2 1 0 2 – 2 191
100th Anniversary Edition
DrivEr’s GuiDE to Wisconsin’s Historic Auto routE
the 2012 Guide to Driving Wisconsin’s Historic Auto route
elcome to the 100th anniversary edition of Driving the Yellowstone Trail. The Yellowstone Trail (YT), a transcontinental auto route, was begun in 1912 — 100 years ago. Head on out! You don’t need to wear a duster or goggles to explore the Yellowstone Trail in Wisconsin, or anywhere along its 3,600-mile route today. The Trail was laid out “from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound” and it went right through Wisconsin. See, taste, and feel a Wisconsin of yesteryear along all of the Trail’s 409 miles from Hudson to Kenosha. Or just sample parts of it near your home. This booklet has maps guiding you along the Trail through all 18 counties it touched. Of special interest are the many historic sites of a bygone era on or near the Trail. Who knows? You may live right on the Trail and not know it! This is a different kind of guide, specifically designed to follow only one road, the Yellowstone Trail through Wisconsin. This is not like a AAA guide or the glossy county guides published for regular tourist information. The point of this guide is to celebrate the Yellowstone Trail itself as the destination. In
For more info about the Yellowstone Trail see www.yellowstonetrail.org or www.facebook.com/ yellowstonetrail
efficient way to get farmers’ produce to rail heads. The YT quickly expanded. The Trail was three years old when it reached Wisconsin in 1915. By 1919, the entire route was firmly established coast to coast.
RaCeRs In tHe 1916 RelaY RaCe— see Page 15. many places it is only a county road, and in a few places it still is gravel. This guide exists to inform the heritage traveler about interesting sites and sights of a Wisconsin 10 decades ago. What Was the Yellowstone Trail? ud up to hub caps. Gumbo so slippery it felt like an ice rink. Dust so thick in the summer, travelers wore long duster coats, goggles and hats. Roads were so bad in most of the nation in 1912 that private citizen grassroots groups formed to “get out of the mud,” which was the national cry. Automobile sales were burgeoning but there were no connected, longdistance roads out of town (mostly in the West) on which to drive the new black beauty. State and federal governments were doing nothing about auto road building. The time had come. The Yellowstone Trail Association (YTA) was one of many groups pushing for long-distance roads, but it was the first group to create a transcontinental route through the upper tier of states. In 1912 a small band of men in Ipswich, S.D., envisioned a road “from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound.”
They called it the Yellowstone Trail to honor the national park. The YTA did not build roads with pick and shovel. Its 8,000 members persuaded county governments to build a single road that connected to a single road from adjoining counties. Thus, a long-distance road resulted, piece by piece. They promoted cross-country tourist traffic, marked the route with yellow signs, and provided maps. Communities along the route paid a membership fee to the YTA to be advertised in its travel literature. People fought to get their towns on the Trail, envisioning tourist trade, economic development, and an
Contents CoUntIes St. Croix County . . . . . . . . . . . . 7–11 Dunn County. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12–14 Eau Claire County . . . . . . . . . . 16–18 Chippewa County. . . . . . . 15, 20–26 Clark County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27–33 Marathon County . . . . . . . 19, 31–33 Wood County . . . . . . . . . . 19, 34–35 Portage County. . . . . . . . . 25, 36–39 Waupaca County . . . . . . . . . . 40–42 Outagamie County. . . . . . . . . 44–45 Winnebago County . . . . . . . . 46–48 Fond du Lac County . . . . . . . . 50–53
Why Did the Trail Go Where It Does? he YT shadowed the route of the Milwaukee Road Railroad from the Twin Cities into Montana, and then the Union Pacific farther west. Roads tended to follow a railroad because a railroad was the shortest line between the towns that were strung out along the track, and if one’s car broke down, your chances of being found were greater. And roads on the railroad right-of-way caused minimal disturbance to farms. In the East, following a railway was irrelevant. There were enough shorter auto roads to form a route. In Wisconsin the YT was routed through the most populous eastern areas and avoided the swampy parts of the southwest — again along
Dodge County. . . . . . . . . . . . . 50–53 Washington County . . . . . . . . 54–55 Waukesha County . . . . . . . . . 54–55 Milwaukee County . . . . . . . . . 56–59 Racine County. . . . . . . . . . . . . 60–64 Kenosha County . . . . . . . . . . . 60–63 HIstoRY CoRneRs The 1916 Relay Race . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Joseph Parmley: Dreamer . . . .19, 25 Michael Dowling: Trailblazer . . . . 43 Map Legend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Notes & Acknowledgements . . . . 49
railroad lines. Look at old maps from the 1920s or before and you will see many stair-step images of roadways. Why? Because 66-foot rights-of-way along section lines between the onesquare-mile sections of farm land were made available for roads west of Ohio by federal survey laws. How Did They Promote the YT? he Association had crosscountry relay races which generated much excited interest and newspaper coverage. Trail Days, one day a year when all citizens in towns along the Trail were asked to go out and repair their section of the Trail, were another big deal, drawing press and politicians. Many Easterners still viewed the West with skepticism early in the 20th century. Weren’t Indians there? Can you find gas? Camping?
Where? Part of the goal of the YTA was to invite people to go West to see its wonders (and to funnel tourists through Trail towns). So the Association became a tourist business in the East rather than a road-building association, opening 17 tourist bureaus transcontinentally, which gave advice about camping, roads, and even weather. Note the inclusion of camping sites in almost all of the old guides quoted in italics in this Guide. Still, the locals gawked when a “foreign” car (cars with out-ofarea plates) went by. They had 18 good years, but with the advent of federal funding and numbering system, and availability of maps, the need for this and other trails finally faded in the 1930s. The Great Depression
put an end to community and individual memberships.
For more info about the Yellowstone Trail see www.yellowstonetrail.org or www.facebook.com/ yellowstonetrail
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How Was the Trail Marked? ationally, roads had no numbers until early1927, except in Wisconsin, which numbered its roads beginning in 1918. So trail associations used color combinations on their road signs. Metal signs, rocks, telegraph poles, fence posts, silos and anything else along the way were painted with the famous yellow circle and black arrow pointing toward the Yellowstone National Park. Unfortunately, the only known original road sign left in Wisconsin is a yellow R painted on the outside wall of a bar in Owen. The R indicates a right turn for Trail followers.
What Did the YT Do for Wisconsin? hen the Yellowstone Trail Association extended the Trail through Wisconsin, state aid was distributed locally, resulting in improvements of roads only radiating from market towns. There was no connected state highway system. The arrival of the Yellowstone Trail meant that the 18 counties through which the Trail went were leaned on and persuaded by the YTA to put their funds into a road that actually connected with the next county’s road. Before that, there was little concern for connectedness. Roads joining roads aided everyone and the concept laid the foundation for the 1917 State Trunk Highway Act. Also, several YTA travel bureaus were established to aid travelers along the Trail. In 1919 the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee hosted the largest Trail travel bureau. The Trail drew so many tourists through the state that when the highway department numbered state roads in 1918 and demanded all smaller trails desist, the Yellowstone Trail with its yellow markers was permitted to remain. That Act in itself was historic in two
AbOvE iS A PiCTuRE OF A 1922 AuTOMObiLE bLuE bOOK. TO ThE RighT iS TExT FROM ThE STEvENS POiNT TO EAu CLAiRE SECTiON OF ThE 1,300-PAgE vOL. 4, ThE MiDDLE WEST, 1916. ANOThER SET OF iNSTRuCTiONS DESCRibES EAu CLAiRE TO STEvENS POiNT TRAvEL. NO DETAiLED MAP WAS iNCLuDED. ways: Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to number highways. Second, Wisconsin’s highway department acknowledged the preeminence of the YT. By 1929 the YT became the first fully concrete road across the state. Can We See the ‘Original’ Today? he original Trail has been smoothed over the years with curves instead of stairstep right angles; it has been moved slightly, and received a facelift and better profile. But near Hewitt there is still a gravel road bearing the name Yellowstone Road. There is gravel still marking the Trail near Junction City. Although paved now, old Wisconsin Highway 10 just east of Stevens Point gives a great picture of a winding way of the 1920s.
dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/maps/ county.htm. Plot out your path before you drive. The maps in this guide to the Yellowstone Trail in Wisconsin attempt to
give you what is necessary to follow the YT, but they have few crossroads and physical features desirable for reference. Use the mileage markers provided in the Mile-by-Mile sections to set locations; they are designed to be accurate within a tenth of a mile. The Mile-by-Mile sections of this road guide are styled in the manner of the road guides in popular use from around 1902 to 1928. The most popular of those guides were the Automobile Blue Books used in lieu of road maps — which were non-existent, rare, or inaccurate. Each year, four to twelve Blue Books, each covering a different section of the country and each with over a 1,000 pages, were published. A truly monumental publishing feat. Think of the miles driven to create and update those books! Originals are fairly easily obtained today on eBay. But the old books didn’t provide detailed maps. This
Menomonie Visitor Center
How Do You Use This Guide? detailed map of Wisconsin or detailed county maps are strongly recommended to be used with this guide. The state has county maps available with great detail (except within cities) at www.
The Visitor Center is located downtown in the Greater Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce office. Visitors can stop in for local and regional brochures, maps and Menomonie t-shirts, posters, postcards or bottled water. Friendly staff and volunteers are available to answer questions and offer suggestions. Visitor Center 42 E. Main Street, Menomonie, WI 54751 tel 715.235.9087 fax 715.235.2824 www.menomoniechamber.org
Visitor Center Hours Summer Hours: May 1 – October 31 Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sat. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sun. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
8/13/12 1:50 PM
guide does. You will need to refer to this legend:
YelloWstone tRaIl MaPs legenD Interstate highway Freeway Major road Minor road Impassable road The earliest (1915) YT route is shown as a “shadow” under the modern road. As highways developed, the YT route was sometimes moved to a newer location. 1918-1930 The dates of newer alignments are shown A red X indicates that the original YT is not passable at X that point. The logical alternative for the modern traveler is to follow a newer route of the YT.
If a newer route is not available, an alternative route is indicated by a blue line. The mileage along the route is measured from the Minnesota border at Hudson
Where helpful, Interstate/freeway exit numbers are shown Where helpful, railroads are shown
Interstate, US, State, County highway markers
History Boxes he shaded boxes contain historic notes about the Yellowstone Trail, the YTA or related history.
Driving Notes riving notes are provided occasionally when detailed information about the route is needed.
Useful Information for the User hroughout, quotations in italicized text are excerpts
from historic guidebooks, newspapers and other resources. Most show the kind of travel aid drivers received almost 100 years ago. The source of the quotation is given using these abbreviations: BB = an Automobile Blue Book of the year indicated; MH = Mohawk Hobbs Grade and Surface Guide: Yellowstone Trail, 1928; AAA = AAA Official Camping and Campsite Manual, 1922. The mileages used as mileposts in the text and on
the maps represent driving distances from downtown Hudson, the starting point, along practical roads on or nearest the original (1915) route of the Yellowstone Trail. While they provide accurate distances, travelers will often find their driving distances will vary significantly because of side trips, turning in the wrong place, sightseeing and rounding error. No effort was made to make these mileages match the original miles as measured in 1915 by the original Yellowstone Trail Association nor the Blue Book mileages. Mileages next to city names are mileages at a central point within the city, so some mileages for places within the city appear before and some after the city name. Mileages with a tilde (M~3.1) mean approximately or near the mileage. Because the user may be following the guide from either
direction, references to left and right have been avoided. The included maps reflect the best possible research to date. The scale of the maps makes details hard to record and hard to read. It would be best if the user possessed good, detailed, current maps to follow. GPS is even better. The authors use DeLorme’s relatively inexpensive Street Atlas, Topo 7, and a GPS receiver running on their laptop computer as they travel the Trail. Read, travel, explore, and enjoy life in the slow lane— the Yellowstone Trail.
For more info about the Yellowstone Trail see www.yellowstonetrail.org or www.facebook.com/ yellowstonetrail
Yellowstone Trail Association www.yellowstonetrail.org
Join the YTA $15/year.
Join (or organize) a SOCIABILITY RUN on the Yellowstone Trail email@example.com
On the Yellowstone Trail for more than a century
A Family Tradition Since 1962
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Y T N U O C x i St. Cro Wild river country DRIVIng notes
he original 1915 route of the YT through St. Croix County can still be followed except for the inevitable bits of straightening and relocation to avoid rail crossings. When Wisconsin designated and numbered the state trunk system in 1918 they did not always choose the same route that YT officials had chosen. Moreover, the state required the YT Association to move their routes to be on state trunk highways. The route through Hudson was one of those affected sections and from 1919 the YT had to follow Vine
Street/County UU out of town, which was State Trunk 12. At that time that route included what is now Jacobs Lane. Before the 1920s, roads had been routed for their convenience for use as farm-to-market wagon roads or mail delivery routes. In the 1920s the horrendous accident and death rates at rail crossings motivated the use of newly available state and federal funding to reconstruct roads to avoid unnecessary crossings or to construct overpasses. The area around Wilson provides an excellent example. The closings of the rail crossings force the modern traveler to follow a new alignment of the YT. In that same area just east of Wilson, the YT was routed on the then existing very
curvy section of road. During the “concreting” of the YT (by then designated Highway 12) in the late 1920s, those curves were eased. Indications of the original road are hard to find.
MIle-BY-MIle M0.0 Hudson udson, Wis. is situated on beautiful Lake St.Croix, which divides the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota. A railroad division, it has car shops. Free Camp, .5 mile from town. Small hotel, not modern. Ford garage is best (MH). The Causeway or “dike” and arch at the foot of Walnut Street marks the beginning of the Yellowstone Trail (YT) in Wisconsin at this historic river town. In 1915 the YT entered Wisconsin from Minnesota across the St. Croix River on a toll bridge and adjoining causeway, or “dike” as it was locally called, built out to meet the toll bridge. Toll was 25 cents per auto driver and
Hudson Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau, 502 Second St. www.hudsonwi.org
n May 1922, Hudson’s YT was opened for its eighth summer season by officials of the YTA. Members of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce visited and toured the new tourist park. H.O. Cooley, general manager of the YTA, spoke to the Hudson Commercial Club, claiming that the YTA was making an industry of summer touring.
5 cents for each additional passenger. College kids stowed away in auto trunks for a free trip across. By 1950 the aging bridge carried 4,000 cars a day vs. six vehicles its first month in 1913. The arch was erected in 1936. The toll bridge was replaced with a free bridge about one mile south in 1951. The I-94 Interstate bridge came in 1965. Today the “dike” serves as a pleasant place to stroll. Lakeside Park runs next to the river north and south of the causeway. Features are swimming beach, picnic areas, playground, boat docks, volleyball. The St. Croix River was designated St.Croix
public ladies room was established in the basement of Carnegie Library in 1921. (What? No facilities for men?) Hudson people are requested to direct travelers to the rest room for information and comfort. The Commercial Club has also provided an employment bureau at the rest room (Hudson Star-Observer 1921).
WiSCONSiN/MiNNESOTA bRiDgE AT huDSON. bRiDgE iS gONE, buT ThE CAuSEWAy iS A gREAT STROLL.
National Scenic Riverway. Lower St. Croix features pleasure boating; upper St. Croix has narrow gorges, cliffs, rock formations, campsites. M0.04 ick’s Bar, 111 Walnut St., site of the former Yellowstone Trail Buffet. The Buffet was on the first block up from the river where many steamboats still moored. J.B.Gage has adopted a new name for his refreshment buffet, the “Yellowstone Trail Buffet” (1915 Hudson StarObserver).
M0.09 ust south of the YT at 426 Second St. is the San Pedro Café, site of the former Yellowstone Café. The place of business of the Yellowstone Café under the ownership of Koenig Brothers
has been moved to the Benz building [426 Second St.] just south of the National Bank (Dec. 30, 1926, Hudson Star-Observer). M0.5 hird Street Historic District consists of 17 historic
homes on Walnut and Third streets. Travelers can obtain an Historic Walking Tour map from the Chamber of Com-
Dan Mettner, left, from Duluth, Minn., a veteran walker and long-distance ice skater, walked from hudson to Marshfield on the yellowstone Trail. With no back-up auto, he carried 34 pounds in his back pack and camped along the historic road. his conclusion? yes, you can follow the maps on www.yellowstonetrail. org even though you may have to wade through mud and farmers’ fields in places where the Trail has been relocated. And yes, people were very friendly and interested in hearing about this national treasure, the old yellowstone Trail.
ThE DiNiNg hALL AT PROSPECT PARK WAS A gOOD FACiLiTy FOR TOuRiSTS.
PrOSPeCT Park From Prospect park, overlooking the city, one has a splendid view of the surrounding country. Free kitchen and dining rooms are maintained in this park for tourists (bb1921, v10). Prospect Park was created in 1885 overlooking the city. Adjacent to the park at its south end was a tourist camp that was used by many travelers on the yT, opened in 1922. Diaries of Trail travelers speak of “driving up the steep hill to the camp” (Third Street) and “enjoying the view of the town and river below.”
WIllOW rIver STaTe Park Three miles northeast of hudson. 2,754-acre park featuring three dams, three lakes, trout stream, nature center, canoeing, sailing non-motorized boating, snowmobiling.
ovember 3, 1916, the Hudso n Board of Trade took out a membership in the Yellow stone Trail Association.
Y St. Croix COUNT continued merce 502 Second St. Four houses that saw the YT are most interesting: PHIPPs HoUse Queen Anne style, 1005 Third St., built in 1884, now the Phipps Inn Bed & Breakfast. (See also the stunning Phipps Center for the Arts in downtown Hudson.)
and three-term U.S. Senator Spooner. Later owned by the Andersen family and then more recently by the Douglas Kaiser family 1992–96. It is a T-shaped house with gable roof and large paired brackets along the cornice. Private residence. BoYDen HoUse Victorian Gothic style, 727 Third St., built in 1879. Private residence. M6.7 Hudson City limits ntersection with Trail 12, named after the Yellowstone Trail and Highway 12 when the route was moved to present U.S. 12. The Wisconsin Highway Commission established route numbering, the first such route identification in the nation. By the summer of 1918 all state routes were signed. What is now County UU from Hudson east to Eau Claire and south past Madison was designated Wis. 12. And they demanded that named highway associations move their routes to the numbered state routes. So it is reasonable to assume that the YT moved, in Hudson, to the Vine Street route of Wis. 12 east to the present U.S. 12.
ThE OCTAgON hOuSE iS NOW A MuSEuM oCtagon HoUse 1004 Third St., built 1855, on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a museum maintained by the St. Croix County Historical Society. Open summers. JoHn C. sPooneR HoUse 915 Third St., built 1878 of Italianate design for lawyer
robably when the state created the StateTrunk Highway 12 (Wis .12), the locals combined that name with Yellowstone Trail and called the route Trail 12. There was a Trail 12 Café which is now a sports bar on Second Street. A short bit of road east of town (M6.7) is still named Trail 12.
SAN PEDRO CAFé buiLDiNg WAS ThE SiTE OF FORMER yELLOWSTONE CAFé .
eadline story of the early days of autoing in the Hudson StarObserver: Two separate auto parties formed a sociability run to Hudson from St. Paul. A “sociability run” was a social event of a caravan of cars all going to the same destination just for fun. However, in the same article: A Hudson car was rear-ended by a Minnesota hit-and-run driver who was apprehended. Was the culprit one of the Minnesota sociability run drivers? Sounds like it!
M7.0 ntersection with “Yellowstone Trail Road,” a road that the original YT no doubt followed to and across the railroad and then Alexander Street back to today’s U.S. 12. By the late 1920s the route was moved to the present U.S. 12 in this area.
M11.4 roberts etween M10.8 and M17.7 the YT was moved to the more northern route because of the coming of the state trunk highway system in 1918.
M17.7 Hammond ccupied in dairying and grain raising. Rooms, not
modern; small garage (MH). On the corner where the YT (present U.S. 12) takes an abrupt 90-degree turn is the Hammond Hotel, 820 Davis St. Built in 1879, the hotel may no longer be functioning, but the restaurant/bar is still going strong and it serves a wicked hAMMOND hOTEL buiLT 1879 SERvED yT TRAvELERS FOR DECADES.
southwest chicken salad. Live entertainment is featured on weekends, and it seems to be the headquarters for the annual llama run. There is even a llama song. M21.5 Baldwin ree camp at park on highway. Good Country hotel (MH); Camp maintained by
stAtE AiD HiGHWAy
N HUDSON, a portion of the yT (u.S. 12) beginning at vine and Ninth streets and running east for three and a half miles was concreted and opened to traffic in October 1921. A great celebration was held with upward of 2,000 people attending, featuring speeches by the yTA general manager, city and county officials, and a picnic. This celebration was “a recognition of the importance of the problem of the country highway as an artery of commerce.” The state was going to stop the concrete at 11th Street but the Commercial Club (early Chamber of Commerce) prevailed upon the state and federal governments for aid to complete the last two blocks.
