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Baum Drawings Part 3

sheboygan marsh

Sheboygan Marsh
Sheboygan marsh, with its 15 square miles of flat, swampy surface, its strange plant and animal life, and its solitude as complete as if it lay in the heart of some unexplored country hundreds of miles away from civilization, never fails to stir the imagination and excite emotions of mystery and romance. Having laid for many years in a partially drained state the result of well-intentioned but futile efforts to convert the land into farms— in recent years it has been reflooded, and restored, so far as possible, to its natural condition before the coming of the whites.

Fortunately, there are in existence two old descriptions of the marsh, which give us a good idea of its appearance in its original primitive state. The very first of these accounts is dated April 22, 1835, and is by Nehemiah King, the head of the government surveying party which surveyed that section of the county. Writing in his official note book, which is preserved in the office of the commissioners of public lands, at Madison, he mentions coming to “an impassable marsh bordering Great Sheboygan lake”, and the impediment to his progress caused by the softness of the ground, the lack of bearing trees, and the impossibility of driving posts or raising mounds for markers.

The other account, a more complete one, is by Gen. Albert G. Ellis, a government surveyor, who re-surveyed the marsh area in 1850 . He wrote, “In accordance with the special instructions I spent three entire days in examining the margin, and going directly through the reputed lake, in order to ascertain whether an island existed therein. The inhabitants resident in the neighborhood assured me there was an island. I took one of them, a Mr. Odell, with me; he pointed out a piece of high ground, of some hundred acres, in section 25. This tract being surrounded by swamp, properly a part of the great marsh, is called “the island”. This tract is not within the so-called lake, section 25 having been surveyed by Mr. King, and not entered on the official plat as any part of the lake.

“I found no insurmountable or uncommon obstacle except the pond in sections 14, 23 and 26. The shores of this pond are all a bog floating on the water for some 3 chains wide, which sinks with the weight of a man at the water’s edge. The south part of the pond is clear water, the north part has grass and a floating island in it, but the water is about 5 feet deep all through it. It is almost impassable in the center part for canoes on account of the floating island. Myriads of ducks and geese. Hay is made all around the pond in places.
“The observer at first would say ‘it has at some former period all been a lake’. But if indeed it ever was so, it must have been at some very remote former period. The tamarack timber though small is old, at least 70 to 100 years. The mud on this marsh under the bog is several feet deep, without hard bottom; the lower deposit is of a fine whitish earth without sand or grit, resembling starch, to a depth of 10 feet or more; in fact, we did not with a 15-foot pole find hard bottom.

“The margin of the marsh and swamp is of a uniform character, cedar at the edge near the level land, then tamarack of a common size, which are smaller as we go toward the open marsh, till they are not more than 4 feet high. The surrounding level land is exceedingly rich, fertile and beautiful, especially on the south side. On the north and west it is somewhat stony and uneven.

“The Sheboygan river is a fine stream, 2 chains wide, 14 feet deep, of a gentle current, perfectly navigable for boats. About 5 chains west of the range line commences a slight rapid, over a loose, pebbly bottom, which continues for a one-half mile. This rapid might be cut down some 4 or 5 feet, at a slight expense, by which means the marsh could be drained and all made dry land.”

As a well-merited tribute to Charles E. Broughton, of Sheboygan, who was the leading spirit in the recent restoration of the marsh, it has officially been named the Broughton-Sheboygan marsh. This marsh, together with Kettle Moraine State forest and Terry Andrae State park, all in Sheboygan county, is among the outstanding conservation projects in Wisconsin.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
June 29, 1945

grace church

Grace Episcopal Church, Sheboygan
The fine, 74-year-old Grace Episcopal church building shown above, standing in quiet dignity at the corner of Ontario avenue and N. Seventh street in Sheboygan, is a typical example of plain Early English architecture. There is something fascinating and distinctive about it even to the casual observer. The ivy-clad walls, the steep, high-peaked roofs, the tall, square tower, the narrow, lofty Gothic windows, the mellow, weather-beaten color of everything, all combine to give it an atmosphere of venerability, history and tradition.

The edifice was constructed in 1871 by the late Father Robert Blow at a cost of $7,752, most of which he gave or collected by his own efforts.

