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Automobiles bring people together; they are a language anyone can speak.



Paul’s artwork reflects him - captivating, soul filled and rich with passion.

MAY - JUNE 2013

In a restrictive, maledominated culture, women fought back PANTS & WOMEN’S RIGHTS by wearing pants!

18 F E A T U R E 22

LEGEND & LORE The original church still appears much as when it was first built in 1855.


Rod Melotte challenges the way common everyday objects are viewed.


Kite flying wasn’t always for recreation, special uses are numerous in history.

16 100 Years BD



100 years of businesses collaborating to benefit our historic local community.


HISTORICAL SOCIETY Two frontiersmen’s journey into Dodge County as told by our first historian.



F rom T he E d itor Spring has finally arrived! This is a great time of year when kids are anxious to be done with school and start their summer. The weather changes, the lake opens up and suddenly Beaver Dam is an entirely different city. This particular summer is quite exciting for me - it will be the first one I spend in the city of Beaver Dam. I grew up just outside of town “in the country,” but this year I will be a city boy. My fiancee and I just bought a house in town and are excited to start our life together in Beaver Dam - on the same day, we got engaged. Pretty momentous day! This summer brings more excitement for the Dittmann family - the gang’s all here. Joining LocaLeben is my sister Emma. She graduated - Summa Cum Laude might I add. One step above me - I always joke that she is just like me, just smarter and better looking. We are excited what she will bring to LocaLeben. It is a pretty remarkable thing to be able to build something with your family. From Emma: I did it - I graduated college with a Business Administration Degree from Winona State University. Going to school in Minnesota was interesting. “Where are you from?” A cheerful “Beaver Dam, Wisconsin” was always my reply, waiting to see if a spark of awareness to its location followed. Instead “Where?” was the standard response. I had a few professors whose replies were a little more memorable asking if we had beavers that built the dams for us - but the best was my Taxation professor this last semester. I state the normal introduction day information of name, major and where you’re from. I finish saying “Beaver Dam, Wisconsin” and the professor says, “No you’re not” in a tone like I’m joking! Yes we are unique, our town is a good conversation starter and this is a good thing! No matter where I end up, I’ll always be from Beaver Dam. After college my dream was the big city of Chicago working at a five star hotel. I’ve always had the entrepreneurial mindset, plans of a hotel, art gallery, and health and wellness center were directions I wanted to pursue and make happen. Those are still part of the plan with a few added now along the way. “Looks like I’m moving back to Beaver Dam…” I thought to myself as these past years unveiled themselves. I discovered all the plans I wanted to accomplish could still be done with the added bonus of benefiting the community that raised me. I wanted to be apart of what I knew would be great! Yes, it is a pretty remarkable thing.

Cover Image: James Milton Smith Created for LocaLeben


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Phone • 920.885.0141 304 S Spring St. Beaver Dam, WI 53916

2013 GMC Acadia

N8167 Kellom Rd., Beaver Dam - 920.885.3301 Mon. & Thurs. 8:30am-9pm, T, W, F 8:30am-8pm, Sat. 8:30am-5pm

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MAY-JUNe 2013

EDITOR Erik Dittmann

PUBLISHER Jim Dittmann



COPY EDITOR Kathy Dittmann


LocaLeben The Magazine is mailed bi-monthly to 10,684 homes and businesses in the 53916 zip code

ADVERTISE WITH US Our purpose is to embrace Local - When you advertise in LocaLeben you will be promoting the local living economy - enabling an environment that is sustainable - growing - and prosperous! Please contact Erik to learn more about our marketing and advertising services.


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Need extra copies? LocaLeben is available for pick up at all public libraries in Dodge County and any advertiser in LocaLeben. LocaLeben The Magazine is published in Beaver Dam, WI by LocaLeben LLC. All rights reserved. The entire contents of LocaLeben The Magazine is Copyright (c) 2013. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, including electronic retrieval systems with the expressed, written consent of LocaLeben LLC. LocaLeben The Magazine reserves the right to refuse to publish any advertisement deemed detrimental to the best interests of the community or that is in questionable taste. Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher of this magazine. Editorial or advertising does not constitute advice but is considered informative.


PHIL FRITSCHE Phil has served as Executive Director of the Beaver Dam Chamber since 2003. He is not all “business,” but he is all about community, and he is getting his fill of being a DIYer this year while renovating the Chamber’s offices in the historic Old Downtown Depot.




Legend has it he was raised by wild kangaroos. As an adult, he started a charity organization with a college friend that 9 years later continues to grow. He happily resides in Beaver Dam with his wife Crystal, where they are surrounded by a great support group of family and friends.

Julie Flemming enjoyed a career as Librarian in schools and public libraries. Retired, she now writes articles and presents historical talks. History is a passion of hers, as well as live music. She truly enjoys coordinating the annual Bunny Berigan Jazz Jubilee in Fox Lake.





Lloyd left politics and political writing to pursue his dream. Lloyd has opened his own commercial writing and marketing shop. When not watching his wife and daughter figure skate, he spends his time driving a Zamboni, riding REAL horses and teaching the insane to joust.

Karla Jensen has been a freelance writer for 24 years. A published playwright with husband Mark, she teaches writing at the Seippel Center. Karla’s background includes radio, television, magazine publishing, tourism and real estate, not to mention Danish Dancing.

ROBERT FRANK His grandfather built the road across the marsh to Indian Point. Involved with the historical society since the 1970s, Robert has always been interested in local history, as was his dad. He was raised on a farm within the city of Fox Lake, in a house built in the pre Civil War era.



alesnik, Yugoslavia! How on earth did we ever get there in the first place? My mother and grandmother told us kids many times during those cold winter evenings when we were all gathered around the stove and after the chores were done how our ancestors had first come to Yugoslavia. I can still see myself sitting there, enjoying the hot baked squash, which Grandma had fixed for us as a special little treat, completely enraptured with the story of our ancestors and their settlement of Palesnik. The story goes that in the year 1756, under the reign of the Empress Maria Theresia, and because Germany was most likely overpopulated, people were given land to settle in what we now call the Balkan States. Among them were my ancestors. As far as I can trace back, my origin was very poor. I am certain of this, because no one who was rich ever left his roots and went into nothing where life no doubt was hard and treacherous. No one, then, was an opportunist. Many of the people went immediately to what is now Yugoslavia. However, my forbearers settled in Hungary in a town called Szentlaslo Co. Somagymegye (Shomagymegye) prior to moving to Yugoslavia. Each family had their own home and a plot of land and worked for a big landowner, whose name might very well have been “Graf Szatgye.” That’s where the saying among my people comes from that if someone thought that he was better than the rest, he was known as being “conceited like Graf Szetche.” These people remained in Hungary until the year 1885 when they again were faced with the same problem, too many people and not enough land. At that time, Croatia and Hungary were part of Austro-Hungary. The word spread that land was available for next to nothing in the State of Croatia. Some men from the town decided that they would go to this Croatia and see for themselves if this story was really true. Once they arrived there, they found that indeed land was very cheap. Each man purchased one house and all the land that he could get. Imagine the disbelief upon their return when they told their families of their good fortune in purchasing so much land. Surely they had received nothing better than barren desert or mountainous regions where weeds would be their best crop. Confusion abounded among the families because many of the women did not want to go along with their husbands to an unknown wilderness and leave part of their families behind. But in those days the woman did not have the last word and where the husband went, so also did the wife. Thus at the end of January 1885, a wagon train of new settlers left Szentlaslo for the unknown wilderness of Croatia. The journey probably lasted between four to six days. Only the most needed items were taken along such as featherbeds, cooking utensils, seeds and clothing. The furniture had to be left behind as several families shared one wagon.

On the night of February 1, 1885, which was the last night of their journey, the people camped in the forest bordering the road, which was nothing but a mud track. The weather changed so drastically during the course of the night that by morning the wheels of the wagons were embedded in mud up to their axles. By then, man and beast alike was hungry and travel weary and when they were ready to proceed, the horses could not budge the wagons out of the mud. The men whipped the beasts mercilessly which was accompanied by the crying of women and children. When this failed, the horses were beaten with saplings from nearby trees. Not until several teams had broken their harnesses did the men finally realize that it would take several teams of horses per wagon to get them onto the main road. Four hours were lost by the time they were ready to start the last leg of their journey. Instead of seeing their new home at noon as planned, most of them viewed it for the first time by late afternoon. The name of the town was Palesnik. History has it that the town was named after the Turkish Pasha Pales. The territory had at one time been occupied by the Turks. And in this way my grandmother and parents told us many times, they started their new life. Grandma was married one year at this time and still childless. Her first project after their arrival was to fetch some water. But there was no well. After learning that there was a public well approximately two blocks away, she took her container and started out to get some water. When she arrived there, the line was so long that it took her almost a whole hour to fill her containers and to return again. Upon her return, she found that her husband, parents, sister and brother had been very busy and had put all their possessions into the house. The natives of the town had heated the home to take the chill out for the newcomers. There was so much smoke in the house that they had to open all the windows - exactly two - to let out the smoke. They had to learn to cook in a different way, as there was no stove. There was only a chain, which was suspended from the ceiling on which to hang a kettle. It didn’t matter anyway as the first meal was potato soup which required only one pot. After supper, everyone retired for a much needed rest. Unfortunately it lasted only one hour. Everyone was up screeching and cursing as the beds were infested with bed bugs and no one received any sleep for the rest of the night. Next morning they gathered all their clothing and bedding and put it in a hot bread oven. The oven was constructed of brick and mortar and was located out in the yard. They then fumigated every crack in the house with torches, which they had made themselves. This was repeated for a whole week until everything was clean. The natives were indignant and blamed the newcomers for bringing the bugs along. After this little episode, life went on quite smoothly and by the end of February the fieldwork started on the cleared land. They also began to clear more land... Continued on Page 35.




