She was born in Kankakee, Illinois, on January 26, 1951. She said she had a plain, simple life. But enough about that; let's go on.
Some time passed and my mom and the family moved to Florence, Wisconsin in 1993. After a bit my mom say an ad in the paper. She applied for a new job.
Her business is called Sunset Kennels. They board dogs while owners are away. She has an office area, laundry room, and a food and kennel room. Her boss is Linda Gay. My mom is a manager at the kennel. At the kennel they hold up to twenty-eight dogs, depending on size.
My mom said she loves her job. We have eleven animals: four dogs, six cats, and one snake. Sunset Kennels is located in Homestead, Wisconsin.
I asked my mom, "If you could choose any other job, what would it be?"
She said, "Caring for children or working in a zoo."
That's it for my mom's work.
By: Brenda Neuens
I can tell my grandpa, Bob, loves his camp, by the way he talks about it and just the way he acts out there. I can tell that he has respect for wildlife that surrounds him.
My grandpa is a real sportsman, and with five boys and no girls, you can imagine the life they had. So between hunting (both rifle and archery), fishing and trapping, they didn't have time for much else. With their love for the outdoors, they needed a place where they could enjoy all of their hobbies. That's when grandpa came up with the idea of the camp.
Acquiring the land came with a little luck and some sacrifice. He was able to hear first hand of the land for sale, but to obtain the land he had to sell and sentimental family cottage. The land was a perfect setting for the family camp. With it being surrounding by popple, oak, birch, and evergreens, it was the ideal wildlife habitat.
The beginning of the camp reality began in 1993. It was a family project that started with the cutting, skidding, and peeling of the logs from the land. It was labor endured by Grandpa, Grandma, their sons, and their families. It was a construction that was "roughed in" just enough and just in time to enjoy their first hunting season at camp.
The camp had a barn-shaped roof to provide the many beds that are needed to accommodate the anxious, tired, crabby, moody, unsatisfied, and competitive hunters. It is one room, separated by shower curtains, partitioning off six separate bedrooms accommodating each family. Privacy was not a priority when building the camp, so if you want privacy go home or out to the "privy."
The largest number of people the camp lodged was about twenty. We slept where ever there was a spot free: a bed, a chair, a sofa, or even a floor.
Everyone takes a turn at being camp cook. Many hunters learned to prepare meals in advance so as not to lose a day of hunting.
We grandkids have so much to learn from our grandfather whom we respect, admire, and love. It did not take us long to learn the slogan "what you hear and see at camp stays at camp." This does not refer to the legal sense of the law, this has to do with correcting bad habits at camp when returning home.
My grandpa loves being outside and just keeping active. When I grow up, I hope I have the same respect and love for nature, wildlife, and the camp as he does now.
IN THE LIFE OF JULIA NEWTON
By: Janna Fox
Meet Julia Katherine Newton, a longtime resident of Florence County and a woman with a very extraordinary and intriguing life.
Julia, born on January 31, 1955, is the daughter of Bill and Katie (Kingsford) Newton. She has attending Iron Mountain High School, NMU, and also NMS.
Growing up with four other siblings and a variety of pets, her house could have been described as busy, fun and active. She fondly recalled all the summer evenings spent swimming at the nearby lake for weeding in the garden. Living as she did, she had many opportunies to explore and appreciate the outdoors. While she was young, Julia dreamed of living in Alaska like an Eskimo and studying wildlife there. When asked why she never fulfilled her dream, she frowned and firmly told me never to let anyone talk you out of your dreams.
Although it had never been a life-long goal, Julia proudly tells me of winning several medals at the World Masters Cross-country ski races at Lake Placid, when she was thirty one.
Julia's past occupations have included cooking for a restaurant, teaching youth skiing, and self catering. Married to John Englund, they were blessed with a son, Daniel, age eleven, and three years later with twin girls, Anna and Nita, age eight.
Julia's hobbies come and go with the seasons. She owns a large herd of horses that occupy most of her time. However, in the summer she also enjoys swimming in the small lake near her house, running and biking. In the winter she likes to ski (downhill jumping and cross-country), skate and dogsled. She also maintains a cross-country ski trail that she opens to the public every year. She take pleasure in working with the junior ski jumping club and encourages all beginners.
I would like to thank Julia for all her patience and all the time she gave up for me to interview her. And now, closing off with a word of advice from Julia..."Respect what we are given, we only get one chance with it."
CHATTING WITH ROGER
By: Kara Friberg
One mid-October evening, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Roger Valine, a good friend of the family and an active member of Florence County.
Roger was born of December 15, 1967, to Ralph and Gail Valine. During his childhood years, Roger spent many summer days involved in various farm activities such as stacking hay bales, driving tractor and picking rocks. He especially enjoyed riding his dirt bike. One sunny, summer day, disaster struck. He states it plainly, "I crashed." He ended up breaking his collar bone but the mishap didn't prevent him from riding again. He also enjoyed taking fishing trips to Canada with family and friends.
Roger married Carrie Maki on September 29, 1990. They have two kids, Chelsea, born on January 2, 1993, and Tyler, born on May 1, 1996. They enjoy spending hunting season and occasional weekends at camp.
Roger has worked at the Florence Sheriff's department for almost 13 years. He also is a volunteer fireman and rescue squad worker.
Like many days, his schedule was packed, and our interview was cut shorts by a call to service. I'm glad he could take time from his busy schedule to help me with this project. Thank Roger!
FIGHTING FOREST FIRES
By: Donny Vassar
Sitting in our living room asking my dad about his life fire fighting, I realized that fires could be fun but could become harmful too.
My dad's name is Donald J. Vassar and he was worked in the U.S. Forest Service for about fifteen years. Over the years he went to fight many fires in fifteen different states. The longest fire he was on was called the Big Foot Fire in Oregon. It covered 500,00 acres; he said the flames were about fifty to seventy feet tall. He's been to many fires that were 50,000 acres in area. Usually he is gone for about twenty-seven days on one fire. He usually goes to two fires a year.
In Colorado Springs, it was a sad year in 1996. There was a fire on a mountainside. Five smoke jumpers and eight hand crew members were caught in a flame surrounding them. "They tried to run to safety," my dad said, "but they didn't make it out." That was when my dad started to only go on one fire a year. My dad said he hopes he doesn't have to go on anymore fires.
Sitting and talking with my dad was interesting. I can now understand how he has to do his job every summer and how he lives his life working and fighting forest fires.
GRANDMA AT THE FARM
By: Jesse Hedlund
Yvonne Marie Zoeller Van Pembrook was born February 11, 1937, in Abrams, Wisconsin. She moved to Kingsford, Michigan, in 1941, then to Aurora, Wisconsin, in 1949. She's lived here ever since.
Yvonne attended school at the Roosevelt School from kindergarten through the sixth grade. Then she was in Brown School in Homestead through the eighth grade, finally attending high school in Kingsford.
As a young girl her chores consisted of helping her mother, Laura, clean the house, cook and bake. Her mother was a good teacher.
When she lived in Aurora, she helped her father with the barn chores. During the early years, the whole family helped with the haying which was pitched-forked and loaded on the wagon loosely and stacked loose in the hay mow. One of her jobs was to fork hay out of the mow to feed the cattle. The manure was shoveled out of the gutters by hand and wheelbarrowed outside to the manure pile. At times she would hep with that chore.
When she was fifteen, she got a job at Summit's Dairy scooping ice cream. When she was sixteen, she worked at Peterson's Grocery Store.
My grandma met a tall, dark, handsome, and witty guy who lived on the other side of Aurora. When she was seventeen she married this handsome dairy farmer on September 18, 1954. Donald Gene Van Pembrook and Yvonne were married for thirty six years, always living on the Van Pembrook family farm. Yvonne was widowed in 1990.
They raised seven sons and three daughters who all helped on the prosperous farm that moved ahead in modern technology.
Yvonne was involved in 4-H as a group leader in the dairy-beef program. She also taught CCD religious classes for many years for the Sacred Hear Church students. She became involved in local government, and served District 1 Aurora on the County Board of Supervisors for fifteen years.
Yvonne has worked in the new Natural Resource Center for the past eight years, and still enjoys it. She also enjoys keeping her home open to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She still possesses a positive outlook and enjoys being active in her community.
THE SECRET SERVICE
By: Evan Neuens
My grandfather, Robert C. Neuens, at the age of 20 enlisted himself in the air force. He enrolled for four years. He went through basic training and radio school for fifteen months.
After finishing his training he was transferred to the Philippines as part of the Air force radio interceptor squad. He was stationed in a secure area and tried to intercept Chinese messages through Morse code. Guards walked around at all times for security reasons.
Nineteen months in the Philippines they worked swing shifts in the barrier. A barrier was an enclosed area, barbed wire around the outside. There were three set shifts: 4 p.m. - 12 a.m., 12 a.m. - 8 a.m., and 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.. They worked seven days a week and the only time off was R and R's (Rest and Rejuvination). After nineteen months of feeling alone far away from the place he called home, he was finally allowed to go back to America.
