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October 2010

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www.fdlreporter.com

Ghostly paranormal adventures in downtown

1

Upcoming events in Downtown Fond du Lac

Calling all holiday shoppers

Woolgatherers a haven for hobbyists who enjoy weaving, spinning and more

Dorothy Bliskey | Special to The Reporter

The Woolgathers Ltd. LLC opened at 35 N. Main St. four years ago when owners Sara and Hans von Tresckow retired from full-time jobs. Hans, who was born in Germany, was an engineer while Sara, an Illinois native, held several jobs in IT. Living in Germany since the 1970s, the couple returned to the United States in 1990 and settled in Fond du Lac where Hans worked at Giddings and Lewis. The couple’s technical skills and knowledge of fiber arts enhances the product line and services offered at Woolgatherers. Sara has more than 30 years of experience as a weaver and spinner, while Hans builds and repairs looms. As a full-service fiber shop, the Woolgatherers attracts those who enjoy spinning, weaving, knitting, felting and crocheting. Customers will find a complete line of knitting needles and crochet hooks, basic knitting yarn, hand spindles, spinning wheels, fiber for making yarn or felt and wooden looms for weaving. In addition the store has weaving kits for children and adults, spinners and exclusive linen yarn and looms from Sweden. Finished items range from elegant towels to weftfaced wool rugs, hand-woven by Sara. Woven runners, scarves, bags and greeting cards with woven linen inserts add to Sara’s personally created selection. “The half-linen towels are what I sell the most,” said Sara, who notes pure linen towels made from fine Swedish linen are also available. Equipment carried at the Woolgatherers ranges from simple tools to full-sized Swedish floor looms. A cozy nook filled with books on spinning, weaving and

dyeing gives shoppers a host of reading material. “Fine linen yarn for weavers is a featured item in our shop, along with cotton and wool yarns that produce lovely fabrics,” Sara said. “For those who prefer finished goods, we offer hand-woven fabric and items, along with a line of linen items from a small mill in Germany that still produces traditional household goods, including lovely lint-free towels to dry fine glassware.” Individual instruction by Sara adds to the services provided. “Since the shop is small, my classes are in the form of one-to-one training,” Sara said, explaining that she gears the classes to the students’ preferences and level of expertise. Sara also presents lectures at fiber conferences across the United States. The couple became well known in Europe for their involvement in fiber work that began in the late 1970s while living in Germany. Receiving a broken spinning wheel from a neighbor was the catalyst for Sara’s passion for the fiber arts. The wheel was refurbished and Sara began spinning, knitting and weaving yarn from local wool. It wasn’t long and the couple purchased a home in Germany that included enough rented acreage to host a herd of Frisian milk sheep and a flock of backyard chickens. The first Woolgatherers was formed there, based on agricultural production with yarn, sheepskins, woven

items, eggs from backyard hens and meat and cheese from the sheep. Sara and Hans went on to exhibit at art fairs, farmers markets and agricultural exhibitions. They also sold items at a nearby open air museum in Germany where Sara demonstrated weaving in the summer. Hans builds small table looms and offers repair and restoration of spinning wheels and looms. He points out that they are the only U.S. distributor of a special line of looms from Sweden. “That’s our niche,” he said. The Woolgatherers serves local residents, but through their extensive website also sells goods around the world, doing business in places like Russia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, England, Canada and all 50 states. “This worldwide trade comes from several advanced weaving items we carry exclusively,” Sara said. The downtown Fond du Lac location and close proximity to Highway 41 is beneficial, according to Sara. “It leads many of our mail-order customers to stop and see us when they are passing through Wisconsin. Occasionally a group of spinners or weavers will organize a short field trip to visit the shop,” she said. “The ‘Come in and Browse’ on the door is meant sincerely. We welcome all visitors.”

Hours at Woolgatherers are 10-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. More information is available by calling (920) 907-0510 or by visiting www.woolgatherers.com.