Community Club in park on Main St. near creamery. Accommodations for 5 cars, 20 people. .5 acre. Opera House with moving pictures twice a week (AAA). The Lumber Company Brew Pub & Eatery, 870 Main St., (YT) is a newer place, probably named after the old lumber company that stood there in YT days. Between M21.3 and M26.6 the YT was moved to the more northern route because of the relocating and concreting of U.S. 12 in the late 1920s. M26.1 Woodville oodville was incorporated in 1911; newspaper came in 1913; electricity came in 1914; a water system in 1920. It was named Woodville because of its big woods. Lumbering was the main industry in the 1870s.
M27.5 ntil the late 1920s the original YT ran straight through here on 70th Avenue across the railroad.
M30.3 Hersey nce a booming lumber mill town, Hersey also had a white clay mine. The clay was used in the making of porcelain china. In YT days a campground existed at the corner of YT (present
U.S. 12) and present 292nd Street. Helen Petranovich, in her History of Hersey says: The year 1926 found the Old Yellowstone Trail becoming better known as U.S. 12. The old graveled road was widened and became a cement paved road. The Old Yellowstone Trail was at that time a main throughfare for horse jockies and gypsy caravans as they travelled westward.
vers. Between Wilson and the county line, the route was subject to much straightening. You might look for the old route weaving in and out. M34.5 is the St. Croix/Dunn County line
M30.6–M32.9 n the late 1920s the YT was moved to the present U.S. 12 to straighten the route and avoid two railroad crossings. The original route included 70th Avenue, Wilson/310th Street and Old Highway 12/ LaPoint Road (in town). Both ends of this route were abandoned.
M32.4 Wilson ree camp space at Gas station on Highway (MH).
M34.0 etween Wilson and Knapp (Dunn County) is Knapp Hill. It is not now as scarey as it was when folks were driving the YT. No need now to back up the hill to keep gas running to the engine. Story has it that slow-moving trucks could slow down the traffic righteously, leading a trail of exasperated drivers of underpowered fliv-
hiSTORiC hERSEy CAvE bAR (FOREgROuND) AND ATTAChED hERSEy CAFé. FRiENDLy FOLK ThEREiN WhERE ThiNgS COuLD gET TO JuMPiNg ON WEEKENDS.
traveler today may be familia r with a Woodall travel guide. In July 1915 Mr. Woodall himsel f came through Baldwin on the Yellowstone Trail preparing a travel guide. Mr. Woodall is engaged in carefully measuring distan ces between towns, stopping where supplies can be procured, noting all the places of interest to mo tor tourists both on the trail and at distan ces removed therefrom. He is employed by the YTA on this particular trip (Hudson Star-Observer, July 9, 1915). Autoists had the Baldwin Mo tor Club as early as 1913, cre ated “for social purposes, to promo te good roads, and the genera l welfare of the automobile gam e.” One wonders what was me ant by “the automobile game.” ThiS TyPiCAL TOuRiST CAMP WAS ON ThE yT NEAR hERSEy. SEE TExT, AbOvE.
NTY DUNN COU rivers and timber DRIVIng notes
uring 1918, when Wisconsin first created and numbered its state trunk highways, it numbered the route of the Yellowstone Trail just west of Menomonie as Wis. 12. During the late 1920s, the entire Yellowstone Trail route in Wisconsin was paved with concrete and many sections were rerouted, as it was here from M40.0 to downtown Menomonie. Trail organizations were required by
Wisconsin law to use only state highways, so the YT route was moved to the “Late 1920s” route marked on the map. At about the same time, many state highways were designated with interstate “U.S.” numbers. Wis. 12 was serendipitously renumbered as U.S. 12 to form a continuous route from Michigan to the west. Within Menomonie, there is some question of the routing of the YT between downtown and Pine Street. Some understand the route to have used Tainter Street rather than Broadway. There is evidence,
however, that the YT followed Broadway and that perhaps a north/south main route followed Tainter before the YT moved from its original route. Further findings would be welcome at info@ yellowstonetrail.org.
MIle-BY-MIle M34.5 St. Croix/Dunn County line M37.4 knapp ood garage and country hotel. Free camp space on highway (MH). The Wisconsin Highway Commission, in 1923, reported: The traveled route of
MAbEL TAiNTER ThEATER.
Menomonie Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, 342 E. Main St. www.Menomoniechamber. org/visitors-and-Tourism
he Wisconsin State Highway Commission numbered all state trunk routes and most sections of the Yellowstone Trail in preparation for the 1918 travel season. The only named highway that was allowed to retain its markings was the YT. When parts of the state trunk road were moved, as reported to the left, it is understood that the YT route was also moved by the YT Association accordingly. state trunk highway 12 through the Village of Knapp, Dunn County, contains four right angle turns, and there is an
outstanding nearby clay. Brickmaking was summer work, which suited those who worked in the lumber camps in the winter. In 1968 the last surviving brick company, Menomonie Brick Company, closed, a victim of more modern plants. To this day there are hundreds of bricks lying about.
nvented In MenoMonIe:
Harry Miller designed the first outboard boat motor (electric in 1900 and gasoline in 1906), inboard speedboats and auto racing engines. He began his career in 1897 by mounting a one-cylinder engine on his bicycle because he was tired of pedaling uphill after his daily job. His “Miller Special” racers dominated the major auto races for three decades, winning almost all of the major races throughout the 1920s. Barney Oldfield commissioned Miller to design the first streamlined racer in 1916. His innovations are still found in the cars of today.
abrupt turn in the road which it is desirable to eliminate. Two relocations have been recommended. The reason for those angles was that that area in Knapp was a swampy lake. Those sharp angles remained until 1930 when a new U.S. 12 was built straight through Knapp and the swampy lake.
M48.0 area of Old Brickyard enomonie had at least one brickyard on Brickyard Road near part of the YT. Millions of bricks were once manufactured in Menomonie by seven companies using the
MEnoMoniE WAysiDEs WIlson PlaCe MansIon 101 Wilson Circle. built in 1859, it was the home of Captain Wilson, a founder of the Knapp, Stout Company. Open at Christmastime, when multiple Christmas trees fill the gorgeous rooms. Each tree has an antique decoration theme. RassBaCH HeRItage MUseUM South from i-94 Exit 41 onto Wis. 25. East on Pine Avenue, left on game Park Drive, left on Wakanda Street to 1820 Wakanda. Local history and occasionally large displays such as antique auto shows. sanna PaRk (Called Menomonie Tourist Park in the 1920s.) About 1923, Emma hathaway built a Pure Oil station at 932 broadway, on the later yellowstone Trail, now u.S. 12. She noticed that many of her customers carried camping gear or pulled trailers. She convinced city officials to establish a city park. The Menomonie improvement Association created the Menomonie Tourist Park to accommodate the many seasonal tourists/campers who followed the popular yellowstone Trail. it was across the street from Emma. In 1924 the park had water facilities, a cook shack, tables, boating, pavilions for dancing, rest rooms and a caretaker. There is no camping today. The only original features are two stone pillars at the entrance. Just a few yards from the site of that gas station now stands Skoog’s Restaurant and Parkside Motel (restaurant open for lunch and dinner). Some of the original brick walls from that 1923 gas station may be seen in the bar. EC Leader-Telegram 12/10/2006. eMPIRe In PIne lUMBeR MUseUM Located six miles south of Menomonie on Wis. 25, then turn on County C at Downsville. Displays depicting operations of the Knapp, Stout Company, once the largest white pinery in the world. Caddie Woodlawn artifacts, a one-cell village jail, an 1865 post office, early farm machinery and much more. New quarry exhibit. Call 715-232-8685.
Y DUNN COUNT continued
sPIllWaY at elk CReek lake.
nvented In MenoMonIe: Jeremiah Tainter invented the Tainter gate, a rocker-shaped device to raise and lower water levels for controlling water in a spillway. This 1886 invention is still used today in dams around the world.
Explore History in Dunn County, Wisconsin
Russell J. Rassbach Heritage Museum From I-94 exit #41 South on State Highway 25, turn left on Pine Avenue to Wakanda Park.
Empire in Pine Museum Six miles south of Menomonie on State Highway 25, turn on County C at Downsville.
Caddie Woodlawn Historical Park Nine miles south of Menomonie on State Highway 25.
Call 715/232-8685 or visit www.dunnhistory.org 14
n the 1920s the YT in the town of Spring Brook (M56.6 to M65.0) was marked by “little yellow signs.” It was also claimed that a man named Weston passed through, “walking the distance on that road.” It might well have been W. Warwick who was employed by the Yellowstone Trail Association to put up Yellowstone Trail markers along the Trail nationwide.
M48.8 Menomonie City Center prosperous little town, supported by flour mills, brickyards, a piano factory and the successful dairy farmers of the territory. Hotel Marian; splendid new hotel. Best meals. Sgl. $1.25, dbl. with bath, $4. The C & O Garage is best. Labor $1.Tourist camp, 25¢, level and in a nice grove (MH); Camp maintained by City. 6 blks west. 10 acres (AAA). The whole of Main Street has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places with buildings dating from the 1880s and 1890s. It remains much as it was when travelers of the YT passed by in 1915. The Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater, at 205 Main St., is worth a stop. Built in 1889, it is a beautiful 123-year-old Victorian theater which presents performing and cultural arts. University of WisconsinStout began as the Stout Manual Training School in 1891 by James Stout, wealthy lumberman and state senator. Knapp, Stout Company was
the largest lumber corporation in the world in 1873. Stout was a philanthropist and forward thinker about roads. Raw Deal Café, 603 S. Broadway, near UW-Stout. A funny little place where all the food is raw! It’s healthy fruits and veggies and lots more of surprising, unboring treats. M50.0–M50.5 n 1898, James Stout financed and built a half-mile section of the “road of the future” to demonstrate new road-building design and methods that would use local materials. He personally oversaw the construction of a “seedling” half mile of a model multi-lane road that included two earth roads, a stone road, a walking path and a bicycle path. It has been overlaid by the modern road along Stout Road from 17th Street to a half mile east.
M64.7 elk Creek lake M65.0 Dunn/eau Claire County line
HISTORY CORNER: SEPTEMBER 1916
Plymouth Rock to Puget sound: for god, Country and More tourists Editor’s note: The yTA ran two crosscountry relay races to publicize the Trail. The first, run in June 1915, was from Chicago to Seattle. The second relay race, in September 1916, covered the entire Trail. This article is adapted from American Road magazine, volume 2, Number 1, by Alice Ridge.
nxious to promote to Easterners a newly marked trail to Yellowstone Park and beyond, the Yellowstone Trail Association staged a reprise of the 1915 relay race, but this race was for the full distance of the Trail “from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound.” This race was not solely run to promote tourism. Things had changed since the prior year; war was raging in Europe. This time, to prove that the Yellowstone Trail was an asset to national defense and capable of being designated a military road, a letter from the Secretary of War was carried to the commander at Fort Lawton in Seattle. The YT was so designated when we entered World War I. Preparation for the event was probably the equal of a military maneuver: Fourteen managers were appointed to subdivide the route into manageable portions; 64 cars and drivers and 126 trailer cars enlisted; law enforcement, civic groups and auto clubs offered cooperation; the entire route was dragged smooth. The press was as enthusiastic about this race as the last. The times of arrival and departure, the time gained or lost, and names were dutifully reported in many small-town papers — in the West. One Western paper opined, “Such a demonstration of the feasibility of this great, good road is cer-
tain to give it more publicity to Eastern parties than any other possible form of advertising.” Eastern papers said naught. No police escorts there. After all, the Yellowstone Trail was only one of many local trails, and telegraph and telephone poles were already festooned with colors of shorter trails. Every leg had a story: The remarkable 229-mile run of A. Aubie from Akron, Ohio, to Fort Wayne, Ind., in one car without stopping; the gallant struggle of E. Whipple, who battled storms for 400 miles across Wisconsin to Minneapolis; the citizens of Montevideo, Minn., who begged E. Simpson not to start out in the blinding rain and hail; the time gained across Montana at night and over the continental divide at dawn; the everywhere crowds and their guiding bonfires; J. Parsons in a Stutz, who dashed into Fort Lawton, Wash., at 10:12 a.m., five days from the start. Tales of derring-do emerged. A. Clements was four miles from his transfer point at Marshfield, Wis., when he blew a tire clear off the rim. He kept going, limping along on three tires and a rim. One racer skidded downhill into a gravel bank to avoid an elderly Idaho lady slowly driving a team on the Trail. Brakes on autos had to be readjusted, mid-race, for the steep mountainous grades. Tires got changed in under three minutes. Brave men fought through 1,000 miles of rain and mud and 300 miles of deep dust in eastern Montana farm country. And when Dr. Ewbank hit the crosswalks on Main Street of Marmarth, N.D., all four wheels left the ground, bounc-
ing passenger Frank DeKlenhans so high you could see daylight between the car and Frank. He came down, but the car had moved on. Did they do it in 120 hours? Not quite. They were 72 minutes late. But they still had set a record for cross-country travel, averaging 30.3 mph over 3,808 miles! So, should the YTA get a prize for its performance? Probably. It pulled off a speed record remarkable for that era, both in 1915 and 1916. Drivers on the Lincoln Highway had crossed the nation from New York City to San Francisco in 138½ hours, covering 300 fewer miles. Were the Association’s purposes borne out?
Mostly. The Yellowstone Trail was declared a military road and tourism increased dramatically over the Trail, even though the East displayed but mild awareness. A prize should go to the brave but foolhardy men who drove out in bad weather just for the challenge, with carburetor problems, high puncture potential, and with poor headlights. It was a wonder that no one was killed. In spite of one observer’s comment, “Why go to all this trouble when you can send the d——d letter for two cents?” the Yellowstone Trail Association was proud of the fact that they ushered in a new epoch in transcontinental travel.
Cabin ridge rides
Imagine early Wisconsin history with horse-drawn rides along historic Paint Creek • 1½ miles south of Yellowstone Trail • Groups 2–250 www.cabinridgerides.com 715-723-9537 • Cadott, Wis.
24105 County MM
Family Dining • Bakery • Event Rooms 224 E. 4th Avenue • Stanley, Wisconsin
Y T N U O C E R I A EAU CL Paul Bunyan country DRIVIng notes
uring the years of the YT, 1915–30, the route through Eau Claire County was subject to significant change in two areas: A) M53.7–M72.0 (just west of Eau Claire). B) M72.8–M83.5 (in and north of Eau Claire). For the change west of Eau Claire, (A) (the Truax route) an area historian reported that the right-of-way was purchased in 1925 and the concrete highway opened November 1926. With the building of North Crossing, the route of YT was lost at the intersection of Wis. 312 (North Crossing), County T, Clairemont Avenue and U.S. 12. In the area of Eau Claire and north into Chippewa Falls (B) the route was changed in 1921 when a good concrete road was built along and east of the railroad and trolley line. Also the map shows two routes within Eau Claire over the Chippewa River. The Madison Street route is unambiguously the route after about 1921—and it probably was from the beginning. However, the early Automobile Blue
Books clearly route the traveler on a more circuitous route through downtown probably because the writers routed all routes through a central point in order to make connections with other routes. The chances are good that the YT Association did not designate the somewhat longer route.
FixiNg A FLAT WAS A COMMON SighT ON ThE yT. PICTuRE FRoM ChIPPEWA VALLEy MuSEuM.
MIle-BY-MIle M65.0 Dunn/eau Claire County line M67.0 red and Flora Rossow farmed along here at the turn of the 20th century. They said, “All the telephone poles were marked with a band of yellow and went clear out west, and they called this the Yellowstone Trail. About this time of year (summer) day after day people would stop here and ask if they could pitch their tents and get water from us. We always let them.”
M72.6 eau Claire n important manufacturing and jobbing center. Beautiful residence district. The Eau Claire Hotel (sgl $2,
EAu clAirE WAysiDEs CHIPPeWa ValleY MUseUM This professionally run museum in Carson Park in the center of Eau Claire contains large permanent displays of farm life, Native Americans and wildlife, as well as changing, thematic Eau Claire historical displays. Open all year. Closed Mondays. $4. www. cvmuseum.com. PaUl BUnYan loggIng CaMP in Carson Park next door to the Chippewa valley Museum is a re-created northwoods lumber camp. Open May 1 through Labor Day. $4.
Eau Claire Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 4319 Jeffers Road, Suite 201 www.visiteauclaire.com
dbl. with bath $4.50-$8.00) coffee shop. Union Auto Service Co. Never closed. At Barstow and Gray Sts. Tourist Camp, on Birch St., about one and a half miles from the center of town, 25¢ (MH); Camp maintained by City. 12 acres. Accommodations for 30 cars, 150 people ( AAA). MaDIson stReet BRIDge aRea Phoenix Park on the east side of the Chippewa River at Madison Street is a pleasant new park to view the river and contemplate Yellowstone Trail traffic crossing here on a wooden bridge. It burned down in 1924 and was replaced by a concrete arch bridge, used until the present bridge was built in 1974. You might hear one of the summer concerts or experience the farmers market. Italian for time, Tempo Coffeehouse, 315 Madison
Ave. (back somewhat from the street) offers a variety of roasted coffee, cappuccinos, bakery desserts and sandwiches. It is a new place, but we mention it here because it is right on the YT and a comfortable place for present-day Trail travelers to stop. With its retro lounge fur-
here are references to two campsites in Eau Claire, both on the Trail, although neither site is a camp or park today. One occupied almost a whole square block between the streets of Omaha, Spring, Birch and McDonough. A later campground was in a park closer to the junction of Birch Street and Hastings Way, perhaps “at the foot of Mt. Tom.”
ThE LivERy RESTAuRANT hOuSED iN hiSTORiC hORSE STAbLE.
STELLA bLuES REST AuRANT.
niture, local artwork displays, and acoustic music, the cafe is a relaxing place to enjoy a cup of coffee. There is even an historic espresso maker! Across Madison Street from the park is Stella Blues Restaurant in a
renovated historic building. The Livery Restaurant, 316 Wisconsin St., is one block south of Madison Street. The Livery is a new country music bar and restaurant located in an 1893 stable. The stable now
stands saved, intact and restored with ceiling beams exposed, antiques throughout and a
NTY EAU CLAIRE COUcontinued
tanding in Eau Claire at the corner of Madison and Putnam streets watching for the car in the 1916 Yellowstone Trail Association auto relay race against time (coast to coast) was as exciting as it was for the 1915 race (Chicago to Seattle). On the evening of Sept. 13, 1916, as Dr. Cunningham was racing from Chippewa Falls to Eau Claire, he apparently got confused about the turn at this corner. He turned sharply and totaled his Oakland Six by wrapping a wheel around a telephone pole. He came through unscathed. Fortunately, his was only the backup or “trailer” car. The lead car, driven from Stanley by J. W. Galbraith, continued to speed toward the corner of East Madison and North Barstow Street where he passed the message being relayed on to Allan Redmond who sped west to Baldwin. The point of the race was to cross the continent in 120 hours to show the War Department that the Yellowstone Trail could be named a military road if we would enter WWI. It took 121 hours to drive 3,700 miles. The Trail was named a military road when the United States entered WWI.
working old elevator which was used to haul buggies and autos (and horses!?) up to the second floor. The Oleson brothers built this brick livery stable, replacing its wooden predecessor which had burned down. Not everyone owned a horse and buggy, necessitating a livery stable and its rent-a-horse business. The number of livery stables fell from 13 at this time to four in 1920 when this stable became associated with automobile enterprises. M72.7 or 126 years the Amber Inn Bar and Grill, 840 E. Madison St.,(YT) has been a place of refreshment for the locals, the last 28 years in the same family. Keep an eye open for Yellowstone Trail signs as you go
through this area. M73.7 long Omaha Street is the Sacred Heart Cemetery with a seldom noticed but easily seen small, ornate chapel built in the 1800s and now listed on a Register of Historic Places.
M76.4 Chippewa/eau Claire County line he city of Eau Claire extends a way into Chippewa County.
he electric trolley was introduced to Eau Claire in 1889, the fourth city in the United States to use electricity for a mass transit system. The turn of the 20th century saw the heyday of electric trolleys in towns across the country. To boost ridership, electric companies frequently established family-oriented parks at town outskirts and ran the trolleys there. Electric Park was such a place. Electric Park had a canopied waiting station, amusement rides, a dance pavilion, a ball park, a band shell and a campground behind the park. The route started at its barn on Menomonie Street in Eau Claire, ran to Barstow Street, then followed the route that would become the YT to join Starr Avenue and begin its 11-mile trek to Electric Park, then on to the turn-around loop at Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls. Fifteen trips a day with a 22-minute stop at Leinenkugel’s brewery. Story has it that the trolley had a “cow catcher” to scoop up drunks during prohibition! It cost 20 cents from Eau Claire to Chippewa Falls. The newer route of the Trail ran through Hallie on the east side of the two sets of railroad tracks (Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul; Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha) where Highway J (Joles Avenue) is today. The trolley ran on the west side of the tracks. There is no sign of the trolley tracks today. The only structure remaining from the trolley system is a small shelter at the southeast corner of Irvine Park which marked the end of the line. The last electric trolley ran on August 7, 1926.