here is a little-known eclectic art gallery tucked away on a second floor flat near the corner of Lake and West Streets in Beaver Dam. It is cozy and friendly with wall-to-wall artwork you might find in out-of-the-way corners of Door County, Cedarburg or somewhere on vacation. The artist who greets you at the door is proud and welcoming, while his voice is as friendly and robust as the art inside. His wife apologizes for the disarray of the studio, but you can tell she is equally as enthusiastic about the quality of work. Some might see this gallery as it is - the simple apartment of Paul and Joanne Lindau, but I call it magic. Upon entering, I had to recalibrate my expectations because I had come to know Paul Lindau in a certain role and now intended to fully engage this artist in an entirely different one. I first knew him as visitation pastor at First Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam, before I knew of his artistic talent. As I sat on the couch talking and touching and feeling my way around Paul’s art, I felt a bit like I was hearing classical music from a country artist or rock music from a



jazz band. To see him anew, I re-tuned my ears to better appreciate his music, which just happened to be grand artwork. There is a movement to Paul’s work, an up-tempo beat that is as calming and refreshing as a favorite tune. He is also as diverse as a four-part harmony - all at once commercial and charitable, contemporary and traditional, spontaneous and calculated, but his virtues blend magnificently. His talent has become a link between his personal and professional life like a bridge that leads into a captivating chorus. Paul has infused his day job with his art across nearly every decade of his life, while also having pursued his calling as a beloved ordained clergy. Paul has found his voice in the quiet depths of painting despite the fact he spent his life publically engaged, animated and vocal. In his personality and with his art, he shares his intelligence and easiness, like a well-crafted, well-lyrical ballad. I could not help but listen longer to the compelling cadence he expresses so well on canvas. Long before he discovered his voice as an artist, Paul sang with his brothers in church. “Boys,” his father and pastor announced, “I have a song I want you to sing this morning.” Paul recalled, “First we sang in unison, then my father asked for harmony.” At first, Paul’s paintings may have appeared like that blended voice with his brothers, one that barely stood out on its own. Now, having gained experience and diligence of craft, his personal style has truly emerged. He has bolted from the crowd, producing and mixing his own brand of harmony with color, curves, lines and shapes. “An amateur waits for inspiration, a professional works at it,” said Paul. Work at it, he has. Paul has the keen eye of a birdwatcher, the heart of a singer and the mind of a theologian. All three facets influence his art. He allows his art to ruminate, to increase in flavor and intensity like soup simmering on the stove. Paul tries to spend at least three hours a day in his studio. Initially, he finds a focus and creates from it as expertly as the musician triumphs over notes on a page. Then, he releases his talent as if it were one of those birds tagged by the DNR for counting, only his catch and release we get to enjoy on canvas. Many of his creations are spiritual and nature-related, others the very likeness of man, perhaps as divinely fashioned as God’s image of us. From his first creation to the last, Paul’s artwork reflects him - captivating, soul filled and rich with passion. He has enjoyed oil painting, woodcuts, and illustrating, even trying his hand at faces and caricatures. He claims his talent came directly from his mother “…who would have been an excellent painter if she’d had permission,” said Paul. Despite her unfulfilled role as an artist, she managed to give her son all the permission needed to set him on a course that allowed art to infiltrate every corner of his life. His first oil hangs above his living room couch, a seaside

“The Haven” tableau of Rio de Janeiro. I stood on the beach, twinkling lights and all, his couch shifting to sand under my feet, thinking if I never made it there in person, here was this artist who allowed me a glimpse of such beauty. Paul then allowed me a behind-the-scenes tour into his series of depictions of Jesus, which he calls ‘The Heads of Christ.” He has produced five portrayals of Christ and plans to add more to this series. He tells a wonderful story of unexpectedly transforming his father’s briefcase into the canvas for one of these (the best, I believe), which has hung in a concert hall in Germany. Paul fancied the artist Georges Rouault’s work and set out to create Christ in a similar style. “During the time I served as the Protestant Chaplain for the US Embassy in Germany, I asked another artist if I should keep the painting or throw it. She said frame it, so I did. You can still see the staples on the briefcase,”

points out Paul, as if even today he could transform something so commonplace into something beautiful and extraordinary. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane proves Paulift as well. Paul visited the legendary garden in 1985 on a pilgrimage to Israel. “I loved to see 2,000-year-old trees and the Holy Land historically and theologically,” revealed Paul. “I just went back there in my mind as I painted that piece.” In 2001, a new artist opportunity came Paul’s way as he accepted the challenge of illustrating a book for an author friend. The Pumpkin That Survived Halloween unveiled yet another aspect of Paul’s artistry - illustrator. This work launched further illustrations for a poetry compilation in 2010 by author Marge Wold. “It took me six months to create the pumpkin illustrations, but the author liked them immediately, and I didn’t have to do many revisions.” Many Beaver Dam residents have signed copies


“Gottfrid” of the Halloween book at home, myself included. Three years ago, Paul gathered the courage to showcase his art at the Seippel Arts Center for the first time, another career highlight. “When that invitation came, I wasn’t sure where I was as an artist,” Paul recalls, but the exhibit “Brothers in Art” boosted his self-esteem and motivated him to continue painting. He has also showcased his work at First Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam at the height of church festivals. Until a few years ago, Paul had not dabbled in reproducing human features. “One day,” Paul explained, “I discovered I could produce decent likenesses of people. I can finally do it.” He started by painting his father, then moved on to friends and other family. One of his most outstanding paintings is one of Mark, his son who died at age 23 in 1987. His father’s remarkable talent has captured Mark in time in his physical prime. Oddly, Paul waited 23 years beyond his son’s death to carry out the work of materializing his son on canvas, but it is complete. This work is so real, so lovely I expected to hear Mark’s voice right along with Paul’s. If Mark’s

“Painted Bunting”


“Collectibles” spiritual presence was not felt before, it surely is now with such an outstanding tribute. Paul has an unusual connection to the Green Bay Packers through LeRoy Butler. Daughter Kym Lindau works with Butler’s Foundation to raise money for breast cancer research and for survivors. Paul is treated like a father and family friend, and in turn, has produced several spot-on renderings of LeRoy, capturing his buoyant personality and his mischievous grin right there between the points of the frame. The crescendo of Paul’s life is rising like the gradual hills

“Bryce Canyon”

“I’ll Be Your Friend” and mountains of his landscape paintings, many illustrating his love of Germany. He has lived in Germany twice, treasuring the memories and friends made there. As a newly ordained clergy, he worked at the University of Washington in Seattle Lutheran Student Association. He had feelers out among friends about possible employment in Germany, but his lead, he felt, went nowhere. On October 4, 1965, the phone rang at 4:00 am. By October 11, he and his wife Joanne and their three children were living in Germany. Paul was fluent in the language. His wife Joanne did not know a word. His parents’ reaction? “Oh, Lord! That’s Paul!” The Lutheran Church with whom he has been affiliated since his youth has also fostered Paul. He has not held back his voice as an artist but allowed it to resonate in projects to benefit the congregations and parishioners he served. He has served parishes in the states of Iowa, Washington, California and Wisconsin. He has

experienced the tragic death of his only son, another connection to God and his faith. Paul retired from full-time ministry in 1994, and then served as the visitation pastor at First Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam. “The last 14 years were the best in my ministry,” shared Paul. “I’ve never felt so loved as I have been here.” He has had much more time to pursue art in retirement and thanks mentor and fellow artist Beverly Dohmann for taking him under her wing. “Bev has accepted me as part of her family,” he claims. What motivates Paul to paint? “These works are my legacy. I hope that someone will see these and be impressed enough to purchase something. I’d like to do something big before I quit painting,” said Paul. “I’m fooling around with some aspect of Jesus’ ministry. I wish someone would just give me a big wall to do a mural on. We’ll see what happens. For now, when I paint in my studio, I put on some jazz, which I learned to appreciate from my son who played the alto sax masterfully. The music allows me to get lost in my painting.” Some people find their voices as public servants. Some find it by standing in a protest line or even a choir, united. Others discover creative ways to express themselves through humor, movement or by even establishing a platform in a magazine like LocaLeben. A few find their voices in quiet, contemplative moments with a clean canvas, inspirational jazz in the background and a few fine dollops of oil paints on the palette. Can a man who has found his voice in the pulpit throughout his entire life also find his voice at the end of a paintbrush? I say Paul has, and it is a high note for sure.


