The Forest History Association of Wisconsin (FHAW) will hold its 42nd Annual Meeting at Menomonie, Wisconsin, September 14 – 16, 2017. Named for the historic Native American tribe, the Menominee, the city center is located at the south end of Lake Menomin, a reservoir on the Red Cedar River. The lumber industry brought Menomonie permanent settlement and economic prosperity. Through an interesting line-up of presentations and tours, meeting attendees will learn about the natural history, events, individuals and businesses that contributed to the history of the Red Cedar River valley.
A pre-meeting gathering Thursday evening at Stout Ale House, Menomonie’s premier sports bar and entertainment facility, will kick off the event. Intended as an opportunity to visit and socialize no formal program has been planned. Instead good food (buffet style dinner of Tender Beef Tips and Roasted Turkey, accompanied by baked potatoes, green beans, and salad with house dressing) and good company kicks off the 2017 meeting.
Menomonie’s Russell J. Rassbach Heritage Museum is the site for both Friday and Saturday activities. The museum serves as the headquarters of our hosts, the Dunn County Historical Society, and interprets the history of Dunn County through its extensive collection of artifacts and exhibit areas. FHAW members will likely enjoy the museum’s Logging and Lumbering Displays, but other exhibits, like the Golden Age of Auto Design or Rivers, Routes, Rails & Roads, just to mention two, will be equally as interesting and enjoyed. FHAW members attending the meeting at Menomonie receive FREE admission to the Rassbach Museum both Friday and Saturday, a $10 value.
Midafternoon attendees will travel the short distance by car to tour the Mabel Tainter Theater. The theater was constructed in 1889 as a tribute to Mabel Tainter, the daughter of Captain and Mrs. Andrew Tainter, who died at age nineteen. Captain Tainter was a lumber baron and silent partner with Knapp, Stout, & Co. The beautifully restored building is listed on the National Register of Historical Places, is a charter member of the League of Historic American Theatres, and is a designated Wisconsin historical marker site. No visit to Menomonie would be complete without touring this magnificent old theater.
With another short car ride, the afternoon tour continues at the Historic Wilson Place Museum, once the home of Captain William Wilson, founder of Menomonie and of Knapp, Stout & Co. Company. When Wilson died in 1892, it became the home of his daughter Angelina and son-in-law James Huff Stout, another principal in the lumber company, and civic leader. In the early 1920s, Wilson's grandson, George Wilson LaPointe, Jr. and his wife Irene took possession of the home. John and Jaqueline Dotseth purchased the home in 1974 following the death of Irene LaPointe and worked to turn the estate into a museum which opened in 1976.
Our Friday evening dinner is set for, “Old Towne,” also owned by the Dotseth family. Stepping inside the building one recognizes their dedication to preserving all aspects of regional history. On the menu at Old Towne is a relaxed gathering for cocktails, a plated meal of either fish or pork cutlet, served with potatoes, vegetable and dessert. After dinner, a short presentation on the “Tainter Gate,” presentation of this year’s Fixmer and Connor Awards will be given, and annual auction held.
Saturday morning back at the Rassbach Museum the meeting will conclude with two final presentations.
A “Schedule at a Glance” is found in this newsletter. Please join us at Menomonie as we learn about the forest history of the Red Cedar River Valley.
The Knapp, Stout &Co. Company, headquartered in Menomonie, was the largest producer of white pine lumber in the world. The company owned 11 lumber mills and contracted with 3 others to produce the lumber.
Top: Entrance to the Russell J Rassbach Heritage Museum. Bottom: A glimpse of a few classic autos on display as part of the Golden Age of Auto Design display.
Left, Mabel Tainter Theater, exterior and interior, and Wilson Place Museum. Above, Old Towne, exterior and interior views.
The first issue of the FHAW Woodchips, an electronic monthly newsletter was delivered to FHAW members’ email addresses on September 1st, 2013. The electronic format enables the association to deliver FHAW news, upcoming events and selected articles related to our Wisconsin forests and the interest of our members in a timely and economic manner.
Hyperlinks embedded into Woodchips allow readers to enjoy featured video and audio presentations of interest with just a simple click of their mouse. If you couldn’t attend a FHAW event, with this new format you might be able to watch a video recording of it from the comfort of your home. Just as the association might share recorded events, FHAW members can also share links to their local events that may be of interest to other FHAW members. Just contact your editor to make those arrangements.
