Friday, August 30, 2013

ASHLAND, WISCONSIN ON THE LAKE

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Recycling bins lined up at the Visitors Center in Wisconsin where people are hep to recycling. What a departure from my Native Michigan. We were stumbling over cans, glass, plastic and cardboard under the table in what is already a small space. Thank you Wisconsin.
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The Soo Line Ore Docks adjacent to  Kreher Camp Grounds is being systematically demolished. We chose to luxuriate at a this city camp on the shore of scenic Lake Superior with water, sewer and electrical hook-ups for a change instead of boondocking at a VFW, or American Legion.
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Our first stop Ashland Historical Society Museum. It would figure they would have a picture of the old dock. The docent told us there are still factions asking to retain what is left of the dock for posterity and tourism. It isn’t our fight, but I’m reminded by this picture of the Ore Docks at Escanaba, at one time the biggest ore dock in the world. My dad took us to see the biggest ore ship in the world, The Wilfred Sikes. It was mind boggling to walk the deck of a gargantuan ship and look down from such height to the water oil slicked and a muddy orange color.
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Typically, you will see period clothing in a museum like this wedding dress. But this delightful exhibit presents the dress of the new Mrs.Vaughn in 1864, where she was married, the news about the wedding and a picture of the happy couple.
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This display included the news, the dress and check this out:
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The receipts for the veil, $9.69, and the wedding dress for $19.40. Isn’t that a hoot?  I LOVED it.
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And…what Mom wore to the wedding. Her dress and hat. It was just too precious.DSC09019 (Copy)
Along with about six wedding gowns and their accoutrements, was this tin hat and tiara from a 10th anniversary.
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Getting a decent picture through glass cases with exterior lights is tough, but I couldn’t pass it by.
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And then this wedding gown, the picture isn’t anything special but the event reminds me of a similar event that happened to Doug Roraback, a detective I worked with in the Sheriff’s Office. His plane went down in Belgium;  he parachuted out and had to drag it with him so the Nazi’s would find no trace of him near the crash.  He was secured in a farm house basement by sympathizers until he could get out of the country. The parachute was left with the family. They had two young daughters. After many years, marriage, children, divorce, retirement, he returned to Belgium to meet what was left of the family and ended up marrying one of the daughters. Part of the parachute was used for her veil.
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The schools exhibit was just as clever and personal with memorabilia, pictures of students, classrooms, names, sports coverage, and so on.
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And under the ore docks section was a book with a place for personal stories.
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The human interest made this small museum very special.
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Stereoscoptic viewers with pictures in a basket for visitors to view. I saw my first viewer like this in 4th grade at Soo Hill School when Mrs. Reese allowed us to pass time after our work was finished.
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Some of the pictures were designed to give the flavor of world travel, as in Egypt, 1993.
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Items you are unlikely to see in most museums?  This is a stove from an old Ashland Street Car. A stove? Of course. The winter climate here is brutal. I just didn’t think.
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The Schroeder Lumber Company Whistle. Not many of them around.
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We roamed Old Town Ashland. Sometimes we discover a refurbished old theatre, but most of the time they’ve become converted to other uses. Bay Theatre is  still a theatre showing whatever is popularly on circuit today.
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A beautiful porcelain in a window caught my attention at Malmberg’s Jewelers.
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No single artist, but the company name is Lantz.
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I was fascinated by the porcelains but their store had beautiful clocks, watches, other gift items and a large selection of large diamond jewelry. Quite exquisite. DSC09066 (Copy)
This elegant old Hotel Chequamegon is now owned by Best Western. We were directed their by locals for good fish. I had a white fish “wrapola” which is fish with coleslaw wrapped in a tomato tortilla. Yummy.
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It started to rain so we couldn’t eat on their lovely deck facing the water, but we enjoyed the view through the windows.  Lovely
More on the afternoon storm, later.

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