Back to America but not his home in Wisconsin. He had fourteen months left in his term and was sent to Oregon to finish it. Finally, grandpa was allowed to go home after four years. For twenty years he couldn't talk about what happened in the war.
Many things have changed since he left and returned. Now there was color T.V. and no war to fight in. He married Elsie Asplundh and had five children: Don, Doug, Dean, Dave and Daryl.
I'm glad to have spent time with my grandfather learning of his past and I'm proud that my grandfather served the United States of America for me and many others.
THE DAYS OF VIETNAM
By Teresa Carr
I recently had a discussion with my stepdad as he told me of his life in Vietnam. Tim was born in Park Falls, WI, on April 23, 1947. He is the son of Leonard and Anita York. He has one broher two years older than he is, and one sister four years younger.
Shortly after Tim graduated school, he got shipped off the Vietnam. He was eighteen years old (young soul) as his basic training started. After awhile the soldiers started to learn how to fire an M-60 machine gun off of a helicopter. Following that training they went to survival training. That was where he had to jump out of the helicopter, land in a swamp, then survive a couple days eating anything he could find. It was horrible, but his training was completed. Tim was shipped to Vietnam. At the time he thought it was a good thing, now..."I think it's a mistake. Vietnam was hell. I didn't really choose to be there. I would've chosen to be anywhere but there."
I started over (Communism). In 1965, we started the Vietnam War. A variety of different people were fighting: the Australians and some Canadians helped fight against the Vietcong (North Vietnam.) Weapons used were M-60 machine guns, 44 magnum pistols, and hand grenades. Tim began in the 101st Air Cavalry. (Helicopter flying.) "I never got to visit family, so that sucked. I missed them a lot but there was nothing I could do about." They had to sleep in grass huts called fox holes. Bed time was at 9:00 p.m.., and waking up was at 5:00 a.m. "When we ate our food we actually had quite a variety of food to eat," he laughs. "We had food like chicken, roast, rice, beef, stew, tea, etc. The only different thing was that this stuff came in a can. Weird, huh?"
While in Vietnam, Tim had to travel overseas also. He traveled over the Pacific and Indian oceans, the Sea of Japan, and many more. He had to travel to Australia, Taiwan, Cambodia, Korea, and the Phillipines. "Traveling overseas was pretty fun. Hah." Travel was on a U.S.S. Tikon-a-Roga (a helicopter carrer). While in Vietnam, Tim only got shot once. "I got shot right in the leg; it hurt a lot." He got shipped to Kamp Kasey Korea, a camp in Korea. When the wound healed he went back to Vietnam and then became a gunner on a Cobra helicopter.
When Tim got discharged from Vietnam, "all I could think about was my family and that I was free from the pain and misery. Thank heavens." His discharge date was February 14th, 1968 (Valentine's Day). After a little time off he bought a new house and a newly made 1968 Camaro, along with a big boat. He started a new job as a meat cutter, which is still his job today. Tim remarried three times, but says, "My third time I got remarried to a gorgeous lady, named Sherry York." They got married on September 21st, 1993. "The only different thing is that this marriage is going to last forever. I love my family very much."
I just wanted to say I learned a very valuable lesson from this project and that is: fighting gets you nowhere. Hurting someone's feelings is like being shot. The world should be at peace, not arguing. One commandment that the world should know is "Though shalt not kill." AMEN.
By: Ed Kelley was born on March 29, 1926, in Minnesota, his parents being Gordon and Helen Kelley. He was the only son in the family and had three other sisters: Mary, Patricia, and Elizabeth. He went to Calbre Elementary. Every day they would walk to school. Grandpa had to walk his sister, and he made her walk two blocks behind him and his buds. After school he always went to his grandparents and helped them with the garden. He was there so often they called it his "sand box." He said, "When I get older I am going to have a garden just like that."
During his high school years they moved to Florence. At the time they moved he was just a freshman. They moved up here to get jobs for the family and got involved in the mink ranches. He played football for the Florence Bobcats his freshman, sophomore and junior years. During his senior year they moved back to Minnesota.
When he graduated, he moved to Florence; in 1962. He married my grandma, Janet Brey. They had five children: Sue, Jean, Andy, Eddie, and Mary. After he had all of those children, he started his own garden. It is awesome now. He grows everything from cucumbers to cantaloupe.
In the Florence community, my grandpa is involved with the county board. Now he is chairman; he's served as chairman for twelve years and is still going. Retired from the Niagara Paper Mill, he now spends most of his time in the woods with his grandchildren or at Kelley's Liquor Store. He and my grandma are part owners with their son Andy. Other than that, he is always in his garden. About five years ago it was not like that. They were always at the camp we were building. He called it the "Irish Shanty." With so much time on his hands in the winter without his garden, he has more time to take turns to spend time with his eleven grandchildren. The latest one seems to be a hunter already; he must be excited.
FASHIONS OF THE YOUNGER YEARS
By: Ken Fayas
School for my grandma, Waneta Fayas, was rough. They had some thing similar to us. Their grades were the same: K-6 went in one school and 7-8 went to a different school. High schoolers were also in a separate school. Waneta's family was not that wealthy. When Waneta was in seventh grade, she had to quit school to help out on her farm. She never went through grades eight to twelve.
Waneta did not have many clothes. They made all of their clothes. They made them with a pedal sewing machine. Styles they wore included striped shirts and skirts with squares on them. Rich people bought clothes. Rich people had long socks; poor people had ankle socks. She wore pants and shirts; most people wore that. Dressy things were dresses and skirts. Her favorite thing to wear was anything new. When asked if clothes are better now or then she said, "Now, because they are easier to get."
When girls wore dresses and skirts, most of them had ribbons in their hair. Most people dressed the same. People wore multi-colored clothes; those were styling clothes!
Life back then was crucial and more of a challenge. It was harder and people worked more. Kids now get a better education. I will never forget what Waneta said when I asked her why each say gets better. She said, "Each day is full of surprises and has the door to walk in to be better than the day before." She walked in, will you?
By: Abby Nelson
The seventies: Big hair, bell bottoms, and handkerchiefs...they are coming back. "Why?" wonders my mom Mary Beth. Well, I'm not sure about the hair. "Good or bad history has a way of repeating itself," she concluded.
When my mother, Mary Beth, was in high school things were very different. The sayings were "peace, man," "groovy," and "happening in a far out way." Today we have such sayings as "fly," "hot," and "sweet." When I look at the sayings that were cool, I laugh. However, I know in a few years I will laugh at what we say today.
The music...Davy Jones and Four Seasons doesn't exactly come to my mind when I think of music, but there were groovy. "Rock and Roll was the big thing." Not many young people were into country, rap and pop like they are today.
The clothes...The cool things to wear were bell bottoms, hip huggers, and haltertops. What other people wore that my mom didn't like were smock tops and handkerchiefs. "Yuck!" Have you worn these things?
The food...McDonalds, Wendys, and Krolls sound familiar? Well, here's something that's not: burgers for 29 cents. Yeah, that must have been nice! For my mom, McDonalds was a big deal. She would be lucky to make it there once a year. It makes me happy I live today.
Whether we want it to or not history has a way of repeating itself. I like the era I am in now. Sounds like my mom liked hers too.
CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS WITH THE OSTERBERGS
By: Katie Zoppetti
Sitting in grandpa's living room reminded me of all the chaos that comes when getting ready for Christmas. Thinking of all the traditions we have, I began to ask my grandpa how and why these traditions started--two of them being Swedish. After all, grandpa always said I'm 51 percent Swedish.
Every Christmas Eve my garndpa and all the other family had, and still have, a dinner at their original homestead. This tradition was started by grandpa's mom and dad about the year 1950. They ate foods such as potatoes, lutfisk, meatballs, vegetables, turkey, fruit, salads, and lots of desert. They always had coffee and punch to drink. When his siblings got married, in-laws brought their traditional food, but the desserts remained plenty.
When everyone was finished eating, they would all gather in the living room and open presents. Opening presents on Christmas Eve is Swedish. Grandpa's grandparents came from Sweden and in Sweden, they celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. As the family got bigger, not everyone participated in this event because in-laws stuck to opening presents on Christmas Day. Still today this tradition is true because my family and I open presents on Christmas Eve. However, we can't stay up too late because we have to get ready for Christmas Day.
On Christmas Day in 1960, my grandparents, Ken and Dorothy Osterberg, started a Christmas breakfast. It all began when grandpa's brother, Gary Osterberg, got married and grandpa and grandma wanted to get to know Marie (his wife) better. So they invited them for breakfast. As more people in the family got married, more and more people came for breakfast, including children and in-laws. This particular tradition started out as just family and basically still is today, except some neighbors and the milk man come for breakfast too. Before my brother and I helped, it was my mom and the aunts' jobs to wash dishes, cook bacon, ham, eggs, toast, and serve coffee, juice, and sweet rolls.