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HISTORY CORNER: JOSEPH PARMLEY
Dreamer, Builder of the Yellowstone trail
ecause this year of 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Yellowstone Trail, it seems only fitting to include founder Joseph Parmley of Ipswich, S.D., here. Meet Joe. It rained the night before and most of Saturday, May 15, 1915. And the roads were made of dirt. Joe Parmley didn’t think once of canceling his promotional automobile run with its expected highprofile press coverage. He folded his wiry frame into that canvas-covered Studebaker Six to direct the driver 350 miles across South Dakota along the Yellowstone Trail. It was raining; they wore out four sets of chains and picked up 800 pounds of gumbo on the fenders and on that white canvas. Parmley had planned to record his impressions of the event on a Dictaphone, but abandoned
the idea of using that cumbersome machine after the first bad bump. Amazingly, the trip took only15 minutes more than the planned 16 hours. That spectacular event was but one of many that Parmley carried off to promote the Yellowstone Trail, which he had founded in 1912 and ceaselessly nurtured. What sort of man could galvanize thousands of men to volunteer time, money and energy to get a 3,700-mile route built, most of which they would never see? The Private Man armley was multi-dimensional, his achievements widespread. He often spoke about his favorite topic: world peace. He helped create the 1935 International Peace Garden on the North Dakota/ Manitoba border, which today is a horticultural work of art.
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Featuring great historic attractions! www.visitmarshfieldwi.com 800-422-4541
His pacifist nature resulted in “unmitigated disapproval” of his son’s career in the Army. And he was a vocal teetotaler. Tempers flared on that volatile topic, and someone torched his house just before the 18th Amendment (prohibition) was passed. The arsonist was never caught. As a precaution against that happening again, his new house had poured concrete floors, even on the second floor, plus concrete stairways, a metal roof and a concrete bathtub. The house today serves as one of two Parmley museums in Ipswich and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Shetland ponies he kept created a sensation. It was the largest herd in the state, and he loaned them to rural boys as transportation to school if they promised a good home for the animal. He never kept track of the ponies and never seemed to have gotten them all back. For years after, the descendants of the ponies were seen in northern South Dakota. He advocated the wise use of natural resources including soil and water conservation, diversified farming, hydro-electric power and dam building. One dam he backed, today called Parmley Dam, created beautiful Mina Lake near Ipswich, still called Zinnia City because of the masses of zinnias he planted. Parmley was not without humor. He took his visiting brother-in-law out duck hunting and then got the county game warden to arrest him and put him in jail on a trumpedup charge. It wasn’t until Joe bailed him out that the cookedup hoax was revealed. The Public Man his common man with uncommon energy and
foresight embraced a Western culture of ingenuity and selfreliance. His protean energies left a legacy on several fronts, but it was as the founder of the Yellowstone Trail for which he is most remembered. In 1883, Joseph William Lincoln Parmley disembarked from the Milwaukee Road train at its western terminus, Aberdeen, S.D., three months before he would have graduated from Lawrence College in Appleton, Wis. He walked the prairie trail to a nameless spot 40 miles farther west and staked a claim. The next day, he and two other new arrivals named the “town” Roscoe in honor of New York Sen. Roscoe Conkling. Was it there on the prairie, chewing on a straw in front of his half-built frame home, that Joe dreamed about profound social changes that roads could bring? It took longer and cost more for the farmer to get his crops to the railhead than it did to ship them to Chicago by train. He felt that there had to be a better way. Twenty-nine years later Parmley was to spearhead that better way with a road that opened the Northwest to the automobile, farmer and tourist. In 1884, farmer Parmley literally moved his house 15 miles to Ipswich and eventually became a prominent land and real estate agent, superintendent of schools for Edmunds County, newspaper owner, partner in two brick-making factories, magistrate and county judge. He read law but did not practice. His run for Congress in 1916 amid a split party resulted in his loss. And through it all he was a champion of roads. He usually owned two cars, unusual among his neighbors, which said something about his finances. A life-long Republican, he served two terms in the South Dakota House of Representatives, 1905–1909. In Pierre he railed against the ineffective Continued to Page 25
Y T N U O C A W E CHIPP life in the Pines
Chippewa Area Visitors Center, corner of Business Hwy. 29 and Hwy. 124 (10 Bridge St.) www.chippewachamber.org
n Chippewa County three significant changes were made in the YT route during its lifetime. A) From M83.3 to the south and into Eau Claire the route was changed in 1921 when a good concrete road was built along and east of the railroad and trolley line. B) Between M85.2 and M87.0 the route was changed in 1922 from what is now County J to Summit Street. Interestingly, since then County J has become the through route and Summit has been broken up. C) In Stanley M109.2, in about 1928, the YT route was changed from East First Avenue and Willow to Maple Street, one block to the south of the tracks, to avoid two dangerous track crossings. The elimination of rail crossings was the major motivation for route changes throughout the country, as drivers didnâ€™t notice trains or sought
to beat them to the crossings, often unsuccessfully. Both the original and later routes between Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire have been severely cut up by continuing construction and rerouting of the major highways. To best experience an older route, try this: If entering Chippewa Falls from the east follow County J (Park Avenue), continue under the bridge at Bridge Street (the YT turned toward the river to Canal Street here but the street no longer exists), then turn left
on Main Street M85.3, back on the Trail. At M84.2 do not join Wis. 124 but finagle your way across Wis. 124 and then south on Prairie View Road which, in a few blocks, will travel along Wis. 124. At M83.3 turn on 130th south. This old route will pass under the new Wis. 29 and then meet County OO. Rather than continuing south on the old route which has been severed by the new U.S. 53, follow County OO to the west to Joles Avenue. Turn left
and follow Joles, which is the post-1921 YT. The original YT (which is now cut off to the east) meets you at 22nd Avenue M80.6. To cross the tracks, continue to 110th Street (Michaud). Turning right will take you to the original route running west along Sundet Road. If entering Chippewa Falls from Eau Claire follow the reverse route: Sundet, 110th, Joles, County OO, 130th, Prairie View and, finally, County J/
orner of Spring and iSland StreetS. In the early 1920s Yellowstone Trail travelers who drove around town may have been surprised to see in this place bones being removed from excavations. A cemetery stood near this corner in the 1800s. The city began to grow and the decision was made to move the cemetery. Many of the bodies were moved by family members who used wheel barrows to transport the bodies to the new cite. However, some bodies were missed and as late as the 1920s skeletons were still being unearthed as construction occurred.
LEFT: A yT “SOCiAbiLiTy RuN” ATTRACTS ANTiquE CARS iN WiSCONSiN. bELOW: ORigiNAL PAvEMENT (C.1921) ON ThE yT ALONg gREENviLLE STREET iN ChiPPEWA FALLS, PART OF ThE EFFORT TO MAKE ThE WiSCONSiN PORTiON OF ThE yT ALL CONCRETE by 1929.
Park Avenue. While on Joles Avenue, (near M80.1) look on the east side of the road for the remains of a small gas station (above) operated by the Joles brothers. There used to be yellow stones (YT markers) outside the gas station in the 1920s. One of the Joles boys didn’t want them, so he buried them at the railroad tracks across the street. Between M95.6 and M97.0 (southwest of Cadott) use County X. The YT followed
County MM and 250th Street, which is now closed at its crossing of Wis. 29. From M100.3 to M101.2, between Cadott and Boyd, the original YT followed a section line, as roads did, across the railroad tracks twice. In about 1928, with the rebuilding and concreting of the route, it was rerouted south of the tracks. If you follow the original, remember that it was moved to save lives at the crossings. At M108.1 there is an excellent example of “cutting the corner” to avoid right-angle turns on busy highways. Often a picnic table could be found in the resulting tiny “park.” This one was added in about 1927.
TY CHIPPEWA COUNcontinued
he May 6, 1927, Baldwin Bulletin reported that there was a gasoline war on in Chippewa Falls: Filling stations today were selling gasoline at 9 cents a gallon, a drop of 2 cents overnight. As soon as the news spread the stations reported a rushing business, almost everyone owning cars bringing in several containers. The war started about three weeks ago when a garage announced a reduction from 23 to 22 cents a gallon.
MIle-BY-MIle M76.4 Chippewa/eau Claire County line he city of Eau Claire extends into Chippewa County.
M78.9 n the early 20th century, the Chippewa Valley Electric Railroad ran a heated electric trolley to Electric Park in Hallie, now the site of the Eau Claire Press Company’s Electric Park printing plant.
M85.0 reenville Street was the Yellowstone Trail in 1915. It has the original width, 18 feet, and the concrete dates to 1915–18.
M85.8 Chippewa Falls eautiful and picturesque little city. Second largest shoe manufacturing city in the state. Tourist camp in beautiful Irvine Park. Fine kitchen
with gas stoves. Tennis courts. Follow trolley north. Hotel Northern, modern throughout. Chippewa Valley Auto Co., never closed (MH); Once had the largest sawmill under one roof in the world. One of the greatest hydroelectric plants in the northwest. Chippewa Valley Auto Co., 14-16 W. River St (BB,1920). Keep an eye open for mod-
ern Yellowstone Trail yellow signs as you go through town. They do not mark the authentic route in as much as they take you across the river, twice, to attract you to the business center, which isn’t a bad idea. The YT did not go through downtown. You will go past the Chippewa Area Visitors Center, 10 S. Bridge St., where you can pick up area information Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. and, seasonally, Saturday 10 a.m.–3 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.–2 p.m. M86.1 ust east of Wis. 124 there is a county historical marker featuring the YT.
M86.3 hippewa Spring House (pictured above). Since the early 1700s water from this spring has been extremely pure. A great place for a watering trough and a
ake Wissota was created when a large dam and power plant was built across the Chippewa River beginning in 1916. It was fully filled by 1918, creating a new recreation area of 6,300 acres. In the movie Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Jack Dawson, said that he grew up in Chippewa Falls and swam in Lake Wissota. The town still laughs at that today because the Titanic went down four years before the lake was even begun. Auto tourists between 1915 and May 1917 could watch the building of the dam which formed Lake Wissota. It was the second largest hydroelectric dam in America (MD). water source for the radiator in YT days. Since 1977, Pure Water Days are held to celebrate the springs. It is bottled for wide distribution. M89.2 lake Wissota (Wisconsin-Minnesota light and Power Company) he YT skirts beautiful manmade Lake Wissota. (See the historic note above.)
n Chippewa Falls it was “a dark and stormy night” at 1:47 a.m., June 16, 1915, when a Hope-Hartford auto careened along Canal Street and screeched to a halt, throwing the baton at George Murphy who was anxiously awaiting the speeder, gunning the engine of his Maxwell 6. He took the baton and vanished into the lightning-lit night toward Eau Claire. This drama was part of the 1915 Yellowstone Trail Association relay race from Chicago to Seattle, and they did it in 97 hours non-stop with 22 drivers passing the baton to the next driver. It was at the end of Canal Street that participants in the great 1915 Yellowstone Trail Association relay race against time passed the baton from one racing car to another. The next year, the Yellowstone Trail Association sponsored another relay race but this time it was from “Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound,” 3,700 miles.
A POPuLAR LODgiNg PLACE iN ChiPPEWA FALLS.
cHiPPEWA FAlls WAysiDEs
he Trail did not go through downtown Chippewa Falls, but long-distance travelers surely left the Trail to cross the Chippewa River to find housing or camping or gasoline. They may well have frequented those of the following current places which were standing in 1915 when the Trail came to Chippewa Falls and are still standing. Hotel noRtHeRn Corner grand Ave. & bridge St. built in 1919. The yellowstone Trail Association established 17 major “travel bureaus” along the Trail, performing travel services much as the AAA does today. Smaller towns merited smaller bureaus with part-time attendants. The hotel Northern lobby contained such a bureau. Today, the building houses private apartments, and is called Northern Apartments. JaCoB leInenkUgel BReWIng CoMPanY 124 East Elm St. Follow Wis. 124 North to 1 Jefferson Ave. The brewery was established in 1867, 48 years before the yellowstone Trail arrived in Wisconsin. The fifth generation of Leinenkugels manages the brewery and, although it is now owned by Miller brewing, it still makes its own seasonal and specialty beers. Leinie Lodge sells souvenirs, conducts tours and gives out free samples of beer. IRVIne PaRk anD Zoo 300 acres across from Leinenkugel brewery on Wis. 124. The park is a popular attraction here year round with picnic areas, glen Loch dam, trails and playgrounds. And the trolley station is left over from yT days and even earlier when trolleys ran from Eau Claire to this park. Cook-RUtleDge MansIon 505 West grand Ave. built in 1873, its high victorian-italianate architecture, red brick exterior with hand-carved ceilings, woodwork, and bric-a-brac draw the afficionado. On the National Register of historic Places. Open summer weekends. CHIPPeWa CoUntY HIstoRICal anD genealogICal soCIetY 123 Allen St. in the former Notre Dame Convent (1883). Contains genealogical resources and local historical exhibits. The historical Society recently marked the yellowstone Trail throughout Chippewa County with official yellow signs. Open Tuesdays. CHIPPeWa Falls MUseUM oF InDUstRY anD teCHnologY 21 E. grand Ave. See the history of modern technology, including the original Cray supercomputers made in Chippewa Falls, once the fastest computers in the world. MaRsH RaInBoW BRIDge Spring St. and Rushman Dr. built in 1916 crossing Duncan Creek. The only one of this once common design remaining in Wisconsin.
M91.6 Bateman he Bateman Bar on the YT, (now County X) was built in 1917 as a cheese factory.
M93.6 abin Ridge Rides, less than two miles south of the YT (County X) on 220th
Street, is unique. Judy Gilles offers the visitor a feeling of transportation life in earlier days. Horse-drawn vehicles such as a surrey, cutter, stagecoach or sleigh take one through 400 acres of woods. 40 historical sites along Paint Creek are described, including
lenn Barquest told the tale of his school, located at the corner of county highways X and K in Bateman. At recess, in the winter of 1925, a Model T candy sales truck tipped over in the rutted, frozen road in front of the school. The kids grabbed all they could. His sister squealed on him and he caught heck at home for stealing. Barquest’s next tale gives us a vivid picture of the transportation problems of the times. In 1929 his parents traveled eight miles to visit relatives for the day. Glenn and his sister were in school. As the kids arrived home, a blizzard came up, trapping the parents at the relatives’ home. Due to 10-foot drifts, snow plows couldn’t get through. They had to remain there for a few days for a crawler tractor with bulldozer blade to come through. The folks got home by way of a sleigh to the hamlet of Anson, train to Chippewa Falls, and bus to Bateman. All this for eight miles!
sawmills and logging camps. It’s quiet. It’s secluded. It’s 100 years ago. M95.6 n the corner of County X and MM is the Yellowstone Cheese Factory. Jeremy and Heidi Kenealy knew about the YT before they built the factory on Highway X and chose the name of the place accordingly. Try the Yellowstone Crunch cheese—made with chocolate bits!
M98.0 Cadott lso, see Cadott Wayside. A dairy center. Free camp along the river (MH).
M103.4 Boyd t. Joseph Catholic Church, 801 E. Patton St., was built in 1928. Its claim to fame is the priceless stained-glass win-
WORKMAN PAiNTiNg ThE yT bLACK ARROWS ON yELLOW bANDS ON A TELEgRAPh POLE NEAR CADOTT.
cADott WAysiDE CaDott HIstoRICal soCIetY MUseUM Just a few blocks north of County x at 630 N. highway 27. The museum is filled with local memorabilia. Across the street from the museum is a delightful little park by a creek, which features a poster explaining the history of the yT.
TY CHIPPEWA COUNcontinued M109.3 ellowstone Implement (left) at 219 E. First Ave. (YT) The building with the square glass blocks was built in 1917 as a garage. M.R. Shock sold Dort, Dodge, Chevy and Durant cars beginning in 1925. He was a member of the Yellowstone Trail Association. His son, J.A. Shock, now runs it as an implement company. Tragically, shortly before we interviewed Mr. Shock, he had cleared out his father’s Yellowstone Trail Association materials. Just a few yards to the west and across the street from the post office is a small Chippewa County Historical Society marker featuring the Trail. The marker is in Soo Park, a nice place to picnic in a shelter with electricity and a children’s playground.
dows and three-dimensional glass sculptures. They were created from mouth-blown antique stained glass imported from Munich. Later, during WWII, the Munich studio was destroyed. M109.2 Stanley ntersection of First Av. and Broadway. The Royal is a good, clean country hotel, serves meals. Miller-Thornton Ford. Tel 21. Small free camping space, water, but no conveniences (MH). Camp maintained by City. 3 blks west (AAA). Stanley has held a PRCA Dodge Series Rodeo every Fathers Day weekend evenings for years. This and their Watermelon Fest (last Sunday in July) are very popular and outstanding events.
M109.4 t the corner of Franklin and First Avenue a Yellowstone Trail sign was posted for several years. In May 2007, a large rock at that same
ulius Maland and wife, Donna, moved to Stanley from Minneapolis in the 1920s. Donna was the daughter of Hal Cooley, general manager of the Yellowstone Trail Association. Hal was a shrewd businessman, funny, and a tireless Yellowstone Trail cheerleader. He was a font of knowledge about the Trail and a great, entertaining speaker who spoke in every town on the Trail. When Julius was interviewed a few years ago at age 90, he recalled that “Hal was never home. He was always out selling the Yellowstone Trail. ” He also related the tale that Hal was stuck in mud once on the Trail with several other cars. To keep spirits up until they could be pulled out and to keep bad publicity away from the Trail, he led them all in singing. His favorite song was There’s a Long, Long Trail Awinding.
A MODERN yELLOWSTONE TRAiL MARKER iN STANLEy (AbOvE), PAiNTED by SChOOL ChiLDREN (bELOW).
corner was painted yellow with a black arrow by grade school kids. It was part of the Highwayy 29 Partnership consortium of seven communities which unveiled their joint marking of 40 miles of Trail. M110.0 Chippewa/Clark County line.
n YT days, the bridge that crossed the Chippewa River in Chippewa Falls was on Main / Pine and River streets, at which corner is the historic 1884 Sheeley House restaurant, originally attached to a blacksmith and carriage shop. After almost 100 years of serving as an austere boarding house for working men, the sagging, decaying building was faithfully restored and today hosts a bar on the ground floor and period restaurant upstairs. However, the Trail did not go into the city; it kept going east on Canal Street to Park Avenue and thence to the present County J. You could, however, drive over the bridge, pop into town, and come back to the Trail.
stAnlEy WAysiDEs stanleY aRea HIstoRICal MUseUM 228 helgerson St. (one block west of broadway, the yT). Outstanding historical displays including a 1906 Cadillac in pristine condition. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day, 1–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. groups can call 715-644-5880 for appointment. CHaPMan PaRk CaMPgRoUnDs Just west of town on Chapman Lake—campsites with electric hookups, shower house with flush toilets, dump station. Deer and Elk Parks also located in the park. CItY Hall With tall clock tower, 116 E. Third Ave., just off the yT. Moon MeMoRIal lIBRaRY 154 E. Fourth Ave., 4 blocks from the yellowstone Trail. On the Register of historic Places, opened in 1901. quaint. anD MoRe There is a new prison and an ethanol plant on Wis. 29. Ace Ethanol plant occasionally gives tours. The prison does not.
Continued from Page 19 corvée system of “working off one’s road tax” and urged replacement with a cash tax. But this dreamer was hooted down at the idea. He had the last laugh, though, because he was appointed to the state highway commission in 1925. Lacking federal and state aid, it became clear that to accomplish his dream of a good road “from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound” required private intervention. The organizationally nimble Parmley harnessed the local boosterism that ran in the businessman-farmer’s veins. Men gathered in face-toface meetings, the slight smell of manure in the air. They could make their dusty Main Street a busy thoroughfare by supporting the transcontinental Yellowstone Trail. In an era of prolific fraternal organizations and commercial clubs, the issues of the day were thoroughly discussed in smokers by men in shiny black suits and
drooping mustaches; the persuasion was oral, opinions were frank and action was immediate. Parmley himself was a member of the Modern Woodmen, the South Dakota Development Association and United Workmen. He was a 32nd-degree Mason. He knew the power of local connections. Parmley was self-effacing, refusing to allow the trail to be named after himself, as some wanted. He may have taken a page from Teddy Roosevelt: speak softly and carry a big stick. His big stick was inspiration, honesty and perseverance. Note the inspiration in this speech given in 1916 to the Yellowstone Trail Association in convention: “There will be a transcontinental road from the Atlantic to the Pacific that will
be no small asset of the United States. It will be a great factor in the development of the Northwest. I think that in the coming years we will look back on these pioneer efforts and be able to say truthfully, ‘I helped,’ with no small degree of satisfaction.” The Yellowstone Trail Association was run on a shoestring, turning the dues into free maps, yellow paint and travel bureaus. No one was paid a salary except for general manager Hal Cooley and his staff. Parmley often paid for yellow paint out of his own pocket. He courted the smalltown press for free publicity and, having owned a newspaper himself, quickly gained their respect. Small papers were always looking for news and he supplied it in abundance. Today, trail research is rendered a bit easier by the hundreds of articles in small-town papers, some written by Parmley himself. You can see Joe Parmley today. His portrait hangs in the South Dakota Department of Transportation building, a
tribute to “one of the men who made outstanding contributions to highway transportation.” Parmley, the small-town dreamer, had a personal magnetism that inspired men and resulted in a great transcontinental highway. As he liked to quote, “The dreamer lives on forever, but the doer dies in a day.” Happy 100th anniversary, Joe. This article adapted from an article by Alice Ridge in the American Road magazine, Winter 2006.