Sara Von Tresckow works at a loom in the Woolgatherers store located at 35 N. Main St., in downtown Fond du Lac. The Reporter photos by Patrick Flood


October 2010

2

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Ghostly

paranormal adventures in downtown Ramada Hotel, Elks Club, Finnegans have spooky stories to tell

Dorothy Bliskey Special to The Reporter

Some strange occurrences have been reported as happening in Room 717 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, 1 N. Main St., in downtown Fond du Lac. For many years, there have been stories circulating about the Ramada Plaza being haunted. The Reporter photos by Justin Connaher

Ghost busters might be on call this month in downtown Fond du Lac as rumors of haunted buildings resurface.

Theater, the Elks Club, pubs such as Dillingers, Finnegans and Main Exchange and radio station 96.1 The Mix — Radio Plus are among those rumored to be haunted.

With Halloween just around the corner, it seems a perfect time to visit some of the establishments.

With a lighthearted touch, staff members at several of the downtown businesses were quick to offer feedback about abnormal happenings.

The Ramada Plaza Hotel, the former Retlaw Movie

Ramada Plaza Hotel

Websites such as www.hauntedwi.com, www.theshadowlands.net & www.unexplainedresearch.com list various places in Fond du Lac as potentially haunted. Many are in the downtown area.

Guests and staff have occasionally witnessed strange occurrences at the Ramada Hotel, one of many elegant hotels built by businessman Walter Schroeder in the 1920s. Most are oddities logged by staff over the years — lights and faucets that turn on mysteriously, unexplained noises and door slamming in vacant rooms, weird sensations of ghostly images and flashing lights in various parts of the hotel, especially on seventh floor. “We’ve had reports from guests that televisions strangely switch to C-Span in the night or that they sense someone is in the room, sitting on the foot of their bed,” said Mary Yakaites, a waitress at the Ramada for the past 20 years. “Some of us have seen the dishwasher start up all by itself and other strange things,” she said.

The Last Saturday Classes for the Year at Beadalotta! The Last Saturday Basics Class for the Year! Saturday, November 6 10:30-1pm $22 + materials: Learn the basics of stringing and how to properly crimp to finish your strung pieces. After your bracelet is completed we’ll move on to making a pair of earrings. You’ll practice several times with your technique before making your earrings. Beads and clasp not included in class fee. All other materials provided in class.

She cites an unusual incident documented by staff who had been decorating the ballroom on a Friday night in preparation for a large wedding the next day. After finishing, staff locked the ballroom and left for the night.

NEW CLASS! Moroccan Tila Bracelet Saturday, November 13 10:30-1pm $22 + materials: Tila beads are the hot new bead on the bead-scene. Learn how to work with these fun 2-holed beads. Make this lovely bracelet and learn to work with these fun flat beads. Advanced Beginner--knowledge of stitching helpful.

“When they returned the next morning, they found all the wedding candles had burned halfway down in the night,” Yakaites said.

NEW CLASS! Tila Road Cuff Saturday, November 20 10:30-1pm $22 + materials: Learn how to stitch this great everyday cuff bracelet using 2-holed Tila beads and embellishing with seed beads and the new Miyuki tiny drops! Advanced Beginner-knowledge of stitching helpful. Don’t forget! Book the class of your choice on Tuesdays and Fridays at 1:15pm. Check out all of our classes at www.beadalotta.com. Call us at 920-322-1885 or come in to visit us at 21 E 2nd St., Suite 101 (parking and entrance on the corner of E 1st St and Portland). Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 11am-5pm and Saturday: 10am-3pm. We also have finished jewerly for sale and can also do custom pieces for any occasion!

Many reports of the ghostly activity come from staff over the years who say radios turn on in unoccupied rooms, dishes shake and rattle, supplies on carts mysteriously disappear, and a lone ballerina can be seen dancing in the ballroom. Pinch notes that bus tours include the Ramada as a stop on their tour of haunted sites that begins in Milwaukee.

Call us at 920-322-1885 or come into sign up for your class. We also have Customer Choice classes on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Ask how you can schedule any class! Visit our website at www.beadalotta.com to view our entire class list. Located at 21 E. 2nd St., Suite 101, Fond du Lac, WI 54935

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The most dramatic events seem to center around room 717,” says Joan Pinch, sales manager at the Ramada. “Some paranormals like to stay in this room to study it.”