These traditions have an impact on all of the family. Grandpa says, "Our family is so large this is a great way to keep us close. Everyone enjoys doing it. It's an annual affair." Through time traditions change. In this case Ken's dad and mom died and also since the family has gotten bigger, some can't come. He plans to have these traditions into the foreseeable future; it is a good way to keep families together.
Speaking with my grandpa helped me to understand the meanings behind the traditions. I agree with what he says about traditions. "They help me to appreciate my family, get along together and enjoy each other's company."
By: Ashley Podnar
I recently visited my grandpa, Peter Thomas Podnar, as he contently retrieved information about his parents, himself, his children, and our camp. Peter Podnar was born July 5, 1921, in Florence, Wisconsin. He was also the first to be born on Second Crossing Road.
His parents were Anne and John Podnar who migrated from Yugoslavia to the states in search of the better life. My great grandpa and great uncle cleared all of the land for their house with a team of horses and a cow. They built the house that is still standing today, with their bare hands. My great grandma migrated to the United States when she was only sixteen. When she arrived, she moved to Painsdale. After my great grandpa finished the house, she moved in, and they started a family.
Born to them were two girls, Joan and Fran, and six boys, Paul, Peter, John, Joe, Matt, and Don. All of the children attended Florence school, but not the school which we know now in town; they attended a one-room school along Second Crossing Road. The school was half a mile from their house so they, like all other grandparents, walked up hill both ways! The building is now relocated along highway US 2; it was renamed the Golden Nugget.
Since the house did not obtain electricity until 1965, and they lacked many modern machines and luxuries that we take for granted today, they found other ways to accomplish what needed to be done. For instance, they used horses for transportation--to town it was usually the for the whole day, and they stocked up on supplies because they didn't go frequently. They used a hand pump for drinking water, and they dug a well thirty feet deep to keep the food cold in place of a modern refrigerator.
After my grandpa was done with grade school he attended Florence High School. Since a trip to town everyday wasn't an option, he spent the night in Commonwealth with friends.
He stayed in school until he was a junior and then dropped out to join a governmental project for one dollar a day! He left that and served in World War II from 1942-1946, in the Navy field.
But the question remained in my head: If grandpa went to the war when he was a junior and did not mention grandma in his school years, where did she fit into the picture? So I asked him, "Grandpa how did you and grandma meet?"
He then summoned my grandma into the room. His answer was, "I don't really remember."
My grandma, insulted but smiling, sat there like she didn't expect him to recall that much information anyway.
Well, they did meet and evidently they were meant for each other because they had two girls, Rita and Sue, and five boys, John, Dale, Daniel, Jim and Robert.
We currently have a family camp located on Second Crossing Road, on the same property that my great grand dad owned.
A TEACHER TOUCHES A LIFE
By: Erin Klee
Our small, family-like school district of Florence lured our sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Beauchamp, here. She really enjoys the relationships of our small, yet peaceful community; it's a place where there are names to go with almost all of the faces, unlike some larger school districts.
Mrs. Beauchamp started her career in January of 1976. She grew up in Kingsford and graduated from Northern Michigan University (NMU). She began teaching grades seven and eight. Throughout the years she has taught a range of grades from sixth to eleventh, also a wide variety of subjects including high school English ninth and tenth, Vocational eleventh, seventh and eighth English and sixth grade Language Arts. Since Mr. St. Juliana left, she also teaches Social Studies. She claims she enjoys teaching sixth grade the most because she enjoys what she's doing. However, there are many classes that she looks back upon with a smile on her face.
Students she distinctly remembers are Jimmy Gelhoff, John Olive, and Robbi Steber because they were not only fun, but respectful at the same time. She was particularly proud of her fist sixth graders, because of the fun learning experience and lack of complaining. Throughout the years she has gone on several amazing field trips, including the Milwaukee Museum bus trip, State Forensics, and the trip to Mackinaw Island. Although she enjoys teaching at Florence, she admits she is not very fond of the budget caps and would love to have more exploratory education for us. She would also like to correct the common belief that teachers do not earn their salaries; the work their hinders off at educating you children! Just for the record, that was my own eye witness statement.
Mrs. Beauchamp is more than just a teacher; she's a very fun loving role model. I, as a middle school student, look up to her with admiration. I can only hope to affect half of the lives that she has. Thank you, Mrs. Beauchamp, for everything.
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
By: Dayna Adams
The Fence Ball Tournaments have been fun and exciting events for a long time. They are baseball games providing some action during the boiling hot summer.
"For ten years I've been in those darn games," says John Sleeter. The games have prospered since 1983. For seventeen years the tournaments have been a good competitive event for the twelve teams from all over the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin. John has said, " The teams are usually pretty cool, but sometimes those flatlanders think they're too good for us!" The games are taken relatively serious and in good nature, but sometimes they get out of hand.
The games are totally a non-proft event. This is proven by the winner's prizes: first place gets 70% of the gross, second place gets 20% of the gross, and lastly third place gets 10% of the gross.
One of the memorable moments would have to be the flooding of Florence. The team had to reschedule the game because they had to save the town. The coach oft he opposing team wanted to make them forfeit, but the players convinced the coach to let them reschedule. Another moment was when the Florence team beat the defending champs after a grooling 9 innings. The outcome was an unbelievable 11-0. The pitcher had pitched a "no-hittter."
The point is this: the ball tournaments are great event that creates the memories of the good times and also the bad times. I hop the tournaments will continue to be a yearly event as long as the Fence Volunteer Fire Department will allow it to happen.
THE HISTORY OF MY LAND
By: Karl Romanowicz
This is the story about the people who lived on my land before we did. My dad provided most of the information because the people who once lived there moved far away.
The first people to live on our land were the Littles. They had a hard life working as farmers. They built a two-story house with a dirt floor basement. The house is still used today by my neighbors, the Gardners. They also built a huge barn for their cattle. Later into their lives, they sold the land to a man named Sackett, and then they moved to Florence where they live today along with their children.
After the Littles, came the Jim Sackett family who bough 160 acres of land. Jim and his wife were both school teachers at the Florence school. They were not farmers and did not own any animals, but they did have children. When they sold the land we bought eighty-two acres; our neighbors bought forty acres, which included the house. Another man bought the last remaining forty acres. The Sacketts then moved to Florida with their kids.
Over the ten years since we moved in, we have built a whole new field made of cedar poles and electric wire. We made it into three different fields of all different sizes. We use the biggest field for making hay, and the other two for our three horses. Within the first year that we lived here, my dad built a garage. We also made a barn that holds most of our haying equipment. One of our most important changes is that we built an entirely new driveway that goes down to the barn and also to the house. We had a mobile home for eight years until we built a new house. That is all the history about our land up to today. I now live there with my mom and dad and my sister, Krystle.
LIVING IN FLORENCE COUNTY
By: Trina Marie Broullire
My grandpa, William Joseph Broullire, was born July 24, 1930, at the Mill Hospital in Niagara, Wisconsin. Now, his family wasn't one of those rich families so grandpa didn't have many toys. He can remember playing with blocks of wood or pretending they were tractors or trucks. That's a typical boy for you. Grandpa lived on a farm and by the age of six he was already chasing cows to and from the pastureland. He said he can remember looking for this one cow when it had become dark outside; his mother was quite worried! He didn't only chase the cows; he also drove the horses, walking beside them while doing field work.
When my grandpa was a teen, he said there were many things he and his friends would do. He wasn't in any after school activities, such as sports. There was no transportation to and from the school; his parents just didn't have the time. He would go to square dances at the Aurora Town Hall with all his friends. He and his friends would also go skiing. They would go skiing at Pine Mountain for fifty cents a day. After he could drive, he would go with friends to the movies every weekend.
One of the things my grandpa remembers about Florence County is the roads. "They were all gravel, hilly, and had lots of curves," he said. When it snowed, they'd be snowed in for days at the time. Once in the 1930's the snow turned all brown from the Dust Bowl out west. Pretty cool if you ask me.
During the depression my grandpa's family was lucky to be living on a farm. They had a big garden, cows, chickens, and pigs. Their family was also good friends with the owner oft he Aurora General Store, which is the Co-op now. My grandpa can remember his mother staying up later and sewing shirts and dresses for him and his sisters. They were made out of cotton flour sacks. That Christmas he ended up getting an orange and a pencil box.
My grandpa's first eight grades of school were at Sunnydale School . It was a one-room school. They had to pump out the water they wanted to drink, and the bathroom was an outside john; you would have to go out there rain, shine, or snow. He went to high school in Kingsford, Michigan. There was no bussing so he rode into town with his father when he took the milk into Iron Mountain. He would catch a ride home with the men who worked at the Ford Motor Plant in Kingsford. He was an average student and didn't mind going to school.