Grace church parish was formally organized December 6, 1847, although Episcopal services were conducted here as early as 1845; and the first church building was erected on the same site as today’s structure only two months after the organization of the parish. Sheboygan was then but a small struggling frontier village of about 700 inhabitants, so that the church has witnessed practically the full span of the life of the city.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
July 13, 1945


lake michigan shore
Lake Michigan Shore North of Sheboygan
South of Sheboygan the shore of Lake Michigan lies low, and is wide and sandy; but north of the city it rises in steep, picturesque clay bluffs from sixty to ninety feet above the lake level. The beach here is narrow and when storms are from the east the big waves fling themselves tumultuously against the bluffs. Often when the storms are at their height, the waves and spray are thrown high up on the slopes, tearing away large portions of the banks and washing them into the lake. Viewed from a distance, the bluffs appear bleak, lonely and inhospitable, but the area back of them is serene and smiling farming country. In the days of the Indians there was a well-defined Indian trail extending along the top of the bluffs parallel with the lake shore.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
July 20, 1945





Wade House

Wade House
Wade House, the imposing old wayside inn, standing hard by the main highway running through the little village of Greenbush, in plain view of every passing traveler, is one of the best known landmarks of pioneer days left in the county.

Sylvanus Wade was its builder nearly a century ago. Coming from Illinois with his family and two teams in 1844, he first erected a log cabin just across the road, where he furnished accommodations to the occasional passers-by of that early time. He built the present structure in 1849; and opened it to the public in 1850. From the very start it was a wellpatronized place, it being said that as many as 20 people sought shelter there in one day, but that only a portion could be accommodated.

Though falling into dilapidation and ruin, in early days it was one of the most celebrated inns in all Wisconsin. Situated about midway on the direct road between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac, it not only served as a stopping place for the tide of landseekers, immigrants, settlers, and travelers of all kinds passing that way, but also as a refreshment and relay station for freight wagons and stagecoaches serving that route.

Even today one can almost see in his mind’s eye a lumbering stagecoach, the driver with whip in hand, and his four-horse team at a full gallop, pulling up to the inn with a flourish, and the passengers disembarking and being welcomed by the genial landlord.

With the building of the railroad through Glenbeulah, three miles away, and the discontinuance of the highway in front of its door as a plank road and post road, the patronage of the old hostelry gradually dwindled, and it has been closed as a public house for many years. Mr. and Mrs. M.J. Dorst, of Freeport, Illinois, are the present owners of the property.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
July 27, 1945


Stone farm house

Stone Farm House
Most of the farm houses in Sheboygan county are frame structures, due mainly to the abundance and cheapness of timber in these parts in early days. But there are also quite a few stone houses, like the one in the sketch, constructed of field stones and built into thick, solid walls held together with plaster. Early settlers from northern and western Europe were familiar with stone construction in the lands whence they came, and they naturally introduced it here when they emigrated to this country. Stone houses are supposed to have the merit of warmth in winter and coolness in summer, but they have the disadvantage of being damp in warm weather.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
August 3, 1945



threshing scene

Typical Sheboygan County Threshing Scene
From time immemorial threshing time has represented the climax of the year’s activities on the farm. Plowing, harrowing, seeding, harvesting, and most other farm tasks, were merely preparatory to this, the culminating event of the season. Threshing, however, is no longer as important an occasion as it once was. In early days, nearly all the grain raised was hauled to market and sold, it being practically the only source of farm income. Today in Sheboygan county, with our emphasis on dairying, considerably less grain is raised, and more acreage is devoted to pasturage, and the production of hay and corn. As a rule farm crops are fed to stock right on the farm and sold in the form of dairy and meat products.

Another change of the present day is the method of threshing from the shocks right out in the open fields, as depicted in the sketch, rather than in the barns or from huge stacks in the barn yard. Farmers have discovered that the once common practice of hauling and stowing the bundles away in mows or stacks to “sweat” before the grain was threshed could be eliminated without affecting the feeding qualities of the grain.

Still another change is the virtual disappearance of the old-time commercial threshermen, a class of men — most of them enterprising farmers — who made it their business to go with their rigs from farm to farm to do the threshing for a wide area of the countryside, sometimes remaining out on their rounds for weeks and months on end. Today many individual farmers or small groups of farms own and operate their own threshing machines. An improved farming method, obviously, but the trend marks the decline of one of the most romantic and picturesque aspects of life on the farm.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
August 10, 1945


stone cheese factory

Stone Cheese Factory
Dairy farming is Sheboygan county’s basic agricultural industry and produces its biggest money crop. There is a total of more than 3,400 individual farms in the county, and the number of milk cows averages 20 per farm. Each cow produces on an average of perhaps 20 pounds or about 10 quarts of milk daily, so that the farmer has some 400 pounds of milk to sell each day. The total milk production in Sheboygan county in 1942 was 316,820,000 pounds.

Most of the milk goes into the manufacture of cheese, and principally cheddar, commonly known as American cheese, of which 15,879,471 pounds were made in 1943, accounting for 76 per cent of all cheese made in the county. It takes approximately 10 pounds of milk to produce one pound of cheese. Strangely, while the total production of cheese has increased, the total number of cheese factories has been reduced from approximately 120 to about 65, due to the hauling of milk for longer distances and other factors. Production per factory has more than doubled in recent years.