An exquisite, eco-friendly cottage on the Tomorrow River.
www.AmherstRiverdance.com 5051 Keener Rd. • Amherst, WI
At the Junction of Great Roads and Great Fun Stevens Point/Plover
is at the crossroads of U.S. Hwy. 51 and the Yellowstone Trail, smack dab in the middle of one of the best leisure vacation and getaway destinations in the Midwest. Stevens Point/Plover has great recreational opportunities, including hunting, fishing, bird watching, world-class golf, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling to name a few. Or, make a pitstop at one of the three local craft breweries. The next time you hit the road, stop at The Junction of Great Roads and Great Fun in Stevens Point/Plover for your next vacation or weekend getaway. To get your motor running call 715-344-2556, visit www.stevenspointarea.com or stop at our Visitor Center, 340 Division St. North, Stevens Point, WI — open 24/7.
EXPLORE CHIPPEWA COUNTY Your Northwoods Family... welcomes you to visit and enjoy our many communities, explore our natural beauty, celebrate our history, and experience an event or two from our year round calendar full of County celebrates its rich history with fun events in The museums and historical markers like: Chippewa • Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company • Old Abe Civil War Eagle statue County. Communities in Chippewa County provide: • Unique Shopping Opportunities • Outdoor/Indoor Activities • Cheese Factories • Arts and Cultural Facilities • Tubing • Bowling • Wineries • Golfing
View our natural beauty at its best by exploring one of the following outdoor attractions: • 32,000 acres of pristine forestland • County & Community Parks • Lake Wissota State Park • Brunet Island State Park • Chippewa Moraine David R. Obey Ice Age Interpretive Center • Trails used for biking/hiking, rollerblading, horseback riding, cross country skiing and snowmobiling
W C a h t
• Pulpwood Stacker • Veterans Tribute • Stanley, Merrill and Phillips Railroad
Throughout the year our calendar of events is full of festivals and celebrations, including: • Country Fest and Rock Fest • Northern Wisconsin State Fair • Oktoberfest • Sturgeon Fest • Stanley Rodeo Days • Rope Jump Contest
G F F W C L
For more information on Chippewa County, Wisconsin visit www.chippewacounty.com,
call 1-866-723-0331 or find us on facebook
Take a detour back in time as you travel through our area on your Yellowstone Trail adventure. Enjoy the relaxing path along County X and Willow Road. No need to rush by, we invite you to stay and visit our friendly neighbors and delight in their hospitality. History abounds in our many places to visit such as; historic museums, buildings, churches and parks.
Tak and For
our the No r y. as; .
EXPERIENCE CLARK COUNTY We invite you to visit Clark County Wisconsin and experience all that it has to offer as you travel the Yellowstone Trail.
Life is better… just a few miles away! Greenhouses Farmers Markets Fairs/Festivals Winery Cheese/Dairy Shops Local Artists Recreational activities - Hunting, fishing, atving, snowmobiling, biking, horseback riding, golfing, boating, hiking and camping
Visit us at: www.clark-cty-wi.org
Or call 1-888-Clark-WI 715-255-9100
Clark County…for all the seasons of your life!
Take a break from the hectic pace of today’s world and journey back in time. For more information: For more information:
www.partner29.comoror www.partner29.com www.yellowstonetrail.org www.yellowstonetrail.org
N O H T A R A M & CLARK COUNTIES America’s Dairyland
t M119.9, the Trail used Fisher Ave. to what is now Wis. 29. That route is closed because Wis. 29 is a freeway here. Follow the 1928 route which is now County X. This section was another part of the concreting of the Trail in the late 1920s. Between Owen and Curtiss the original northern route on Willow is the more evocative of 1920s travel. It was used until around 1919. The 1919 route was modified near Owen in 1928 to the present route of County X. Now that road is closed at the County Health Care Center, which has an historic building built in YT times.
M111.7 riginally the YT followed Willow Road (County X) east of Stanley. In 1928 it was moved to south of the tracks to avoid two rail crossings.
M115.9 Thorp Downtown mall country hotel (MH); Dell’s Station existed in the 1920s if not earlier (MD). Thorp(e) — railroad telegraphers dropped the e from founder Joseph Gilbert Thorpe’s name. This lawyer, lumber baron and state senator lived
in Eau Claire, but never in his eponymous town. Yellowstone Trail Park, so named because it is on the Trail, (Stanley Street, County X). The park was just recently renamed due to a resurgence of interest in the YT. Outdoor activities there include ice skating and summer live music. Almost two decades ago, local resident Arnoldine Gulcynski was instrumental in reviving interest in the Trail in the area by placing markers at the main intersection in town, Stanley Street (County X, YT) and County
Clark County Economic Development and Tourism, 301 North Main St., Loyal, WI. www.clark-ctywi.org
M. At the same intersection is Bob’s Corner Service. In the 1920s and 1930s Al Capone, the famous Chicago gangster, frequently stopped at this station on his way to his hideout in northern Wisconsin. At the same intersection sits the present Heritage Court Motel in a 100-year-old building (above).
MIle-BY-MIle M110.0 Chippewa/Clark County line
tHorP WAysiDE Turn south off highway x (yT) at gorman Avenue for about two miles on gorman to holland’s Family Cheese, N13851 gorman Ave., Thorp. it is a point of interest to Wisconsin cheeseheads because Rolf Penterman, owner, came from holland to America recently to make award-winning cheese (yes,really!). he realizes that his place is just south of the historic Trail. 715-669-5230.
ThORP’S yELLOWSTONE TRAiL PARK bEiNg DEDiCATED by LT. gOv. bARbARA LAWTON, MAy 2007.
M117.9 here is a large yellow rock on the corner of Highway X and Gorman Avenue marking the Trail.
RighT: A 1911 WiNTON iN A TRAiL DAy SOCiAbiLiTy RuN.
M126.0 Withee amed for Niran H. Withee, a landowner, county board member and Wisconsin assemblyman. Black River Tourist Camp, free, in a nice grove. Supplies and gas (MH). Withee has grown since this 1926 Mohawk Guide camp information was printed, to include a busy aluminum extrusion plant which employs 75. The people there say that Withee “has gone from logging trails to super highways.” We like to think that the Yellowstone Trail was part of that growth.
ithee’s Four Kruegers as DraFt DoDgers. When the United States finally
entered WWI in 1917, neutrality faded and outward shows of patriotic fervor commenced. This was aided by the fact that Congress amended the Espionage Act in May 1918, widely broadening the definition of espionage to include uttering disloyal language against the government, showing disrespect for the flag and evading the draft. Disloyal language garnered the perpetrator fines of thousands of dollars and a jail term. Draft evasion only resulted in immediate induction. Pro-war hysteria was just as fervent in Wisconsin as elsewhere, despite Sen. Robert LaFollette voting against it. Louis and Leslie Krueger registered for the draft. Frank was too old and Ennis too young. Neither claimed conscientious objector on the form, but both were influenced by their mother’s strong religious view that war was wrong. Louis fled west before the shoot-out. A new draft law was enacted which broadened the age category. Ennis at 19 and Frank at 37 were now eligible. They did not register. In September 1918 (two months before the war ended) a U.S. Marshall, armed with a posse of disorganized, angry locals, came to arrest the boys. Much gunfire ensued, resulting in the death of one officer, the capture of Caroline Krueger, the boys’ mother, and the wounding of Frank. Ennis and Leslie escaped, but Ennis was supposedly shot by officers days later and Leslie was captured in Minnesota the next month. Sixteen years later Frank and Leslie, who had been incarcerated for “mental illness,” were set free and were eventually reunited with Louis and Caroline back at the Withee farm, or what was left of it, just south of Withee. The home still stands complete with bullet holes and bullets from the shoot-out. Jerry Buss has written a meticulously researched and fascinating book about this complicated case, entitled A War of Their Own (Badger Books, 1998). He leaves no doubt that the entire event could have been better managed and that, even in 1998, the Justice Department and the FBI would not release the full story, and he asks, “Why?”
AN OLD gAS STATiON ON ThE CORNER OF ThE yT (COuNTy x) AND ChuRCh STREET, ThORP.
NTIES U O C N O H T A R A M CLARK & continued M127.8 Owen Downtown umber mill and box factory. Two small free camps, four blocks from town. Woodland Hotel, modern and well managed. Dining room (MH). Named for J. S. Owen, lumber baron, who established a lumber mill and box factory in 1893. The community was established in 1905.
M134.2 etween Owen and Curtiss on Willow Road is a small Norwegian church. Used until 1953 when the congregation moved into Curtiss’ St. Paul’s Church. Now it is owned by St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery Association. Built c.1916 of red brick, it is a simplified Gothic style with arched door and windows. It is opened for one service a year, on the last Sunday in July, but the church is open and some come daily to pray. Why not stop in? The caretaker lives across the road and it looks well kept.
bered walking to school on the Yellowstone Trail (County X) every day. He also remembered
the revival tent on the corner of County X and E where the Yellowstone Trail turned at M134.9. He became the leading businessman in the area. The Old Curtiss Hotel (above), built c.1905 (Meridian
OWEN’S WOODLAND hOTEL (AbOvE AND iNSET bELOW) WiLL bE EASy TO FiND— ONLy ThE STEPS hAvE ChANgED. NOTE ThE DECORATED AuTOS—PRObAbLy A SOCiAbiLiTy RuN WiTh DRivERS MEETiNg AT ThE hOTEL.
M135.2 Curtiss asternmost town in Highway 29 Partnership consortium. See note in Chippewa County about Partnership 29. The late Les Bowen remem-
PiPPiN’S Pub AND gRub iN OWEN WiTh iTS ORigiNAL yELLOW R WhiCh TOLD TRAiL TRAvELERS TO TuRN RighT AT ThE NExT CORNER.
oWEn WAysiDEs PIPPIn’s PUB anD gRUB At the corner of Central and Fifth Street is a local watering hole, under various names since c. 1907. There is a large yellow R on the side of the building, which owners keep painted, and a bronze plaque. That R is the only original yellowstone Trail marker known to remain outside of museums in Wisconsin. it stands for “turn right at this corner to remain on the yellowstone Trail.” There was, of course, an L marker for turning left, but that last remaining marker painted on a building is in Deer Lodge, Mont. WooDlanD Hotel built in 1906, now is used for apartments. Lumber baron John Owen either named it after an ancient ancestor, William-ofthe-Woodlands, or in honor of his occupation. oWen’s MaUel’s DaIRY 609 W. Third St.; made ice cream for yellowstone Trail travelers 90 years ago and is still at it. tHe olD sCHool On Third Street, the yellowstone Trail. The Owen high School was built in 1921 and functioned until 1984. A group called Friends of the Old School bought it in 1995. it is on both the State and National Register of historic Places. its adjoining gym, built in 1952, now serves as a community hall, site of a heritage Room for local history, and site of many events such as a large annual area quilt show. The heritage Room is open on request. Call 715-229-2245.
oodland Hotel in oWen. John S. Owen built the Woodland to house the brokers, salesmen and buyers of the lumber trade who arrived by train to this small, isolated town. It was so well built that well over 100 years later it still stands whole. It featured hardwood floors and real wood paneling. It had hot and cold running water, steam heat, and electric lights in 1906! There was a writing room, dining room, and large kitchen. The parlor was a “man’s” room with spittoons handy. Huge breakfasts were served for 30 cents. As auto travel superceded train travel and the eight trains a day to Owen dwindled, the Woodland was still in an enviable position because it was on the first completely concreted cross-state auto road - the Yellowstone Trail. The Woodland’s prospects rose and fell over the years, a high point being between 1955 and 1974 with the advent of the popular Sunday night buffets. People came from as far away as St. Paul, Minnesota, 135 miles, for the famous 100-item spread. Today, some of the hotel has been turned into apartments. The hotel has just been bought and the new owner is looking to resurrect this historic centerpiece of downtown Owen.
Street, County E), called Our Place Bar and Hotel. Until recently it was owned by Bowen, who also owned a restaurant nearby. The restaurant was the site of many community events including antique auto runs. It burned down in 2003, taking with it priceless antiques. Curtiss Community Center, built in 1912, was a state graded school until the 1960s. A library was constructed across the street. Tom Wilson, a black man, was librarian in 1917. The pay was $75 month. Between Curtiss and Abbotsford the YT lies under Wis. 29. West of Abbotsford, use Exit 131. In town, follow
Because it is the first city in alphabetical order of any list of Wisconsin cities, it calls itself Wisconsin’s First City. On Wis. 13 (Yellowstone Trail) south, stop at Hawkeye Dairy, 118 S. Fourth St, for a sampling of “America’s Dairyland,” cheese and really good, huge ice cream cones. Abbotsford, Colby and Unity, all on the Yellowstone Trail, share a unique fact: they straddle the line between Clark and Marathon counties, no doubt complicating city governments! Spruce and Wis. 13, turning at their intersection at M141.8. At about M150, the route connecting Fairhaven Lane and Lasalle Street varied, but Century Road is known to have been used on the early route some or all the time. M141.8 abbotsford eadquarters for Wisconsin cheese Producers Ass’n. Small garage, but no hotel (MH); Camp 1 blk s. 5 cars, unlimited # of people, open field (AAA). Named for Edwin H. Abbot, the financial genius of the old Wisconsin Central Railway.
LEFT: ThE LATE LES bOWEN AND hiS uNRESTORED FORD, READy FOR A DRivE. LES REMEMbERED ThE TRAvELERS ON ThE yELLOWSTONE TRAiL AS ThEy viSiTED CuRTiSS ON ThEiR WAy WEST. AND hE hAD MANy TALES OF ThE gyPSiES WhO PASSED ThAT WAy. hE ALSO REMEMbERED WALKiNg ThE TRAiL (NOW COuNTy x) TO ThE ONE-ROOM SChOOL AS A KiD. M144.3-Colby iehoff is a good country hotel. Ford garage (MH). If the word cheese comes to mind while you are in Colby, you are correct! In 1885 Joseph Steinwand developed the world-famous Colby cheese. He left more whey in the curd and pressed it into molds for up to three months, leaving a tasty, mild cheese. It was the only natural cheese native to the USA. After the turn of the century, this area became one of the great
he 409 miles of the Trail in Wisconsin were completely concreted by 1929, the first cross-state route to be so. Until that time, counties struggled to keep roads graveled and dragged. After rains, the mud mired autos; in dry weather, dust clogged motors. No wonder people wore dusters on auto trips. It was common on muddy roads to put the wheels in a previously made narrow wheel rut and allow the rut to steer the flivver. That explains the following Colby Phonograph newspaper report of January 26, 1928: John Pacholke turned his car over on highway 13. However he did not even get a scratch. Mr Pacholke was driving south at the time and the wheels of the car were in the rut, but when he made an attempt to get out of the rut, his car skidded and turned completely over — the top down and the wheels up. John at once broke the glass in one of the doors and climbed out without being hurt in any way.
NTIES U O C N O H T A R A M CLARK & continued
ThE ORigiNAL COLby ChEESE FACTORy ON ChEESE FACTORy ROAD, COLby, WiS., WhERE ThE WORLD-FAMOuS ChEESE WAS ONCE MADE. cheese-producing centers in the nation and Colby cheese became known the world around. The Rural Arts Museum is a collection of buildings that tell the story of the railroad, dairy industry and other past history. The buildings are: the old railroad depot, a one-room school, a log home with its original furniture, and a new Heritage Building featuring a historical rural main street. The museum is open on Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. M145.8 he original cheese factory (now closed, pictured above) is southwest of town on, logically, Cheese Factory
Road. You can drive down the road about a mile to see the closed, historic, small factory. You can buy Colby cheese and other cheeses at the Colby Cheese House at N13283 Wis. 13 (807 S. Division St.) on the Yellowstone Trail. M 8.3 Unity ree camp space one mile east. Good meals at Unity hotel. Garage across track is reliable (MH). Former site of Ray’s Market. Ray’s Market suffered a tragic fire in 2008, 99 years after it was built in 1909. It was there six years before the Yellowstone Trail arrived in 1915.
There was a small museum in the meat market with pictures and artifacts of old Unity, all of which are now lost. Owner Alan Gurtner knew about the Trail. He has since rebuilt close to Colby on Wis. 13, the Yellowstone Trail, but the mystique is gone. When you drive through Unity on Wis. 13, the Yellowstone Trail, you will notice that most of the downtown buildings are on the east side of the tracks and are brick. Wooden buildings once lined this street. In 1909 a fire swept the street, up to the wooden post office. But the meat market, made of brick, didn’t burn. In 1917 another fire swept the rebuilt wooden stores,
again missing the post office and Ray’s. After that, all of the merchants rebuilt in brick. Ironic that fire should have destroyed Ray’s in the end!
DJ’s Metal art
Thorpedo Family restaurant
Custom CNC Design & Cutting 602 E. Mill St. Withee, Wis. 715-229-2969 djsmetalart.com
M149.2 he Clark/Marathon county line follows Wis. 13 between Abbotsford and Unity. South of here the route is solely in Marathon County.
M148.3 Spencer ucille Tack Center for the Arts, 300 School St. A performance center offering national and international talent as well as local. 715-659-4499. wwwlucilletackcenter.com.
M162.8 Wood/Marathon County line
We Serve Breakfast Anytime Our Food is Always Homemade Highways 73 & 29 • Thorp, Wis. 715-669-5515
Full Coffee Bar Home Decor Gifts Chocolates
CAbiN AT ThE COLby RuRAL ARTS MuSEuM.
225 N Washington, Thorp WI 715-669-5527 thorpflowers.com
Mesquite Grill & Pub features a relaxing casual dining restaurant & sports bar
2031/2 West Hill St. P.O. Box 447 Thorp, WI 54771
205 West Hill Street • Thorp, WI (Next to the AmericInn)
HOURS: Monday - Thursday: 4 pm - Close • Friday - Sunday: 11 am - Close Visit us online at: www.MesquiteGrillAndPub.com
Mauel’s Dairy 715-229-2376 www.mauels.com
Phone 715-669-5959 • Fax 715-669-5907 Reservations 866-279-8180
Complimentary continental breakfast & wireless internet at both locations Comfortable Lodging at an Affordable Price
300 East Elderberry Rd. Abbotsford, WI
1201 E. Spruce St. • Abbotsford, WI
607 West Third St. Owen, Wisconsin
The Abbotsford Hotels
Visit the Restored Historic
Woodland Hotel & Restaurant in Owen, Wisconsin
207 Central Ave., Owen, WI
WOOD COUNTsayYcheese! DRIVIng notes
.S. 10, the highway that superceded the Yellowstone from Marshfield to the east, is being relocated and rebuilt as a freeway. While the construction rather severely affects the 1920–21 route of the YT, the original route is affected only near Blenker. Considerable construction within Marshfield has affected the YT route, especially on Fourth Street at the point that it crosses the new Veterans Parkway (Wis. 13). Some creative route finding will be needed,
involving Eighth Street and South Washington. While on Yellowstone Drive (yes, its name is derived from the Yellowstone Trail) observe the rail crossing near Hewitt. Dangerous crossings like that motivated much of the road improvement across the country in the 1920s.
MIle-BY-MIle M162.8 Wood/Marathon County line
M165.4 Marshfield City Center rosperous and lively. Free camp at Fair Grounds. Charles Hotel, most modern, forty-five rooms, half with bath. (MH). Blodgett Garage, .5 block from hotel. Victory Garage, 2 blks off Main St. C. E. Blodgett Butter and Egg Co. and P. J. Schaefer Co. are reputed to be the largest wholesalers and exporters of cheese in the world. Central Av. is the widest paved street in the state (BB, 1920). The route through Marshfield is marked by Yellowstone Trail
LEFT: yELLOWSTONE DRivE EAST OF MARShFiELD. STiLL gRAvEL AND A LiTTLE biT LiKE iT WAS iN 1915.
Marshfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, 700 S. Central Ave. www.visitmarshfieldwi.com signs through town and east on Yellowstone Drive. At 103 S. Central is Thomas House Center for History, significant because it is in the restored Thomas House, originally a hotel built in 1887, so Trail travelers may well have stayed there. The Center has featured displays, each running about four months. Open Wednesdays 1–4:30 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m.–2 p.m., and by appointment. 715-389-2916. M170.4 Hewitt (Just to the North) M170.5 ellowstone Recreation Park just past Main Street on Yellowstone Drive. Local citizens have created a park along the old Yellowstone Trail, now named Yellowstone Drive. Several citizens actually do remember the role the Trail played in transportation progress for small towns.