Along with all this, my grandpa worked on a farm. This work was really hard and slow because it was all by hand. They had to milk the cows by hand, clean the gutters with a shovel, cut corn by hand, and everything was horse-pulled. Later on there were milking machines, tractors, and other machinery. He loved farming; he like to be outside and do hard work. His words were, "I wanted to be my own boss."
Grandpa's family consisted of six sisters and two brothers; a total family of eleven. His mother, Emma Ann Girardi/Broullire, was strict and also a hard worker like his father. She cooked, kept farm books, and managed the money. His father, William Jospeh Broullire, was a short man but very strong. He was a hard worker but very easy going, and he laughed and teased often. He was a religious and honest man. He never went back on his word.
Now, my grandpa and my grandma, Karen Ann Coopman/Broullire, knew each other throughout their lives. Most families in Aurora knew each other. Grandma went to school with my great aunts, Emilie and Barbara. Grandpa would pick them up after CCD class. One night he dropped his sisters off first so he could take grandma home and ask her out. He tad taken them to the Niagara clubhouse for an ice cream cone first, and Grandma has teased Grandpa about that ever since. Also when my grandpa was twenty-one he would drive bus once in a while. When he would pick up my grandma, he would always notice her. He called the, "The Little Dark One." Now, my grandparents are together and happily married.
All in all my grandpa has had a pretty normal life. I love him dearly and don't known where I'd be if I lost him.
SORTING APPLES WITH GRANDMA
By: Deanna Zeits
"I don't know if I am going to be much help, but I'll try," said my grandma, throwing another apple into the basket.
"Grandma," I said, getting her attention, "what was it like growing up?"
She told me that when she was growing up, they couldn't afford much. "There wasn't much of a style either," she told me. "We used to wear jumpers or dresses to school, and when school was out, we'd wear coveralls."
She remembered when she was growing up in a foster home, and she got a brand new pair of coveralls. She and her brothers were playing outside and, of course, when they came back in they were all brown and green, stained from mud and grass.
When she was a teenage they always wore twin sweaters and pleated skirts. (They never got a set of clothes until Christmas or their own birthday.) "Being teenagers, of course, we were nuts about Frank Sinatra!"
My grandma told me that they used to go see big bands, and when they got paid 25 cents for babysitting, they would go to serial movies (movies that continue every Friday night).
She told me that they used to get dressed up, put on their rouge and lipstick and comb up their pageboys or pompadour hair do.
My grandma told me that the shoes they used to wear were penny loafers or saddle shoes; they never wore heels, only when they got out of school. Then they wore spiked heels, just to look a little more sophisticated.
After school, they would play games. Of course, they would play normal games such as tag or hide-and-seek, but they would also use hula hoops and stilts. Antoher thing they'd do was use a little hoop, like a top of a can, and hit and twirl it with a stick until it fell. "It's hard to explain," my grandma added.
After graduating they would be more grown up, using the words "handsome" and "pretty" instead of "hot spit" and "the cat's meow."
She told me that being grown up meant wearing print dresses and spiked heels. My grandma and her friends used to go out every once in a while to the ice cream parlor. That was the only place they really ever went.
"Even though we didn't have much money, we could still have fun!" my grandma said, tossing the last apple into the basket.
THE BUTTERFIELD BARN AND BOAT STORAGE
By: Jason Butterfield
It all started twenty years ago, when Florence and Darold Butterfield decided that their farm was too much work, so they sold all the cows and shut it down. They couldn't bear to go into the barn anymore, so they just started putting junk in it. A couple of years later, Nancy and Mark Gomez (my aunt and uncle) put some horses in it, but they eventually got rid of those. Now it is used for boat storage.
Three years ago, my grandparents realized that the barn could be turned into something useful. So they started cleaning it out. This was not an easy task, however. There were many things that had to be done. First, of course, it had to be cleaned out. Then they had to put in new cement in the downstairs. The floorboards in the upper area had to be replaced. The beams in the upstairs had to be moved--instead of two rows of beams on either side, there is now just one row in the middle. New doors were put in, and the whole thing was repainted. It took about a year to get all of this done.
Every year, about sixty boats come in. Of these, usually about ten are jet skis, and about eight are pontoon boats. Only about six boats come in without trailers, "Mostly Criss-Crafts," says my grandma, Florence Butterfield.
Every available space in the barn is used. In the small areas, you can fit jet skis, and in the bigger areas, the rest of the boats. The upstairs is used for storing bigger boats, like pontoons and yachts.
To get the boats in, they can push them in by hand ((if they have enough help) or use a small tractor with a trailer hitch. For boats without trailers, my grandpa (Darold Butterfield) has made them trailers. It only takes about two months to fill the barn with boats--and another two months in the spring to take them all out again. It can get kind of pricey to store big boats, because they charge by how big it is (by the foot).
I feel that my grandparents' barn has had an interesting history, especially the boat storage.
MY GRANDMA HESS
By: Luke Braunsdorf
My great-grandma Hess was born in the small town of Elcho, Wisconsin on November 7, 1911, in Langlade County. She was born to Louis Petzoldt, born 1867, and Ella Vaughn-Petzodt, born 1877.
My grandmother's nationalities are German and English. She lived in Elcho, Wisconsin, for a good part of her early life; they lived on a farm.
She remembers seeing wolves going after the sheep in her first home. She held various jobs as a maid before she married on December 14, 1940, in Crystal Falls, Michigan to Harry Hess.
The two of them moved to Aurora, Wisconsin, where six children were born. Now all six live in the local area. She was widowed in 1955. Grandma Hess then worked in an adult foster care home until retirement in 1976. In 1980 she moved to Florence, Wisconsin, where she now resides at the age of 89.
By: Doug Weber
Geraldine Lois Weber is my grandma, and this is her life. She used to be a hard working farmer, just like her husband, Robert Weber. So if you farm you might want to read this.
My grandma was born July 1, 1932, and she was born in Kingsford, Michigan at home. She grew up in Kingsford in the part called Breitung. To get to school she had to walk three blocks to the middle school. To go to KHS she walked three miles. For hobbies, she went skiing, played baseball, and played football. At home she played croquette, otherwise she was with her brothers. Before television existed she listened to the radio, and she loved to play the piano.
When she was about eighteen years old, she met Robert Weber, my grandpa, at an old roller rink in Iron Mountain. She had five children named Gerri, Bob, Wally, Doug (my dad), and Dan. While farming, they had to work a lot to pay all the bills because such low pay. All in all, she loved farming.
Two of their kids broke their arms, and while one of her kids was in the haymow, he fell out of it and landed on his head. Also, while my grandpa was working on a machine, a piece of metal flew out and hit him in the eye, and he went unconscious. He still has the metal caught in his face.
Grandma had many farming skills. She drove the tractor, raked hay, baled hay, and filled the silo. She did all of that work even with my grandpa gone bus driving. Some of the animals got bad dysentery, two with bloat, and some had trouble having their calves. To keep them through the winter they had to bale four thousand five hundred bales. One of the loafer barns collapsed when we were helping them unload hay, "Nobody got hurt, thank God!" she exclaimed.
In 1993 they moved from the farm, and in 1996 they had a new house built. They moved because their son Dan wanted to take over farming but it didn't work out.
I will never forgot walking in my grandma's house and having her always offering me licorice and telling me lots of stories about farming. There are many other things that I will never forget about my grandma, but the licorice and stories she told me will top it all off.
By: Logan Annoye
My name is Logan Annoye, and I come from a family with a long history of beekeeping. In the year 1880, my great, great grandparents came to the country. They arrived here from the town of Annoye, France. They crossed the ocean with not only their children but also their beekeeping equipment, complete with bees. They settled in Door County area and set up beekeeping. At that time, beekeeping was a side business, while farming became the mainstay of the family.
One of the children, Joseph, decided that there was a need for beekeeping so he set up the family business again. He took a break from his education and attended Madison College for cheese-making. Afterwards, he came back to the Algoma area to farm and keep bees. He kept about 200 colonies of bees, which helped the family through the Depression. Joseph's son, Alvin, my grandfather, carried on the tradition of keeping in Algoma, Wisconsin. Alvin started with ten colonies and expanded to 100, while also working as a mechanic in the Green Bay area. He eventually left his mechanic's job and became self-employed, increasing colonies up to 350.
In the years that followed, my father eventually carried on the family business. We started with ten colonies in the Kewaunee area and soon expanded our business up to 100 colonies. When we moved into Florence, we continued to beekeep. The weather here is somewhat colder, so for the time being, we are only beekeeping as a hobby--staying at around ten colonies. I enjoy beekeeping and some day hope to continue on with the family tradition and have my own colonies of bees.
By: Bryce Lund
This is a story of what Ricky James Lund does in his extra time: golf. He was born on September 1, 1959. He has lived in Florence County for about ten years.
When Ricky picked up golfing, he was already thirty-four years of age. He started golfing after he moved to Florence because it seemed that everyone else was golfing, and he was missing out on all the fun. Also his family camped often and the guys went golfing every morning, so he was stuck there with all the women and children. Instead of staying behind, he decided to start golfing so he could go with all the guys.