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2012 Road Rally Participant Photo: Cheese Wheel Archives



ars, trucks and anything that goes VROOOM! The topics and conversations are endless. They can be about bailouts, technical advances, safety, crash prevention and even down to the most technical of discussions about reducing emissions and saving the environment. From union workers to worldwide supply chains, the automotive industry is complex and massive; however, this article is not about the evolution of an industry but rather the endless sustainability of its culture. The automobile touches every aspect of our daily lives from a basic mode of transportation to a status symbol. Passed down from generation to generation, they are plucked from farmers’ fence lines and restored to their original beauty of decades gone by. We flock to racetracks around the world to experience the raw rumble and thrill of race day! They bring people together. They are a language that anyone can speak regardless of what country you are from. Cheese Wheel, Inc. started as a “mad scientist” idea on a chalkboard in 2005 at UW-Platteville. It is an automotive charity organization with a multi-event year-round strategic focus to raise money and better lives for those in need all over the state. In 2006 we became incorporated through the state of Wisconsin and tax exempt through the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. This combination allows our donors to tax deduct all donations made to help support our cause. Since 2005 we have donated a majority of our proceeds to the ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. When Eric Bybee and I were brainstorming about benefactors for our charitable cause, we agreed that instead of arm wrestling over who the money would go to we would each select one that meant something to us. Eric chose the ALS Association (ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” - a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord) in support of his cousin who only a few years later would lose his battle with ALS. I chose Children’s Hospital because of a younger brother’s struggle


with cancer at birth. The nurses and doctors no doubt saved his life, and because of their selfless and faithful efforts, he is alive today, healthy and stronger than his older brother! Every May we have a Time-Speed-Distance event called the C-DUB Challenge. Starting in Beaver Dam and ending in Appleton, it is a speed-controlled driving event. Each car is given a series of driving directions with an average speed to maintain on each road you drive on. The goal is to arrive “on time” at the end of the directions, sustaining your speed turn-by-turn and not making any mistakes! As always, this year was a blast with cars coming from as far as Chicago!

2011 Road Rally Group Photo: Cheese Wheel Archives

Father’s Day in June is the Swan City Car Show. As an organization we are very honored to take over this long running and successful car show. Just like our predecessors, we believe in tall and heavy trophies! The community loves it and over the years the Beaver Dam Police Association has done an excellent job along with the support of Mick Fischer in producing one of a kind car shows with participants coming from all over the state. We have the opportunity to pack over 500 cars into beautifully shaded Swan City Park - I like to call it Car Show Heaven! I have participated in showing my car in the past and now I have the pleasure of running the show. The community of Beaver Dam rose to the occasion in support of this car show and I could not be more thankful. With the addition of the Swan City Car Show last year, we have established two scholarships (Cheese Wheel Achievement Scholarships) to be given to recent BDHS graduates. Every August we have an event called the Cheese Wheel Road Rally. Starting in Sheboygan and ending in La Crosse, the rally is a daylong Saturday scavenger hunt where participants are given directions, hints, and sometimes only a picture in order to navigate their way across the state from checkpoint to checkpoint. For those that can hang out on Sunday, there are activities planned as well. This year we have a two-hour Sunday brunch planned on a Mississippi River paddleboat! We are a 100% volunteer organization, and as a third party fundraising entity, we are always looking to partner and grow with other likeminded organizations in our community. If you would like to get involved and partner with us, there is always a need for event parking, food stand helpers, rally checkpoint people, photographers,

etc. Contact us if you, your club, or maybe even your church is interested in helping out at one of our events. You can find us on the web at and you can contact me at Your support is greatly appreciated! We all have different passions in life and I believe firmly that we have these on purpose, for a purpose, and in no way is it by mistake. Reflect on what makes you happy and set out to find those that are likeminded. The opportunity to impact your life, your family’s lives, and your community is endless! Mission Statement: “We are committed to organizing one of a kind, high quality, automotive experiences with the sole purpose of raising money for those in need.”

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Photo: Robert Guse



ites have been a part of the landscape since 1000 BC, originating in China where there was an abundance of silk and bamboo. Today we view them as a fun activity when the wind is right, but they have actually been hardworking tools for mankind. The kite is defined in KITES: an historical survey, written by Clive Hart, as “a heavier-than-air machine held to the earth by means of a flexible line and capable of rising to a positive angle with the horizon as a result of forces created by wind-pressure.” Kites have been used for measuring, military reasons, civic projects, fishing, gaining atmosphere secrets, and celebrations. General Han Hsin of ancient China used the kite to measure a distance and win a battle. He was laying siege to a palace and wanted to gauge the distance between his forces and the fortress in order to create a tunnel that would go under the walls and surface on the

Photo: Robert Guse


inside. Flying a kite over the walls and measuring the string allowed him to do just that. The military in the United States has found various uses for kites dating back to the Civil War. General Butler wanted to let the Confederate rebels know that President Lincoln was offering amnesty to them after the war had ended. He sent up kites over the Confederate strongholds that had two strings. One was strong and one was weak, and to the weak one, he attached a bundle of printed promises of amnesty. When the kite would get over the area targeted, the strong string was slackened causing the weak string to break and shower the promises of amnesty over the hills, plains and forests, where the rebel soldiers could pick them up. As late as World War II, kites were a part of the issued survival kit for American fliers. Kites saved lives when they raised the radio aerials from the life rafts of aircrews adrift at sea. The kite has also aided civic projects. One special project took place between Canada and the United States. In 1849 engineers were baffled as to how to begin building a bridge across the Niagara River below Niagara Falls near Buffalo, New York. The current of the river was too swift for the safe operation of a boat, and in the winter when parts of the river froze, the ice piled up so high that no one could climb over it. Engineer T. G. Hulett dreamed up an idea and announced, “We’ll have a kite flying contest. I’ll pay $10.00 to the boy who can fly his kite across the river to Canada. We’ll announce the contest at school.” Homan Walsh, a young boy in school, really wanted that prize. He tried all day and into darkness on the day of the contest, but his kite caught on a block of jagged ice in the stream and was lost. He was not going to give up. He went home and built another kite. Appearing at the river the next morning, he told Mr. Hulett, “I want to try again.” Mr. Hulett said, “Son, we’ll let you try as long as you want.” Homan’s kite soared toward Canada, and Homan tied a piece of clothesline to the end of the kite string letting the kite come slowly down on the Canadian shore. Men waiting on the shore

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pulled it across the river and secured it. Next a series of heavier lines and eventually cables were drawn across the river, allowing for work to commence on the first railway suspension bridge connecting the United States with Canada. Homan’s kite became known as the kite that “built an international bridge.” Kites made from a large tropical leaf were commonly used for fishing in the South Sea Islands. Hooks were suspended from above and no tell-tale shadows were thrown upon the water so that fish swimming close to the top of the water were not frightened and would lite upon the meal. Because of the string and hook, no tail was needed on the kite and most often the kite was flown from a canoe, making the capture of the fish easier. In Japan kites are part of the Boys’ Festival, which is a celebration for every household where a male child was born in the preceding 12 months. Huge kites are flown and often a fish is used for the design of the kite. Carp, a hardy fish, is a favorite chosen for the kite as it represents a son’s progress through the “river of life.” After the creation of the airplane, kite flying took a decline. In fact, many people scorned it as an idle waste of time - hence the term “go fly a kite” has become a derogatory expression. However, kite flying is gaining in popularity once again and the Wisconsin Kiters Club, a group with about 120 active members, is planning a Roundup July 19-21, 2013, at the Dodge County Fairgounds. Participants will come from all over Wisconsin and Illinois to participate in the Roundup, and the public is invited to come in FREE OF CHARGE to witness the spectacular kites flown during the days and nights. Yes, even night flying is done with lights on the kites. Kites of all types can be seen at the Roundup, single line decorative kites, stunt/ sport kites and multiline power/traction kites. Single line kites are flown with a single line, while the stunt/sport kites are flown with two or four lines and are designed for maximum maneuverability. The true experts demonstrate the multiline power/traction kites, which are flown with two, four or five lines. These kites are designed to harness the wind’s power and can create enough power to pull an object over land or water. At the Roundup in July, it will not be unusual to see a kite that is 15 feet across. Those in the club arrive with vans full of kites to fly. At the Roundup, one will see large kites tethered to the ground, because once the kite is launched and secured, its owner can sit back in a lawn chair and visit with neighbors and the public. The Dodge County Fair Grounds is a beautiful place for the Roundup. Kites need a lot of open area without electric and telephone poles close by. Bob Ingram, past executive director of the American Kite Fliers Association, is quoted: “Kite flying is a way that those with artistic souls can temporarily decorate the sky, leaving it unmarred at nightfall, containing no debris to impede the passage of the night winds. Kite flying is a key to greater and badly needed human sociability without sinister or commercial goal. It is apolitical, non-sectarian and a means of the soul’s better expressions. In the kite are man’s finest desires.”