M175.1 auburndale airying. Small free camp space two blocks from town. Good country hotel on Main St. Overland garage is best for repairs (MH). Until the railroad overhead pass on U.S. 10 was built, the YT crossed the tracks twice in the center of town and ran two
LEFT: POST OFFiCE AT bLENKER. bELOW: ON ThE yT iN MiLADORE, KNOWN ThEN AS CLARK’S gARAgE.
or three blocks south of the tracks. Modern reconstructions of U.S. 10 through Auburndale hide the old route. From the east, turn north on County M for one block, left for one block, left for one block and right on Railroad Drive along the tracks. From the west on Railroad Drive, turn left at end, one block north, one block east, one block south on County M to U.S. 10. Laid out like many villages by railroads, Auburndale runs uPhAM MANSiON.
east/west along the Wisconsin Central Railroad with its businesses lined up along the track. M181.0 Blenker eals and rooms over Post Office (MH). The post office is still in the same building as in the 1920s, but in the east side of the building rather than the original west side.
M184.0 Miladore ray’s hotel. Clark’s garage is said to have reliable mechanics (MH). The Trail followed the Central Wisconsin Railroad here, and present Wis. 10 follows the same
route. Note the cobblestone face on Hughes Ford Garage (above). Undoubtedly the same building as Clark’s Garage de-
scribed in the 1926 Blue Book. M184.5 Wood/Portage County line
ewitt. Remember that the Yellowstone Trail Association sponsored a cross-counrty auto relay race in 1915? The Association sponsored another relay race against time in 1916. This race ran from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound, some 3,700 miles. This time the race was run to show the Army that the YT could be used as a military route for the coming World War. This time a packet held letters from Secretary of War Baker at Plymouth Rock to Fort Lawton, Seattle. They did it in 121 hours, averaging 30.4 mph. On the Yellowstone Trail at Hewitt a Buick, driven in the 1916 race by A.J. Clements, was coming from Stevens Point to Marshfield. It blew a tire; it flew off the rim. The mechanic riding along with the driver jumped out here to find the tire. The driver didn’t stop. The last four miles to Marshfield were made on bare rim. Nothing stopped these daredevils. A considerable crowd had gathered at the Blodgett Hotel in Marshfield, where C.E. Blodgett waited to grab the packet and race west. The mechanic in Hewitt found the tire; he later caught a ride into Marshfield with a passing motorist. With the tire repaired, he and the driver returned home to Stevens Point through a “sea of mud” while the letters flew west.
WORLD’S LARgEST ROuND bARN.
UPHaM MansIon 212 W. Third St. near the yellowstone Trail. Free. The restored home of former Wisconsin gov. William upham is of mid-victorian architecture with original furniture. The heritage Rose garden has 32 varieties of roses. Open Wednesdays and Saturdays 1:30–4 p.m. 715-387-3322. JURUstIC PaRk Three miles north at M222 Sugarbush Lane. Take highway E three and a half miles to McMillan Wildlife Marsh. Turn left on Sugarbush Lane. Free. you’ve got to see this! it’s a hoot. 250 mythical swamp creatures jokingly said to have existed in adjacent McMillan Wildlife Marsh millenia ago are made of metal. Rusted metal creatures ranging from six-inch spiders and mosquitoes to 45-foot, 4,000-pound flying dragons, plus turtles, birds and plant life, all in clever settings. Creator Nancy Wynia’s studio is on the grounds. Open 10 a.m.–4 p.m. May through October. WoRlD’s laRgest RoUnD BaRn built 1916. in Central Wisconsin State Fair Park, 513 E. 17th St. south of downtown Marshfield. The barn is 150 feet in diameter, 70 feet high, and has 250 stanchions. The large arena for cattle shows is unique for it has no supporting beams. it is used for various festivals and dairy events.
Y T N U O C E G A T POR A Place for All seasons DRIVIng notes
he development of the U.S. freeway west of Stevens Point resulted in numerous highway name changes. A great reference to the changes can be seen at www.dot.wisconsin.gov/ projects/us10/maps.htm. Between Junction City and Stevens Point there are some places along the original routing of the Trail that are still not paved to this day, but the good gravel of today is a big advancement over yesterday’s ruts and mud. The development of the route of the YT just east and south of Stevens Point involved several route changes as roads were developed by the state and development motivated traffic pattern changes. The approximate dates of the various routes are shown on the map. Maps and other printed references often remained unchanged for years after the route changed, so determining the actual date of change is difficult. The Yellowstone Trail Association did
not keep a log of all approved changes across the country, or that record was lost. The route of the YT was moved to the 1918–20 (present County B in Plover) route when the state first numbered the state highway system and required that named highways be routed on state numbered roads. A bit later Wis. 18 was moved to the now-called Old 18 route and the YT was automatically rerouted accordingly. Heritage Park at the corner of Washington and Willow Drive is maintained by the Portage County Historical Society. An original cabin from a tourist camp/hotel along the YT is there among other period buildings. The Park
is three blocks north and east from the corner of Post Road and County B, both of which were the YT. The YT had to move when
AbOvE: OLD WiS. 18, JuST EAST OF STEvENS POiNT, WAS ONE OF ThE ROuTES OF ThE yT AND STiLL RETAiNS iTS ChARM iN SPiTE OF bEiNg PAvED.
OLD CAbiN FROM ThE yT ThROugh STEvENS POiNT, NOW PRESERvED AT hERiTAgE PARK, PLOvER.
RighT: A SECTiON OF ThE ORigiNAL ROuTE OF ThE yT bETWEEN JuNCTiON CiTy AND STEvENS POiNT AS iT iS TODAy.
Stevens Point Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 340 Division Street North www.spacvb.com the state moved Wis. 18 to the 1920–28 route when it was improved, and the road is still called Old 18. While it is known that the state moved
stEvEns Point WAysiDEs OlD WHITING HOTel (Pictured at right.) 1408 Strongs Ave. at Clark Street. This 1900 Spanish Revival Architecture hotel was on the yT. The hotel became the main attraction in downtown Stevens Point and the place where travelers went for yT information. Today it is called Whiting Place Apartments. The hotel was placed on the National Register of historic Places in 1990. POrTaGe COUNTY HISTOrICal MUSeUM 1475 Water St. (yT), in the beth israel Synagogue, focuses on the Jewish influence in Stevens Point. POINT BreWerY 2617 Water St. (yT), has been in continuous operation since 1857. Daily tours. SCHMeeCkle reServe 2419 North Point Drive on uW-Stevens Pointâ€™s 275-acre natural area. The Wisconsin Conservation hall of Fame is located there. Five miles of walking trails, as well as the trailhead for the green Circle Trail. Lovely woods and plants.
PERiOD MuSiC AT A MODERN TRAiL DAy.
hen the State Highway Commission moved Wis. 18 from what is now County B in Plover north to near what is now U.S. 10, Park Ridge Drive, the Trail through Stevens Point moved with it. Thus, there was the Yellowstone Hotel and Tourist Court built there because that was the Yellowstone Trail from 1928 to 1930. The Hotel was on the southeast corner of present U.S. 10 and Fieldcrest Avenue. The hotel was razed in the 1970s. It had thirty rooms and fifteen furnished cabins; the last cabin is now at the Heritage Park in Plover.
Y PORTAGE COUNTcontinued Wis. 18 for the 1920 travel season, some maps such as Rand McNally continued to call the southern route through Plover the Yellowstone Trail as late as 1925.
MIle-BY-MIle M184.5 Wood/Portage County line M188.7 Junction City ree camp space at school. Farming village. Small country hotel and garage (MH); Camp maintained by School Bd. 2 Acres (AAA). East/west tracks intersect with north/south tracks and interconnecting curves allow trains to transfer from one track to the other.
M192.2 he old local school at the bend in the road is now a home.
M193.7 t the corner of Elm and County M is the foundation of a cheese factory, busy in 1917.
oe Parmley’s description of his ride on the YTA 1915 relay race from Chicago to Seattle: “The sandiest stretch from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound must be near Stevens Point.” And again in the 1920 YTA folder: “From Waupaca to St. Point the road is sandy.” Apparently cars got stuck there regularly. Today the area is called Golden Sands and produces millions of potatoes and other vegetables.
M188.7–M200.0 he YTA held a Trail Day once a year wherein citizens in each town along the Trail were asked to go out to fix up the Trail, all towns on the same day. The press was invited, politicians showed up for photo ops, picnics, and games abounded. Small towns closed up and everybody went out. Stevens Point had a Trail Day June 5, 1915, to improve the Trail somewhere in the township of Carson, just west of Stevens Point. Big to-do! The local newspaper listed all who had signed up. Point Brewery contributed a team of horses. More than 200 bankers, physicians, lawyers, artisans, and laborers with teams, wagons, plows, shovels put in a full day’s work improving the road. They spread 225 loads of gravel, had a picnic dinner and their good fellowship proved such a satisfaction that similar work spread to other parts of the state (Stevens Point Gazette, June 8, 1915).
he Yellowstone Trail was always a big deal in small towns, especially small towns west of Illinois. A hundred years ago there were very few connected roads, so long-distance auto travel across a state or even a county was difficult in the West. The YT was treasured as an economic asset and people fought to get the Trail to their town. Once a year, citizens in those towns were called upon by the YTA to go out and fix up their part of the Trail. They called it Trail Day. It was mostly a promotional move because the county did all the heavy building. All the townspeople came out. Politicians, the press, games, and picnics made a celebration out of it. Today, Trail Day is returning, minus the road work. Annual town celebrations may be called Corn Days or Heritage Days or whatever, but towns are now adding the YT to festivities with banners, displays, and parades of antique cars. hotel (MH); Auto Sales Co., corner of Clark and Strongs opp. hotel. Ford Garage, Ellis & Strongs Aves. Papermill Road is also sought by autoists. Goes to paper mills just south of city limits. Wis. River Mill (print paper) & Plover Paper co.(bonds and writing stock.) Automatic self-rocking cradles are made in Stevens Point exclusively. Free camp at fair grounds. Better accommodations at the Yellowstone Camp, about 1 mile east of town on Trail [Route after about 1920]. Level and in a grove. 50¢. Three cabins $1.50 to $2.50 each (BB,1920); Camp maintained by City and Chamber of Commerce.
40 acres. 200 cars and 1000 people. Toilets (AAA). As you cross the Clark Street Bridge, you will pass over the Wisconsin River. In the early days of Stevens Point, the river was often filled with logs as the lumber industry was prominent. Today, a large mural titled Rivermen celebrates this history. Rivermen was the first mural completed in downtown Stevens Point, and today you can see many more historical murals throughout the downtown district. Just adjacent to the river, and the Yellowstone Trail route, is the very popular Green Circle Trail. The Green Circle, which loops the city
M201.5 Stevens Point City Center otel Whiting, 414 Main St. an exceptionally fine
ThE yT CAMPgROuND ON PRESENT PARK RiDgE DRivE iN STEvENS POiNT iS NO LONgER ThERE.
with more than thirty miles of recreational trail, intersects with the route here in addition to other locations. In the early 1920s Stevens Point’s Clark Street Bridge across the Wisconsin River kept catching fire due to the creosote-treated wooden deck. Finally, it burned completely in 1923. A ferry served travelers until 1926. There are more than sixty buildings in downtown Stevens Point listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the original buildings remain, and offer the largest collection of 19th century brick buildings anywhere in the county. The area has many art galleries as well as the historic murals that have been painted on walls of several businesses in the downtown area just east of the bridge. M204.4 Whiting he original route of the YT (1915–18) runs east (County HH) and north (Church Street). While County HH travels for a bit through Plover, the 1919–21 route travels south on Post Road through the main part of Plover. See Driving Notes on previous page. Post Road is so named because it was originally designated for the transportation of mail. On the Post Road between Whiting and Plover is the O’so Brewing Company, a microbrewery known for freestyle brewing.
AMhERST iNN. The Comfort Inn on the 1918–20 route features a Yellowstone Trail Pub with modern decor but historic pictures and maps of the Trail. It is just west of I-39 and north of County B. This crossroad is the only intersection of two national driving routes, Yellowstone Trail and Highway 51. See Plover in Driving Notes on previous page. M219.5 amherst ntersection of County B and County A (badly marked) and North Main and Wilson. The Amherst Inn. Yellowstone Garage on main route (BB,1920). The Amherst Inn Bed-and-Breakfast, 303 Main Street, is still operating. The 1887 Victorian Gothic-style
tevens Point owed the YTA for two years worth of dues in 1921. They were in danger of losing the Trail, although the YTA never did move the route from any town over the issue. Seeing its opportunity to get the Trail moved to their city, the city fathers of Grand Rapids (present Wisconsin Rapids) attempted to bribe the YTA to get the Trail from Stevens Point. They offered to pay Point’s arrears and an extra $1,000 “bribe.” The YTA did not go for it, and Point kept the Trail, eventually paying up.
PiPE SChOOL ON PiPE RO
house was a popular stop for travelers in the heyday of both the Inn and the Trail. Amherst is situated along the Tomorrow River (a Class A trout stream). Explore the quaint downtown, including a stop at Jackson & Louie’s Antiques, or the New Village Bakery with the area’s only European pastry chef. All are on Main Street, the Yellowstone Trail. M 223.5 he YT followed Pipe Road both ways from this point, but the road toward Amherst is not now passable.
M 223.6 ipe School near 11029 Thomas Pipe Road. Built probably 1850s. First teacher received $1.56 for a five and a half-day week. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. At present it is vacant. As you approach the Waupaca County Line, you will see the Amherst Riverdance Cabin to the south, uniquely constructed using recycled materials, including the reclaimed barn roof.
M 224.0 Portage/Waupaca County line
Y T N U O C A C WAUPAchain o’ lakes country DRIVIng notes
hroughout Waupaca County the reconstruction of U.S. 10 has detracted from the experience of following the YT route. It is interesting to explore the spur of the old YT on Lakeshore Drive in Weyauwega and the old route in Fremont. Find Railroad Grade Drive, which never became a railroad but did hold the YT. And in town, it is easy to imagine the old bridge across the Wolf River just north of the “old” U.S. 10 bridge. During the 1920s, the state DOT paved the roads used by the YT all across the state. Probably the most significant rerouting of the YT that resulted from that paving project was between Oshkosh and Waupaca County in about 1924. That diagonal route through Butte des Morts and Winchester was significantly disrupted in the late 2010s by the reconstruction and rerouting of U.S. 45. The original route is now difficult to follow and is of less historical interest; therefore it is not mapped in this Guide. Two different starting points of that diagonal route can be seen on the Waupaca map, one heading south from Fremont on County II and one heading south from Readfield on County W.
MIle-BY-MIle M 224.0 Portage/Waupaca County line M224.6 he YT crosses the Ice Age Trail near Pipe Road, www.iceagetrail.org.
M232.6 Waupaca City Center dairying and potato growing center. Tourist Camp, 50¢, along Mirror and Shadow lakes 5 blks south on Main. Inn Hotel, some rooms with running water. American Plan sgl $3.25, dbl. $7. Sanders garage, never closed, tel 187 for tow car (MH); Delavan Hotel, on Yellowstone Trail and Main St across from Bank. Central stop on Yellowstone Trail between Chicago and St. Paul (BB 1920). Keep your eyes open for Yellowstone Trail signs through Waupaca. First-hand testimony from an elderly citizen indicates the Yellowstone Trail followed the Hillcrest Drive/Granite Street/ Main Street route from M232.0 to M232.6, just north of Fulton. However, the guides of the period, such as various Blue Books and Mohawk Guides, specify Fulton Street (with the trolley tracks) as the route in that area. Hanson Auto Exchange,
ThE FORMER yELLOWSTONE gARAgE iN WAuPACA.
112 Granite St., was built c. 1909. In 1917 Dayton Baldwin leased the garage from its previous owner and called it the Yellowstone Garage. Baldwin sold Oldsmobile and Oakland automobiles. Winfield Scott Home, 405 Granite Street. This two-story, wood-frame Greek Revival house was built in 1855. It is one of the oldest homes in the city of Waupaca. Scott was a successful real estate broker and held various county positions. The Dane’s Home, 301 N. Main St., is also on the northern route. The Danish
Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce, 211 S. Main St. www.waupacamemories.com
rle Whipple of Waupaca was on the executive committee of the YTA in 1919 and very active in the years before. He helped set up the 1915 and 1916 relay races that the YTA conducted across the nation.
Home Society was organized in 1877 for social and literary purposes. This building was constructed for the Society in 1894 and was so used until the 1940s. Its doors were open to
WAuPAcA WAysiDEs THe HOllY HISTOrY aND GeNealOGY CeNTer 321 S. Main St. Located one block south of M232.7 of the yellowstone Trail. The Center, in a 1914 Carnegie library building, is the headquarters of the Waupaca historical Society and houses a local history and genealogy library. The original architecture of the building has been maintained, including the building’s stained-glass windows. Named for the late Dr. Roy holly, local historian and yT aficionado. SOUTH Park Developed 1908, located along the shore of Shadow Lake. The park became a popular spot for public camping and swimming during the 1920s when the yellowstone Trail was popular. The Waupaca County News in late 1923 and early 1924 carried articles about the pros and cons of maintaining a campground, sparking many letters to the editor. Eighty-five years later there is no camping in South Park. When did the “cons” win? Today, the park still provides picnic sites, a playground, fishing pier, bathhouse, and public beach. THe HISTOrIC HUTCHINSON HOUSe MUSeUM 1854, located at the south end of Main Street within South Park, having been moved from Fulton Street and refurbished in victorian style. The hutchinson house is one of the oldest surviving homes in the city of Waupaca. it is open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays, and summer holidays from 1 to 4 p.m. Free. CHaIN O’ lakeS About three or four miles to the west of Waupaca on Wis. highway 22 is a marvelous string of twenty-two sparkling, interconnected spring-fed glacial lakes of pristine clarity. See www. WaupacaMemories.com for information about the many lakes, rental properties, resorts, fishing, etc. it really is beautiful, restful, and worth the wayside trip.
the community for social and public gatherings. The building was referred to as the Dane’s Opera House (above) after the city’s opera house burned in 1904. The building is now privately owned. M235.6 he John W. Evans Home, 1332 Churchill Street. John Evans was owner of the Woolen Mills located across the street from his home/office
on Churchill Street. Mr. Evans also built a starch factory in the 1890s. “Potato Capital of the World.” M241.7 Weyauwega heese and butter factories. Free camp off highway south of town. Good rooms at Marlyn Hotel, not modern (MH).
M248.9 Fremont City Center eep your eyes open for Yellowstone Trail signs as you go through Fremont. Mind the fish. They’ll
WEyAuWEGA WAysiDE WeYaUWeGa’S HISTOrICal SIlO Just one block off the yellowstone Trail which runs along Main Street. built in 1855, it is a rye grain elevator, the first one built in Wisconsin and the last one still standing in the united States. it has murals of old Weyauwega painted on it.
jump right into your boat! The Wolf River has been a magnet for fishermen for eons. And
Fremont has built an economy around that fact. That and the Yellowstone Trail. The bridge over the Wolf River in downtown Fremont (see historic photo on the next page) is no more. It was the route of the Yellowstone Trail. You can get to the other side of town, but you have to
n June, 1915, the YTA sponsored a relay race against time from Chicago to Seattle. They made it in ninety-seven hours! People lined the road all along their route. The race went on nonstop day and night. With only dim headlights in those days, it was very hard to see at night. The people of Weyauwega understood that and, since drivers would be going through their town at night, they lit “A Mile of Torches,” as they called it. Fire lined the road, providing light and outlining the smiling faces of the cheering crowd.
Y WAUPACA COUNTcontinued
bathrooms, just like in the YT days. M249.5 he 1925–30 route and the earlier route of the YT meet here. The 1925–30 route again meets the earlier routes at M282.0.
t drive south a bit and take Wis. 110. Much road building has obliterated the Trail on the east side of town, but the citizens of Fremont have energetically honored the Trail in several ways: They have marked the Trail with large yellow signs; the Trail figured largely in their sesquicentennial celebration in 1998; they marked several old buildings along Wolf River Drive (YT) with YT signs in 2007. Hotel Fremont on Wolf
River Drive (YT). 1895. It housed many a YT traveler. It has been completely renovated by the present owner, Darvon Koneman, into a charming, Old World hostelry. There is an
hOTEL FREMONT ON WOLF RivER DRivE (yT) TODAy. WATCh OuT FOR ThAT ThiRD-FLOOR DOOR!
M254.5 readfield tractor ride was held along the YT on U.S. 10 to Fremont in 2005 just for fun. There is a Yellowstone School here. Apparently, the YT was routed south from here to near Winchester for 1924 during the completion of construction of the more direct route through Zittau to Fremont.
ice cream parlor and historic pictures of Fremont are on the walls. The guests in the eleven-room hotel share three
M255.5 Waupaca/ Outagamie County line
bELOW: NEW ChASSiS bEiNg DELivERED FOR A CuSTOM bODy. MOST NEW CARS WERE DRivEN FROM ThE FACTORy by ThE NEW OWNER OR WERE ShiPPED by RAiL (PiCTuRE FROM MiKE KiRK, WAuPACA hiSTORiCAL SOCiETy).