Every season he golfs about sixty-five nine hole rounds, depending on how early the seasons starts and how late it ends. For his clubs he uses a set that used to be his father's. The irons are around twenty years old. The woods are brand new this year.
"I don't consider myself a good golfer, but I just like doing it," state Rick. Even though he says he's not very good at it, he never gets tired of golfing. "I just really like being on a course," Rick said.
Spread Eagle Golf Course is where he usually plays; he's had a membership there for the last three years. Besides the local Upper Michigan area, he's golfed outside the state at South Heart, North Dakota. Outside the United States he's golf in Cancun, Mexico, at Caesuras Park and in Ottawa, Canada, at the Meadows Golf and Country Club. "There's no particular place I would like to golf, just any place," added Ricky.
I really enjoyed hearing about Ricky James Lund's story. I think it's great for someone to share a part of his life with others.
By: Charles Etsinger
My dad knows lots about fishing. He used to fish all the time. He catches big bass all the time. He and his dad would be on the lake about ten to fifteen minutes and be catching huge bass.
My dad's first fish was about six pound. That was on his first fishing trip when he was nine years old. His dad was the best bass fisher I know of, except those bass master pro people. His biggest bass ever was about sixteen pounds and was about fifteen inches long.
Remember that part about my dad and his dad being on the lake for ten minutes? Well, here is the rest of the story. They saw about fifteen bass boats out on the lake. For about an hour or two, they didn't catch anything. So my grandpa set the boat in the water, positioned the boat, and drove to where two boats were fishing for an hour and hadn't caught a thing. My grandpa cast and hit two inches away from the boat. Two minutes later he pulled up a bass.
PERCY PORTERS AMAZING LIFE
By Kyle Frendewey
When she was 60 or more, Percy climbed an 80-foot-high tower in the air. That was he job as a fire spotter for Florence.
Percy had to drop out of school her third week of her senior year to help her sick sister. Another job she had in her adult life was at the old Florence movie theater. The other job she had was a house maid who went around cleaning peoples houses. Her last job is at the nursing home.
Percy has some hobbies: she like to go sit outside and watch the animals. She loves to clean for others. She loves to watch TV but not a lot, just a little like the news.
Percy lived in a lot of places too. The first place she lived is with her two sisters and one brother. They all lived in Commonwealth with their parents. She lived in her uncle's cabin after he died. She lives in Chapin Heights Apartments now.
Percy's family was happy her sister lives in Milwaukee, one of the sisters died of old age. Her brother died of Alzheimer's disease. Her parents died of old age too.
By: Megan Churchill
Joan Churchill is a tall, thing woman with graying hair. She has soft, brown eyes, which are almost always covered with glasses. She loves to read so you will see her with a book in her free time.
Joan was born in Ontario, Wisconsin, in 1934. She lived there until she was a sophomore; then she moved to Tomah.
When she was younger she and her older sister fought often. They were born eight years apart. She never felt close to her sister until she got out of high school. When her sister had a boyfriend, she got paid to leave them alone with candy and sometimes money. She always had a lot of candy!
Even though they didn't have TV, they did many things. In the winter months they skied, went sledding and ice skating, and played games. In the summer time they did taffy pulls (pulled strands of taffy between two people; and it tasted excellent) and went swimming. They went on family trips to the Great Lakes, camping, the Black Hills and Montana. She also read often and listened to radio programs. She would eat at her best friend Kathleen's house one night (her parents were German and they had German food), and the next night she would eat at her friend, Anna Marie's house (her parents were Norwegian and they ate Norwegian food). She always like the Norwegian food better. They also went to the movies and had slumber parties. The girls didn't have cars, only the boys did. The girls had to walk everywhere. Apparently they were never board; they had plenty to keep themselves occupied.
Where my grandma went to grade school there were two grades in each classroom, and they had no kindergarten. When she was in high school, her science and agricultural teachers rented rooms in her house so she had to study extra hard. She moved to Tomah when she was a sophomore. She was scared and didn't like it until she made friends. When she was in Tomah, she had a dance every Friday night. She went to both her junior and senior proms. After the prom there was a formal dinner at her date's house. It was "very fancy." They had homecoming dances. My grandpa was the captain of the football team his junior and senior year. My grandma played head saxophone her junior and senior year also.
My grandma got married to James Churchill when she was twenty years old. They married in Sparta, WI, in 1954, deciding to get married six months before the Korean War ended. My grandpa was stationed in Iron Mountain and had sent my grandma a letter saying, "It's too cold up here and I want to be transferred from the Naval Reserves to the Navy and go somewhere warmer." Within months he left Iron Mountain.
My grandparents started a family in 1956 when they had a handsome baby boy James Churchill, Jr. Then in 1961, a beautiful baby girl, Jolain Churchill, was born. They were blessed with three wonderful grandchildren: Megan (me!) age fourteen; Courtney (my cousin), age twelve; and Jamie (my sister), age ten.
They moved up to Florence in 1974. They had been coming up here ten years before that. She moved here because she didn't like the city. My dad was out of high school, my aunt was just starting high school, and my grandpa felt he could make a living writing here so they stayed.
SCHOOL YEARS OF JULIE (POTRAFKE) TUCK
By: Ashley Tuck
My mother attended Mancelone Public Schools in Mancelona, Michigan. She started school in 1965 and graduated with honors in 1978.
He mother was a "stay at home" mom, and my mom had problems adjusting to school at first. Her kindergarten/first grade teacher was kind of hard on her.
My mom worried about everything and cried a lot!!! By first grade, she had made a pretty good adjustment but was sick often until March of that year when she got her tonsils removed.
My mom's favorite teacher would have to be her 2nd/3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Palling. My mom says, "She was great!!!" She was warm, soft spoken, caring and she made learning fun. She enriched everyone's life with several books that she read aloud to them, but my mom's favorite wasCharlotte's Web.
Her least favorite teacher was her 4th/5th grade teacher, Mrs. Lynch. "She had been a high school teacher prior to becoming a grade school teacher, and she was tough!!!" says my mom. She gave my mom her fist F!!! (That's probably why she's my mom's least favorite teacher!)
Several of the kids that she started school with she also graduated with. My mom and her friends took turns being friends with the boys all the way from kindergarten, but once they hit high school, they had new boys to conquer!!!
They went to Alden school which was a part of the Mancelona school system, but they lived ten miles from Mancelona. Since they had the elementary school in Alden, that's where they went. They close the Alden school in 1975, and presently the Alden kids are bused to Mancelona starting in kindergarten. She and her classmates didn't go to Mancelona until 7th grade. At that time the junior high and high school kids were in the same building.
They played a lot of the same games in school that the kids play now, but her favorite game was duck, duck, goose!!!
According to my mom she wasn't particularly athletic and, therefore, didn't participate in sports. She attended almost every football and basketball game that was held, though!!! My mom's favorite subject was accounting and her job is similar now. She works with ledgers and numbers. She worked on the year book for two years during high school and was a student teacher (basically, a teacher assistant, grading papers, etc.)
They used to take two half days during the spring of the year and the junior high and high school students had "clean-up day." She said, "It was a lot of fun and it was great for the communities!" Mom didn't cause too many problems at school. She got caught skipping once and got grounded for two weeks, and it was only a study hall!!!!
In her senior year she had a chance to go to Toronto, Canada, for a class trip, but she decided not to go. She did take a few days off school, but she opted not to go to Canada. She was still a mama's girl and didn't want to leave her mom!!! After graduation she decided to take a year off from school before starting college. But she met my father in 1979, and they were married in 1981--the rest is history!
She has a friend Dawn (Smith) Serna that she was best friends with all during her school career. They are still best friends now and talk at least a couple of times per month and on the internet all the time. She lives in Lansin, Michigan.
My mom and dad, brothers, and I live in Florence County, Wisconsin. We moved to Aurora in December of 1994 because our Business (Michigan/Wisconsin Spring and Brake Inc.) is in Iron Mountain.
WHERE I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION
By: Nick Demko
During the summer 1999, we went on a family vacation. I went with my dad, mom, and sister Chrissy. We went to Traverse City, Michigan, because my sister was going to go on an Inland Seas science sailing trip. We left home on a Saturday morning and planned to drive until we found a place to stop. We wanted to at least be across the Mackinaw Bridge before we found a hotel.
We made very good time that day, so after we got across the bridge, we decided we would drive for at least another hour. When we started looking for hotel rooms, there weren't too many to be found, so we kept driving. Soon we were close to Traverse City so we thought we would get a room there. When we got to Traverse City, the town was full of people and traffic; there were no vacancies anywhere. We were all getting very hungry, tired and discouraged. We had not choice but to keep driving father south out of Traverse City. We drove for miles and found nothing. We stopped for gas and asked someone where the next hotels would be, and they said forty miles ahead. We asked if there was ANYTHING else. The clerk at the gas station said his uncle owned a campground and there was a cabin available.
