"[History is] a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man." -Percy Bysshe Shelley

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Better Koller Remembers - early cranberry life

Manitowish Waters History
As recalled by Betty Koller

In 1945-46 five families came to Manitowish Waters to start cranberry marshes.  Vern Goldsworthy found the land suitable for cranberries – acid soil and alkaline water supplied from Little Trout Lake.    The five families were Howard & Mary Folsom, Herbert & Florence Indermuehl, Delbert & Myrtle Bartling, John & June McFarland and Frank & Betty Koller.  The town did not welcome us.  The land was in forestry, where no one could live year-round.

We had together changed the land into agriculture.  There was no telephone or electric.  To get our weather reports, Ehlerts Market would get them, and then we would get them there.  After a few years the growers hung wires for both utilities.  We had to get to the marsh from Powell Road as there was no way to cross the Rice or Trout Rivers.   There was a road we could park in, it had once been a camp.  First one in had to be last one out.  Everything had to be brought in by wheel barrow, stoneboats, or any other means that you could carry with.  Some years later, the growers had a culvert put in so we could get to the marsh down Hwy 51.
We had to get roads into each marsh.  The growers had very little equipment that they shared with each other.  We all dug the ditches into Trout Lake and individual marshes with a hired drag line by hand.

An Interview with John T. and Barbara McFarland - early cranberry life

                           John and Barbara McFarland Interview
                                         February 24, 2015
Filmed by Jim Robinson.
Recorded by Janelle Kohl.

Janelle:   Today is Tuesday, February 24, 2015.  Thank you John for allowing us to interview you for information on Manitowish Waters history of the cranberry business.

John- I will do my best to remember.   My family was one of the earliest families in the cranberry business in Manitowish Waters.

Janelle:  When and Where were you born?

John:   Madison, WI 1938 9-25.  I am 76.
We did not live there for long, my mom and dad lived there for a bit but I was only 2 1/2 when we moved and have no memory of living there.  In 1941 they moved to Minneapolis and my dad worked at Honeywell for the duration of the war.  In 1945 after the war my dad quit his job and helped my maternal step-grandfather, Guy Potter a cranberry grower from the Tomah area, who married my grandmother during the war, search for a suitable cranberry location in northern Wisconsin.  Guy got to know my parents and told them that when the war was ended he knew a group of people that wanted to join the cranberry business and he told my folks that if they were interested he would also help them get started in the cranberry business. So after the war ended my dad quit his job and my grandfather arranged for my dad to get some construction jobs down in the Tomah area in order to learn how to operate heavy equipment. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Postcard Collection

 These are scans of postcards recently donated to the library by David Bohnett.  They depict many area resorts and businesses.  A few of the postcards at the end include scenes from locations in the surrounding area including Boulder Junction (Camp Manitowish YMCA), Minocuqua, Mercer and Manitowish (Circle Lily Lodge, Chuck's Tavern).
Other postcards depict (in no particular order): Koerner's Spider Lake Resort, Koerner's Coffee Shop and Oval Bar, Buck's Resort, Voss' Birchwood Lodge, Voss' Breezy Point, Little Bohemia, Rudy's Rest Haven, Ilg's Camp, Deer Park Lodge, Island Lake Log Cabins, Island Lake Resort, Northern Lights Resort, Warnier's, Red Feather Lodge, Twin Pines Resort, Meinel's, Williamson's Stone Lake Resort, Beaumont's Island Resort, Lange's Sylvan Lodge, Balaty's, Lakewood Lodge, Win-Mar, 30-30 Lodge, Rest Lake Dam and Fish Hatchery, Arial Views from the Tower, post office, Hanson's Hardware, LaPorte's, Harry's Supermarket, Theilacker's Ehlert's.
More information to come.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Alderwood Lodge

Please enjoy a photo collage from Alderwood Lodge. Floyd Christensen is pictured to the left and was the owner around 1948. The images of the lodge itself date from around 1940. The resort passed to the Bartling family in 1980.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Spring forward?

At the library, last Saturday
Although the last week has seen a good six inches of fresh snow in the Northwoods, today plants are edging their uncertain leaves above the ground. The forecast promises 70 degrees. After one of the coldest Aprils on record, everyone is ready!

I confess I appreciated winter's relentless grip. It reminds us that we are still at the mercy of "Mother Nature." It reminds us that, after the absurd warmth of last spring, climate change is wreaking havoc with our seasons and our world. It reminds us that there is something larger and more important than our immediate human pleasure.

Such weighty matters aside, spring is the time of year when we in the Northwoods dust off our shelves and put out our welcome mats! And that means it is blog season. Expect to hear more Northwoods history soon, and in the meanwhile, think if you have any stories to share!

Two weeks ago

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Betzer's Cottage

Thank you to Kerri for sending us this photo, scanned from an old postcard, from Betzer's Resort:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Photos from Betzer's Resort (and Twin Pine)

"Cottage at Betzer's Alder Lake Resort"

"Nice Catch -- All Muskies"

"The Woodchuck"

"Mostly Walleyes"

"Twin Pine Resort"