(parking and entrance are on the corner of 1st and Portland)

The Elks Club, just a block or so from the Ramada, has also spooked a few guests and workers. “We have Oscar, our friendly ghost,” says Kelly Brzezinski, bowling alley manager since 1993. She says Oscar may stem from the story that workers unearthed a male corpse while digging the foundation for the building in the early 1900s. “A gentleman came in a few years ago to set up a bowling party and I gave him a tour,” Brzezinski recalls. “As he looked toward the fireplace he said he saw a man in a top hat, standing by the fireplace just observing, and later as we toured he said the air felt heavy and that it gave him goose bumps.” On another occasion, Brzezinski experienced the supernatural personally. “I saw a shadow of a figure one night after turning the kitchen lights off to go home,” she said, explaining that she thought it was one of her fellow workers. “I reached out and my hand went right through the shadow. No one was there.”

J.D. Finnegans J.D. Finnegans, a tavern across from the Ramada and one of the oldest buildings in Fond du Lac, is also rumored locally to be haunted. “There was a bartender who said when he would return to open the next morning, he often found a certain brand of whiskey bottles smashed on the floor,” said owner Ted Buetow. “Evidently the ghost didn’t like that brand.” “They say it’s haunted,” Buetow said. “I guess some believe that but I never really bought into it. I think it goes back to the days of prohibition when Carrie Nation came into the bar in July of 1902 to preach against the evils of alcohol,” Buetow said, noting it was called the Schmidt Sample Room then. “She smashed bottles of booze with an axe and threw a fit to prove her point. That became folklore,” Buetow said. “I do know when I used to sleep in that building it made a lot of noise. A few years ago a lady who was a paranormal came into the bar to investigate it. She felt a presence and said it was a kind-hearted spirit. It made her think it might have been a past regular who, in death, still doesn’t want to leave.” “Rumor is that this used to be a combination bar and bank, and that a teller sat at one end of the bar to cash payroll checks,” Buetow said. “It’s an old building with a lot of history — haunted or not.”

L ! O N CO L FU FAL

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“Staff members like to say that these are just ghostly pranks, and that Walter’s spirit is here to protect the hotel which was his pride and joy,” Pinch said.

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Experience Downtown Fond du lac is published by The Reporter, Fond du Lac. Contents of this section are published for The Reporter. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior consent of The Reporter. For more information, contact Michael Mentzer, managing editor, at 920-907-7910 or e-mail mmentzer@fdlreporter.com.

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General Manager/Executive Editor: Richard Roesgen Managing Editor: Michael Mentzer | Contributing Writer: Dorothy Bliskey Photography: Patrick Flood & Justin Connaher | Graphic Artist: Heather Nohr Advertising Director: Joe Bembnister | Advertising Manager: Jen Memmel Circulation Manager: Greg Fyvie | Regional Ad Production Center Manager: Tina Tweedale


October 2010

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3

For more information on what’s happening in downtown Fond du Lac, call 920.921.9500 or log on to www.downtownfdl.com Tuesday, October 19 Big Band Tuesdays Windhover Center for the Arts, 51 Sheboygan St. 7:30-10pm Free admission. 920-921-5410. Music by Lighthouse Big Band.

Wednesday, October 20

Farmers Market 2 to 6 p.m. Hamilton Park, Corner of Division St. & Sophia St. Windhover Wednesday Fran the Piano Man, Windhover Center for the Arts, 51 Sheboygan St., 11:30-1:30pm. Free admission. 920-921-5410

Health Fair: Seminar for Kids: Anytime Foods and Sometimes Foods 2:00 – 3:00pm – FREE for kids up to age 12. FDL Public Library, McLane Meeting Room

Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac, 9am-7pm. Free Craft and treat with paid admission ($4.25). 51 Sheboygan St.

Sunday, October 24

Farmers Market 6:30 to noon. City-County Government Building, Western Ave. & Linden St.