When we got to the cabin, the campgrounds looked dark. The cabin had two beds, a bathroom, a kitchen, no phone, no TV, and one bare light bulb. Everyone was very upset. This was not what we had been promised; there was no pool, cable TV, or pizza to order in. My mom promised that we would find something better in the morning; she said the crowds in Traverse City would be gone by tomorrow, and so we spent the night in the dingy little cabin. In the morning we went outside, we found out that the campgrounds were actually really nice. In fact, it was a pretty place, but we decided to find another place to stay.
When we got into Traverse City, it was almost noon and all the hotels had vacancies. We got a very nice room with cable TV and two swimming pools. I guess it was an adventure.
GROWING UP WITH CHARLIE
By: Baily Van Ginkel
I was sitting at the kitchen table asking my father the questions while he was cooking supper, as he tried to pay attention to two things as once.
My father, also known as Charles Hobert Van Ginkel, was born in an Iron Mountain hospital to Mary and Dale Van Ginkel on November 17, 1960. He is the oldest of three boys and had an older sister that died after birth. As a kid he had to feed the animals because he lived on a farm. They had chickens, horses, cows, pigs, peacocks, and cats.
He went to technical college in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, for a couple of years to become an engineer. He married my mother on September 24, 1983. By the age of twenty-seven, they had two kids together, Bradley and me, Bailey. When I asked him where else he had lived other than Florence County, he said, "I hope I don't have to say in order because we have lived in certain places a couple of different times." He lived in Norway, Niagara, Kingsford, and Florence, where he lives now. My family has lived in Florence for 7 1/2 years now. We have two cats, Smokey, a farm cat, and Cleo, short for Cleopatra. At home my father, Charlie, likes to have Cleo sleep on his lap while playing "Red Alert," a computer game that he likes.
As he finished answering my last question he said, "Go call your brother down for supper."
LIFE IS JUST A BOX OF CHOCOLATES
By: Jennifer Geneman
Someday Jeff Geneman, my father, would like to give the town of Florence highway department some tips on how to operate a grader. Jeff works with heavy equipment like a grader and others at Superior Special Services
Jeffrey Allen Geneman was born in Jefferson, Wisconsin, on October 27, of 1964. Jeff was born into a family with ten siblings, and a mother and a father. At the age of twenty-three he married a wonderful woman, Teresa Baker. Jeff and Teresa have four children, Jennifer, 13; Jeffrey Jr., 11; Miles, 11; and Joshua, 10. Jeff and his family moved to Florence in 1993.
Jeff has been doing this job for seven years. He has his CDL and took forty hour of HAZMAT classes to be what he is today. Jeff says he loves his job very much, but he travels a lot and only sees his family on the weekends. Jeff's favorite machine to operate is the grader because it is easy to operate and he is really good at operating it.
Others in Jeff's family work with heavy equipment such as his father, Hank Geneman. When asked if he would encourage his children to try this line of work, he answered, "Yes it is a very rewarding job and the pay is good too."
In what little free time he has, he likes to go fishing, hunting, bowling, and do other activities with his family. Jeff also likes to spend time working on automobiles with his brothers and father. He likes to visit and chat with his sisters and mother.
AN ACCIDENT HE'LL NEVER FORGET
By: Jackie Windell
"Falling out of that tree was probably the worst experience I've had," recalls Mike Windell of Aurora. Two years ago while hunting, he fell out of a tree on Christmas Eve.
Mike Windell had the worst accident of his life that winter when he fell twenty-nine feet from a tree. Stunned for several minutes, he laid in the deep snow with throbbing pain. Realizing what had happened, he tried to get up but couldn't because of his injuries. He stopped to think about what to do and decided he would have to crawl out of the would.
Seeming like the longest half mile ever, Mike arrived back at his landcruiser. Almost passing out, he struggled to climb in. Knowing he had to get home, he withstood the long, painful ride. When he got there, he sat trying to catch his breath. Noticing his daughter in the window, Mike motioned to her to come outside. She ran out asking what had happened and what she could do to help. Glenn Windell, Mike's dad, who lives across the street, was already on his way over. He helped him into the house using a crutch from previous injuries. His wife, Julie, arrived home a short while later and called the ambulance.
At the hospital the doctors did x-rays and discovered a crushed heel and a broken back. At the time all they could do was give him braces to wear and have him lie down with his foot elevated. They kept him at this hospital for a week then transferred him to a hospital in Madison for his surgery.
After having two metal straps and nine pins put in his heel, he was not able to walk or stand on his own for a very long period of time. I guess you would say that all in all Mike has recovered completely but still has a small limp.
HISTORY OF THE SKI-TERS ORGANIZATION
By: Jade Jeske
Have you ever wondered what has inspired people to visit the Florence County area? As you known, Florence County is an average county--small, yet allows people to live happily and comfortably. Although there aren't many things to do around the county, one organization has brought the people in this area together every summer for a type of entertainment that some may never forget.
In all began in 1957 when a group of high school and college students thought of the idea to get on water skis and perform tricks for their friends and family in the Spread Eagle, Wisconsin, area. As for the performances, they were entertaining and brought the people of the Florence County area together to have fun. The performances of these skiers were directed by a show captain. The show captain of the shows performed in Spread Eagles was Carl Sunberg. A show captain served as a "guide" to keep the skier directed in the right positions and made sure the show was to its expected quality.
In 1965, the Dickinson County Area Chamber of Commerce was asked if they would sponsor a water-ski show that was to be performed on Lake Antoine. They gladly accepted the invitation to sponsor the skiers--that the the year the Ski-ters Water Ski Club was welcomed into the area. The club consisted of twenty-three local residents who served as show participants. Mike Schroeder served as the very first show captain of the Ski-ters organization, and Peter Lewis was the very first announcer.
Peter B. Mitchell and other members of the Chamber, worked to raise money for the club to pay for the cost of the boat and show equipment. The club also accepted donations at each show during half time to help pay for the costs of various pieces the club had planned on purchasing and to keep the club up and running. The first show was held at Lake Antoine on July 4th, 1965. The donations that day set a record $200.00. Donation records continue to grow larger as the years pass by, and more people find out about the show. Community fundraising was also performed whenever the club may have needed a new boat or whenever the jump may have needed to be fixed or replaced.
The Ski-ters organization has entertained many people around the area for approximately thirty five years and plans on continuing to do so. The time and effort the club members put into this show each year to make sure the show is up to expectations is, and always will be, appreciated. As the years pass by and the club accepts new members, the quality of the Ski-ters water ski club remains unbeatable.
*Information obtain from: The Ski-ters 2000 Program
GLENN RICHARD OLSEN
By: Vanessa Moore
He is thirty-nine years old, no married, and has no kids. He is a very guy to be around, and he loves the Lord...His name is Glenn Richard Olsen.
Glenn is a truck driver. He drives trucks very early in the morning, getting up at around 2:30-3:45 a.m. He hadn't planned on being a truck driver, though, actually going to school to be a chef. He figures that wasn't where God wanted him to be so he's now a truck driver. Youth Group is something else Glenn spends a lot of time working on. He has tons of energy for a thirty-nine year old man. Glenn is a great Youth Group leader.
Glenn had a good relationship with God. He accepted Jesus into his heart when he was ten years old at bible camp. It was his first time away from home; he was feeling kind of lonely. The counselor said that he needed a friend. He introduced Glenn to Jesus Christ and said that Jesus wanted to be his friend. Glenn was baptized at 16. He has been a Christian for twenty-nine years now.
Glenn has been on many trips with our Youth Group. South Dakota and Mexico are two of the trips. When he was in Mexico, he pulled a tendon helping to push up a wall while the Youth Group was helping the needy people down to Mexico build houses. It took him twenty-four weeks to recover from the accident.
Glenn was helpful to other needy people even if he had known them all his life. He helped his grandpa in the garden and helped him cut wood.
Glenn loves to go fishing. He says it is one of his hobbies. He has been fishing for thirty-three to thirty-four years now. "When we went fishing," said Glenn, "we would always bring a hard tooth rake. That was to get the fishing line out of the trees." Glenn laughed.
When Glenn was in high school he was involved in football and drama. He was in The Fantastics where he sang solo. He was also in George Washington Slept Here. Those were the names of the plays he was in.
Glenn is quite an active person and a fun person to be around. I am very close to Glenn, yet I have just learned some things I never knew. Thanks Glenn.
A SLED RIDE IN THE STORM
By: Carrie Canfield
My dad, Art Canfied, is middle aged and about 6'0" with a beard and a genuine expression. He wears a winter coat, thin snowpants and a pair of boots while he does his favorite hobby, dogsledding.