HISTORY CORNER: MICHAEL DOWLING
He Built the Yellowstone trail Without Hands or Feet
hen Michael Dowling died in 1921, it mattered to the thousands who paid their respects and it mattered to the old YTA because he had been a robust, recent Association president. Dowling had also been teacher, newspaper editor, banker, mayor, auto salesman, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence tidewater commissioner, inspirational speaker for World War I veterans, Speaker of the Minnesota Legislature, congressional and gubernatorial candidate and friend of U.S. presidents. And he founded a school for physically handicapped children. These accomplishments were particularly extraordinary because he achieved them as a multiple amputee with two wooden legs, a wooden arm and hand, and only a thumb on the other hand.
The Blizzard of 1880 he riveting book by L.R. Lehmann, Blizzard, (QuikReadPress 1997) tells it all. At age 14, Dowling was riding in the back of a wagon through the howling Minnesota blizzard of 1880 when the wagon hit a bump and he was thrown out. No one heard his cries over the screaming storm. The boy wandered for hours in the freezing whiteout until he found a hay stack to crawl into. In the morning sunlight he rose to walk, but fell. His legs were frozen. He clapped his hands and they sounded like two chunks of wood. They, too, were frozen. So he crawled to a nearby house. He was taken in, but two weeks later gangrene dictated multiple amputations. The chloroform lasted through most of the operation, carried out on the kitchen table, but toward the end, Dowling’s screams were heard
DOWLiNg’S gARAgE WiTh DOWLiNg RETuRNiNg FROM ThE 1913 RuN TO yELLOWSTONE NATiONAL PARK ALONg ThE TRAiL. (PiCTuRE COuRTESy RENviLLE COuNTy hiSTORiCAL MuSEuM, RENviLLE, MiNN.)
at the next farm. Both legs were cut off six inches below the knees; the left arm and all fingers of the right hand except for part of the thumb were removed. Then followed three years of healing, and of being a ward of the county, as he was separated from his family. He begged the county for, and received, two terms at Carleton College. Thus began his rise, in spite of painful prostheses and the slow process of performing everyday tasks. He became a teacher, a banker and a newspaper editor; how did he write with only part of a thumb? He drove and sold cars; how did he crank them? He had three prostheses; how did he put them on? He hunted moose; how could he pull the trigger with his stubby thumb? For these and thousands of other tasks, his creativity, patience and incredible courage were evident. Putting adversity to Good Use hile president of the YTA (1917–1919), Dowling visited military hospitals here and in Europe after World War I, inspiring wounded veterans to self-reliance. Whether he spoke to one vet alone or to 5,700 at New York’s Hippodrome, his message was the same: Don’t spend your time thinking about the things that
are gone. Think of what you have left. He was, unaffectedly, leading by example. Dowling and the YTa he YTA caught Dowling’s imagination. As an auto dealer in Olivia, Minn., he had foreseen the role of the auto in the development of early 20th century America. He knew the value of roads as an absolute economic and cultural necessity that the federal government was ignoring. Dowling determined to assist the YTA by driving the Trail along the whole of its barely discernable 1913 route from Minnesota to the Yellowstone National Park. He wanted to be the first to blaze the route to advertise it and prove it could be done. Only about 120 miles of the Trail were graveled; the rest was dirt. He led a three-car caravan with his Oakland 660 with right-hand wheel and electric starter. Fording streams, wading through mud and fixing punctures while parked in the tall prairie grass occupied the party, but they did it! Anxious to expand the Trail east, in 1914 he shipped his car through the Great Lakes to Buffalo, N.Y., and began looking for a space to locate the Trail on the popular RochesterAlbany-Boston corridor. He was told that “there was no more room for colored markers
on poles on that route.” Indeed, 11 different trail colors festooned some poles already. He then blazed a more southern route: Plymouth Rock to Hartford, Conn., and southern New York to northern Pennsylvania. Barry Prichard, grandson of Dowling, wrote a book from his mother’s notes about those trips, We Blazed the Trail (Richards Publishing Co. 2008). During his tenure as YTA president, Dowling oversaw the establishment of at least 10 tourist bureaus; he saw the northern route through the East, which was refused to him in 1914, become a reality; and he spoke at all state and national YTA conventions. The calamity in the blizzard, which would have diminished lesser men, brought out his strength of character. This remarkable man invigorated the Yellowstone Trail Association as no other had. His very appearance inspired resolve among the membership. He often said to friends, “Thank God I’m not a cripple!” And he wasn’t. barry and Michael Prichard, grandsons of Michael Dowling, assisted Alice Ridge with the longer version of this article, which appeared in American Road magazine, Winter 2005.
Y T N U O C E I M A OUTAG Houdini still lives!
Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, 3433 W. College Ave. www.foxcities.org
he YT was initially routed south at M264.5 to make use of the best available, most direct route for the long-distance traveler. Moving the YT in 1919 to go directly through Neenah, Menasha, and Appleton was probably motivated by commercial reasons. While development of the YT was part of the Good Roads Movement, its routing was also subject to business pressures as an economic development effort. But around 1924 the desire to provide the best, shortest route trumped business interests and the YT was routed through Butte des Morts, to the west, to take advantage of a new, all-concrete road between Oshkosh and Waupaca. That route was recently made difficult to follow by rebuilding of U.S. 45. Today, the traveler must choose between the original route on Wis. 76 and the later the later route through Appleton. Wis. 76 offers a view of the “shrine” to the YT along Julius road and a straight highway through the Wisconsin countryside. The more circuitous route through the cities offers historical sites, museums, and commercial stops.
MIle-BY-MIle M255.5 Waupaca/ Outagamie County line M258.5 Dale M260.5 Medina M264.5 (= a264.5) t this intersection the original 1915–19 route of the YT ran south on Julius Drive and the 1919–23 route ran east on Wis. 96. The present-day traveler on the Yellowstone Trail will probably choose to follow the 1919–23 route through Appleton south to Oshkosh. Therefore separate mileage markers, beginning with A rather than M are used to mark that route, leaving the Ms for the original route. You’ve got to see this! At this corner (M264.5) there is a power substation converted into sort of a shrine to the Yellowstone Trail. With permission and financial support from We Energies, Steve Nagy and energetic members of the Greenville Urban Forestry Board planted trees and shrubs and built a rock garden with a huge yellow rock on top. Traveling south on Julius Drive toward County BB, you will see several YT signs, and—
STEvE NAgy AND ThE gREENviLLE uRbAN FORESTRy bOARD PLACED yELLOW ROCKS AND PLANTED TREES ALONg JuLiuS ROAD, ThE yT, M264.5 – M266.5.
south of the Spencer Road intersection—an authentic YT marker stone excavated from Nagy’s driveway with the original yellow paint on it! You will then see an avenue of some 120 shade trees and then another rock monument. Quite a landscaping job honoring the Trail. Even if you are following the 1919–23 route, take time to visit the Julius Drive rock garden. If you take a short half-mile jaunt west on Spencer Road from Julius Drive you will arrive at Homestead Meadows, a beautifully restored farmstead, now a popular banquet facility in two converted barns. To learn more about Homestead Meadows, see www.homesteadmeadows. com. a270.0 long College Avenue, note the variety of exciting restaurants, from a coffee haus to Mexican to Italian, etc. Go at noon; they’re cheaper then. But do look at the buildings themselves. Most of them were there, gazing down at the Trail and its Tin Lizzie traffic 1915–30.
a270.2 orner of College Avenue and Appleton Street is Houdini Plaza. This site is said to be where Harry Houdini lived as a child.
a270.3 appleton City Center he capital of Outagamie County is pleasantly situated on a plateau about 70 feet above the Fox River. It is the seat of Lawrence University and the Appleton Collegiate Institute. Several natural ravines and its splendid parks and drives add to the attractions of the city. Appleton is said to have been one of the first cities in the world to have an electric railway and to use electricity for lighting purposes. It was in the early days a camping ground for the Indians and much Indian tradition is connected with the vicinity. Among the thriving manufacturing plants of which the city boasts are some of the largest paper mills in the country (BB 1917). Edna Ferber, author and Pulitzer Prize winner for So Big, lived in Appleton from age 12. She also wrote Show Boat and
APPlEton WAysiDEs OUTaGaMIe HISTOrICal SOCIeTY Or, “The history Museum at the Castle,” 330 E. College Ave. in a Norman Revival-style 1924 Masonic temple. The main attraction is the Appleton native harry houdini exhibit with hands-on activities. it also has displays about Appleton’s heritage. Open all year. Look across the street: Lawrence university—ready for a pleasant exploratory stroll! HearTHSTONe HISTOrIC HOUSe MUSeUM Pictured at right, corner of Memorial and Prospect, 625 W. Prospect. built 1882. On the National Register of historic Places. it was the first residence in the world to be lighted by a centrally located hydroelectric station using the Edison system. The beautiful home has stained-glass windows and precious antiques. its original light switches and electroliers still operate. Open all year except January 20–February 19. A really good destination. HYDrOeleCTrIC PlaNT vulcan Street. in 1882 a group purchased two Edison K dynamos designed to be driven by water. The vulcan Street plant began operation with a direct-current generator that lighted 250 sixteen-power lamps, each equivalent to 50 watts. A water wheel operating under a ten-foot fall of water provided the power to the generator that operated at 110 volts. This was the first hydroelectric plant. PaPer DISCOverY CeNTer 425 W. Water St. The paper industry looms large in the Fox valley. home to the Paper industry hall of Fame. Enjoy a hands-on experience. Make your own paper to take home. Learn about the future of paper and tree cloning. A pleasant and informative place. PICTUre THIS GallerY aND STUDIO 2631 N. Meade St., Suite 102. Thomas Sutter has gathered antique cameras, which are on display along with historic photo equipment in his law office. There is a yellowstone Room featuring photographs, books, and memorabilia of yellowstone National Park with information highlighted regarding the yellowstone Trail. Sutter hosts evening speakers four or five times a year who speak about photographic and historical topics. Call 920-991-0405 during business hours or 920-739-0480 to find opening hours. it is really elegant.
Giant, which was made into a movie with Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean (his last movie). Wausau’s Charlie Winniger starred in the 1927 Broadway production of Show Boat as Capt’n Andy. a271.0 ntersection of South Oneida and South Olde Oneida streets. From here explore Olde
Oneida, the route of the YT, which now dead-ends to the north. Find a drawbridge at the Fox Canal (right) with benches among the greenery. This might be a base from which to explore the Paper Discovery Center and the Hearthstone House. See Appleton Wayside. a271.8 Outagamie / Winnebago County line
Y T N U O C O G A B WINNE oshkosh B’Gosh DRIVIng notes
s the maps indicate, the YT was rerouted several times in the area between Oshkosh and Waupaca. It is apparent that the primary reason for most reroutings was to take advantage of the new, paved, auto routes being created by the state of Wisconsin during that period. The 1924–30 route was clearly motivated by creation of that new road as part of the statewide effort to concrete the entire YT route during the 1920s. Recently, the upgrading and rerouting of U.S. 10 and U.S. 45 has made parts of the YT harder to find and follow. Specifically, U.S. 45 now overlays miles of the old YT. Yet the 1924–30 route, not on the map, is still interesting. For instance, Winchester, at the corner of County II and Steeple Hill Drive, is an old garage/repair shop obviously used for other purposes through the years. It has signs reading “B’Gosh It’s Good” and “Chief Oshkosh Beer since 1864.” A bit off-Trail is the Larsen
Brothers Airport, just off YT, 1.3 miles east of Winchester on County II. Built in 1922, it claims to be the oldest airport in Wisconsin and is marked with a historic plaque. Built by four brothers upon the insistence of their father. The boys became pilots and mechanics; they gave lessons and did stunt flying at fairs and local events.
MIle-BY-MIle a271.8 Outagamie/ Winnebago County line a273.9 ntersection of the 1915–22 route from the west on Valley Road and the 1922–c. 1924 route from the south on Appleton Road.
a276.0 ntersection of the 1915–22 route from the north on Racine Street and the 1922–c. 1924 route from the west on Third Street.
a276.7 Menasha ayco St. Bridge Tower Museum (BB 1925). Tayco Street Bridge Tower Museum. Probably the smallest
nEEnAH WAysiDEs THe OCTaGON HOUSe houses the Neenah historical Society. 336 Main St. This eight-sided house was built in 1856. The belief at the time was that octagonal houses were a more healthful shape. Call for hours, 920-729-0244. BerGSTrOM-MaHler MUSeUM 165 N.Park St. housed in a vintage mansion on Lake Winnebago, this museum has a large germanic glass display and the world’s largest glass paperweight collection. Open daily.
Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau, 2401 W. Waukau Ave., www. visitoshkosh.com
museum in Wisconsin, it has two levels of exhibits about the significance of the bridge and the transportation systems that developed Menasha and other Fox River communities. (We have visited it several times and never found it open.)
eler on the Yellowstone Trail will probably choose to follow the 1919–22 route through Appleton. Therefore separate mileage markers, beginning with A rather than M are used to mark the original route.
a277.6 Neenah ueen Ice Cream Parlor on Main Route (BB 1920); Valley Inn (on Lake Winnebago and Fox Rivers) (BB 1920 and 1923). Intersection of the 1922–c. 1924 route to the southwest on Commercial and Wis. 114 and the 1919–22 route southeast on Wisconsin.
a286.1–a287.7 he YT generally followed what became County A in this area, but for this stretch County A does not follow the twists and turns the YT followed through the grounds of the Northern Asylum for the Insane, begun in 1873. It is now known as the Winnebago State Health Institute and one building is dedicated to the Julaine Farrow Museum at the mental hospital. This may be a surprise. A museum in a mental hospital, you say? The museum chronicles the contributions of the early pioneers of mental health. It is dedicated to Julaine Farrow, a nurse at the hospital for thirty-six years and author of a history of the state hospital.
a290.4 /M282.0 ntersection of the 1915– 19/1922–c. 1924 route with the 1919–22 route. The present-day northbound trav-
M283.0 ntersection of the 1924–30 route (Algoma Boulevard) and 1915–c. 1924 routes (Main Street), Now, Algoma is a oneway street paired with High Street. M283.1 Oshkosh ome of Oshkosh B’ Gosh overalls. Manufacturing distribution point surrounded by farming and dairy. Alma’s Restaurant on Wangoo St. serves excellent meals. Oshkosh Camp, 50¢. Athearn Hotel is best. Krueger Automotive. Winnebago Auto Co., Fords stored 40¢ per night, others 75¢ (MH); English Kitchen on Main St. Mrs. Woods Tea Room, 15 Algoma. (BB 1920). Following the 1924–30 route of the YT for a few blocks to the northwest on Algoma Avenue takes you to three interesting sites: Opera House Square, 300 block of North Main Street (YT). An ideal place for a picnic on this lush, green grass or park bench. See the thirty-foot obelisk and sundial and Oshkosh history etched in granite. Free live music and movies in summer. Paine Art Center and Gardens, 1410 Algoma Blvd. The Paine is a 1920s mansion looking like an American castle. It has historic interiors, changing art exhibits, hands-on
shkosh was a loyal supporter of the YTA over the fifteen years the Trail Association was active in Wisconsin, and it was the site of two important state meetings of the YTA.
activities for children, and paintings. Go in the summer when the gorgeous gardens are in bloom. The whole place is an inspiring experience. Oshkosh Public Museum, 1331 Algoma Blvd. Interesting changing exhibits. A recent one was Lincoln and the Czar. University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. 800 Algoma Blvd. M 284.8 - M283.9 or some reason the YT did not, or could not, use Main Street here and followed the parallel Doty Street. Today’s traveler is rewarded by a chance to stop at a delightful old-fashioned drive-in, Andy & Ed’s, probably from the 1950s, at the south end. It is not of the YT era, but will bring back memories to today’s drivers.
M286.7 he old Kurt Graf Bridge just a couple of dozen feet west of Wis. 45 on West Ripple Avenue carried YT’s transcontinental traffic. Today it carries golfers to the Oshkosh Country Club.
M288.0 ntersection of the 1915–19 route, U.S. 45, and the 1919–30 route, County R. If traveling south you must choose either the older route with views of the lake,
KuRT gRAF bRiDgE ON RiPPLE AvENuE M286.7.
TY WINNEBAGO COUN
WEST LAKE COuRT, A CuT-OFF SECTiON OF ThE ORigiNAL yELLOWSTONE TRAiL ANND NOW A NiCE RESiDENTiAL CuL-DE-SAC NEAR M294.5.
some interesting old lakeside cabins just north of the county line, and a nice lakeside park; or the newer route through Van Dyne. While County R,
(County RP in Fond du Lac County and recently changed from Wis. 175) follows a newer overpass across the tracks south of Van Dyne, the
Yellowstone Trail Association www.yellowstonetrail.org firstname.lastname@example.org Help get the word out in your town
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YT route can be followed by using Viaduct Road between the south end of the overpass (at Lincoln Road) and the intersection of County RP and Viaduct Road in town. Also of interest is an old filling station building. An older overpass was built in the mid-1930s as a WPA project to avoid one more rail crossing. In Van Dyne, you will see a charming old gas station shaped like a Tudor house with a steep roof, reminiscent of other old gas stations of the 1930s, just post-YT days. For a look and a lesson about old gas stations in Wisconsin, see Fill ’Er Up by Jim Draeger and Mark Speltz (Wisconsin Historical Society Press 2008). M292.9 Winnebago/Fond du lac County line
osHKosH WAysiDEs exPerIMeNTal aIrCraFT aSSOCIaTION 3000 Poberezny Road. Site of the EAA Airventure Museum, kidfriendly Kidventure gallery, Pioneer Airport, and EAA Airventure Convention. The Convention is the world’s largest sport aviation event, drawing over 10,000 planes and over 600,000 enthusiasts every August. WIOUWaSH TraIl bicycling/hiking trail that goes through four counties: Winnebago, Outagamie, Waupaca, and Shawano. The portion in Winnebago County is sixteen miles long with small towns along the way. you can join the trail in northern Oshkosh at Fernau Avenue near Sunset Point. UNIverSITY OF WISCONSIN-OSHkOSH 800 Algoma blvd. Wander around the campus. it is everything a university should be as part of the great university of Wisconsin system.
notes anD aCknoWleDgMents
he information about the Yellowstone Trail in this Guide is one product of 15 years of research and travel of the whole transcontinental highway “from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound.” In Wisconsin, the authors, Alice and John Ridge, had special help from many people, including John Russell, unofficial historian of Menomonie, and Karen Braun of the Racine Heritage Museum. They were generous with information and graphics. Avid local historians Mark Mowbray of Janesville and North Fond du Lac, Nels Monson of South Milwaukee, Mike Kirk and JJ Johnson of Waupaca, and the folks of the Highway 29 Community Partnership are also acknowledged for their invaluable help and encouragement. Tom Barrett, late of the Stevens Point Convention and Visitors’ Bureau (CVB) gave his encouragement and knowledge of the tourism industry. Unnamed are dozens of librarians, local historians, older people who remember stories of the Trail, CVBs and citizens who discovered this historic gem and provided information and support. Thanks, too, to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, which provided encouragement and the picture used on the cover. Special mention must be made of the help we received from many people in identifying the route of the YT on modern maps. It was a major undertaking. The contributions of Michael Koerner of Appleton were exceptional and professional. Without him we would have many more questionable spots than we do. His
work is acknowledged with deep gratitude. Over the years, he has spent countless hours working with Automobile Blue Books translating descriptive text to accurate maps and, whenever our work differed from his, he was almost always proven to be correct. If you live in (or visit) Wisconsin, email Mark Mowbray, executive director of the national Yellowstone Trail Association at mmowbray@ yellowstonetrail.org to inquire about membership in the modern Yellowstone Trail Association, or to ask to receive the Association’s occasional email newsletter, the Arrow. Or visit www.yellowstonetrail.org.
requests to the reader hile you are exploring the Yellowstone Trail, finding the out-of-the-way places just as the 1920s traveler did, stop and investigate the little store, church, scenic stop, the little bit of old road alignment, old bridge, local museums or anything else that ordinarily you would ignore. Talk to locals, ask questions,
AbOvE iS PART OF AN AD ThAT APPEARED iN ThE 1919 yTA ROuTE FOLDER. SADLy, AFTER 90 yEARS, ThE hOTEL PFiSTER iS NO LONgER A yT iNFORMATiON buREAu!
ask if they have heard of the Yellowstone Trail. If not, when you tell them that it ran right outside their door and that it was the major transcontinental highway in the 1920s, chances are that they will be interested. Stop and chat with businesses
advertising in this Guide. Let them know that you appreciate their support. And if you learn something, let us know about it! Use the response form at www. yellowstonetrail.org. — Alice and John Ridge
Yellowstone Trail Association www.yellowstonetrail.org
Join with us – just $15/year
email@example.com Yellowstone Trail Assoc. 340 Division St North Stevens Point, WI 54481
E G D O D & C A FOND DU L lakeside and countryside S E I T N U O C Fond du Lac Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 171 S. Pioneer Road www.fdl.com
or information about Van Dyne on the 1919–30 route, see M288.0 in Winnebago County, where the two routes meet again.