Saturday, October 30

Teen Halloween Party FDL Public Library, 1:00-3:00pm – FREE – no registration required. For 6-12th graders. Make a Halloween craft, have snacks, and watch a movie. McLane Meeting Room

Monster March Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership, 1:30 – 3:00pm. Downtown Fond du Lac

Tuesday, October 26

When I’m 65 FDL Public Library, 1:00pm-2:30pm – FREE. Julie Hilbert from FDL County Senior Services will present information about Medicare and Medicare Part D. Register online or call 920-9297080 ext. 131. McLane Meeting Room

Saturday, October 23

Farmers Market 6:30 a.m. to noon. City-County Government Building, Western Ave. & Linden St. Health Fair: A Healthier You – a program on adult nutrition 1:00 – 1:55 - FREE. FDL Public Library, McLane Meeting Room Health Fair: Flu Shot Clinic 10:00am – 3:00pm, FDL Public Library, Seefeld Conference Room. Vaccines: Flu $35 and Pneumonia $55 Health Fair: Living Long, Living Well 10:00am – 11:00am - FREE. FDL Public Library, McLane Meeting Room

Wednesday, October 27

Farmers Market 2 to 6 p.m. Hamilton Park, Corner of Division St. & Sophia St. Windhover Wednesday Paul Rosenfeldt, Windhover Center for the Arts, 51 Sheboygan St., 11:30-1:30pm. Free admission. 920-921-5410

Monster Mash-Up! Fond du Lac Public Library, 1:00 – 3:00pm – FREE. Children’s Room. Halloween Stroytime, Make & Take crafts, Treats!

Tuesday, November 2

Big Band Tuesdays Windhover Center for the Arts, 51 Sheboygan St., 7:30-10pm Free admission. 920-921-5410. Music by Lighthouse Big Band

Wednesday, November 3

Windhover Wednesday Tom Sugars, Windhover Center for the Arts, 51 Sheboygan St., 11:30-1:30pm. Free admission. 920-921-5410

Friday, November 5

Friday, October 29

Searl Pickett Concert Series Mozart with Zest, Windhover Center for the Arts, 51 Sheboygan St., 7:30pm. 920-921-5410

Spooktacular – Our 3rd Annual Costume Party!

Saturday, November 6

Wine Class Cujak’s Wine Market & Wine Bar, LLC, 6:00pm7:30pm, $10. Come and learn about wine. Call for more information 922-2499 Children’s Chorale Stop and Shop Windhover Center for the Arts, 51 Sheboygan St.

Tuesday, November 9

Holiday Open House Sanopelo Aromaology Salon, 5:00-8:00pm. 88 S. Portland St.

Wednesday, November 10

Windhover Wednesday Dustin Lee, Windhover Center for the Arts, 51 Sheboygan St., 11:30-1:30pm. Free admission. 920-921-5410

November, 12, 13, 14

Open House Weekend Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership, Friday -5:00 – 8:00pm, Saturday -10:00am-4:00pm, Sunday Noon – 4:00pm. Downtown Businesses will open their doors and invite you to come visit during this open house weekend. Enjoy refreshments and hors, d’oeuvres while checking out special offers businesses have during this exclusive time! Drop and Shop Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac, 9:00am – 7:00pm. 51 Sheboygan St. In conjection with theDowntown Partnership’s Open Hosue, CMFDL will be offering a Drop and Shop. Parents, you may leave your chilcren with us in 2 hour increments. Non-members $10 per child, $6 for each additional child in your household. Members: $6 for each child.

Saturday, November 13

Holiday Wine Tasting Event Cujak’s Wine Market and Wine Bar, LLC, 5:007:00pm. $25 by Oct. 30, $40 after. Ramada Hotel Ballroom. Tickets available at Cujak’s and Big Brothers/Big Sisters, glass included with the ticket price. Proceeds to benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters of FDL County.

Continued on Page 4.

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Fond du Lac Visual Arts Opening Reception

Windhover Center for the Arts, 51 Sheboygan St.

