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Baum Drawings Part 1

Mill Dam photo

Mill Dam at Gibbsville
In early times there were over 30 water power sites situated in Sheboygan county. Less than a dozen of these remain today, of which the picturesque old mill, with its mill pond and dam, on the Onion river at Gibbsville is a typical example. The attractiveness of the site is enhanced by the unique rock and timber construction of the dam which is quite an uncommon feature. Most dams in these parts are ordinary embankments. Built about 1850 by a pioneer settler named Allen W. Knight the mill was started as a saw mill, and later was converted into a “flouring” mill, as all flour mills were called in those days. Garret J. Lammers, the present owner, operates it now as a grist mill.

Nearly all the old mills are of similar origin. They were built to take care of the needs of the surrounding countryside. For a number of years after settlement began not enough grain was raised in this area to have kept flour mills running more than a part of the time. But there was an over supply of virgin trees, whose dense shade forbade the cultivation of the soil. In clearing their land the farmers had plenty of logs to dispose of, or to have cut into lumber for their own use.

Thus the first mills were saw mills. As the forest dwindled and grain raising increased, however, the saw mills gradually gave way to flour and grist mills. Water power or mill privileges were eagerly sought by settlers who wanted to set up in business, and brought high prices.
 

Sen. G.W. Buchen
The Sheboygan Press 
January 5, 1945

 

Lime Kiln

Abandoned Lime Kiln at Rhine Mills
Burning lime is one of the oldest and simplest of industries. From time immemorial man has needed lime for building purposes, and for sweetening and fertilizing the soil. Limestone is found in abundance in certain localities, laid in even horizontal layers, beginning only a few feet beneath the surface of the ground, and easily quarried.

The most prominent feature of a lime kiln is the tall stone stacks or chimneys, lined with brick, in which the burning process takes place. The stacks are large to accommodate a large amount of stone at one burning. The rough limestone, as it is taken from the quarry, is dumped into the open top of the stacks, and after it is burned it is taken out through a lower outlet as whitened chunks of lime. At the bottom of each stack is an arch which forms the firebox of the kiln. Burning consists of driving off the gases from the rock by means of intense heat.

The lime kiln at Rhine Mills, which is located in the town of Rhine near Elkhart Lake, was built in 1916 by the Sheboygan Valley Land and Lime company. Stone was hauled directly from the quarry to the top of the stacks with small metal dump cars operated on a narrow track and drawn with cables. Tamarack logs for fuel were obtained from nearby Sheboygan marsh. The lime kiln at Rhine Mills, like many others of its kind, has fallen into disuse and ruins, due largely to the widespread use in recent years of concrete and cement instead of lime.
 

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
January 12, 1945

 

 

Kames photo

Kames in Town of Mitchell
These peculiar conical eminences, rising abruptly from the flat ground, like giant warts, and towering sentinel-like above the surrounding country, are the most striking features of Wisconsin’s picturesque Kettle Moraine region. The group of kames pictured above is situated in Section 18 of the town of Mitchell near the western Sheboygan county line. Kames are as much as 400 feet high and one-eighth of a mile in diameter at the base. Some are tree-covered to the very top, despite their steep, sloping sides; but others are quite bare of tree growth. Viewed from a distance, a deep blue haze usually hangs about them, adding greatly to their romantic charm .

When you motor through the “kettles,” you cannot fail to wonder about the origin of these huge isolated piles of sand and gravel and clay. They are the work of the continental ice sheets that crept down from the north and covered the region to a great depth probably twenty-five or thirty thousand years ago. As the glaciers advanced they picked up and carried along vast quantities of earth and rock, some of it from thousands of miles away, and then as they retreated by melting, when the climate mysteriously became warmer, they left their load of rubble and debris behind. Kames are a typical form of glacial deposit, but geologists are not agreed on precisely how they were formed, except that they were laid by the action of water resulting from the melting ice.