Besides links to available audio and video presentations, other hyperlinks will take you to full articles of items in the news from local, state, national and even international forestry and environmental organizations.
Finally an attempt will be made to include in each issue of Woodchips a link to one, two, or three upcoming Wisconsin events that might be of interest to FHAW members.
While Woodchips will be delivered once a month, the FHAW newsletter, Chips and Sawdust, will continue to be distributed quarterly. There may be some content overlap between the two publications, just to keep everyone informed of association activities, but that duplication is anticipated to be minimal.
If you are not receiving Woodchips delivered to your e-mail's inbox, chances are that the FHAW does not have a currrnt e-mail address in our records for you. To make sure future issues are delivered to you, send your e-mail address to the FHAW editor, Don Schnitzler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 2013, October 2013, november 213, December 2013,
january 2014, February 2014, March 2014, April 2014, may 2014,
June 2014, july 2014, august 2014, September 2014, october 2014
november 2014, december 2014, january 2015, February 2015
march 2015, april 2015, May 2015, june 2015, july 2015,
august 2015, sept 2015, oct 2015, nov 2015, dec 2015, Jan 2016
feb 2016, march 2016, april 2016, may 2016, june 2016, july 2016
august 2016, sept 2016, oct 2016, nov 2016, dec 2016, jan 2017
feb 2017, march 2017, april 2017 , may 2017, june 2017
july 2017, aug 2017
Kretz Lumber Company and the Northcentral Technical College(NTC) –Wood Institute, both of Antigo, hosted our 40th Forest History Association of Wisconsin annual meeting during October 2015. The 40th anniversary celebration included a full schedule of lectures and tours.
The conference began with a tour on Thursday afternoon of the Northcentral Technical College – Wood Institute led by wood technology instructor, Travis Allen. Providing an overview of the Wood Technology Center of Excellence, Allen began by explaining that the facility is dedicated to training the next generation of skilled workers in the wood manufacturing industry. FHAW members were then treated to an interesting tour that included classrooms, a science lab and a shop space set up to simulate courses taught with equipment that includes computerized optimizing saws, a CNC router, moulder, dry kilns, testing equipment and a saw mill.
Following the Wood Institute tour, FHAW members met at Antigo’s Hoffman House Hotel for the 40th anniversary banquet and general membership meeting. The hotel with its early 1900’s style, charm and beautiful antiques provided a great backdrop for the anniversary gathering.
Friday morning began back at the NTC with lectures presented by Joe Hermolin, Sara Connor, Sara Repp and Ed Forrester. Hermolin, president of the Langlade County Historical Society began the mornings presentations speaking about “The Elcho Civilian Conservation Corps Camp.” Sara W. Connor, Vice president of the FHAW and author of “Wisconsin Flying Trees in WWII…” followed with “Wisconsin’s Primary Glider Pilot Training in Antigo.” She said, “There are many of the “Greatest Generation” who remember the Glider Pilot Training School. For others, this is new information, but an Antigo legacy of WWII.” Langlade County Forester, Sarah Repp, then spoke about “Antigo’s Urban Forestry and Its Progress.” The last morning presentation was by FHAW members, Ed Forrester and Frank Hitz on “The History of Logging Camps in Wisconsin: 1880s-1930. The presentation highlighted Frank’s monumental work creating a database of Wisconsin’s early logging operations.
Following a short bus ride to the Kretz Lumber Company, Troy Brown, president, and Al Koeppel, forester, treated FHAW members to an interesting tour of the Ray Kretz Industrial Forest, a 29-acre working forest used as an educational tool to demonstrate the dynamics of forest management. Then came a quick stop at the company’s drying kilns.
Next FHAW members toured Antigo’s Amron Plant. Amron, a division of AMTEC Corporation, is a world leader in the production of medium caliber ammunition cartridge cases for the US Department of Defense.
At the White Lake Historical Society Judy Peterson, historical society board member gave an interesting talk about “Logging on the Wolf River.” Following a brief Q & A period, Judy and George Rock, society president, provided FHAW members a tour of the museum.
Cool damp fall weather greeted FHAW members for our 39th annual conference at Goodman, Wisconsin. While the weather did not cooperate with bright sunny days, the overcast sky held its moisture most of Friday, or at least times when it really mattered.