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here does one begin when trying to summarize a century of business programs, services and advocacy? The easiest way is to begin at the beginning, summer 1913. Tunes like “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” were being played on Victor Victrolas. Baseball games, boating on Beaver Dam Lake, church services and commerce were occupying the attention of locals, while war was brewing in Europe. The railroad was in its heyday, with the downtown depot bringing thousands of visitors to the community for the Dodge County Fair at the end of each summer season. For local merchants, a top priority was certainly commercial prosperity. We do not have an exact record of where or who initially began meeting to discuss the inadequate roads leading into and through downtown Beaver Dam, but it was probably downtown shopkeepers, bankers and industrialists determined that business would benefit from investing private funds into road repair. These forward-thinking individuals recognized that automobiles were going to be a game changer in commerce, as well as in individual transportation, despite the fact that very few people owned cars in Beaver Dam at the time. Thus began the first coordinated business advocacy as businesses began lobbying government for a collaborative partnership to fund the construction of better roads. The only impediment was a way to coordinate the efforts of the many and varied businesses who were brought together with this common goal. After some planning and the announcement of an inaugural meeting, local business owners came together on Wednesday July 2, 1913, and created the Beaver Dam Merchants and Manufacturers Association (BDM&MA) with the initial objective of fixing downtown roads. A little over a month later on Thursday August 14, 1913, the BDM&MA completed its campaign for “better roads” by announcing it had raised $1,140.00 from the business community to contribute to the effort (equal to about $26,200.00 today). From that first effort, the organization that eventually became the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce grew. During times of prosperity, the Chamber thrived on the success of its members. The Great War came within a few years of the founding of the organization and some local businesses did very well. The prosperity of the Roaring Twenties spread to every corner of our nation and Beaver Dam roared along as well, despite things like Prohibition crippling local breweries. In 1922 the BDM&MA legally incorporat-


Postcard of Front and S. Spring St. Source: BD Chamber Archives ed with the State of Wisconsin and changed its name to the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce. Even during bad economic times, the Chamber maintained an office and part-time staff to provide what services it could for its struggling members. There was equal misery during the Great Depression, but the many years of depression lead to the next economic boom as the nation entered another World War. The industrial base of the community thrived during World War II and beyond. The sustained commercial expansion of the 1950s provided a very healthy local economy. Area manufacturers did well. Prosperous employees supported retail and service businesses. The community continued to grow. The business community and the membership of the Chamber also continued to grow. Many of our seasoned citizens today still remark on how downtown Beaver Dam on a Friday night in the 1950s and 1960s was a mecca for shopping and recreation. Every parking place for blocks was parked full. Families roamed the streets, going to shows, having a bite to eat fresh popcorn or an ice cream, shopping in clothing stores, jewelry shops, furniture stores and five & dimes. It was a weekly tradition to go downtown with your friends and neighbors and visit while making the shopping “rounds,” personal interaction revolving around commerce. All of this was wonderful for local businesses, most of them “mom & pop,” locally owned and family run. The 1970s were challenging with rising oil prices, recession, inflation, and increasing global competition that hit industry hard in America’s Midwest. The economic pain was felt locally, and the Chamber could not do much to alleviate national and international problems. There was a retail and service business rebound in the 1980s with expansion of national chain stores across the country. This was a mixed blessing for places like Beaver Dam, where a “big city” mall created rapid economic development and tax base on the city’s north side, but ended up gutting the historic downtown. The last 20 years of the Twentieth Century also saw the end of some once major employers like Monarch Range and the Green Giant canning factory. Myrtle Clifton managed the Chamber from 1983 to 2003, and new events were established that not only provided opportunities for local businesses to promote, but also provided recreational activities for the citizens of the community. Ms. Clifton brought a much more active form of Ambassador Committee to Beaver Dam

and created a mentoring program for younger business professionals through the Ambassadors and other chamber committees. She organized networking events that provided opportunities for members to do business with one another. Clifton secured a working agreement with the City of Beaver in the mid 1980s for the old downtown train depot to be renovated and leased for the Chamber of Commerce offices and a visitor center for the community, a big improvement for both the Chamber and the public. Good working relationships were established between education and the business community thanks to the leadership of Ms. Clifton, and the organization made its first foray into leadership training. Providing 20 years of service to the business community, her level of professional management put Beaver Dam on par with communities that were much larger. The most recent decade has been the most active of the Chamber’s first 100 years, at least in terms of the number of annual activities, public participation and membership growth with a 24% increase in membership since 2003 and about double the number of events hosted annually. The day-to-day management of the organization includes collaborating with government, education and other non-profits in the area. The last 12 months, it has also included the historic restoration/renovation of the old downtown train depot that will be completed in time for the organization’s 100th Anniversary on July 2, 2013. The 1901 building was officially purchased from the City of Beaver Dam in summer 2011. The building restoration/ renovation has proven to be a fiscally prudent project relying heavily on volunteers, in-kind contributions and the generosity of the business community to accomplish a $300,000.00 project for about half the cost. The grand unveiling and rededication of the property will occur along with several other events. On Monday July 1, 2013, the Chamber will invite the membership for a free evening cookout on the new patio being constructed behind the building. On Tuesday July 2, 2013, the Chamber will host a Centennial Gala Dinner at Old Hickory Golf Club, a semi-formal event geared toward the membership and open to the public. The organization is in the process of lining up a special keynote speaker for this event. On Wednesday July 3, 2013, the Chamber invites the entire community to Tahoe Park for food and drink, live entertainment, a special Must-Skis show and a wonderful fireworks display over Beaver Dam Lake as we celebrate 100 years of the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce’s service to area businesses and the community.

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e all know someone that is “a slave to fashion.” A fashion slave is a person totally consumed with ensuring that their clothes, their hairstyle, their physical appearance and even their possessions conform precisely to the current “hip” style. They religiously read GQ and Cosmopolitan magazines; have their televisions set on the E!, Style and MTV channels (heaven forbid they miss a Red Carpet!); and spend more on clothes and grooming products than most of us do on our cars. I am sure you know the type. However, did you know fashion was once used as a weapon to keep half of the US population and other “civilized” countries, submissive and subservient to the other half? It is true. The Diors, Laurens and Versaces of the mid-1800s were less fashionistas and more female overseers, as the designs of Victorian women’s dress discouraged social interaction and encouraged domestic compliance. The Age of Enlightenment, that great intellectual awakening that inspired our Founding Fathers to experiment with a radically new form of national government, somehow managed to bypass the women of the time. One poignant example of this is a letter from Abigail Adams to her husband John Adams, who was attending the Constitutional Convention. Mrs. Adams writes on March 31, 1776: “I long to hear that you have declared an independency.


And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. “Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation. “That your sex are naturally tyrannical is a truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute; but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up - the harsh tide of master for the more tender and endearing one of friend. “Why, then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity? “Men of sense in all ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the (servants) of your sex; regard us then as being placed by Providence under your protection, and in imitation of the Supreme Being make use of that power only for our happiness.” Unfortunately, John Adams, our Second President, did not really listen and joked in his response, “Depend upon it, we know better than to repeal our masculine systems. Although they are in

full force, you know they are little more than theory. We dare not exert our power in its full latitude. We are obliged to go fair and softly, and, in practice, you know we are the subjects. We have only the name of masters, and rather than give up this, which would completely subject us to the despotism of the petticoat, I hope General Washington and all our brave heroes would fight.” When they said that “all men” were created equal, they were being very specific and not only were women forgotten in the U.S. Constitution, but the ratification of state constitutions as well. Upon ratification of the state constitution, women specifically lose the right to vote in New York in 1777; Massachusetts in 1780; New Hampshire in 1784, and in every state other than New Jersey in 1787. In New Jersey, the wording of the constitution gave the right to vote to “all free inhabitants” who met certain property-owning requirements. Women who owned property utilized this loophole to vote - until 1807, when the New Jersey legislature took the right away. This had to be especially galling to Sybil Luddington, who on the night of April 26, 1777, rode more than 40 miles through towns in both New York and Connecticut gathering the militia and warning that the English Redcoats were attacking Danbury, Conneticut. Sybil, who was only 16 years old at the time, rode twice the distance than Paul Revere did. Not only was Sybil’s hometown renamed in her honor, she was given a Revolutionary War Veteran’s pension in later life. At this time, and up until the 20th century, women, considered the physical and mental inferior to men, most often found themselves relegated to lives of domestic drudgery. A woman’s place was in the home, and as the Victorian era dawned, the fashion trends changed to encourage this. Victorian fashion for women, based upon the ideal of an “hourglass” figure, began to be taken to an extreme and unhealthy degree. For most women, attaining the ideal figure necessitated the use of a most evil invention - the corset. Something More of Bloomerism John Leech Sketch, Punch Magazine 1851

