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August 6: Years Ago…
Years Ago

‘Years Ago’ is a compilation of newsy tidbits as published in the Crawford County Independent & Kickapoo Scout on this week ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or sixty years ago.


AUGUST 2, 2010 – The Soldiers Grove Library closed out the summer reading program with a picnic last week. Kerry Grant, local American Sign Language teacher and interpreter, gave a demonstration and short lesson to the group. All who attended enjoyed ice cream cones as a treat… Recently elected Crawford County Circuit Court Judge James Czajkowski is pictured during an investiture ceremony held in the courthouse, along with Crawford County Clerk of Court Donna Steiner… A Rock and Roll Reunion was held at the Hickory Grove Golf Course in Fennimore last Saturday. Bands from as long ago as 40 years played all afternoon and evening. Donations of approximately $3,500 were raised for ‘Outreach for World Hope’ at this event. Roddy Dull, Mark Olson and Dean Olson of Edge performed as well as the bands Morning Star, Denise and the 3 of Clubs, Class Act and Wildfire.


AUGUST 3, 2000 – Eighty-three people attended the Crawford County Senior Citizens’ Picnic at the Gays Mills Community Center. Seniors enjoyed the musical entertainment provided by Mike Moneypenny of Fennimore and an abundance of potluck food. Irene Edgar of Dubuque, Iowa, entertained the picnickers with ‘Legacy of Lacy,’ a story of one woman’s life as told through the many handkerchiefs she received throughout her life starting in the year 1912… Donald Johnsrude of Soldiers Grove was recently recognized for 20 years of service on the Crawford County Extension Education Committee. The award was presented by Al Beaver, interim chancellor of UW-Extension, at the annual convention of Wisconsin Associated County Extension Committees in Superior… The North Crawford Summer Recreation Program 12-and-under baseball team won their Ridge and Valley League Tournament in Soldiers Grove. The team included: Trey Hutchison, Jamie Olson, John La Chine, Kyle Lund, Lee Lomas, Patrick O’Neil, Johnnie Bedessem, Dusty Hines, Jared Smyth, John Powell, Chasca Dremsa, Lumen Hobbins, and coaches Justin Sprosty and Jason Burkum. 


AUGUST 2, 1990 – A 1979 GMC tractor-trailer was traveling west on Highway 60 in the Village of Wauzeka on Friday about noon. The hopper door on the trailer was apparently jarred open and approximately 200 bushels of corn spilled onto the highway over a distance of a half-mile before the driver discovered the spill and stopped the truck… In honor of the 10,000thtable made by Peppermint Springs, the company is giving away a $500 table. Owner Gary Holtz says the drawing will be held September 1. Everyone is welcome to come in and sign up for the drawing. Peppermint Springs was started in Gays Mills by Steve Picus and Paul Erling, and purchased in 1987 by Gary Holtz. Earlier this year, the manufacturing plant was moved from the former Drake barn to a new facility in Viola, but the factory outlet store remains on Main Street in Gays Mills. The business employs 14 people.


AUGUST 7, 1980 – The Greg Patchak home in Gays Mills has been appraised as a total loss and will have to be torn down after it was hit by a runaway gravel truck. The Patchaks were not home, when the fully loaded truck driven by Robert F. Kever of Muscoda lost its brakes on Fruit Farm Hill and slammed into the house. The driver jumped out of the truck before it headed down the embankment and into the house… Clarence Gander and Lohnnie Hines are pictured installing street signs at the corner of Orin Street and Rebecca Street in Gays Mills. The signs were purchased by the PACE club.


AUGUST 5, 1970 – The Hercules L. Dousman home, the historic Villa Louis, was equipped with one of the first air-conditioning systems in the state. Each winter between 15 to 20 tons of ice were cut on the Mississippi River to be stored in the basement of the stone icehouse behind the mansion on the Villa grounds. This icehouse, while it served the usual function of food preservation, was also the basic element of the air-conditioning system. It was built as a building within a building and cool air circulated from a four inch space between the walls through a two by three foot tunnel into the basement of the Villa and then up into the house through the fireplace openings. Villa Louis and its icehouse still stand today… One of Crawford County’s beauty spots is highlighted in a view of the Kickapoo River valley seen from a new wayside recently built on Highway 131 about two miles north of the junction with 60, between Wauzeka and Steuben. County crews made a circular graveled turn-around on a high point of ground overlooking a wilderness area that is described by many as being unique in all of Wisconsin.


AUGUST 4, 1960 – Almost two years of petitioning and counter-petitioning were culminated Monday night when the three-county school committee of Crawford, Richland and Vernon voted unanimously to merge the Soldiers Grove, Readstown and Viola school systems. The new district will have approximately 325 high school students. A possible school site for a new high school near Sylvan was suggested but the assemblage was informed that the petition hearing was not the place to discuss the question... John Seafort, Spring Green, will teach square dancing at the regular meeting of the Gays Mills Squaredancers in the Lourie Orchard packing shed.