The conference opened on Thursday evening at the beautiful Four Seasons Island Resort on Miscauno Island near Pembime. During the first of two presentations there, Al Ochs (photo Lt.) shared the history of former Menominee lumberman William Holmes. Al’s wife, Susan, is Holmes’ granddaughter. Interweaving historical records and family recollections, Al highlighted the life story of this remarkable man. The talk even included the building of the original Miscauno Inn on Holmes Island where we were dining that evening.
Richard McDougal (photo rt) then took the podium to share stories about his father-in-law, the late Peter Webber and the Webber Steam Mill that he operated on salvaged logs, deadheads, taken from the Menominee and Peshtigo Rivers. Deadheads are the logs that failed to reach sawmills during the early lumbering era when they were floated down the rivers each spring towards the mills. Recovering these sunken logs provided work for farmers during the Great Depression and evolved into flourishing businesses during the 1940’s and 50’s as a means of filling the demand for lumber.
The next morning began with breakfast at the Northland International University and a short bus ride to Goodman where the group toured the Goodman Veneer & Lumber Company. Most likely the highlight of everyone’s day was this opportunity to experience the veneer-making process first-hand. Walking alongside a log as it entered the mill after it had been debarked, watching the loading and centering of logs on the lathe, seeing the logs processed on veneer lathe into a continuous ribbon of veneer, and then following that veneer through clipping, drying, grading and stacking as finished veneer panels was amazing. The process reminded us of the value of fusing modern technology with traditional manual techniques.
Following the mill tour, Marinette County Supervisor and local historian, Mike Cassidy, provided a bus tour of the town of Goodman. He described how the town established in 1908, provided homes and community for employees of the Robert B. Goodman Lumber Company. Then, after seeing Goodman family and employee homes about town, the tour ended at the Goodman Club House.
Here, after an excellent lunch, presentations were given by FHAW member, Brad Pagels, on the Goodman Railroads, Mike Cassidy with more history of the Goodman community and Goodman Lumber Company, and the current owner of the Goodman Club House, John Moritz, on the history of Goodman Club House. He even provided us with a musical selection on one of the many antique pianos at the club.
The annual general membership meeting was also held at the club house where incumbent board members, Robert Walkner, David Peschau, and Don Schnitzler were reelected to the board. They were joined by new board member Bridget O’Brien. Nominating Committee chair, David Peschau, then submitted for consideration a slate of officers consisting of Don Schnitzler, as president; Sara Connor, as vice-president; Robert Walkner, as treasurer; and Bridget O’Brien, as secretary for the next year.
Sara Connor presented two awards on behalf of the FHAW. The Connor Award was given to the Kretz Lumber Company of Antigo for their outstanding contributions to forestry and forest history. The Kretz Forest Family maintains the Ray Kretz Industrial Forest, a working forest providing many educational opportunities for the public; including the Kretz Forest Family Landowners’ Forestry Field Day and the Kretz Forest Family Management Plan. Accepting the award were Kretz Lumber president, Troy Brown, and forester, Al Koeppel.
The Fixmer Award given annually to individuals for their contributions to an organization was presented to Dr. Larry Severeid and Fred Funk, for their efforts at the Hixton Forest Preserve in LaCrosse. The Fixmer Award was named to honor FHAW co-founder and longtime forester, Frank Fixmer. The award was accepted on behalf of Dr. Severeid and Funk by David Peschau.
A couple of short bus rides then took the group to the Goodman and McClintock Parks. At Goodman members viewed Strong Falls, rested on the porch of a day cabin built during the Great Depression by the Dunbar CCC, and posed for a group photograph alongside the cabin. Then at McClintock Park they viewed the McClintock Falls. Both Goodman and McClintock Parks are on the Peshtigo River.
The bus, besides providing transportation also served as a moving classroom with Carl Krog and Bob Brisson sharing impromptu talks on Marinette County logging and forestry operations between stops.
The final presentations followed breakfast on Saturday morning at the Northland International University. University president, Daniel Patz, began by extending a warm welcome to all FHAW members on behalf of the students, staff and administration of Northland International University. He then shared the history of the university’s founding by his grandfather, Paul Patz, and its mission and activities on the 1,500 acre campus in northeast Wisconsin.
As the final conference presentation BorFor Land Management Services forester, Stuart Boren, provided a comprehensive and interesting talk titled, “Historical Overview of Goodman Timber.” Starting with the original timber lands purchase in 1907 by R.B. Goodman, Boren traced the history of those timberlands, highlighting Goodman’s sustained yield forest management plan, the first in Wisconsin to establish this process, through the 10th harvest cycle during 2014.