In Catherine Bardey’s 2001 book Lingerie - A History and Celebration Of Silks, Satins, Laces, Linens, and Other Bare Essentials, Ms. Bardey says of the corset “…the rigid royal court formality that had been abandoned during the Revolution returned and the ideal female form was the hourglass… By the 1840s corsets became so complicated and such a chore to put on or take off that a few women simply left them on day and night for the best part of a week. Personal sanitary standards were... at a low point.” Ms. Bardey went onto say, “The ideal Victorian woman had a severe, wasp-like waist. The more tightly laced her corset was, the more virtuous she was thought to be. Every part of the Victorian woman was covered. The slightest peek of an ankle or glimpse of the lower part of her neck was considered to be unmentionable.” If the corset was not bad enough, fashion called for a “billowy” look for the skirt, which entailed the use of up to 14 pounds of petticoats to give it the desired look. No gentle woman of the day would be caught dead in public in anything but this full “uniform.” It is no wonder that most women found it more expedient, and comfortable, to stay home where their daily “chores” necessitated a less restrictive outfit. It is not hard to imagine that American women that longed for, if not equality, at least emancipation from their subservient role would realize that the restrictive clothing was representative of the restrictions that the male-dominated culture imposed upon them. Knowing American women as we do, it is not surprising to learn that they “fought back” in a way that shocked men and subservient women around the world - they wore pants. It was really the Abolitionist movement that seems to have been the catalyst for this revolt. According to the US National Park Service website for the National Historic Park in New York, “In 1833 (Lucretia) Mott, along with Mary Ann M’Clintock and nearly 30 other female abolitionists, organized the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. She later served as a delegate from that organization to the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. It was there that she first met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was attending the convention with her husband Henry, a delegate from New York. Mott and Stanton were indignant at the fact that women were excluded from participating in the convention simply because of their gender, and that indignation would result in a discussion about holding a woman’s rights convention. Stanton later recalled this conversation in the History of Woman Suffrage: “As Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton wended their way arm in arm down Great Queen Street that night, reviewing the exciting scenes of the day, they agreed to hold a woman’s rights convention on their return to America, as the men to whom they had just listened had manifested their great need of some education on that question. Thus a missionary work for the emancipation of woman…was then and there inaugurated. Eight years later, on July 19 and 20, 1848, Mott, Stanton, Mary Ann M’Clintock, Martha Coffin Wright, and Jane Hunt acted on this idea when they organized the First Woman’s Rights Convention. “Throughout her life Mott remained active in both the abolition and women’s rights movements. She continued to speak out against slavery, and in 1866 she became the first president of the American Equal Rights Association, an organization formed to achieve equality for African Americans and women.” With Stanton, Mott, and Susan B. Anthony as leaders, the convention approved policies calling for equality in the law as it related to women, especially in the areas of child custody, divorce and


property rights. Further, they called for expanding career opportunities for women especially in medicine, education, law, and as clergy. They also made the outrageous argument that women deserved equal pay for equal work and that they should have the right to vote! The first Women’s Rights Movement since Abigail Adams had been born. One of Stanton’s admirers was Amelia Bloomer, who published the first American newspaper strictly for women, The Lily. Bloomer began the newspaper focused mostly on temperance articles, because she found public speaking “unseemly” for women at the time; however, she felt that women could more easily relay their ideas to other women through writing, especially on the destructive influence that alcohol was having on families. Bloomer proudly proclaimed that The Lily advocated for “the emancipation of women from temperance, intemperance, injustice, prejudice, and bigotry.” In the very first edition, Bloomer wrote, “It is woman that speaks through The Lily…Intemperance is the great foe to her peace and happiness. It is that above all that has made her Home desolate and beggared her offspring… Surely, she has the right to wield her pen for its Suppression. Surely, she may without throwing aside the modest refinements which so much become her sex, use her influence to lead her fellow mortals from the destroyer’s path.” Throughout its publishing lifetime, The Lily retained its focus on temperance issues (relating horrific stories about drunken men and the untimely ends they often met while intoxicated); however, as Bloomer’s association and admiration of Stanton grew, the paper began to expand with articles about other issues of interest and importance to women. Stanton, writing under the nom de plume “Sunflower,” began by writing about issues such as education, child raising, and temperance; however it was not long until her focus shifted to women’s rights. The issue of “dress reform” came to the forefront, for all the reasons previously mentioned, and Bloomer took a very active role in promoting practical clothing alternatives to the restrictive Victorian uniform of the day. Bloomer became enamored of a fashion developed by Elizabeth Smith Miller of Geneva, New York. Miller, copying the pantaloons worn by women in Turkey and other eastern cultures, had created a uniquely American take on this exotic dress with a kneelength dress over a pair of ankle-hugging trousers. Though Bloomer denied having anything to do with the development of this fashion, due to her repeated articles and illustrations of the outfit in The Lily, it became known as the Bloomer Costume. Women’s rights supporters, professional women, and those in occupations that made blousy skirts and dresses a physical hazard


quickly adopted the fashion. One woman, a physician named Fedelia Rachel Harris, not only adopted the look, but also publicly derided some of her fellow women who did not. Dr. Harris was born in Portland, Chautauqua County, New York, on April 19, 1826. While still an infant, she suffered a horrifying burn to her neck that left her in pain and disfigured; however, this injury planted the seed of ambition in Harris. Harris, intrigued in physiology and the workings of the human body, became determined that one day she would become a physician. At the age of 12, she obtained a copy of Coombe’s Physiology, and at age 17, she underwent an extremely painful operation to relieve the pain caused by her disfigurement. For the next three years, she endured even worse pain that only strengthened her resolve to become a physician. In Cleave’s Biographical Cyclopedia of Homeopathic Physicians and Surgeons, Egbert Cleave wrote, “Accordingly, as she felt reasonable assurance of continued life, she began teaching incessantly in order to provide means to attend a medical college. In 1854, she began a regular course of medical studies under a private preceptor. During the winter of 1855-56, she read and practiced under Dr. O. Davis, formerly Professor of Obstetrics in the New York Central Medical College, but at that time conducting the Eclectic Therapeutic Institute, Attica, N.Y. In 1856, she entered, and, in 1857, graduated from the Eclectic Medical College, Cincinnati.” Upon graduation, Dr. Harris opened a practice in, of all places, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin and was one our city’s first physicians. It was while she lived in Beaver Dam that she wrote a letter published in Sybil, another women’s newspaper whose mission statement stated, “The Sibyl: A Semi-Monthly Journal of Eight Pages, Devoted to Reforms in Every Department of Life.” In the book, Traveling Economies: American Women’s Travel Writing author Jennifer Bernhardt Steadman writes the following: “Strategic representations of antireform women pepper the columns of the Sibyl. Frequently, unsympathetic women are rendered as merely backward and powerless. A letter from Miss Fidelia R. Harris, MD, describes the contrast between her own independence and fitness for public life and that of a group of fashionable women gathered at the scene of a fire: “Among the women who were standing with me on the corner, were hooped ones and hoopless ones, some with skirts held in their hands to an altitude not comporting with popular ideas of decorum, (it was a muddy, sloppy, sleety, night) and some with robes trailing in the mud, in accordance with the most approved and sensitive ideas of gracefulness, (?) and I stood among them, in the proudly dignified consciousness of being clothed in accordance with the dictates of reason and propriety. “Oh, dear, dear!” said my good neighbor Mrs. B. as she

Efficiency of Female Police John Leech Sketch, Punch Magazine 1851 stood with both hands full of cumbersome skirts, “Oh dear, dear! Can’t we do something!” “No,” I replied, “you see there is nothing can be done for the burning building, and there are plenty of men at work for the others.” “Oh, dear, well I wish WE could help!” I involuntarily laughed at the idea. Poor, fettered creature! How could you help, be the necessity ever so great. And yet, that is but the echo of the heart cry that is going up all over our land from thousands of just such fettered women.” (“Letter from Miss Fidelia R. Harris, MD, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin,” Sibyl, March 15, 1859) It is plain what our groundbreaking physician thought of the “poor, fettered creature(s)” and their slavish devotion to fashion. What is insightful is that even here “on the western frontier” women

adhered to a dress code clearly impractical for the area in which they lived and even failed to forgo wearing it when, if dressed as Dr. Harris, they could have been instrumental in saving a Beaver Dam building or two from a devastating fire. It should come as no surprise that the wearing of bloomers was met with disgust and outrage. Women dressed in this manner found themselves derided in newspapers, in person, and in comics across the US and even across the “pond” where sketch artist John Leech and others published a series of extremely unflattering illustrations in the periodical Punch. In these illustrations, bloomer-clad women are seen smoking, drinking, and taking over traditional male roles with “appropriate” accompanying captions. Tired of the nearly ceaseless attacks in the press, and with the advent of the much more comfortable bodice and crinoline, even Bloomer herself shelved the pants and wore the new comfortable dress. Fashion reform had reached a “cease fire” with the advent of easily wearable, fashionable dresses; however, the fight for women’s rights, especially suffrage, was only getting started. Women’s suffrage was not to be obtained for another 50 years and the struggle for equal pay for equal work continues to this day. On a lighter note, bloomers themselves actually did make a popular comeback in the 1890s, when women became enamored with the bicycle. Being mass-produced for the first time, and financially accessible to a large number of Americans, the popularity of bicycle riding prompted women to again adopt the bloomer costume in order to ride without hindrance. Apparently, even in the 19th century, fashion was cyclical.