NEW THIS YEAR

-Thanksgiving BuffetThurs. Nov. 25th

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PLAZA 1 N. Main St., Downtown Fond du Lac www.ramadafdl.com • 920-923-3000

CALL TO BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY TODAY!

Enter to Win

Oct. 16 - Dec 1 With evey purchase ( internet • phone • in - store )

Be entered into a drawing for a $500 Gift Card Experience the difference

Drawing held Dec. 1 Gift Card can be used thru Dec. 24 2010

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Professional consultants to help with home decor, wedding and funeral arrangements. 920 906 9632

33 S. Main St., Downtown Fond du Lac

Mon.-Thurs. 8-5:30; Friday 8-5; Sat. 8-3 Closed Sunday w w w. b o t a n i c a l s o n m a i n . c o m

1 - Beadalotta 2 - Botanicals 3 - Catherine’s Full Service Hair Salon 4 - The Clothes Line 5 - Focus, Inc. 6 - Fond du Lac Antique Mall 7 - Fox Valley Savings Bank 8 - Gallery and Frame Shop

9 - Kitz and Pfeil 10 - Krail Jewelry 11 - Lillian’s 12 - The Nailbox 13 - Ramada Plaza Hotel 14 - Trinkets and Treasures 15 - The Wood Sampler 16 - Woods Floral and Gifts

Our “Advertising Hot Spots” displays the locations of our valued advertisers in this special section. You can easily find their locations on the map and then find their ads within these pages to find the great specials and deals that they have to offer you!


October 2010

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Calling All Holiday Shoppers!

Continued from Page 3. Saturday, November 13

Wisconsin Homegrown Series Andy’s Automatics, Windhover Center for the Arts, 51 Sheboygan St., 8:00pm. 920-921-5410

Wednesday, November 17

Windhover Wednesday Kojo, Windhover Center for the Arts, 51 Sheboygan St., 11:301:30pm. Free admission. 920-921-5410

For more information on Fond du Lac’s Open House Weekend, visit www.downtownfdl.com

You’re Invited!

Monster March

Get in the holiday spirit with downtown Fond du Lac’s Open House Weekend! The holidays will sneak up on you before you know it so avoid the stress of last minute shopping and get a head start for all your holiday gift needs.

Who: Ghosts & Goblins What: Trick or Treating When: October 30th, 1:30-3:00 pm Where: Merrill Avenue - Fourth Street

Held the second weekend in November, participating businesses will greet you with good cheer, refreshments, hors’dourves and most importantly outstanding deals on great gift ideas. Make holiday shopping enjoyable and join us:

This is a free family event, children (and adults) in costume are invited to walk up and down Main Street and trick or treat at participating businesses!

• Friday, November 12 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. • Saturday, November 13 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. • Sunday, November 14 from 12 Noon – 4 p.m. Take advantage of discounted merchandise, chances at door prizes, food and drink specials and free samplings. Main Street will be decorated for the holiday season, and shop windows and outdoor planters will carry the theme as well. Get in the holiday spirit and shop downtown Fond du Lac.

Catharine’s

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Tues-Fri 11-5, Wed until 7, Sat 10-3

Owners Louie & Katie Garcia

www.woodsfloral.com | 36 N. Main | Fond du Lac | 922.6780

Krail Jewlery Located L d iin Historic Downtown District

We h have ave tthe he lar llargest ges ge est selection in Fond du Lac!

2010

A gift of Opal is symbolic of faithfulness and confidence. And the powerful energy radiating from this fiery gemstone will surely illuminate any occasion!

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CRAIG GRUENING Certified Gemologist

47 S. Main Street, Downtown Fond du Lac

Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday 12 noon-4 p.m.

(920) 921-2475 | 105 N. Main, Fond du Lac Open: Mon-Thurs. 8am-5pm; Fri 8am-8pm; Sat. 9am- Noon

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Join us during the month of October as we celebrate

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A portion of o October our sales will benefit the Fond du Lac F Childre Children’s Museum So jump start y your holiday gift giving today.

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Experience Downtown Fond du Lac