Then wrapping up all the presentations and discussions, FHAW member Carl Krog provided the final closing conference comments.
Everyone participating in the 39th annual FHAW Conference made the event the enjoyable and informative experience that it was. Thank you all again for that participation!
Beautiful autumn weather, with cool brisk evenings followed the next day by blue skies and sunshine, greeted FHAW members to Park Falls and the 38th Annual Meeting of the Forest History Association of Wisconsin.
Activities kicked off on Thursday evening with time to visit old friends and get-acquainted with new friends over a great meal at the Northwood Supper Club at Fifield. This year’s annual auction, besides featuring logging artifacts and memorabilia included a couple of unexpected thing-a-ma-jigs and whatchama-callits, all of which proved entertaining for attendees.
Saturday’s activities started with a tour of the Flambeau River Paper Company plant. Members saw up close the paper making process from beginning to end and were impressed by the company’s many improvements making the plant more energy efficient and environmental friendly.
Following the tours, FHAW members attended presentations given by Brad Pagels (top left) on the Roddis Railroad Line; Dale Heikkinen (bottom left) on the Prentice Loader; a preview of Tom Pestka’s (top right) logging documentary, “From Crosscut Saw to Computer Cutting”; and Russ Kirchmeyer (bottom right) on the Hines Lumber Company.
Attendees then toured the Price County Historical Society where they had an opportunity to view the museum’s display of logging artifacts, railroad memorabilia, old equipment and more. Then a short bus ride into the country side, the group visited the home of Russ Kirchmeyer. Here they had an opportunity to look at his extensive collections of logging and farming artifacts. Each piece has a story and Russ was happy to share those with us too.
For some the conference ended with the Friday night fish fry at the Bay Harbor Restaurant. Another great meal by the way. But ten FHAW members also visited the Round Lake Logging Dam on Saturday morning before heading home.
Above, a small sample of the items displayed by Russ Kirchmeyer for thr FHAW members to enjoy during their vist at Park Falls. Left is the rebuilt Round Lake Logging Dam.
A splash of color opened the 36th Annual Forest History Association of Wisconsin (FHAW) Conference in Marshfield this past September. The color provided by the Central Wisconsin fall foliage and the handiwork of retired design engineer for Consoweld Corporation of Wisconsin Rapids and artist, Gilbert “Gib” Endrizzi. (Photo right)
While working at Consoweld, Endrizzi began experimenting with the paper-based laminate's uses in art. He showed his work to a number of employees and business partners at Consoweld. One of these men recommended that Endrizzi become acquainted with artist and graphic designer, Virginia Broderick. He felt that the two might find common interests in their art projects. Broderick and Endrizzi got along well and began working together. Broderick aided in the development of a number of designs that Endrizzi would then create in mosaic form.
The most prominent work the duo designed in the Chestnut Avenue exhibit was the "Mother and Child" piece. (Photo left) The original painting was done by Broderick to Endrizzi's specifications and then subsequent mosaic pieces created by Endrizzi. (Photo right, "Drivin' On the Land"
Members of both the Forest History Association and the Marshfield community turned out to view and enjoy Endrizzi’s mosaic creations at the Chestnut Avenue Center for the Arts reception. The mosaics included religious, sporting and whimsical themes. Regardless of the theme, each piece was truly a work of art and demonstrated another unique use of Wisconsin’s forest products.
Another exhibition is planned for the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison later this year. Watch for details in the FHAW newsletter and on the FHAW website.
Leaving the Chestnut Center, conference attendees gathered at West 14th, a local restaurant with a well-deserved reputation for fine dining. This particular evening, besides great food, attendees had an opportunity for some great entertainment provided by “Lumberjack Louie.” You may also know “Louie” as FHAW member, Sterling Strathe. (Photo left)
“Louie” used the gathering at Marshfield as an opportunity to recruit some young “jacks” for the upcoming logging season. Louie explained each “jack’s” job, and with audience participation even demonstrated some of the techniques used to fell the mighty Wisconsin Pines or float them down the river to the mill. When each job, from road monkey to sawyer, fully explained, Louie talked of camp life for the “jacks” when their work in the woods was done. (Photo right-Lumberjacks Dance) The evening was filled with hoots and hollers as Louie shared his tales of logging days from long ago.