 

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
January 19, 1945

 

 

Terry Andrae Park

 

Terry Andrae State Park in a Winter Setting
When snow flakes, swirling down from dull, gray skies or tossed on the wind of a winter’s storm, clothe the evergreens with a soft, feathery blanket, the stately white pines of Terry Andrae State Park, six miles south of Sheboygan, put on a robe of ermine which makes them even more beautiful than when clad in their regular summer mantle of green. Observe how the overladen branches are bent almost to the breaking point by their burdens of powdery snow. Felt, even though not seen, is the great silence of the woods, broken now and then by the swish of clinging snow slipping from the weighted branches, the less frequent snapping of breaking boughs, or the occasional cheerful calls of winter birds flitting about in search of food and shelter.

Mr. Baum’s reproduction of a typical winter scene in these parts impresses us anew with the thought that in this season of the year nature is a skillful artist, using crystals of snow and ice as a medium and defying man to match her genius. Whether it be the manner of spreading the soft coverlet of snow upon the bare branches of the trees, or designing the endless variety and exquisite forms of the always six-sided snow flakes, or fashioning the feathery outlines of flowers and ferns upon the frozen surfaces of ponds and streams, no one can ever hope to equal, but only to approach, her artistry.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
January 26, 1945

 

 

St. Clement's

 

St. Clement's Church in Sheboygan
The pointed arch of the Gothic style of architecture, it is said, was first suggested by the arching branches of the forest trees. Nowhere is this more pleasingly depicted than in the above glimpse of the entrance to St. Clement’s church seen at the end of a long aisle of leafy, overhanging boughs. The view is along New York avenue looking east. The arches of the trees and the church form an almost perfect blend. Architecture has been appropriately called nature’s twin.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
February 2, 1945

 

 

 

 

fish shanties photo

 

Fish Shanties at Amsterdam
Since earliest times the waters of Lake Michigan in the vicinity of Amsterdam in the town of Holland have been a favored spot for pound-net fishing. As early as 1845, it is recorded, a number of fishermen, mostly from Ohio, “a rough, harddrinking set of fellows,” pursued their venturesome calling here. In 1874, according to a newspaper of the time, between 30 and 40 pound-nets were set up in the area. Today as you stroll along the beach you can still see protruding above the water quite a distance out in the lake the tops of numerous wooden piles, or “pound sticks,” driven into the lake bottom and holding the nets vertically in place.

These nets are sometimes as much as 90 feet deep. Stretched out they form walls of net-work in the water, extending all the way from the bottom of the lake to the surface. They consist of a “lead” running from the shallower water near shore out to the “pound.” The fish in swimming along stop when they come to the “lead,” and, as they cannot get over or under it, they follow it into the “pound,” which is so arranged that, once in the enclosure, the fish cannot escape.

Pictured are the fish shanties and pier of the Amsterdam Fish company. There are also shanties of other fishermen in the neighborhood. Amsterdam was once a prosperous and promising village, but as the years passed it gradually withered away, leaving scarcely a trace of its former existence.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
February 9, 1945

 

crystal lake photo

Crystal Lake
Gazing upon the lovely waters and shores of Crystal lake, one is reminded of the lines from Sir Walter Scott’s “Lady of the Lake”:  “The summer dawn’s reflected hue To purple changed Loch Katrine blue; Mildly and soft the western breeze Just kissed the lake, just stirred the trees, And the pleased lake, like maiden coy, Trembled but dimpled not for joy.”

Crystal lake’s expanse of clear, blue water, its pair of little tree-grown islands, its irregular outline, its steep, wooded shores rising sharply almost from the water’s edge, give it a rare, jewel-like beauty not unlike that of the celebrated mountain tarns of Scotland. Many persons regard the above view — sketched from the top of the bluff on the west side as the most alluring and romantic bit of scenery in the county.

A beautiful roadway, arched by overhanging trees, climbs and dips, and winds in and out, all the way around the lake, affording ever-changing glimpses of its gleaming surface through the intervening greenery. In the sharp, crisp days of fall when the hardwood trees are a riot of gorgeous colors, and likewise in winter when the evergreens are laden with snow, the beauty of the setting is especially striking.