RP, and the 1915–19 YT route, Lakeshore Drive/U.S. 45, going north. When they moved Wis. 175 (now County RP) some years ago within North Fond du Lac, a block-long triangle of grass was left between Minnesota Avenue and County RP (Van Dyne Road) and between
MIle-BY-MIle M292.9 Winnebago/Fond du lac County line M299.6 North Fond du lac his is the intersection of the 1919–30 route, County
AbOvE: yELLOWSTONE gARAgE, NORTh FOND Du LAC. PiCTuRE COuRTESy MARK MOWbRAy (SEE ALSO OLD AD FOR SAME gARAgE). LEFT: WEST LAKE ROAD, A CuTOFF SECTiON OF ThE ORigiNAL yT, NOW A NiCE RESiDENTiAL CuL-DE-SAC NEAR M294.5.
FonD Du lAc WAysiDEs GallOWaY HOUSe & vIllaGe 336 Old Pioneer Road. Within the area is the blakely Museum. Experience history and culture of the area there. The galloway house began as a simple farmhouse and evolved into a 30-room showplace of gracious living with hand-carved woodwork, etched glass, and hand-stenciled ceilings. CCC barracks Museum (Civilian Conservation Corps from the 1930s) is on the grounds. Open daily summers and weekends in September. HISTOrIC OCTaGON HOUSe 276 Linden St. This house, on the National Register of historic Places, was built in the Civil War era. The house features nine secret passageways including an underground tunnel used for a safe house for escaped slaves using the underground Railroad. lakeSIDe Park, lOOkOUT lIGHTHOUSe, aND lakeSIDe Park MarINa All are found on the southern shore of Lake Winnebago. Lakeside Park is 400 acres including scheduled festivities, special events, and children’s activities in a lovely setting. The 63-foot Lakeside Spirit cruise boat offers rides by reservation on Lake Winnebago. in 1920 Good Roads for Wisconsin reported that Fond du Lac’s Lakeside Park had “… upwards of a thousand auto tourists camped at the park from as far away as California.”
he Yellowstone Garage in North Fond du Lac changed ownership several times before Jim Mowbray ran it from 1949 to 1966. Sometime in the 1920s individual hand-carved wooden letters spelling “YELLOWSTONE GARAGE” were added over the large front door. Jim’s son, Mark, tells many homey tales of the renamed Mowbray’s Yellowstone Garage in his booklet, History of the Yellowstone Garage. Mark follows some automotive changes through warm tales of his family and the “family of friends” who frequented the place. A favorite tale concerns the fact that there was only an old clunker of an oil furnace in the garage corner, so in the winter they would burn a small amount of drained auto oil (mixed into the fuel oil) and use an old car fan to blow the heat through the garage. We call that recycling today. Other “Yellowstone” businesses once at that corner: McArdle’s Yellowstone Auto Sales (1950s–1970s) was just next to and north of Mowbray’s. The Yellowstone Tavern, across the street from Mowbray’s, held its name from the 1930s to about the 1960s. Note the names. Thirty and forty years after the demise of the Trail, the name lingered on.
Garfield and Winnebago. The city fathers created Yellowstone Trail Park there in 2002. The park recently acquired a train caboose, reminding the viewer of the strong influence of railroads upon this community. Park and enjoy the area and the large YT sign identifying the park. Right across the street from the Yellowstone Trail Park is the old Yellowstone Garage building, now a modern battery company—but
you can still see the architectural lines of a garage there. It was built in 1920 for the Yellowstone Sales and Service Company, which sold and repaired farm implements and automobiles. See: www.yellowstonetrail.org/YGarage.pdf. M301.3 Fond du lac City Center otel Retlaw. Kruger Bros. Auto Service, 30 E. First St. Salzman Auto Co. 76 S. Portland St. (MH); Crescent Motor Co. 56-58-60 N. Main. Ph 62. Free camp in Lake Side Park (BB 1920); Camp maintained by Assoc of Commerce and City Comm. 1 mile n. on Main St. Fishing, tennis courts, free, road maps free (AAA).
M301.6 etna No. 5 Fire Station, 193 N. Main St., with its tall bell tower, used for observation and for drying hoses, watched over the YT. The word Aetna was used by fire stations in the 1870s, when the station was built. It referred to the volcano Mount Aetna in Sicily.
M302.2 resent Ramada Hotel at the corner of Main and Division streets was the Retlaw Hotel in YT days. This historic landmark was built in 1922 and still retains some of its early features. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
he Retlaw Hotel (now Ramada), in Fond du Lac, has been a prominent commercial and visual downtown landmark since it was constructed in 1922. At the time of construction, the city of Fond du Lac called itself the “Gateway to the Fox River Valley.” Milwaukee businessman Walter Schroeder (Retlaw is Walter spelled backwards) was responsible for the hotel construction. The Schroeder Hotel Company chain was one of the largest hotel chains in Wisconsin in the 1920s. From 1923 through the 1970s, the hotel maintained its position as Fond du Lac’s premier hotel. Such notable figures as John F. Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gene Autry, and leading Wisconsin politicians visited the hotel. The hotel’s position on four well-traveled highways, in addition to the Yellowstone Trail, also meant that automobile tourists frequented the establishment. The Hotel Retlaw has been restored and converted into the 132-room Ramada Plaza Hotel.
UNTIES O C E G D O D & C A L FOND DU
JOhN bODDEN hOLDS AN ORigiNAL yT SigN iN ThERESA.
M311.1 Byron M312.4 Fond du lac/Dodge County line M315.5 omira Horicon Marsh is about ten minutes to the west.
M320.3 Theresa retty village. No camp. Small Hotel & garage (MH); Ford Garage. Rooms
and Meals in Connection (BB 1920). Theresa Marsh is about two miles east. As you drive through town notice the large rock wall on the east side bearing the town’s name. A YT marker is at the foot of that wall. At the top of that wall is the home of Solomon Juneau, founder of Milwaukee and of Theresa. The Historical Museum/ Solomon Juneau House is open
idmer’s Cheese (above) in Theresa, has been there since 1922; many a YT traveler presumably stopped there. Founder John Widmer came from Switzerland so you know that the 70 varieties of cheeses are good. They specialize in brick cheese. You can even watch the cheese being made from vats holding milk and curds and the placing of the curds into tins with bricks placed upon them to compress the curds into solid blocks. Brick cheese is sweet when young and turns Limburger-like as it ages. Widmer’s has been interested in the YT and its history. Daily tours at 9:30 a.m.
ook at the original YT sign that Lester Beck and John Bodden found near Theresa. It has a few bullet holes in it, showing it to be the victim of target practice. Story has it that metal signs were frequently stolen from telephone poles to be used for patches for holes in barn walls and corn cribs. the last Sunday of every month from Memorial Day through September. Widmer’s Cheese Cellars, 214 W. Henni St., is a block
and a half west of the route. See www.widmerscheese.com. M325.6 Washington/Dodge County line
FROM A biENNiAL REPORT OF ThE WiSCONSiN highWAy COMMiSSiON.
Wisconsin automotive Museum
147 North Rural St. Hartford Wisconsin 262-673-7999
Order your book at: www.yellowstonetrail.org Read more about the Yellowstone Trail all across America
YT Publishers PO Box 65 Altoona, WI 54720-0065
RACERS iN ThE 1916 RELAy RACE— SEE PAgE 15.
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Yellowstone Trail Association “A Good Road from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound”
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of Bells and Kissels N O WASHINGT S E I T N U O C A & WAUKESH North” is unusual in a state composed of granite and pine trees. Boat tours, like those provided by Blue Heron Landing Company, give a nature lover or birder or photographer a close-up view of the largest heron and egret rookery in the state.
M336.2 Slinger mall free camp ground at City Hall. Kohl Hotel is best for tourists (MH); Commercial Hotel. (BB 1925). Originally named Schleisingerville after the founder, State Senator Baruch Schleisinger in 1857, it was shortened in a referendum in 1921; 169 votes for “Slinger,” 25 blank votes, one for Vim City, and four votes said “Yes.” The Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive goes through Slinger, as does the Ice Age Trail. Hikers can access the Ice Age Trail at Slinger City Park.
ThE RESTORED yT NAME AT ADDiSON. (M328.2)
MIle-BY-MIle M325.6 Washington/Dodge County line M326.4 Nenno ree camp space at general store (MH).
M328.2 addison few years ago Wis. 175 was rebuilt just to the west of Addison, vacating its former location through Addison. Suzanne Fish, a friend of the YT, ran a bed-and-breakfast on the old route. She grasped the opportunity and worked hard to get her street renamed Yellowstone Trail, the name it had almost 100 years ago. It meets Wis. 175 at Watercress Road on the north. At the south end the driver must finagle a bit on Wis. 33. An interesting little half-mile diversion.
M328.7 ere Wis. 33 leads west to Horican Marsh. Yes, it is off the trail about twelve miles, but it is a worthy wayside. This “Little Everglades of the
M337.1 is. 60 leads five and a half miles east to Hartford, a bit off the YT, but it is the home of an important museum of Wisconsin autos.
M 342.3 t the turn in the Yellowstone Trail at Sherman Road and County P is the site of three businesses, making it a pleasant place to stop on the YT: (1) Lammscapes Floral Company has a YT sign at the corner of County P and Sherman. (2) Bieri’s Jackson Cheese and Deli is kitty-corner from Lamm’s YT sign. (3) Across the street from Bieri and Lamm’s is Heid’s Supper Club and Lunch.
M347.1 rive one mile to the east off the Trail on Holy Hill Road and you will come to Dheinsville Settlement Park, operated by the village of Germantown. It is located at the six corners where Holy Hill Road, Maple Road, and Fond du Lac Avenue (Wis. 145) converge. The hamlet has retained all of its twenty-two original German structures, many having undergone extensive restoration. There are three museums there: Christ Church Museum of Local History (open June–September, Sundays only, 1–4 p.m.); Wolf Haus Museum and Genealogy Research Center (open June– October, Wednesdays and Sundays, 1–4 p.m.); and the Bast Bell Museum (open April 1– November 1, Fridays–Sundays, 1–4 p.m.). The Bell Museum is within an old barn and contains more than 5,000 bells from all over the world. Relive history with a pleasant stroll in an historical rural village.
Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 3000 Highway PV, West Bend www.visitwashingtoncounty. com Waukesha Convention and Visitors Bureau, N14 W23255 Stone Ridge Drive, Suite 225, Waukesha www.visitwaukesha.org
M349.5 hile negotiating the twisting County Y to get around the U.S. 41 exit, you might take a short side trip to visit Germantown (just to the east off the YT). Visit Old World Main Street with several really fun German restaurants, such as the Barley Pop Pub and the Von Rothenburg Bier Stube, and shops with German flair, such as Sinter Klausen Christmas Market (glass ornaments).
M352.5 Washington/ Waukesha County line M352.5 ff the YT, Old Falls Village, 1.7 miles east on County Line Road, County Q, at Pilgrim Road invites you to step back in time and glimpse life as it was from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. Featuring a variety of historic homes and buildings, this living history museum includes a log home, schoolhouse, barn, railroad depot, and dairy. There is a log cabin from the farm of the Umhoefer family. The farm has been in the Umhoefer family since 1850. The cabin was relocated to Old Falls Village in the late 1960s. There is also
LAMMSCAPES yT SigN.
A viSiT TO ThE WiSCONSiN AuTOMOTivE MuSEuM iN hARTFORD WiLL PROviDE A REAL PiCTuRE OF EARLy AuTO LiFE ALONg ThE yT.
the Steichen home. Lillian Steichen met Carl Sandburg at a Socialist meeting in Milwaukee, brought him to this home to meet her parents, and married Sandburg shortly afterward. M353.8 Menomonee Falls mall free campground ½ mile from town, no conveniences. Two country hotels. South Side garage has good mechanic. Hotel Marian 44 modern rooms. C. and O. garage, open until 1PM (MH).
M357.0 Waukesha/ Milwaukee County line
HArtForD WAysiDE THe WISCONSIN aUTOMOTIve MUSeUM is at 147 N. Rural St. in downtown hartford. Wisconsin’s largest auto museum features the Kissel Kar, manufactured in hartford 1906–31. The most famous Kissel classic model there is the gold bug Speedster. The Nash is also featured, first built in Kenosha in 1916, as well as ninety other classic antique cars. Open May to September except Mondays and Tuesdays. The Kissel Kar Company manufactured cars in hartford for 25 years. george and William Kissel built a gasoline-powered car in 1905 and began manufacturing them the next year. Passenger cars, ambulances, fire trucks, taxicabs, and trucks rolled out of hartford. in 1918 Kissel introduced a line of low, graceful, and sporty cars. The gold bug Speedster (1925) and White Eagle Speedster (1929) models achieved international fame. Movie stars owned them. Today they are prized collectors’ items. by its peak year, 1922, Kissel made 4,000 units and was worth over $3 million. They ceased as an auto producer in 1931, a victim of the great Depression. The remains of the plant may be seen on the north side of the Rubicon River near East Wisconsin Street.
Y T N U O C e e k u milwa Harley Hogs and calatrava DRIVIng notes
sing a nearly 100-yearold route in a big city can be a challenge. To avoid complications and detours between Menomonee Falls (Waukesha County) and M362.4, today’s traveler might consider using Wis. 175. At M367.5 use Walnut Street between 12th Street and Fond du Lac Avenue (Wis. 145). Between M368.9 and M372.0 the traveler must choose the original route along Kinnickinnic Avenue and Water Street through a historical district or the 1919-plus route on Lincoln Avenue and Sixth Street past a historic basilica, the Harley-Davidson museum, and a large casino!
MIle-BY-MIle M357.0 Waukesha/ Milwaukee County line oming into Milwaukee from Waukesha via Fond du Lac Avenue (Highway 175) it takes some imagination to see it as it might have looked when this was the YT 100 years ago. It is so totally urbanized today that the Trail founders would wonder what happened to their tranquil gravel road.
olda Meir, Israel’s first woman prime minister, came from Milwaukee. Ingrid Bergman played her in the movie A Woman Called Golda, 1982.
MilWAuKEE WAysiDEs MIlWaUkee arT MUSeUM With the famous Calatrava wings on the roof which unfurl at 10 a.m. and again at noon. The Calatrava soaring wings have become the symbol of Milwaukee and are an attraction in their own right. Dramatic architecture throughout. Scenic gardens. The Museum is at the foot of East Mason Avenue at North Lincoln Memorial Drive. Closed Mondays. MIlWaUkee PUBlIC MUSeUM 800 W. Wells St. The focus is natural history with exhibits on the natural environment of various parts of the planet. it is regarded as one of America’s top natural history museums. PaBST MaNSION Seven blocks west of yT, 2000 W. Wisconsin Ave. The 1892 Flemish Renaissance mansion of Captain Frederick Pabst is a nationally recognized house museum. it has spectacular, opulent interiors. Pabst was a beer baron, a sea captain, and a philanthropist to the arts. Open year round. MaDer’S aND raTZSCH’S Mader’s (1041 N. Old World Third St.) and Ratzsch’s (320 E. Mason) serve Old World german fare in german atmosphere. They have been famous for over half a century and have won many accolades. USINGer’S FaMOUS SaUSaGe 1030 Old World Third St. They have been producing world-famous meats since 1880, twenty-five years before the yT came to Wisconsin and Milwaukee.
M368.9 ntersection of Wisconsin and Sixth Street. The 1919 YT went south here. See information at M372.0.
M369.0 Milwaukee City Center (at Wisconsin avenue) plendid harbor resulting in one of the country’s greatest manufacturing centers. Singularly free from crime. Low living costs. Free maps at the progressive Milwaukee Journal. Wrigley’s Restaurant (self-service). Municipal camp in Lake Park, free, limited to 3 days. Plankington Hotel ranks first, suites up to $12. Antlers Hotel, 3 floors reserved for women or families. In 1927, the Sixth St. Garage at 186 Sixth St. collected and delivered your car to your hotel—no charge and no tipping. Hotel Wisconsin. 3rd Ave, ½ block n. of Grand Ave, 500 rooms, $2/day up. Special attention to auto parties. Hotel Pfister, on Wisconsin Ave (BB 1925). Milwaukee has been called Cream City because of the cream-colored brick manufactured there in the 1800s and sold worldwide. Cream City bricks are made from a red clay containing elevated amounts of lime and sulfur found in the Milwaukee area. Lake Michigan waterfront is essentially one long band of parkland from historic
Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau, 648 N. Plankinton Ave., Suite 425 www.visitmilwaukee.org/ visitors/tours Third Ward north for miles and encompasses several individually named parks. M369.4 ntersection of Wisconsin Avenue (YT to the west) and Water Street (YT to south). Pfister Hotel, 424 E. Wisconsin Ave. In the mid-1920s the YTA had seventeen travel bureaus, like today’s AAA, where maps, weather, and road reports were given out free. The Pfister Hotel contained one of those bureaus in its lobby. The elegant lobby is much as it was. Worth a visit to see how the “better” YT traveler lived.
M369.4-M369.7 he YT on Water Street skirts the Third Ward. An intriguing mix of shops in this historic warehouse district. It has the highest concentration of art galleries, antique shops, and theaters in the city. For a walking tour, see www. historicmilwaukee.org. A good way to relive history.
M370.0 oing north at the intersection of First Street and Pittsburgh, the YT did not follow Wis. 32 to the east but rather crossed the Milwaukee River on an older bridge.
he weather station in Milwaukee began in 1901 with official three-day forecasts for the North Atlantic. At the Weather Bureau Conference in Milwaukee, Willis Moore observed that daily forecasts with frost and cold-wave warnings were issued each day at 10 a.m. Sent through the Post Office, they were not delivered until the next day because the mail carriers started their routes about 7 a.m.
M370.8 llen-Bradley Company, 1201 S. Second St., one block off the YT (Wis. 32, South Kinnikinick Street) The old Allen-Bradley clock tower is a Milwaukee landmark featuring the largest four-sided clock in the world. Viewed by YT travelers.
ilwaukee’s allen-Bradley Company was initially founded as the Compression Rheostat Company by lynde Bradley and Dr. stanton allen with an initial investment of $1,000 in 1903. In 1910 the company was renamed the allen-Bradley Company. on February 20, 1985, Rockwell automation purchased allen-Bradley for $1.651 billion, which is the largest acquisition in Wisconsin’s history. It manufactures programmable automation controllers, human-machine interfaces, sensors, and systems made of these and similar products.
M372.0 ntersection of Kinnickinnic and Lincoln. For most years the YT followed Kinnickinnic here. However, the 1919 Yellowstone Trail Association Guide specifies that the Trail, coming from the south,
bASiLiCA OF ST. JOSAPhAT.
turned east here onto Lincoln, and thence north to Wisconsin Avenue at M368.9. This route avoids some congested areas downtown (and many historically interesting things) but leads to other interesting sites, including: Harley-Davidson Museum, 400 W. Canal St.(just off South Sixth Street) with displays of historic motorcycles that were an important part of the YT years. At the intersection of Lincoln and Sixth is the Basilica of St.
Josaphat, 2333 S. Sixth St. Magnificent 100-year-old landmark designed after St. Peter’s in Rome. Stained glass and murals show Milwaukee’s history and heritage. M372.2 ntersection of Kinnickinnic (Wis. 32) and Conway. At this intersection the later route from the south on Kinnickinnic met the earlier route from the east on Conway. Conway is now cut off by the new I-794
NTY MILWAUKEE COUcontinued cuDAHy WAysiDEs DreTZka’S DeParTMeNT STOre From the intersection of Lake Drive and Layton Avenue (M376.6) drive west four blocks on Layton to meet the later route of the yT and visit Dretzka’s Department Store at 4746 S. Packard Ave. Notice the yT sign outside the front door. Founded in 1901, the store was there fourteen years before the yT arrived. it is now managed by the fourth generation Dretzka. it is an old-fashioned department store with wonderful, creaky floors. Prices and items don’t seem to have changed since 1974. Some old-fashioned but useful items like long underwear you can even get online, its homage to modernity. The yT Association had local Trailmen, members of the Association who volunteered to watch over the Trail in a number of ways. Jerome Dretzka (above) was just such a man. Jerome was executive secretary of the Milwaukee Park Commission and helped to establish a tourist camp in grant Park near South Milwaukee, a necessity due to the influx of auto tourists in 1921. This is the same Dretzka family you found at the department store. PaTrICk CUDaHY MeaT PaCkING COMPaNY A couple of blocks further west on Layton to Applewood Lane, view the famous Patrick Cudahy Meat Packing Company.
so the best connection now is probably Russell Street, a few blocks south of Conway. M376.6 Cudahy factory suburb of Milwaukee. The Cudahy Packing Plant is located here (BB). Today, Cudahy is still known primarily as a meat-packing town. The city has embraced the movement to resurrect the fame of the YT, so watch for the Yellowstone Trail markers through Cudahy. See the Cudahy Wayside for other sites in Cudahy.