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n the fall of 2012, the Congregational Church of Fox Lake was closed after 159 years. The members of the congregation decided to donate the building and property to the Fox Lake Historical Society and the City of Fox Lake. The reason for this decision was the history of the church in the Civil War and Fox Lake’s Civil War re-enactors interest in helping to keep the church going as long as possible. In 2003 a 150-year celebration was held with help from the Civil War Re-enactors, but declining membership made it harder to keep going. Fox Lake’s First Congregational United Church of Christ was organized in 1853, when 7 people met above Mr. Townsend’s store at the northeast corner of College Avenue and State Street. Reverend E. S. Peck was the first pastor and the first communion service was held on December 4, 1853. As membership grew, a new church was built in 1855. This was their home for the next 157 years. In the 1860s a 16-foot addition was added to the back. This room was connected to the original chancel by a large opening with a counter-weighted door that was raised into the attic to accommodate the overflow crowds of those days. The door is still there and is visible in the kitchen cabinets. In 1917 a fellowship hall was added, and the 16-foot addition was made into a kitchen. A new vestibule was also added. The original church still appears much as when it was first built in 1855. One of the main tenets of the Congregational Church at that time was the abolitionist movement. In the 1850s and 60s the church was very active in the Underground Railroad. Reverend Peck, the first pastor at Fox Lake, was involved in building several other churches in a line from the Milton House northward. There were many proven and suspected Underground Railroad stops in this area. Jenny Giedd grew up as a member of the Fox Lake church and researched the Underground Railroad in this area. She wrote a


Congregational Church - Fox Lake S.C. McDowell Source: Fox Lake Library Archives Source: Fox Lake Library Archives


Restored Grand Army of the Republic Banner Source: Fox Lake American Legion Post 521 book on her findings entitled Wind Along the Water. During the Civil War, the church became a recruiting station. There were a total of three full companies sent from Fox Lake, as well as 11 of the 100 Wisconsin men to join Berdan’s Sharpshooters and many individual enlistments. These men were, of course, not all from Fox Lake as this was an area recruiting station. A local storekeeper, George H. Stevens, organized one of the companies as the Fox Lake Citizen’s Guard. When President Lincoln called for volunteers, they were one of the first to go in. They were mustered in as Company A 1st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. After training at Camp Randall in Madison, they became part of the Army of the Potomac. Along with two other Wisconsin regiments and one from Indiana, they became the famous Iron Brigade. In the opening volley the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Captain George Stevens was killed. Just a short stone toss away from him, Lucius Fairchild, future governor of Wisconsin, lost his arm. George Stevens was buried at Gettysburg, and his wife Harriet is buried in Riverside Cemetery here. After the war, Fox Lake veterans organized George H. Stevens Post 100 of the Grand Army of the Republic. Harriet Stevens presented a beautiful silk banner to them. This banner has been lovingly restored by Fox Lake’s Company A 1st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry re-enactors and the American Legion Post. It is now on display at American Legion Post 521. Another company from Fox Lake was Company D 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry commanded by W J Dawes, a local lawyer. They were part of the Eagle Regiment with Old Abe the war Eagle as their mascot. The third company was Co E 29th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Captain Hezekiah Dunham, a local hotel owner, was commander. Many years later in the 1920s when Mr. Dunham’s old hotel was torn down, a hidden room was found. This was probably used as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Both Mr. Dunham and George Stevens were members of the Congregational Church. Samuel McDowell was a teacher at the old Fox Lake Academy who enlisted and was involved in many engagements of the Civil War including the Siege of Vicksburg. He brought home many artifacts and souvenirs, and when he passed away many years later, his daughter donated them to the Fox Lake Public Library; after all these years, we will finally have a place to display them - a Civil War museum in the donated Congregational Church building to be renamed the Community Congregational Museum. A grand opening of the Community Congregational Museum is planned in conjunction with the celebration of Fox Lake’s 175th birthday on June 15, 2013. The Fox Lake Historical Society also operates the 1884 Milwaukee Road Railroad Depot. Just a few blocks away from the church/museum, the depot site includes a small shed with railroad artifacts, an early farm kitchen, a working blacksmith shop and one of our earliest filling stations. Come visit us!

160 Gateway Drive, Waupun (920) 324 - 9899


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hat is that, a painting? A photograph? This is the one question I hear over and over at art fairs and my basic reply is, “It’s a little of both, except I’m painting with pixels and a mouse, as opposed to a paint brush.” I did not start out trying to be “an artist” that sold photographs. Well, perhaps I did when I was in high school but I quickly realized that all of my work, well to be honest, bored me. I would have what I considered a great shot in my viewfinder, but the finished product was not what I had in my mind’s eye. I was a frustrated photographer for many, many years as I kept underwhelming myself. Fast forward to 2008 and I had taken some photos of our State Capitol using a couple of new techniques I had been playing with. I liked the finished product, but was it just me? So I printed them on canvas and, just for giggles and because it was free, put them up at a Starbucks just to see if there were any reactions, good or bad. WELL, the month that those images were up was a surprise to say the least. I received phone calls and requests for other images “in that painterly technique” and things sort of took off from there. The problem was which “painterly” technique are you talking about? Many times I cannot actually recreate what I do from photo to photo. I sort of “jam.” Like a guitarist that picks up a new guitar and just goes with the flow. For me, I sit down, look at an image that I shot and just . . . flow. I am never sure where I will end up. For instance, my photograph of the Umbrellas on the Square: It was a very wet day, but the lighting was perfect, and I felt when I took the photograph that it was almost raining very colorful


paint. My problem when I started to work on the shot was that I could see people’s faces. I did not want that, as the viewers would look to see if they knew anyone. So instead of sharpening the shot, I went the other way and sort of blurred and fudged and layered it, and yes - those are all natural-colored umbrellas; I got lucky. People have told me that it stirs memories of the square when they worked in Madison. But then I will go the other route. The Antique Wooden Boat image has more saturated color than what was actually present, and I wanted more and more detail, the little bubbles in the water and so forth. I wanted to make it like I was right there, right now. Here is the funny thing. Once at an art fair I was asked who my favorite classical artist was and I honestly could not think of one. One thing leads to another and the woman suggested I go to the library and look at some of the classic art books. You see, I do not remember ever taking an art class, so I was never exposed to all of those “old” artists. I went to the library, got a big 20-pound book by the masters and started flipping through the pages, and when I turned the page to Paris-based impressionistic artists of the late 1800s… WOW, OH MY! I can still feel the chills, these are wonderful, I had only seen a few of these artists and I instantly fell in love with the likes of Monet, Pissarro and Guillaumin. What I loved the most was the subject matter. Common ordinary things people see everyday, but created in a way that tweaked your brain, like a little memory pinch that said, “Remember this?” The colors are not real but that is how all of your combined memories have it stored. Maybe you have

“Westbound on the Empire Builder”

“Cave Point”


“Wooden Boat”

“Rainy Day in Madison”

“Cana Island”

not seen that scene but you have seen other scenes like this and the combined memories flood your senses and you get a warm feeling. My cow photo, Curious Yet Guarded: People will stop and out of the blue will tell me cow stories and as I listen it is like they are reliving a moment in their lives; their eyes are sparkling and they are smiling and they say they can almost smell the manure (I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing). A new piece is the Sunset from the Cana Island Causeway. It was a warm night, the kind where you can feel the air moving, but it is not up to a breeze yet. The water was calm enough for reflection and I had this very, very serene feeling. And then there is my man cave art. You have all been to art fairs and typically there would be a couple with the female inside my canopy looking at art and the male looking terribly bored and looking at his watch. Well, why not put up some images that appealed to the bored people. Plus - I liked shooting “guy” stuff.


So I shot some photos of the B-17 and trains. At one show a guy was standing looking bored when all of a sudden he approaches me and is looking at my work. He looks at me and says, “I go to these blasted fairs all the time and you are the first artist that seems to be different.” He purchased an F-16 fighter that I took from the National Guard Air Base. There is one tip I want to give photographers that want to get into the business. Do not listen to people in the business. I was told so many times that I had to have a theme like windmills, flowers, nature, horses and so forth. Well, I say shoot what makes you feel good. If you love the subject, it will show in your work. Have fun and do not force it. It is an adventure!

Portrait: Rod Melotte

“Curious Yet Guarded”


“Westbound on the Empire Builder”




n the world of astronomical marvels, we can sometimes overstep our bounds by promising “the sun, the moon, and the stars!” In the sporting world, there is nothing more graceful than a well-executed triple play or the resounding heroic hoof beats of a thoroughbred winner turning that last corner heading toward home to achieve the ultimate in sporting accolades - The Triple Crown. In the vernacular of the equestrian sport, our household will be enjoying a “trifecta” this year. The completion of an education is exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. While trying to remember what it felt like to have your whole future before you, to make it what you will, I now gaze upon two of my sons about to embark on a journey many have traveled before. The oldest will graduate from the high stress world of college life - “Man, do I REALLY need to wash my clothes this week? Or can I just put them under the mattress to make them LOOK ironed?” He will receive a degree in advertising and marketing, and I cannot wait to see him run advertising rings around Larry Tate and Darrin Stephens, the original “MadMen” from “Bewitched.”

Right behind him in the rearview mirror, his younger brother will be leaving the confines of Beaver Dam High School to begin his own adventures. I know he will regale family members at every holiday gathering with his heroic stories about how he wore a beaver tail, on the class float, during the Homecoming Parade, with humility and pride, telling them “I will ALWAYS be a Golden Beaver!” And amidst the upcoming hubbub, their older sister, my only daughter, just had to get herself engaged. It certainly is a moment when you pause and take account of all that has passed before. From holding her when she was just a baby, to guiding her through her school years and sending her off to become an independent young woman. It is a joy and a privilege to see your children blossom and strike out on their own, and it reminds us of what is truly important in life - faith in God, family, and friends. When midnight tolls on New Year’s Eve 2013, the classic lyrics from “Ol’ Blue Eyes” Frank Sinatra will certainly come to mind - “It was a very good year.”