Before the evening ended, Sterling, served as auctioneer for a successful annual FHAW conference auction. Thank you to all who contributed items for sale, and those of you who bid and purchased items.
Friday morning, conference attendees boarded a bus for a short ride to the George W. Mead State Wildlife Area. The Mead is the third largest wildlife area in the state of Wisconsin. Nestled in the valley of the Little Eau Pleine River, it encompasses large areas of open marshes, hardwood and aspen forests, and grasslands. After some brief introductory comments by Natural Resource Educator, Pamela Resech, (Photo left) in the Stanton Mead Education Center and viewing a video, “A Journey through the Mead” conference attendees loaded onto a wagon for their own journey through the Mead. Resech had planned a special route for conference attendees, one not usually traveled on wildlife area rides, which would demonstrate the various stages of forest succession. A back-hoe on a dike blocked the path though, and the opportunity to view this area was missed. Even so, despite a short walk while the wagon backed-up along the narrow dike to a spot where it could turn around, viewing the wildlife area with our guide made for an enjoyable Wisconsin morning.
The group next headed to the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, home of the Schmeeckle Reserve and the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame and its Visitor Center. The Reserve was created to protect and restore native ecological communities, serve as outdoor classroom for students and teachers, and provide recreational opportunities to all visitors. This fine September afternoon, the Visitor Center served as the classroom for lectures from two distinguished UW-SP faculty, Dr. John DuPlissis and Jeremy Solin.
Dr. DuPlissis discussed the Woodland Stewardship Program, a program developed to teach each the basics of forest ecology, silviculture, forest management techniques, managing for wildlife habitat, business decision and planning tools, for woodland owners. He also discussed the Wisconsin’s Woodland Leadership Institute, a program designed to educate and equip woodland owners to become leaders in their local communities on issues related to forestry. (Dr. John Duplissis and FHAW Pesident Sara Connor, photo left)
Jeremy Solin, director of Learning Experiences and Activities in Forestry (LEAF) then explained how the program integrates forestry in the Wisconsin K-12 school curriculum. (Jeremy Solin. Photo right) LEAF is a partnership between the Wisconsin DNR-Division of Forestry and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point's Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education.
After the brief ride back to Marshfield, conference attendees gathered at the Chestnut Avenue Center for a family-style “Taste of History” dinner featuring two guests from Marshfield’s past, Mary Upham and W.D. Connor. Mary Upham was a community leader, and wife of former Marshfield businessman, mayor and Wisconsin Governor, William H. Upham. (Mary Upham, portrayed by Shirley Mook, president of the Marshfield Historic Preservation Association, photo left) W.D. Connor was a well-known Wisconsin lumberman, businessman, and former Lt. Governor of Wisconsin. He also was the grandfather or FHAW president, Sara Connor. The two guests shared the story of their lives and kept the audience spell-bound as they highlighted their contributions to family, friends, the community and the state. (Sara Connor posses with W.D. Connor, portrayed by Mark Nelson, photo right))
After the dinner re-enactments, conference attendees joined community members upstairs in the performance hall for the musical entertainment of Brian Miller and Randy Gosa. Brian sang songs that once rang through lumber camp bunkhouses more than a century ago in the upper Midwest. The old world ballads mixed with colorful local lore and creative arrangements, using voice, guitar and a variety of unusual folk instruments brought this forgotten folk music to life for all attending.
Near the end of the evening, Miller and Gosa performed a local favorite, “On the Banks of the Little Eau Pleine.” The song must have been written to perpetuate a story of an old romance. It involved schoolteacher, Susan McLaughlin, who was supposed to have taught in a primitive rural school along the Little Eau Pleine near Dancy; and John Oldham, who was a rafter on the Wisconsin. No name is given the teacher in the words of the song, and John Oldham is mentioned as John Murphy. According to the story and the song, John was drowned on trip downstream and buried on the river bank. Susan, brokenhearted by his unexplained absence is finally informed of the tragedy. What we’ll probably never know is whether the song made the story, or the story made the song.
The Little Eau Pleine River is a tributary of the Wisconsin River. It begins near Unity, runs just north of Marshfield and through the Mead Wildlife area before entering into Lake DuBay and the Wisconsin River.