M379.1 ntersection of College and Chicago/Packard. The early YT route went east to Lake Drive and the later route went north on Packard, Howard, and Kinnickinnic, rejoining the early route at M372.2. Howard is a new road running a bit north of the original YT route.
M380.5 South Milwaukee City Center factory town MH; Bucyrus Co., made steam shovels that dug the Panama Canal. 10th Avenue (BB 1920); Camp
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SOuTh MiLWAuKEE hiSTORiAN NELS MONSON (LEFT) WiTh ALDERMAN JOE MiKOLAJCzAK (CENTER) AND MAyOR JOhN hOhENFOLDT DEDiCATiNg yT SigNAgE ThROugh CuDAhy iN 2005.
outh Milwaukee early on joined the YTA. Local historian Nels Monson has written: “City leaders were quick to realize the importance of improving street conditions to meet the increased traffic demands. In South Milwaukee, drainage was improved and in 1917 the city purchased a new steamroller to help with road maintenance. Some streets were widened, and new gas-filled ornamental streetlights replaced the old magnetite arc lights along Milwaukee Avenue. Local Trailmen R.H. Knoll, Leo Joerg, or Charles Franke routinely appeared before the South Milwaukee Common Council. On May 21, 1921, the city paid its $50 ‘assessment’ to the Yellowstone Trail Association.”
1 mile ne. 60 cars. Maintained by Milw Co Park Comm. Charcoal burners, bathing in lake and toilets (AAA). Bucyrus Steam Shovel and Dredge Company Museum at Heritage Building, 1100 Milwaukee Ave. The museum is fairly new. Opened 2009. The Bucyrus Company moved to South Milwaukee in 1892. Bucyrus makes huge mining
equipment and dredges with draglines, some so large they must be assembled in the field. Some seventy-seven of its steam shovels went to Panama to dig the canal 1904–07. One 1960 model was the largest self-powered land vehicle built. A 14-inch model of it is in the Smithsonian. The company became Bucyrus-Erie, then Bucyrus International, and
now has been recently acquired by Caterpillar. www.bucyrus. com/museum.htm. Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Depot, 1111 Milwaukee Ave. Construction was completed in 1893. The depot was built by Charles Sumner Frost, a well-known architect with many Wisconsin depots to his credit. The structure was finished in red brick and detailed in brownstone. The depot provided regular service through the 1950s and has undergone very few modifications. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. M383.0 Oak Creek ak Creek Historical Museum, 8500 S. 15th Ave. Historical exhibits and a blacksmith shop. Open summers. Free.
M385.6 Milwaukee/racine County line
rom the Wisconsin Motorist magazine, June 1920: For the second year the Yellowstone Trail Association will conduct a free information bureau for tourists in this city [Milwaukee]. It was opened May 17. Last year 5,300 touring parties were served by the Trail bureau, more than half of them coming from outside of the state of Wisconsin. The Milwaukee bureau this year is in charge of David Rellin and will be in the Hotel Pfister where it was located last season.
soutH MilWAuKEE WAysiDE FOLK ART ON ThE yT AT ThE CORNER OF EAST ARMOuR AvENuE AND SOuTh LAKE DRivE iN MiLWAuKEE COuNTy AT M376.4
oday, visitors to South Milwaukee can find many of the old buildings along the Yellowstone Trail still in use. There are five businesses that still carry out the very same services they provided to their customers all those years ago. These merchants are the South Milwaukee Arcade Bowling Alley, the former U-R Next Barber Shop on 10th and Milwaukee, The South Milwaukee House (one of South Milwaukee’s most historic buildings, it was listed as a “soft drink parlor” during the Prohibition years), Grant Park Garage, and of course, Bucyrus–Erie. Sadly, others such as the Hotel Rogers no longer exist. Still, if one would stand at the corner of 10th and Milwaukee Avenues to gaze down the road once traveled by so many, so long ago, you can almost hear the sounds of the Flivvers and Tin Lizzies as they sputter past, in those heady, early days of automotive travel in America. (The Yellowstone Trail: This road has a name. www.southmilwaukee. org/YT/history).
GraNT Park The Wisconsin highway Department allowed the yTA to keep its yellow signs up in Wisconsin, even though the Department caused all other trail association signs to come down in 1918. The yT was so famous by 1921 and directed so many people along its national route that campgrounds sprouted all along the route to care for the burgeoning numbers of autoists taking advantage of this cheaper housing. grant Park is located at the lakefront in northern South Milwaukee. it is 400 acres of wooded bluffs, walking paths, golf course, beach, athletic fields, and a campground. South Milwaukee has been proud of grant Park for almost 100 years. Nels Monson, local historian, wrote: “in an effort to help deal with this influx of travelers, in March 1921, the Wisconsin highway Commission asked the city to establish a campground for ‘automobile tourists.’ That summer, the grant Park Tourist Camp was opened. Due to its superb location near the wooded, path-lined bluffs of Lake Michigan, the free Tourist Camp soon became very popular with travelers. Park superintendent Frederick C. Wulff reported that 850 people stayed at the campground that first year” (Images of South Milwaukee by Nels Monson and Dean Marlowe, Jr. Arcadia. Chicago, 2004). Attendance peaked in 1929 at grant Park with 2,502 registered guests. Then came the Depression, and attendance began to dwindle.
A H S O N E K & RACINE Automobile incubator COUNTIES
M385.6 Milwaukee/racine County line M393.1 racine City limits &H Danish Bakery. 1841 Douglas Ave. (YT/ Wis. 32). They know that they are on the YT, and they are history buffs. Stop in for a kringle, a yummy Danish pastry for which they are famous worldwide. Racine is known for the kringle and several bakeries make it, but this one is on the YT so it is special.
M394.5 acine Art Museum. 441 Main St. It houses contemporary crafts made of fiber, ceramics, metal, and wood. The building has a very contemporary architecture now, but parts of its structure date back to the 1890s. In 1933 when it was the American Trades Bank it was the scene of an armed robbery by the Dillinger gang.
M394.6 racine City Center he Belle City on the Lakes. AA great manufacturing center. Hotel Racine, new and elegant. $2-$6. 200 rooms, 160 baths. William Becker Garage, 339 Wis. St. is best (MH); Horlick malted milk. Home of Mitchell and Case automobiles and J.I.Case Threshing Machines, one of the largest manufacturing plants in America. Exide Battery Station , 3rd St Garage (BB 1920); Camp 1 (1.5?)mile west on Washington Av.& Twelfth St., maintained by Rotary Club (AAA). The intersection of Sixth and Main streets. Some sources
OLD ENgiNE hOuSE NO. 3 MuSEuM, RACiNE.
RaCIne WaYsIDes J. I. CaSe COMPaNY 700 State St. in 1843 Case and his thresher moved to Racine. For 104 years Old Abe, the Wisconsin Civil War Eagle mascot, reigned as the Case logo. J. i. Case Company, manufacturers of farm equipment, became known for the Case international harvester name on tractors, windrowers, and binders. in 1947 the name Case was dropped with just international harvester remaining. in 1999 it joined with New holland to form Case New holland, now CNh global. OlD eNGINe HOUSe NO. 3 MUSeUM aND COlONIal GarDeNS 700 Sixth St. at corner of Seventh Street. This firehouse, built in 1881, was restored in 1976 as a firehouse museum. This museum is a former Racine Fire Department station which was active from 1882 to 1968. The Fire Station has housed a horse-drawn steamer, a horse-drawn hose cart (1882–1918), a motorized fire engine (1918–43), and Racine’s first full-time rescue squad (1943–68). The station was closed in 1968 when the new Safety building opened and several companies were consolidated at one location. Open Sunday afternoons. The adjacent Colonial gardens were planned and are maintained by the Racine garden Club. HOrlICk BUIlDINGS 2200 Northwestern Ave. Former home of the world-famous horlick Malted Milk Company. The buildings currently hold haban Manufacturing. The horlick brothers James and William came to Racine in 1875 from England with experience in creating baby food. horlicks is a malted milk-based drink. it grew to an international company and is very popular in England.
for the early years show the YT using the Sixth Street, Washington, Racine Street route. This route goes past the Old Engine House No. 3 (see Racine Waysides). Ivanhoe Restaurant. 231 Main St. German restaurant in Trail days; some original interior decor remains, including white oak beams and Bavarian stained glass. An antique Pabst front bar rail was built into the new bar, which was crafted out of old materials. The liquor shelves were fashioned out of the old register covers and antique milk glass found in the basement. Proudly sitting upon the stage is an antique player piano from the ’teens. www.theivanhoepub.com/ivanhoe_history.html.
M394.7 acine Heritage Museum. 701 S. Main St. Formerly the building housed the Racine Public Library. Three floors of changing, interesting exhibits tell of historic Racine products such as Horlick’s Malted Milk, Hamilton Beach, and Johnson’s Wax. Racine was a well-known destination for escaped slaves during the Civil War. Pick up a very complete walking/driving guide to the Underground Railroad, which helped escaped slaves get to Canada. The museum also has a local history research center. Open Tuesday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.–3 p.m.; Sunday noon–4 p.m. Closed Mondays. 262-636-3926.
www. racineheritagemuseum.org. 1001 S. Main St. This is the country’s only statue to include Mary Todd Lincoln. Mrs. Lincoln visited Racine in the summer of 1867 to inquire about schooling for son Tad. The south part of Main Street displays a grand, historic neighborhood. Worth a slow drive. M396.0 .C. Johnson Company. 1525 Howe St. at 14th Street. Makers of Johnson’s wax products. The Golden Rondelle building is the starting point for a 45-minute tour of the complex. Built in 1964 for the New York World’s Fair, it was reconstructed to fit the adjoining building, the company Administration Building and Research Tower, built by Frank Lloyd Wright. This 1950 building has received worldwide recognition as an outstanding work by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Great Workroom with its acres of floor space and 31-foot ceiling houses desk workers. Years ago desks and three-legged chairs had minimal contact with the shiny floor. To this day wastebaskets do not touch the floor. Preservation of the waxed floor was paramount. The S.C. Johnson Company is 120 years old; five generations of Johnsons have been at the helm. In 1914 it became international with a presence in Britain, then Australia (1917), and Canada (1920). The company sells products in about 100 countries today. Tours are available on Fridays but should be booked in advance. See note at M394.6 about possible early route.
M397.3 .I. Case. This historic farm machinery company is now primarily in other locations in the city.
racine City limits efore the YT arrived in Wisconsin in 1915, Racine witnessed its first automobile race. A. J. Horlick in a Locomobile and Robert Hindley in a Winton. The course was over the 14 unpaved miles to Western Union Junction (Sturtevant) and back. About a mile out of town Hindley overtook the lead from Horlick, who became stalled. When Horlick was able to resume the race it was too late and Hindley was declared the winner after about six hours on the road.
399.6 racine/kenosha County line M400.2 he HobNob, an upscale, traditional Wisconsin supper club with a 1950s appearance and a view of Lake Michigan. Closed Mondays.
CASE AuTO MANuFACTuRED by J.i. CASE, RACiNE, 1922. COuRTESy JOhN RuSSELL.
Racine County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 14015 Washington Ave., Sturtevant www.realracine.com Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 812 56th St. www.kenoshacvb.com
ndergroUnd railway. Before
the Civil War, Racine was well known for its strong opposition to slavery, with many slaves escaping to freedom via the Underground Railroad passing through the city. In 1854 Joshua Glover, an escaped slave who had made a home in Racine, was arrested by federal marshals and jailed in Milwaukee. One hundred men from Racine, and ultimately 5,000 Wisconsinites, rallied and broke into the jail to free him. He was helped to escape to Canada. Glover’s rescue gave rise to many legal complications and a great deal of litigation. This eventually led to the Wisconsin Supreme Court declaring the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 unconstitutional, and later, the Wisconsin State Legislature refusing to recognize the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court.
IES T N U O C A H S O N E K RACINE &
itchell Motor car coMpany. Established in 1902, Mitchell Motors cars were winning speed races, competing in endurance trials, and accomplishing distance goals. In 1910 the company employed 2,000 people, and cars were shipped by rail to their destinations. Racine-built Mitchell Motors’ popular touring cars traveled the Yellowstone Trail in the Trail’s earliest days. The company closed in 1923, bankrupted by poor management; it was later bought by Kenosha’s auto maker, the Nash Motor Company, in 1925. Other autos built in Racine were, in 1925, the Ajax automobile built by the Ajax Motors Company and, in 1909, the Piggins Car.
M401.4 hite Brick Motel, 973 N. Sheridan Road, Kenosha. The cabins were, no doubt, there on the YT during the 1920s and 1930s. Cabins gradually changed to motels
after connecting roofs were built between cabins for auto storage. After that period, the cabins themselves were built connected to each other. The White Brick Motel represents an early motel.
WhiTE bRiCK MOTEL. SEPARATE CAbiNS PREDATED ThE MODERN MOTEL CONCEPT. M402.9 arthage College. 2001 Alford Park Drive, just off Wis. 32 (Sheridan Road YT). Chamber music series, drama and music productions offer world-class entertainment.
enosha is hometown to famous entertainers: Orson
Welles of War of the Worlds fame; actor Don Ameche, Al Molinaro from Happy Days; and actor Daniel J. Travanti from Hill Street Blues.
kenosHa WaYsIDes keNOSHa HISTOrY CeNTer 220 51st Place on historic Simmons island in Kenosha’s harbor. it features the Rambler Legacy gallery, with changing automobile exhibits. Nash/American Motors Rambler cars were made in Kenosha. A must see. Also the adjacent Southport Light Station. Open daily except Mondays. keNOSHa PUBlIC MUSeUM 5500 First Ave. in harbor Park. Natural exhibits include a reconstructed mammoth skeleton. All exhibits are carefully explained. There is a wonderful display about the development of Earth. Free admission. CIvIl War MUSeUM 5400 First Ave. Opened June 2008, it is virtually next door to the Kenosha Public Museum. it displays a Midwestern perspective on the war with stories of regional people who played a role in that war, as well as manufacturing and agricultural contributions to it. THIrD aveNUe NaTIONal HISTOrIC DISTrICT A must see. Third Avenue and south to Second Avenue along Lake Michigan and Eichelman Park. Elegant homes, including the former mansion of first Wisconsin u.S. Sen. Charles Durkee, which is now Kemper Center (6501 Third Ave.). Kemper Center is listed on the National Register of historic Places and consists of several buildings which house an art center, art exhibitions and classes, a convent and a conference center. DINOSaUr DISCOverY MUSeUM 5608 Tenth Ave. One block off the yT. Features life-size dinosaur replicas, casts, bones and fossils. Family programs, interactive exhibits and a working paleontology lab. Free admission. FraNkS DINer 508 58th St. Only a couple of blocks off the yT, Franks Diner is locally recognized as a historic landmark and great breakfast joint. Featured on the Food Network series Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and numerous Tv specials, Franks is now nationally famous. it has been in business more than 80 years. The diner is the oldest continuously operating lunch-car diner in the united States. in 1926, six horses pulled the diner to the spot where it stands today. Celebrities have visited the place, including bela Lugosi, Duke Ellington, Liberace and Lawrence Welk’s orchestra. breakfast and lunch only. keNOSHa’S eleCTrIC STreeTCar Five restored electric streetcars travel a two-mile loop, providing a scenic tour of the Lake Michigan shoreline, harbor Park, two historic districts, downtown business district and the Metra train station. Can be caught any place along the route. There are stops along the way. 50 cents 13 years and older; 25 cents younger. All-day pass $2 available on streetcar. From 1903 to 1932, electric rail was the regular mode of transportation in Kenosha. in June 2000, it returned to service. THe COFFee POT A quaint little coffee shop on the yT at 4914 Seventh Ave. We mention it because of its old-fashioned, quaint appearance and hospitality, which reminds one of 100 years ago on the yT.
ounty roads in Kenosha County were first oiled
iLLuSTRATiON OF PRESiDENT TAFT’S RAMbLER, MADE iN KENOShA. COuRTESy JOhN RuSSELL. M405.7 kenosha City Center t 56th Street and Sixth Avenue. A great manufacturing city. Nash automobiles and Simmons Steel Beds are among the more famous products. It is a city of beautiful homes, possessing many treelined streets, well kept lawns and flower gardens. Washington Island Campground is across the river in a beautiful grove; free. Hotel Dayton Sgl. $2, Dbl. with bath $4.50-$6. Sheridan Rd. Garage. Open all night” (MH); “Hotel Maywood, 274 Main. Hotel Plaza,
1 blk. from Main & Market. Mantkus Motor Sales, 313-315 Park St. Many small and pretty lakes in close proximity to the city whose shores are inhabited during the summer by aristocratic Chicagoans and others (BB 1920). M406.1 ibrary Park and Simmons Library National Historic District. An elegant park and building worthy of a stroll. Created in 1900 by mattress industrialist Zalmon Simmons, maker of the Simmons Beautyrest.
leasant Prairie. Sheridan Road, present Wis. 32 for much of it, has a long history. As early as 1915 a group known as the Sheridan Road Association pushed for a direct auto route from Milwaukee to Chicago (Great Lakes military station). It took at least three years to accomplish a semblance of a completed road. One must remember that, although the concept of state aid was known, it was township and county governing bodies who held power and who dragged their feet when it came to agreeing to matching funds to finance roads. Prairie Township dragged their feet the most. At that time in history, private groups would help raise money to build roads. Thus, the Sheridan Road Association went “hat in hand” for three years to raise money for a paved, connected road, and forced Prairie Township to join. Wisconsin Motorist magazine declared in its March 1919 issue that “Six thousand tourists were put through Wisconsin during 1918, according to the YTA. A greater number would have passed through the Badger state if the condition of Sheridan Road between Milwaukee and Chicago had been more favorable to transcontinental automobile travel.”
M412.2 kenosha County/ Illinois State line
in the summer of 1915 as “officials saw great value in oiling.” This was a precursor to better paving.
ive Famous auto brands span 110 years in Kenosha. Starting out as Rambler, the same plant became
Jeffrey, then Nash, American Motors and finally the Chrysler engine plant. The first auto company was founded by Charles T. and Thomas B. Jeffery, and sold under the brand name Rambler between 1902 and 1913. On the death of Thomas in 1910, son Charles took over the business. In 1915, Charles changed the automotive branding from Rambler to Jeffery to honor his father, and Charles became president of Thomas B. Jeffery Automobile Company. Charles Jeffery was on the steamer ship Lucitania when it was struck by German torpedoes on May 7, 1915. He survived the sinking, although 1,198 others did not, and he wrote a fascinating account of the tragedy for the Kenosha Telegraph-Courier May 13, 1915. He described how the ship shuddered at the explosions and how calm everyone was as they boarded lifeboats (women and children first). He went up to the bridge as the ship tilted 90 degrees and eventually slid into the Irish Sea. He found flotsam to cling to several times as he shared his finds with others. After four hours of floating, he and hundreds of others were picked up by a trawler. Charles W. Nash bought the company in 1916, and renamed it the Nash Motors Company in 1917. The Kenosha Telegraph-Courier of July 25, 1917, gushed, “. . . representatives of the 31 big distributing companies signed contracts with Nash for $32 million worth of cars and trucks. It was a record-breaking year. The Nash line will be the most desired franchise in the industry and one of the most profitable contracts the trade has ever known.” Their franchises outlined their selling territory of Nash products throughout the United States. These distributors had to locate local dealers to show the cars. Nash Motors went on to become American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1954, finally being bought out by Chrysler in 1987 to become the Jeep-Eagle Division of Chrysler and then Chrysler’s engine plant.
HE IVANHOE PUB & EATERY Erected in 1891, this historic pub first offered beer from the Bohemian Brewing Company out of Chicago. Pabst purchased the building in 1898 and leased it to a gentleman who opened a tavern and boarding house. Barney Richter purchased the building in the late 1920s. Richter moved to Racine from California after his prize-fighting career ended. It was rumored that many of the top prizefighters from the ’20s and ’30s would stop in to visit. The antique lamps that still light up the interior today were given to Mr. Richter as gifts for the grand opening of his restaurant. In the ’60s, the Richters sold the building to the Theos family, who opened The Ivanhoe Dance Hall. This became a local hangout for teenagers. Through the late ’60s and into the early ’80s, the building housed a wide variety of taverns and restaurants. The building then sat vacant for 16 years until Doug Nicholson opened The Ivanhoe Pub & Eatery in 2002. To keep with the rich tradition and original tin facade, the owner took on the endeavor to restore the building instead of renovating it. The in213 Main St. terior contains the original white Racine, WI oak beams and Bavarian stained (262) 637-4730 glass. The antique player piano is often heard on Sunday afterErected in 1891 noons, as the Irish and Old Tyme Sessions Players come in to enjoy a jam session. All advertisement sig- Great Food nage that adorns the walls of The Great Fun (on a) Ivanhoe is vintage memorabilia. Great Lake Each one tells a story of a time not so long ago which is still embraced by The Ivanhoe today.
FIND FUN FASTER.
American Pub...Irish Attitude www.TheIvanhoePub.com
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