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DO T h e Pa t h

A Modern Japanese Martial Art Based on the Principle of Non-Resistance and Peaceful Reconciliation



Instructor · Mark Uttech 212 West Main St. Marshall, WI 53559




W W W . B E AV E R D A M . K 12. W I . U S




ow are you? “Fine!” is the best answer, but not always. Happy belated birthday; 60 is a milestone age. I saw you in a dream a few nights ago. I wondered where the surprise dream came from. It has already been years since we have had any type of communication, even with all of the available technology! Why should you suddenly appear in a dream pitching a tent on my front lawn? And the spot you chose to pitch your tent does not really exist. There is a rather tall dead tree stump and a burning barrel in that spot. Everything in a dream may be a symbol. In my dream, though I was surprised, I did not mind.



“In your life, you’ll change friends too,” my father told me, “just like you change tires.” I changed a tire last week, and it became a wandering adventure. “Go to Weber’s Tires in East Bristol,” someone told me. “It’s cheap and reliable, and everyone goes there.”

“How do I get there?” I asked.

“Google it” was the irritating answer I got from most people, as if no one believed in a map anymore. I had a county map so I thought I wouldn’t have any trouble.

“The trick is to find Highway V,” someone else said.

Well, I was familiar with Highway VV, since I drove it to work everyday, and VV went right by the Sweet Cemetery, which is a Bristol cemetery, so I figured I already knew the general area, the perimeter so to speak. On my county map it showed VV running right to V, seems simple enough. It is always easy until you get out there - there is all manner of rural roads and farms, and lo, Bristol also has an East Bristol, so how big is the town anyway, or is there more than one? I tried meandering, which is another word for wandering. Somehow I got to Weber’s Tires in 10-15 minutes. In an additional 15 minutes, I had a new tire and figured I would be home soon. I did not really have to be anywhere, so I enjoyed the drive, enjoyed the confusion, and like an ordinary man, refused to bother with the map anymore. A full 30 minutes later I pulled into my driveway. How did I get there? I really do not know, but the new tire claims to be good for 40,000 miles.


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or better or for worse, I am a saver. In my mind, saving for now equals more for later. Since I do not have much extra to spend right now anyway, I hang on to most of what I can. However, I recently learned that sometimes taking a risk and giving up more than what is comfortable could yield unforeseen benefits. My friend Louise is a retired nurse and a saver like me, but every once in awhile she likes to treat herself to a special event. For the past year or two, she has attended the UW-Madison Marching Band concert with the graduate school’s alumni group, a special event. This year, though, she decided to pay for a ticket for a box seat that cost twice as much and provided hors d’oeuvres and dessert during the concert. When she told me this, I thought the extra extravagance was more than she could afford: Really Louise, was a better view and a slice of cheesecake honestly worth that extra money? It turns out it was. Not only did she get her slice of cheesecake, but also she found herself sitting among a prestigious and accomplished


group of women. These women were event organizers, fundraisers, and businesswomen…and apparently they enjoyed Louise’s company very much. By the end of the concert, they ended up asking her to join their alumni board because one of their members would be leaving soon. Louise may have never received such an opportunity if she had not paid a little more for her seat. While I am sure Louise’s decision to buy a more expensive ticket was motivated by a better concert experience rather than networking opportunities, her story taught me a valuable lesson in accomplishing goals: if you want something, you have to surround yourself with opportunities to get it. If you want to be a successful nurse/entrepreneur/musician, go where those people go and surround yourself with them. One of my favorite sites is MeetUp. com. I started using it when I moved to Tucson in order to find friends with similar interests. Now, though, I use it to advance my career. I find people who have similar interest areas as me and join their groups. Yet some of the meetings cost money to attend, and when I blow the dust off my bare-bones wallet, I think, maybe not. However, I am discovering that rarely do contacts and connections to job opportunities come free. When you put your hard-earned money down for networking, it says something to yourself and to others. Money says commitment, motivation and investment. It says you are willing to risk what you have now to better yourself and the group - you all want to win. If I want in to a certain professional club, I may have to become a high roller - take a bigger risk and put more money down - in exchange for a greater return. Then again, I could also buy a ticket for a social event and pursue cheesecake... that seems to work well too.



ubject: Fred the Beavercorn Long believed to be genetically incompatible, researchers have recently unveiled indisputable evidence that unicorns and beavers are sometimes more than “just friends” (see photo of Fred the Beavercorn). As we all know, the unicorn is featured prominently in the Bible in multiple locations (King James version); however, the beaver is glaringly absent from the Bible, leading scholars to question the actual existence of this mythical creature. According to Fred, his mother was no myth, and when he misbehaved and she walloped him with her powerful, flat tail, it “rattled my horn and made me sneeze.” Fred’s parents enjoyed many happy years together until one day when his unicorn father swam off with a mermaid, sparking endless debate among geneticists regarding the origin of the narwhal. When writing to me at, please send a photo and phone number if you are a small furry creature or a handsome blue spruce tree. Also, let me know if you’d like to receive my Sunday e-mail, complete with wardrobe update and silly story.

Jim from Fox Lake asks: Why does brick cheese smell like dirty socks? Answer: Brick cheese smells like dirty socks because the bacteria used in its production (Brevibacterium linens) are the same critters that are found between your toes. As you may know, brick cheese was invented in 1877 by John Jossi right here in Dodge County! I’m not sure why Jossi chose to manufacture his cheese with the great taste of feet; however, it might be due to the simple fact that armpit-flavored cheese was already being produced by French cheesemakers. Joyce from Beaver Dam asks: If dirty socks make great tasting cheese, then should I throw an old tennis shoe into my next tuna casserole? Answer: Silly question - I‘ve tasted your tuna casserole and it’s perfectly obvious to me that you are already flavoring it with old shoes. Mitzi from Fox Lake asks: Girl Scouts are famous for selling great cookies that we all love and adore; why don’t Boy Scouts do anything useful? Answer: Boy Scouts are preparing to be men. Jay from Beaver Dam asks: What is your gender? Answer: Good question; I do have some “gender identification issues” because my creator Bob Younger left those important bits covered up. So, I’m looking for a good animal psychologist or wood carver to help me sort it out.

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Dr. Erica Elsing - Dr. Jeffrey Stevens Dedicated to serving your entire family and their health care needs Drs. Erica Elsing and Jeff Stevens bring years of experience in leading-edge family medicine to Beaver Dam. They are married and the proud parents of two children. It will be a homecoming of sorts for Dr. Elsing as her mother was born in Beaver Dam and her grandparents are from Friesland. They look forward to living and raising their family in Beaver Dam. Call today for an appointment.

Call to schedule an appointment with Drs. Elsing and Stevens at (920) 887-4819. Most insurance plans accepted

109 Warren Street, Beaver Dam, WI 53916




he Dodge County Historical Society is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its founding by giving credit not only to the men and women who helped develop our area but also to the people who recorded the information that we can now read and appreciate. Historians, both amateur and professional, have written stories of our heritage. In 1880 an invaluable book was published. The History of Dodge County includes this story written by perhaps the County’s first historian James H. Warren, the first settler in the Town of Hubbard. His original manuscript was destroyed by fire but when this book was contemplated, he again wrote what he could recall, and the following story was included with other reminiscences. AN OLD SETTLER’S TALE: TWO DARING FRONTIERSMEN

The first white settlers located in the county about the year 1838, or perhaps a year later. But I desire to go back of this date and relate an incident or two given me by Narcisse Juneau, at the time I was collecting the history that I prepared in 1859 and 1860. There are two towns in the county bearing the names of two daring frontiersmen, namely Burnett and Clyman. In 1837 these men started out from Milwaukee on their hunting and trapping expedition into the then unsettled part of the territory now known as Dodge County. Before leaving Milwaukee, they agreed with Solomon Juneau that his son Narcisse, then a lad of ten or twelve years, should accompany them to act in the capacity of interpreter Solomon Juneau Source: Dodge County Historical Society


with the Indians. After the departure of the party, Mrs. Juneau was so troubled with forebodings of evil that she persuaded Solomon to send a friendly Indian on the trail. He overtook the party on the old Milwaukee and Fond du Lac trail about 20 miles out from Milwaukee and returned the lad in safety to his anxious mother. Burnett and Clyman proceeded on their journey to the point where the trail crossed the Ossian or east fork of the Rock River, where the picturesque little village of Theresa now stands. Here they purchased a canoe from the Indians, intending to make their way down the fork to the great Winnebago marsh, afterward known as Lake Horicon. A little before sunset they had reached a point in the river called the “Ox Bow,” in what is now the town of Theresa. The men had hauled up their canoe, started a fire, and Burnett had stepped a short distance away to gather some dry branches for fuel, when Indians fired upon both men. Burnett was shot dead on the spot and Clyman was wounded. By this time it was nearly dark and Clyman, seeing no safety except in instant flight, ran at his best speed, hotly pursued by one of the Indians. The darkness increased as he fled from his pursuer, until it was with the greatest difficulty that he avoided injury to himself from coming in contact with trees. He finally came to a large tree that had fallen and lay directly in his way. Leaping over, he dropped behind and partially under it (the Indian jumping over him and passing on), where he lay concealed until about midnight when he resumed his flight and after several days’ wandering made his way back to Milwaukee. The two Indians who pursued the white men and killed Josette Juneau Source: Dodge County Historical Society