Like all the scenic features in the vicinity, Crystal lake is of glacial origin, formed by the action of the ancient ice caps. As the great ice fronts nosed their way down from the north like mammoth bull-dozers, they scooped out the basin of the lake and piled the debris into huge steep-sided heaps around the edge so that the pent-up waters could not flow away. The lake has no inlet, it is spring fed; but it has an outlet. Dozens of summer cottages nestle on its encircling slopes.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
February 16, 1945
 

Drumlin photo

Drumlin
Drumlins, like kames, are nature’s records that tell of the occupation of this part of the country by the great ice sheets untold centuries ago. They are the smooth oval hills commonly seen grouped in large clusters, looking from a distance like a school of hump-backed whales with their great rounded backs boldly outlined against the horizon. Occasionally a single square mile contains as many as a half dozen or more of these unusual formations. Drumlins all have a distinctive appearance, resembling nothing so much as the half of a hard-boiled egg cut lengthwise. They are elongated in the direction the ice cap moved, steep and blunt at their stoss end, or end of the ice approach, and tapering off to a low slender point at their lee or tail end. On the average they range in height from forty to two hundred feet, and in length from one-half of a mile to a mile, although they are sometimes considerably higher than that, and four or five miles long. Strangely enough, drumlins often rise out of low, flat, or swampy terrain, like the one shown in the above sketch. How drumlins were fashioned by the force of the glaciers is not fully understood, but geologists are pretty well in accord that they were lodged and molded underneath the ice during its forward movement. However created, the remarkable similarity of outline of the multitude of drumlin formations in the Kettle Moraine region indicates a common origin.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
March 9, 1945

 

windmill

 

Dutch Windmill
Other interests are so predominant that many local residents fail to realize the extent to which Sheboygan county has become a summer vacationland. And yet in recent years, without any great ado, it has developed into just that. Fishing, swimming, boating, yachting, cooling breezes, and lovely scenery, are the magnets that draw vacationists here. Besides the well-known summer resort hotels at Elkhart Lake, which for years have attracted throngs of guests from far and wide, hundreds of summer cottages are clustered on the shores of our inland lakes, as Elkhart, Crystal and Random lakes, and Lake Ellen, and are nestled along the shore of Lake Michigan all the way from the mouth of Black river southward to the county line and beyond. These cottages display a pleasing variety of architectural styles, harmonizing well with their natural surroundings. Probably the most conspicuous is the one patterned after an old Dutch windmill, shown in the accompanying sketch, which stands on the Lake Michigan shore near the village of Oostburg. The cottage’s unusual design doubtless was inspired by its proximity to the large settlement of people of Holland descent in that section.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
March 16, 1945

 

farm photo

Abandoned Farm
An abandoned farm in fertile and prosperous Sheboygan county is indeed a rarity; in fact, farms of this kind are practically only to be seen amid the Kettle Moraine hills in the western part of the county. The result of soil erosion, they are nature’s method of protesting against man’s wellmeaning but misguided violation of her laws. When the white men first settled in that area, they found its curious, rounded gravel hills and valleys covered with one great virgin forest, the product of long ages of development.

Had the early settlers but known it, the land had little value except for growing trees, as the rich topsoil, formed of the accumulated leaf litter and humus of centuries, was relatively thin, and the unfertile gravel subsoil was close to the surface. From the point of view of the settlers this forest growth was an enemy that had to be cut down and destroyed in order that they might clear the land for farms. Little did they realize that the trees afforded a natural protection for the soil in which they were rooted, and that when they were removed the wind and rain gradually would carry the exposed soil down into the valleys and streams, lay bare the stony hillsides and drain them of their fertility. Year by year, as this process of erosion went on, the farms became less and less productive, until at last the unhappy owners were compelled to give up the hopeless struggle and move away, abandoning the fields to rank growths of brush and weeds, and the fences and buildings to dilapidation and decay .

Not suited for general agriculture, and capable only of supporting tree growth, the land should never have been converted into farms. It is distinctly a forest type soil. The state of Wisconsin is beginning to correct the mistakes of the past by acquiring these submarginal tracts and reforesting the land by permitting nature, unaided by man, to reseed the blank spots, or where this would by unduly slow, assisting nature by hand planting with tree seedlings. The process already is well under way. As fast as acquired, these lands are incorporated into the Kettle Moraine State Forest, which in the course of time is destined to become one of the finest forest areas in the state and nation.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
March 23, 1945