River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018
River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

Monday, September 29, 2014

Of Golf and Football - Sat., Sept. 27, 2014

Bob got up early this morning to do a 14.8 mile run. He loved the cool temperature!

One of our goals today was to learn more about Bob's family ties in Sayner/Plum Lake, Wisconsin. The place we started was Plum Lake Golf Course (PLGC).

Bob's cousin, Suzy, told him Doc Alton (Bob's great uncle) had plaques in the clubhouse honoring him with Golf Memorial Tournaments in his name. We found them!

Information in quotes from the book One Hundred Years at Plum Lake Golf Club: "Doc taught golf at PLGC and he had many students out at the town ballpark hitting 7 irons and 9 irons, determined to get players out on the course knowing how to play the game. In addition, he served on the PLGC Board from 1974-1981. He was employed by the Interwoven Sock Co. and volunteered at the Vilas County Historical Society." Bob's Uncle Lloyd was employed as a caddy for the summer of 1949 at PLGC. Bob's Dad had also worked as a caddy at PLGC.

Doc Alton Memorial Champion plaques
Golf club sun porch view of Plum Lake
Long story short, we found that Bob's grandfather and great-grandfather and their families were very active in Sayner/Plum Lake, WI. His grandfather, Everett, worked as a fishing guide on Plum Lake, served on the PLGC Board from 1951-1962, was employed as a football coach at Roosevelt High School in Chicago, and then wrote a novel called "Gridiron Courage."

At the Golf Club, we hung out by Plum Lake for a bit, taking photos, enjoying the fall colors, and watching mergansers and a loon on the lake.

A family of mergansers enjoying a warm fall day at the lake.
At one time, Bob's grandfather co-owned Paradise Island and their family had a cabin there. They sold it back to the original owner's family 20 years later.
Paradise (AKA Goodspeed) Island in Plum Lake
Bob at Plum Lake
Bob with Paradise Island in the center.
Bob hanging out with the spirit of his ancestors
Me in front of Plum Lake Golf Club Clubhouse
We spent the next couple of hours at the Vilas Historical Museum. What a great find this little museum is. I found things in here that I hadn't seen since I was a kid! And even more things from before my time.

Dolls galore!
Singer treadle sewing machine (how I learned to sew)
Old typewriters (how I learned to type!)
Old washtubs (thankfully I never had to use those)
Flapper-era dresses (before my time)
Raccoon pelt coat
Satin wedding dress
Loom and spinning equipment (for you Karen Pfundtner!)
Real birchbark canoe
Birchbark canoe had this note on it.
As I mentioned yesterday, the first snowmobile was invented in this neck of the woods. Below is a photo of the prototype...

Original 1924 sled by Carl Eliason

The only snowmobile you could sit on.
Muskies, walleye, pike...lots of fighting game fish
Old-time swimwear
The museum was fun to wander through. By the end of our tour through the museum, the volunteer had pulled two files with information about Bob's relatives. That was an unexpected bonus. We sat down at a table and read through everything.
Bob's great-grandfather, his grandfather and great uncles
Ernest and Cora Alton built The Woodlands Resort at Plum Lake (Sayner)
The Woodlands Resort in Sayner, WI
That concluded our research on Bob's family roots. Just a bit more exploring to do.

This was Doc's house in Sayner
We think many Altons spent time in this pub through the years, so we stopped in and had lunch. If you're ever in Sayner, WI, this is a great place to eat. The food was awesome and the service was friendly.

A number of Altons are buried in Plum Lake Cemetery
Office at The Woodlands Resort
Ernest, Bob's great-grandfather, worked as a caretaker at Camp Highlands for Boys before he built The Woodlands Resort. A number of Alton boys have attended Camp Highlands.

Camp Highlands for Boys
Fall colors
All that research is hard work. We capped off our afternoon with ice cream cones in St. Germain at Cathy's Ice Cream 'n' Candy Shoppe. Excellent ice cream (32 flavors)!

It was getting on toward evening, so we shopped for hot dogs, hot dog buns, and some fruit. When we returned to the 5th wheel, we started a campfire and while that was heating up, we did four loads of laundry at Lynn Ann's Campground. Dinner was campfire-grilled hotdogs and four-bean salad. I should mention our temperature today was about 76 degrees.

What a great day!


  1. Great story and photos. The "cabin" on Paradise Island was somewhat larger than one might expect, with around 8 bedrooms and maids' quarters. Each bedroom had its own fireplace and sink and decorating motif. I haven't visited Sayner in well over 20 years, and looking at those photos was like being there.

    1. Linda,
      Thanks for the new info. It's fun to hear "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey used to say.

  2. nice. . .you guys covered a lot of territory. . .but wow. . .if I ran almost 15 miles. . .I would never have made it to all that. . .goodness!

    1. Yeah, I know. I'm definitely not a runner type.

  3. How wonderful that you could connect and learn more about Bob's family. What a gorgeous part of the state to be exploring in. And to find all that extra information is really interesting!

  4. Ooops hit send too soon!

    As for the fiber pic, that sewing machine cabinet is exquisite! just adorable!!! I have spinning wheel just like the one closest to the sewingmachine cabinet. the loom is a very rare one called a Union Home Loom made by the Union Loom Works from Boonesville, NY. Very sought after because it wove up and down instead of horizontally. I could have spent hours in that one alcove in the musuem! LOL

    Thanks for thinking of me to take the pic....

    1. Glad you liked the photo of the sewing and spinning machines.While I was standing there taking that photo, I slapped my head and thought, "Why didn't I take pictures of your beautiful home?" Silly me.

      If you get a chance to go to the Vilas Historical Museum in Sayner, WI, it isn't that far from you. There's so much stuff packed in there. Be sure to eat at the Sayner Pub too. Great food. Bob and I were nom, nom, noming all through the meal.

  5. Love that canoe, I can hear the loons now.


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