Burnett, afterward told Mr. Juneau the story, fully corroborating the statement as given by Clyman. Solomon Juneau is best known as founder of Milwaukee, where he served as first postmaster and first mayor, but he had a profound effect on Dodge County as well. Born in Montreal in 1793, he came to this territory and went to work for Jacques Vieu who had headquarters in Green Bay and had developed fur trading posts all along Lake Michigan. Juneau married his employer’s daughter Josette, who was also the granddaughter of a Menominee chief. He and Josette moved to one of the trading posts that later became the site for the city of Milwaukee. Beloved by both Native Americans and settlers, they were known for their integrity and generosity. In 1847 Solomon Juneau built a summer home in Dodge County and named this settlement for his mother, Theresa. The family moved to Theresa permanently in 1852. Their home is now a museum. Josette died shortly after that and Solomon died the year after his beloved wife. His death occurred while he was on the Kes-

hena Indian reservation near Shawano and he was first buried on the reservation. Seven hundred Native Americans walked in procession at his funeral. Six native chiefs served as his pallbearers including Chief Oshkosh. Narcisse Juneau and his other sons came and took his body to Milwaukee where another huge funeral was held. Narcisse lived in Theresa, married and had a family. He served as Register of Deeds for Dodge County and was elected to the State Assembly twice. In 1867 he accompanied a band of Indians to Oklahoma and then moved his family to a farm in Kansas. Since May is Archeology month, a series of events are underway. A shovel test on the grounds of the Girl Scout House has been undertaken in preparation for a dig. The area was once a campground for Native Americans. On May 25th at 10:30 a.m., Curator Kurt Sampson will lead a bus tour of the mounds of Dodge County. Call the museum for further information or to make a reservation. 920-887-1266 1 2

The Dodge County Historical Museum is located on the corner of Front and Spring Streets in downtown Beaver Dam; regular hours are 1-4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Being a wife and mother of four wonderful daughters was Mary Cudnohfsky’s greatest achievement. After becoming a widow and retiring from teaching in Beaver Dam, she found her second great passion when she started working at the historical society and fell in love with local history.







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920-885-CORN (2676) Find us on Facebook!



Well here we are: Volume 2 Issue 3


riving south on Spring Street - In my ‘86 periwinkle blue Volvo wagon - last week of April - very nice late afternoon. I’m just rolling by the community theatre building when my attention is drawn right - coming out of the bank - one of those BAD*** black & whites of the Beaver Dam Police Department. Those new cars are really awesome - my compliments to the designers. Then suddenly I find myself eyeball to eyeball with the officer - he smiles respectfully and I nod my approval. Less than a nanosecond later - the “LIGHTS” are on and the ‘86 dutifully pulled over to make room for the pursuit - only one problem… So there I am - middle of downtown strobes a flashing for all to see! Officer approaches and I’m thinking - what the heck did I do? “Good afternoon sir,” says the sarge, “Do you have a license with you today?” - I immediately comply, “May I have a phone number?” - “So, what did I do?” - “No seatbelt,” the sergeant replies with a cordial, but almost forgiving smile. Following what seemed like an eternity in the “LIGHTS” he returns with my citation - $10 fine! Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin invented the three-point seat belt - not the first but the modern seat belt - now a standard safety device in most cars. Volvo first introduced Nils Bohlin’s lap-andshoulder belt in 1959. There I was in my ‘86 Volvo unbuckled Nils would be very disappointed! You know - it’s kind of been my routine to not “buckle up.” Don’t mean to embarrass anyone (I’ve had enough all on my own) especially my wife - but you see she’s been kindly reminding me about this for a long time - “Don’t even turn on the car until you are buckled!” She’s right… I’m delighted to report that I’m finding myself buckled far more often these days and have concluded through my experience humbling as it has been - it’s for the better. It also got me noticing other drivers who are not buckled - these are not solid statistics but my early observations have it at about 30% no belts. NHTSA says usage is 83% for the Midwest - interesting. We complain about government intervention - in this case it’s for the good of all. Think about the first responders - health care professionals - family members who may need to come to your rescue should you have an accident - injuries will be far greater if you’re not “buckled up!” So, take it from a reformed non-compliant - give yourself a hug! Also: Wear your headgear when you go for that bike ride - don’t be selfish - think of the caregivers. Thanks “sarge” for the most well-delivered reprimand I’ve had in a while - my wife and family thank you as well... P.S. The periwinkle blue Volvo has been bequeathed to my daughter. I know she buckles XOXO! Nils would be proud! Cheers!

An Autobiography continued from Page 7...By the end of the year everyone was happy. The harvest had been so good that they had never seen anything like it in Hungary. The soil was good and rich and everything that they had harvested they could keep. No more giving a share to the big landowner. This inspired them so much that they worked day and night. They started to build houses so that families could move into their own as several families lived together in one home. Some of the men went back to Hungary during the winter, when their work in the fields was less demanding, to bring back some furniture and to tell the ones who had stayed in Hungary how happy they all were about their good fortunes. The ones who had stayed at home made baskets and brooms or worked at clearing more land. They felt prosperity in every way and took complete advantage of their good fortune. The natives were easygoing and happy people. Grandma told us many times how the Germans would slave until late at night while the Croats would play their harmonicas and dance their Kolo - folkdances - in the street. They were happy with their way of life. They grew corn, beans, cabbage and barley. Their meals consisted of cornbread, sauerkraut and beans - with a little smoked meat - one day, and beans and barley the next. They knew absolutely nothing about Kuchen or Stollen, or any of the other dishes enjoyed by us and consequently there was a great deal of exchanging of ideas. The Germans had kerosene lamps while the Croats used homemade oil lamps. The Germans needed spinning wheels and the Croatian women could spin a nicer thread on a spindle in the dark than the Germans could in broad daylight. The Germans could not weave while the Croatians were artists with the loom. The Germans dressed in prints whereas the Croats dressed strictly in white linen of their own manufacturing. At first the two nationalities lived harmoniously. But when the Croatians saw how the Germans prospered and that the Germans considered themselves much more superior, this started to create friction and, at the same time, segregation. The Germans, who at first were willing to learn the Croatian language, soon let them know that they really didn’t need to. The Croatians made it quite clear that the Germans had been nothing but drifters and were not about to let them forget that they were strangers and would always remain so. And so it went until one night when the Germans held their dance. The Croatians came to watch and at first were quite peaceful, but as the evening progressed some very nasty remarks were flung at the Germans to which no one paid any attention at first. When they saw that they would not get a “rise” out of the Germans, they started to roll pumpkins through the open windows and under the dancers feet. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The Germans blew out the lights and told the women and children to stay put while the men went after their enemies, beating everyone that they could find. One man had tried to find safety by crawling into a bread oven. But he was found and was pulled out and beaten into unconsciousness and for several days remained in a coma. He recovered but was never allowed to forget that night because for the rest of his life he was known as the “oven crawler.” The Germans exulted in their victory. Little did they know that in a strange way they, their children and the children to come would have to pay for that incident. The seed of hatred had been planted so deeply that it never died until the day we again left Palesnik in 1944.



Postal Customer

The legend begins on a quiet summer day at the Browns Valley Resort in Western Minnesota. There a young boy of 17 named Griffin Jones from Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, denuded 2,150 lbs. of live bullheads in a daylong event. Thus “Griff” becomes the World Champion Bullhead Skinner and takes home the title to Beaver Dam. Griff was born in 1898. He was a long time authority on Beaver Dam Lake and worked his whole life to make the lake a fishermen’s destination in Wisconsin. Some of his accomplishments: 1941 – President B.D. Whiskers Club to celebrate Centennial in 1848, 1951 – B.D. Chamber of Commerce Manpower Chairman, 1958 – B.D. Lake Fisherman’s Club President – He headed up many projects on B.D. Lake to improve fishing and water quality. B.D. Lake was the best bullhead fishing lake in Wisconsin at the time. At the high-water mark in Griff’s life he owned both a tavern on South Center Street and a resort called Ma and Pa Jones on Sunset Point on the east side of the lake. He proudly put up signs on both properties declaring his championship title. From his obituary after his passing in 1965: The folks who knew him well have always appreciated his interest in community affairs, especially Beaver Dam Lake, and they also knew that he never was one bit hesitant about making his views known and giving dedicated support to all of them. We knew Griff Jones of Beaver Dam long before we ever came to Beaver Dam or met him


personally – the World Champion Bullhead Skinner – and he was just that. Griff, through his interest in Beaver Dam Lake and the bullheads, served as a public relations director for this community and made Beaver Dam Lake famous for its bullheads. That Griff was controversial cannot be denied, but in his dedicated efforts in conservation, he had his own ideas and went to the limit to carry them out. But whether you agreed with him or disagreed, you couldn’t help but admire him for his determination – and he did have that. Lloyd Kaul, Jr. told me an unusual story about Griff and his conservation of the bullhead population in Beaver Dam Lake. One summer day Griff stopped down at the dam behind the shoe factory in Beaver Dam to check on the dam. He found that the dam gates were open (they should have been closed) and that a lot of bullheads were packed into the narrow river below. He then closed the dam gates, and acting quickly, he rallied all the fishermen in the area to grab their buckets and bring them down to the river below the dam, bail the bullheads out, and take them back up over the dam and throw them back into the lake, thus saving hundreds of fish for anglers to catch another day. In conclusion, the life of Griff Jones had a lot to due with service, dedication and conservation of our natural resources. His efforts to save and perpetuate the bullhead population in Beaver Dam Lake will always be his lasting legacy.

LocaLeben May / June 2013  
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