When my dad goes dogsledding, he usually takes a maximum of eight Siberian huskies and a minimum of six, depending on the weather and if it's daytime or nighttime running. Starting at the lead dog is Kynu--which means leader; he is wise and dominant. Our other lead dog is Niya--sister; she has a mind of her own, but in my opinion she is the prettiest and the nicest. Following is Myax--Eskimo girl's name, and Napeek--lake; they are father and daughter. Next is Tok--Alaskan city, and Rozy--names for her mother; they are both a reddish-brown and white. Our wheel dogs, or the two nearest the sled, are Kelah--sky, and Toolik--king loon. They are the strongest and the slowest so that's why they are the wheel dogs.
The dogs sleep under a lean-way connected to our pole barn. Their pens consist of a twelve-foot space outside and about four feet inside the pole barn. Their actual doghouse is made up of an empty, plastic fifty-gallon soap container padded with straw. This is usually too comfy and warm for the dogs because of their thick undercoat, so they always push out their straw bedding.
Dad started dogsledding in 1992. He was influenced after watching some dogsled races and found it very interesting. Since he enjoys winter and dogs, it seemed to be the perfect sport. Art spends many days dogsledding in the Spread Eagle Plains on the old logging trails. He enjoys dogsledding with the dogs (obviously!), and his family, or by himself. My dad's favorite weather to dogsled in is ten degrees with a fresh inch of snow.
Equipment is a big factor of dogsledding. The two most important pieces of equipment are the dogs, of course, and a light-weight sled. The sled depends on the terrain on which you are running. Second in importance is harnesses. Next is a gane line (rope) that connects the dogs to the sled. After that you need a brake and a snow hook. A brake is used to slow the dogs down if they are running too fast. A snow hook is used to anchor the sled while you do something off the sled.
One of my dad's best experiences was when he went dogsledding with me when I was very young. One of his worst experiences was when he fell off the sled and the dogs kept running; he found them about two miles down the trail.
Dad went dogsledding during the big snowstorm we had on May 10, 1993, and here are some of his thoughts on that day. After the snow had melted that spring, grass was beginning to grow and flowers were blooming. On the morning of May 10th it began to snow. By early afternoon we had received close to twelve inches of snow. He said the pace was slow dogsledding in the storm because of the deep, wet snow, but the scenery was incredible. My dad really enjoyed this because being May 10th the dogsledding season would usually be done. One of the precautions that my dad took was not to run the dogs too hard because of the warm weather and the deep, wet snow. The heavy snowfall affected the dogs performance by just slowing them down.
My dad commented that not every trip was as extraordinary as the one on that day, so he would love to doglsed in a storm similar to the one on May 10th, 1993, because of the fantastic scenery. I would like to thank my dad for sharing his hobby with me and everyone else.
CAREER LIFE OF MARGARET OLSON
By: Ashley Willman
Margaret Olson has been a familiar face to the Florence County School District students, staff, and families for many years. Her smiling face and upbeat chit chat often makes someone's day.
Margaret attended Kingsford High School and graduated in 1953. She took a commercial course which included bookkeeping and also two years of shorthand and typing. In the summer of her junior years in high school, she had gone to Chicago for a job at Albert Pick Co. as a legal secretary. The first principal she had every worked under suddenly left the area. She ended up taking over his title in bookkeeping and became responsible for filing reports for the D.P.I without being trained to do so.
Margaret Olson has worked for the school District of Florence County for over thirty-four years now. Her present supervisor is Mr. Kriegl; during her employment she has worked for about eight principals. When she first began her career, there was not an elementary principal. The high school principal served in that capacity when needed, but most of the problems were handled by teachers within their classrooms. Years ago she saw them tear down the old gymnasium which stood between the elementary (which is now the high school) then build a new gymnasium and enclose the facility into one whole complex.
She had not been informed of a certain dress code. But in all of her years working at the School District of Florence County, she has never worn a pair of slacks during a single day at school! When she first began working, it was unusual or improper for a woman teacher to wear a pair of pants.
As a small child she says, "I would sit at my father's big roll top desk, take things out of the wastebasket that he had written on in pencil, and trace them in ink." Margaret says the most embarrassing moment of her career was just last year as we was making an announcement over the PA. She was supposed to say, "All juniors who sold pizzas...," and she had announced, "Juniors who stole pizzas!" She became hysterical with laughter and couldn't speak, "The students must have thought that I received devastating news and was crying."
"Everyone has their ups and downs," Margaret says, "but I enjoy what I do otherwise I would not have stayed this long!" We're all thankful for the years Mrs. Olson has dedicated to Florence County School District and the people that learn and work here.
By: Alan Donaldson
My mom, Gail Marie Donaldson, was born September 19, 1965, in Iron Mountain, Michigan, at Dickinson County Memorial Hospital. She grew up in Florence, Wisconsin, attending Florence High School and graduating in 1983. In 1989, she joined the Florence volunteer rescue squad, and this is about her.
In 1989 she joined the rescue squad, a volunteer squad. She joined because "my brother, dad, mom, and sister-in-law were in it, and I gave it a shot." On a scale of 1-10 she ranks her time on the squad as a seven because she said that it took up a lot of free time, but she liked helping her community. She had to take a lot of classes too.
My mom had to take many training courses to be certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). She needed to take additional classes to be certified for Epinephrine (mostly for bee stings), to use the defibrillator to shock the heart with paddles, and every year she had to take a Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) class.
She was on the squad for eight years. In that time, the weirdest call she went on was when a mom and three babies were in an accident. The mom had to go to the hospital because she hurt her head, and the little boy thought his mom broke her brain.
After eight years she got a job in Green Bay and was not able to take the CPR class and lost her license as an EMT. Even though she did not get paid for her contributions to the county, she was glad she helped save someone in her life. I thank my mom for being a good Florence County resident.
INDIANS OF FLORENCE COUNTY
By: Annie Polaske
The prehistoric people moved into Florence County as soon as the last glaciers needed ten thousand years ago. A major historic Menominee Indian village was recorded in the late 1600s right across the river from Aurora. Ojibwa villages were on the Bad Waters in Florence County and on Chicagoan Lake in Iron County. They lived along every major river stream and lake. They were hunting and gathering people and exploited natural resources. Some of their major foods included wild rice and maple sugar. they fished and hunted local mammals and gathered hundreds of different kinds of plants. They wore skins of animals, especially beaver. They wore the fur side against their skin. They also wove material from reeds and grasses. The prehistoric Indians made tools from animal bones, wood, or quartz and copper. They also traded and had tools made from chert, knife river flint, and chalcedony. Historic Indians added to their collections with items made of iron. They used lots of scrapers, wedges, and awls.
The first Indians to live here were different from the last in many ways. Ten thousand years ago, the summers were cooler and the winters were warmer. The area was covered with different vegetation. Those people are known as the "big game hunters"; most animals were much bigger than they are today. Those people likely hunted giant elk, mammoths, giant beavers, musk ox and grizzly bears. They even may have "fished" for whales in the great lakes! In the last Indian villages recorded here in 1870, the people were still primarily hunters, fisherman, and gatherers, but the environment and animals were similar to the environment and animals of today. It was too short of a growing season to do much successful farming, but they had an active trade system and enjoyed corn, beans, and squash. In 1870, Europeans canned their food using poisonous lead seals. The Indians of 1870 traded with them for those poisonous goods and also salt, sugar, flour, and coffee.
In historic times, the Indian villages were decimated by contagious diseases brought to them by the Europeans (including cholera, small pox, measles, typhoid and influenza). European pressure forced them from their land. We are still studying prehistoric Indian movements and settlement patterns.
THE HISTORY HOUSE
By: Riley Worple
My house: A big, four-bedroom, three-story (if you include the attic) home. It's out in the country with woods and fields. It just looks like any ordinary, big house, but it has an even bigger history behind it.
The house was built in 1917, by two Chicago investors during the prohibition years. In the 1920's, religious fundamentalists lobbied congress to outlaw the use or possession of alcohol; these were called the "prohibition years." As a result some people decided they would make their own alcohol and sell it for a profit. Various bootleg stills sprung up in the north woods of Wisconsin to supply the private clubs in Chicago and surrounding areas. One of these stills was located on the property I live on.
Al Capone, a notorious gangster and bootlegger, had people who worked for him over most parts of Northeastern Wisconsin; these people built cottages, cabins, and houses to manufacture moonshine liquor. A group of Chicago investors bought some land on Harding Settlement Road and built a large home with a log cabin still located about 100 years behind the house. In the house and still they would manufacture grain alcohol or moonshine, take it down to the railroad grades in wooden crates marked "PIG FEED" and put it on the train bound for Chicago.
When we moved into our house my dad found a wooden box in an old root cellar in the basement that contained four, one-gallon jugs used for moonshine. Three of the jugs were empty, but the fourth was about half-full of pure moonshine liquor. On the outside of the wooden crate was stenciled "PIG FEED."
In the late twenties word leaked out that an illegal distillery was operating on the premises and word got out to the Feds. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but a mysterious fire burned the still and all it's belongings to the ground. Shortly after that incident, around 1929, my house was abandoned and left vacant until 1941.