Saturday morning the conference resumed with presentations at the Marshfield Public Library by John Berg and Mary J. Schueller and the awarding of the 2011 Fixmer Award to Dean Einspahr. The Fixmer Award is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to an organization, agency, or corporation, within the forest products resources community. President Sara Connor presented Dean a plank with the following inscription:
Dean Einspahr, WWII Veteran served in North China in 1945 as a pilot of P-47’s. As a Wisconsin Paper Chemistry Institute scientist (retired), he authored studies in forest fertilization projects, as well as over 50 papers regarding forest product development and paper research. He has participated as secretary and vice president of the FHAW board and was elected board member emeritus. He has served as membership chairman contributing a computerized database for members. Since 1983, Dean has frequently served as a FHAW conference chairman. His out-standing organizational skills and multiple chairmanships contributed to the growth and continuance of FHAW.
Berg, a local blacksmith enthusiast, and descendant of Marshfield blacksmith, Michael Berg, spoke of the pioneer blacksmiths who worked intowns and lumber camps at the turn of the century. He explained that the essential tools and weapons used by loggers, farmers, and settlers of that day were fashioned from iron and steel. The knowledge and artistry to work these metals into their useful forms was the task of the blacksmith.
The final speaker, Mary Schueller, (Photo right) spoke of the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a program created by the federal government during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The program put men to work planting trees in the nation’s depleted forests and improving state national parks. Loaded with facts and photos she reminded attendees of the tremendous accomplishments of these men. The results of their labor are still found in our state parks and used and enjoyed by thousands each year. (CCC member displaying his camp pennant, photo left)
With that the 2011 FHAW Conference closed. Those attending seemed to enjoy their visit to the Central Wisconsin community of Marshfield. Plans are underway for the 37th Annual Conference to be held in the Wisconsin Dells Area later in 2012. Watch for information as it becomes available.
President Sara Connor and the FHAW board would like to thank Don Schnitzler for the excellent planning and leadership in putting together the annual FHAW meet. Also, we would like to thank Don’s wife, Vickie, for all her help with the meet and all the breads and cookies she made. They were delicious. Again, thank you!!
Thursday, September 23rd arrived with the fall colors spreading across the Northwoods. FHAW members and Board of Directors of the Foest History Society of N.C. convened in Green Bay for the 35th Anniversary celebration and Conference! (Photo Right-Sara Connor, President of FHAW, Jerry Theide member of FHAW and Forest History Society and Steven Anderson, President of the Forest History Society)
The Celebration began with a Book Signing Reception and Dinner at St. Brendan’s Inn in Green Bay. Michael Edmonds, Director of Digital Archives for the Wisconsin Historical Society signed his book, Out of the Northwoods – The Many Lives of Paul Bunyan. Bill Matthias, also a WHS author signed his book Monster Fire at Minong: Wisconsin’s Five Mile Tower Fire of 1977.
Michael Edmonds, photo left, the Keynote, was awarded the Wayland D. Hand Prize by the American Folklore Society “as the best book of 2009 to combine history and folklore.” He gave his account of Paul Bunyan with wonderful cartoons, magazine caricatures, and photos. From his book cover flap, “Out of the Northwoods presents the culture of nineteenth-century lumberjacks in their own words. It includes a first-hand accounts of how the first Bunyan stories were shared on frigid winter nights….. By sifting through the unpublished manuscripts of early editors of the tales, Michael Edmonds unearths dozen of authentic, Bunyan stories told aloud by lumberjacks between 1885 and 1915.” Paul Bunyan first looked like a “Yeti” or Neanderthal man! Edmonds entertained the audience as Paul Bunyan transformed himself in WWII and grew into the character that we all now know.