Cheese factories, like the one pictured above, are usually located in small villages and at country crossroads, normally about four or five miles apart. By far the largest number of factories are owned by the cheese-makers; others are owned by co-operatives, and still others by corporations, local or national. In view of Sheboygan county’s pre-eminence as a dairy section. It is appropriate that Plymouth, situated in the heart of the county, and the seat of the Wisconsin Cheese exchange, should be called “The Cheese Center of the World.”
The factory at Rhine Center is rather distinctive, the style of architecture having been adopted from Germany.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
August 17, 1945


high school

High School in Cedar Grove
The attractive building pictured here is the former Wisconsin Memorial academy — now the high school — in Cedar Grove. The academy had its inception in April 1900. It was founded by the Dutch Reformed Church of America to provide higher educational opportunities, closer home, for young people from Holland families living in this section of the country.
Locally the academy was most actively supported by the Rev. J.J. Van Zanten, who was pastor of the Reformed church at Cedar Grove. In 1901 the school was incorporated and the corner stone of the first building laid. The structure, a roomy, square two-story frame building, was dedicated in June 1902. While it was being built, the school was conducted in the chapel of the church, under the direction of the Rev. Van Zanten and his assistant Miss Cornelia Walvoord.

In 1909 the second floor of the school was completed for class room use; and in 1925 the fine new, three-story brick building shown here was constructed. At its height the academy had a staff of five instructors and somewhat over a hundred students. Owing to insufficient financial support, the building was sold to Cedar Grove School District No. 1 in 1938, and has ever since been used as a high school.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
August 24, 1945



first baptist church

First Baptist Church, Sheboygan
September 9 to 16, this year, the First Baptist church, located on the south side of Ontario avenue, between N. Fifth and N. Sixth streets, in Sheboygan, will have the distinction of celebrating the centennial of its founding. It was in the fall of 1845, when Sheboygan was a little backwoods village of 200 inhabitants, surrounded by a dense pine forest and frequented by Indians, that the church was organized. Reverend Luke Hitchcock was the first pastor.

Not long after the congregation was formed, work was begun on the church edifice. Construction progressed slowly, as all the labor was performed by the members themselves. An old account states that Reverend Perley Work, the pastor from 1850 to 1858, “donned overalls and tended mason” to help complete the project. The first services were conducted in the basement of the unfinished structure on March 25, 1849, and dedication ceremonies were performed on May 20, 1851.

The original church building stood on the north side of Wisconsin avenue between N. Seventh and N. Eighth streets: and it remained on this site until it was removed to its present location in 1926. The first school house in Sheboygan was situated on the east side of N. Eighth street between Wisconsin and Niagara avenues in the same square block as the church. Old records indicate that Sheboygan had 371 children of school age in 1849, and as the school became overcrowded, the basement of the Baptist church was rented that year to provide additional space. Two classes were taught in the church basement until 1856, when they were transferred to newly- erected Union school on Niagara avenue.
Of interest in connection with the Baptist church is the fact that, although its history harks back over the full span of a century to the beginnings of Sheboygan, it was antedated by another congregation of the same denomination. Seven and one-half years earlier, on February 11, 1838, as time-worn old records show, a group of six persons — A.G. Dye and his wife, Mary, “Deacon” William Trowbridge and his wife, Dorothy, and his son, William S., and Sarah W. Cole, wife of Charles D. Cole — met at the home of Mr. Dye, at the northeast corner of N. Eighth street and Niagara avenue, in Sheboygan, and started what was destined to be the oldest Baptist church in Wisconsin. In 1838 the whole country was still in the depths of the panic of 1837, and Sheboygan, which in 1836 boasted of 20 buildings, had dwindled to such a point that by 1839 there was only one family left. It literally was a “deserted village.” Most of the inhabitants moved to Sheboygan Falls and vicinity, and the Baptists, who comprised the bulk of the population, also took their church organization along to that place, where it has enjoyed a continuous existence ever since.

The church edifice on Ontario avenue is one of the few examples of typical New England architecture remaining in the county.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
August 31, 1945


Scene in the Kettle Moraine Hills

Scene in the Kettle Moraine Hills
Scientists, who have names to describe practically every phenomenon of nature, probably also have a name for the unusual formation shown in the picture above. Whatever it may be designated by those learned in such matters, we know that it was caused in some way by glacial action during the dim dawn of history long before man made his appearance on earth. The peculiar ridge-like elevation, completely hemmed within the narrow confines of the little valley, is one of the curious features of the picturesque Kettle Moraine hills. It is located in the town of Rhine just off Highway 57 one mile north of downtown Elkhart Lake. The road at this point makes a sharp horse-shoe bend along the upper rim of the valley, and affords an excellent view of the scene below. No one should fail to see it.

Sen. G.W. Buchen 
The Sheboygan Press 
September 14, 1945