Al Capone was eventually arrested by Elliot Ness and other FBI agents; he was tried, convicted and sentenced to prison where he died of a venereal disease called syphilis, thus brought an end to the bootlegging era.
WHERE THE TREASURE REALLY LIES
By: Dane Gagnon
"When I was sixteen, I ran away thinking I was the smartest; I ended up the dumbest." Mr. Trudell replied to my first question gesturing with his hands. I was receiving a hidden message. He told me everything: his past, present, and future. Mr. Trudell's face was weathered but knowledgeable from his journeys (I suspected), and as he spoke he stroked his beard as if it helped him think.
As I first entered The Old Gold Miner Shop, Mr. Trudell gave me a wink--an optical "hello." I smiled. Before I knew it, we had started the interview. Mr. Trudell grew up here in Florence. His grandfather had made one of the first houses here. He was born January 10, 1931, in Wausaukee due to his father's painting job at the time. When his father had to go to the war, his uncle took on the father role, providing for the family. His uncle was a miner and a blaster, and Mr. Trudell would follow him to work finding fossils which in turn introduced him to other minerals--minerals of money.
At sixteen he quit school and ran away. I feel dreams were his motive and hopefully were fulfilled. His travels spanned from Brazil for diamonds to Columbia. It seemed to be more than just a trip; I think for the experience.
"I swore I'd never come back...but look, now here I am," Mr. Trudell said in a solid tone as if to teach me. Yes, after his many journeys he ended up back here in Florence. But during his journeys much was found. One of his largest treasures was a gold nugget that had to be weighed in pounds. Now, you might question what drives a person to do something like this, with no guarantee.
"The rush!? The experience?" I asked as if to fill in the blanks.
"Yes," he replied.
In our present day Mr. Trudell has his own shop, selling anything from metal detectors (his most popular item) to small polished stones. He makes some of his own jewelry. Mr. Trudell, now in his late sixties, had retiring in the plan... "I retired, but then I had to do something so I opened a shop," he answered with grin. The name of his shop couldn't fit him better:The Old Gold Miner Shop. All I can say is that it takes a good man to make a good story.
YEARS OF HUNTING
By: Aimee Drew
Five people, five guns, and five stands make for an exciting hunting trip into the forests of Florence County. Great friends, Jeff and Jake Budish from Marinette County and Ann, Dwaine, and Dylan Drewa from Florence County, have met in the same place every hunting season since 1995. Consisting of ages thirteen to forty-two (with no new members), they have started a new tradition that will go for many years to come.
Opening day of firearm deer season dawns. Everyone gets up to go to their ground, or tree stand, not too close to each other. During the end of the season approximately two or three deer are shot. While skinning the deer, meat will be cut off, chilled, and be given equally to all hunters that participated.
This group meets about ten times a year, but really only spends three times talking, planning, and getting stands together. The group got started when two of the men, Jeff and Dwaine, met in high school in Milwaukee County, and started hunting together in Marinette County. Jeff and Dwaine each got married, and both had two children. Dwaine moved to Florence and Jeff moved to Marinette. Years have passed and the children are grown up. Now Jeff takes his thirteen year old son, Jake, and Dwaine takes his fifteen year old son, Dylan. Dwaine's wife, Ann, hunts with them, though she claims they aren't as rude as when it was just the men.
I found that this was an interesting group of hunters. They met in high school and are still great friends. I thank this group for their wonderful help with my interview. and sharing their information with me.
MY UNCLE OMAR
By: Juan Diaz
My uncle, Omar Flores, is forty years old. He's married to Reyna and has three kids: Jarmmy, Jesus and Fredrico. He came to Florence in 1990 when Jarmmy was just three months old. He said the first couple of years were boring until Jesus was born on December 24, 1994. The first two months he found out that there was snow ever year' he had never lived anywhere where it snows. Omar told me he made friends easily because he had brown skin and knew Spanish. He and his friends made a deal that they would teach him English if he taught them Spanish.
My uncle loved to play soccer so he played soccer. I don't know how long though. He told me he was very happy. When he had his third child, Fredrico, he told me he got very, very happy, especially when my grandma came.
My grandma came eight months ago, and he told her to bring me. I came on September 15, 2000. He got even happier because he had not seen me for seven years. He told me we're going to go to a lot of places like Niagara Falls, Lake Superior, and Toronto.
By: Samantha Reid
Alvin Miller was born in 1932. He was born during the Depression, which lasted from 1930 to 1938. He was seven years old when the Depression ended. His family was made up of five boys and four girls. Games that he would play with his friends were kick-the-can and hide-and-go-seek. It was tough for them, but his dad and brothers always worked. They worked at a logging company and all together they earned eight dollars a day. They got food stamps, and only so many per week. Their gasoline was rationed out, so they burnt wood and coal. His family always had money.
When he was fourteen, he was always playing sports. He played baseball, football, and basketball. He said, "I played baseball instead of going to my brother's wedding."
Alvin has been a locksmith for fifty years. He started when he was nineteen, at Michelle Hardware. Then he got moved to Markell. He is into lock work and safe work. He recalls, "The police would call me early in the morning to repair and change locks that people tried to, or did, break into."
Alvin has many stories to tell but here is one of them:
And old man in Iron River who owned a jewelry store died. The family wanted to opened his safe, so they looked for seven to ten locksmiths that could try and open it. They gave Alvin the combinations; two of them were one and a half and six and a half. There was one more, but he only remembered those two. He had to figure them out. One and a half ended up to be fifteen and six and half was sixty-five. When he opened it there were very old silver coins in it. The man had been collecting them for years. The oldest one was from 1876.
Another story that Alvin told me goes like this:
A man died in Iron Mountain who had a big safe. The girlfriend wanted to open it so she called Alvin. When he got it open, he told the woman to get a box. She came back with a shoe box. Alvin said that is wasn't big enough, and to get a bigger one, so she came back with a large packing box. Alvin filled the box to the top with 50 and 100 dollar bills. It contained at least 500,000 dollars.
Alvin and his wife Corrine have been married for forty-five years. They have three children and four grandchildren. He has been living in Florence with his wife Corrine for seven years. He lived in Kingsford for 62 years. Alvin is still a locksmith, and probably will be for a long time. Both he and his wife are good friends of my mom and me. Sometimes I call him Alvy, and he will give me a hug. He likes to give me hugs because he is a very kind man.
By: Frank Smith
I am going to interview my dad, Frank Smith, about the history of the farm in Fence. You will learn about the machinery used in farming and why my grandpa moved up to Florence County
The first piece of farm equipment he had ever bought was a Farmall H tractor. My dad started helping on the farm when he was six years old. The most recent piece of farm equipment that he bought was two chopper wagons. They are five years old.
My grandpa moved up here in 1960, and bought the farm. The farm is about eighty years old. Before he started farming he logged in the woods for Ted Berklund. He started out farming with ten cows which he got for a wedding gift.
It's been about ten years since they've used silos. He plans to use them next year. He harvests about 110 acres each year. The farm is 40 x 60 feet. He planted corn about ten years ago.
An addition was put on the farm about twelve years ago. Grandpa owns about 180 acres now and had about fifty cows.
I will never forget about our farm. I enjoyed learning about our heritage.
By: Alayna Gianunzio
Have you ever wondered what school was like in the past? I was curious so I interviewed my mother, Diana Jacobson.
My mom was the youngest of three children. She went to elementary school at Longfellow Elementary in Foster City, Michigan. When she was in fifth grade, she was consolidated with Channing and her school became North Dickinson
When she went to school, they were expected to behave better than we do now. When she was in elementary school she said the principal had a paddle! "If you got out of hand, you got a paddle," she laughed. "My brother even had to clean the floor with a toothbrush for throwing a softball and hitting them." This she said with a giant smile on her face! Things have changed since then.
The sports then were similar: football, basketball, and track. Of course, only the guys played football. My mom was in basketball in the 7th and 8th grade but not in high school She was in track in 9th and 10th grade.
Some classes they used to have before were close to the ones we have now. For instance, the students had typing, math, science, physical education, band, art, and English. My mom's favorite class was English because who loved to read. She still does love to read. I don't though.
They also went on really awesome field trips. The summer before her senior year she went to Spain with Mrs. Bergwall and a group from Florence. They spent sixteen days there and went to cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Granada. "I did not like the bull fights," she said with a disgusted look on her face. She also went to Florida her senior year. They raised money to cover the whole trip and even had $100 spending money. Fifty students went on a Greyhound bus down there and back. "We had a great time on the bus and at Florida," she said with a smile. They went to Disney World, Sea World, Wet and Wild, and Bush Garden. "I had so much fun!" she exclaimed.
I enjoyed my interview. I learned things about school in the past that I never knew happened. I also got to spend a little extra time with my mom. I am glad I interviewed her.
Florence County Chronicles, 1998