Co-Founders present at the 35th Anniversary Conference were recognized and thanked for their many years of membership, Tom Albrecht, Karl Baumann, and Jerry Thiede (Photo right, Sara Connor and Karl Baumann). In addition, Tom Albrecht was awarded the FHAW –Fixmer Award for outstanding contribution to an organization. His plaque read:
“Tom Albrecht was co- founding member of the Forest History Association of Wisconsin. As a Past-President and Treasurer, as well as long serving Board member, his advice, experience, and organizational knowledge is invaluable. He has participated in all of the FHAW projects to promote Wisconsin's Forest History education and publications, as well as promoted the goals and mission principles of the FHAW. As a Forester for the WDNR, a FHAW Board member, and the Society of American Forester's President of the Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame, Tom Albrecht has been dedicated to preserving the forest history legacy of the State of Wisconsin.” (Photo Left Sara Corror and Tom Albrecht, with Fixmer Award)
On Friday, September 24th, the FHAW Conference continued at Heritage Hill State Park in Green Bay. Charles Pelke, Director of Heritage Hill welcomed the group in their new Visitors Center. Paul Delong, Wisconsin State Forester, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), discussed fragmentation and the shift of major forest blocks from Forest Products Industrial Forests to private and conservancy hands. In the last three years, over 2 million acres have been bought and sold putting enormous pressure on the forest products industry supply, as well as sustainability in Wisconsin. (Photo right, Paul DeLong)
Michael Gaetner, WDNR Developer for the Wisconsin Forestry Center in Milwaukee gave an update on the new complex to be built on the Milwaukee County complex in Wauwatosa. He explained the acreage available for educational forestry programs and the availability of space for forestry exhibits. He also explained the need for connecting forest sustainability to the urban population. Presently, there is a complete disconnect between why forests need to be managed and where forest products come from, i.e. “Trees should never be cut and paper comes from Office Max.” (Photo left, Michael Gaetner)
The FHAW thanks our Heritage Hill tour Guides, for telling the story of Wisconsin’s Fur Traders and the story of Fort Howard. (Photo below left, Franklin Hose Company building, photo below right, Fort Howard buildings, Heritage Hill State Park)
At a traditional Northwoods supper club in Peshtigo called Schussler’s, visitors from Canada and throughout the U.S. saw a wedding hall where clearly the entire town of Peshtigo could celebrate. The Peshtigo Chamber of Commerce brought greetings. We later celebrated our 35th Anniversary by singing Happy Anniversary.
With a theme of “Fire” for the conference, Bill Matthias, a WHS author, spoke on his experience with the Monster Fire at Minong. Bill was Superintendent of Schools in Minong and gathered his students to fight the fire! Bill also told of the outpouring of community support. The development of the fire, its path, and timetable tell an incredible story.
A tour of Peshtigo Fire Museum and Cemetery by Bob Couvillion was a highlight of the trip. The artifacts in the museum and the riveting story told by Father Perrin in his The Peshtigo Fire is well worth the trip. The FHAW thanks Bob for the depth of his knowledge and patience answering all of our questions!! (Photo left, Peshtigo Fire Cemetery)
Returning to Green Bay, the FHAW held its Auction and Dinner at the Black and Tan. A wonderful dinner and less of an ideal auction venue, the auction will, nonetheless, be continued next year. As we said good-bye to our new friends of the Forest History Society, we all had enjoyed and had new stories to tell.
The FHAW meeting was continued on Saturday at the Hotel Sierra in Green Bay. With Fires still being the theme, Fred Brechler, a Wisconsinite living in Jacksonville, Florida, gave his account of the “Marathon Fire Tower.” Long an icon, the tower was eventually taken down piece by piece. We thank Fred for his story of how the tower influenced his and the impact it had on the community. Thank you, Fred! (Photo above right, Fred Brechler)
Frank Hitz, FHAW member from Loveland, Colorado gave an update of his 50 years of research on “Wisconsin Historic Sawmills – Database. With over 2,600 entries in the database, it is an extraordinary vast compilation and contribution to the literature. A Korean Veteran and graduate of Baylor University, Frank was an Aerospace Engineer with family ties to Wisconsin’s forest history. Thank you, Frank! (Photo left, Frank Hitz) Fred Besseler of LaCrosse concluded the Speakers with a wonderful talk about the DeHavilland “Mosquito.” The fastest aircraft of WWII at 450 MPH, the “Timber Terror” has a proud history as a Pathfinder, Nightfighter, and Bomber. Amazing photos of its development, construction, and the raids that the “Mossie” participated in Europe, the British re-conquered the skies! The Mossie is made of Wisconsin yellow birch! Thank you, Fred! (Photo Right, Fred Besseler)
The annual meeting was held and Officers and Directors were elected; Sara Connor, President, was re-elected. Mike Sohasky is a returning Board member. Also re-elected was Ray Noffke, Dan Giese. Changes in By-laws were approved to rotate the Board in three segments. Also, By-laws were changed to reduce the Board to nine members for voting purposes in case of a tie.
The Conference concluded knowing that we will be in Central Wisconsin next September. See everyone there!