We have finally found cool weather--misty and drizzly--like Oregon in the spring or fall. The place is Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. The temperature ranged from 71 to 73 degrees F. today while we did our 10k walk. I know it sounds wimpy, but as 35-year residents of Oregon, we still needed our umbrellas for a good portion of the walk. Right now, Oregon is experiencing record-high temperatures (110-117 degrees)! It's nice to be in a cooler clime.
This is the first pre-convention walk we have done on this trip that is actually on the day they scheduled it. That means we saw lots of people we knew from far and wide. Diane Howell Evans is here from the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, Ellen Ott, and Susan and Darren Medlin (our BFFs) are here from San Antonio, and we saw many other walking friends who are now arriving in the Madison area.
In addition to the walk, there was also a Volkssporting bike event today. Diane Howell Evans rode her bike first, and then she did a walk afterward. Wow. She's a bundle of energy.
In reference to the title of my blog, I submit the following photo:
|A beautiful mural in downtown
Oconomowoc (five O's).
I finally figured out that the five O's help you spell the name of the town; every other letter is an O!
Our walk started at the Oconomowoc Community Center. The first little bit of the walk passed through City Beach on Lac La Belle, just to give us a taste of what our walk would be like. It looked wonderful.
The old part of town on Wisconsin Avenue has murals and lots of shops and eateries. It was fun exploring.
Oconomowoc was a town that attracted people from the big cities of Milwaukee and Chicago to build summer homes on the lakes here. And, boy, are there some big, lovely ones. Photos of those will come later.
|"Spirit of Oconomowoc" mural.
|The beer is bigger in Wisconsin!
|Oconomowoc City Hall.
Speaking of well-heeled gentlefolk loving to summer here, below is a luxury train car that was used to transport the city dwellers to the only flagstone train station in the country. They were dropped off blocks away from the stinky cattle yards.
|The only flagstone train station in the
United States. It is now Maxim's
From downtown, we set off into the neighborhoods of Oconomowoc where we saw churches, parks, and nice homes.
|Dr. Martin Luther Church - ELCA.
In Roosevelt Park, my six-year-old self would have loved to spend an hour playing at Imagination Station. It's an adorable playground with many fun play structures. My imagination was certainly captured by it. I think I got carried away photographing it!
|Imagination Station at Roosevelt Park.
|Jack and the Beanstalk tower.
|"Dad, play with me!"
|Susan Medlin, Bob Alton, and
|More walkers entering the park.
The next portion of our walk circumnavigated Lake Fowler. This is a ritzy neighborhood! The gorgeous "summer homes" are here (most are dated from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s.) The homes in this neighborhood are pretty easy on the eyes!
|Zion Episcopal Church (built 1889).
|A stunner, and ONE of my favorites
|The entry for the home pictured above.
The house has a lake view.
|The next-door neighbor of the house above.
|Fancy siding and chimney on this house.
|An explosion of day lilies!
|The home of Oconomowoc's first
physician. It was built in 1874.
|I loved this rabbit cooling his jets
amongst discarded radiators from one
of the old homes.
|On the other side of the street, walkers
enjoyed the view of Lac La Belle.
|One of these is not like the others.
This home is ready for Halloween.
The house below was owned by the Montgomery Ward family (an heiress: Marjorie Montgomery Ward). This mansion, known as "Knollward," has 52 rooms and 15 bathrooms! It was built in 1928 for $80,000 and recently sold for $3.1 million.
"This nineteen room Victorian mansion was the showplace of Oconomowoc when it was built by Peter and Henry Schuttler in 1879 at a cost of $30,000. The Schuttlers were successful Chicago wagon manufacturers known not only for their serviceable farm and commercial vehicles and their fancy society carriages, but also for their sturdy 'prairie schooner' used by pioneers traveling westward across the plains and over the mountains. It has been said that the Mormons, setting out for Utah, insisted upon Schuttler wagons before beginning their journey.
"Reflecting the prestigious lake country living of other wealthy industrialists, 'Mon Bijou,' as the Schuttler estate was called, was strictly a summer residence for the two brothers and their families. They owned the property until 1922. For the next seventy years, it served vacationers as the Pine Terrace Resort.
"In 1987, after much carefully detailed restoration brought the structure back to its original opulence and to the prominence it shared in the days when Oconomowoc was known as the 'Newport of the Midwest,' the house was entered in the National Register of Historic Places. Today the Inn at Pine Terrace is a unique bed and breakfast inn."
That sounds like a wonderful place to stay.
We continued through the neighborhoods around Lake Fowler and I found more favorite homes in the process.
|Wow! A rock Tudor.
|Beautiful brickwork and lintels above
|Momma duck and ducklings
swimming on Lake Fowler.
|Very home-y looking.
We made one more pass through downtown. It was time to check out what "The Wizard of Oz" movie had to do with Oconomowoc.
|The Wizard of Oz in front of
Oconomowoc's City Hall.
"The Wizard of Oz" was shown in downtown Oconomowoc at the Strand Theater on August 12, 1939, before its big debut at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood on August 18. In fact, it was the first theater in the country to show the movie. The movie was based on L. Frank Baum's book, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."
|Me, Dorothy, and Susan Medlin.
"We're off to see the Wizard, the
Wonderful Wizard of Oz."
|A colorful cast of characters!
|Susan Medlin and I are hanging
out with the Wicked Witch of the West.
The Wizard of Oz colorful, fiberglass statues were manufactured by F.A.S.T. (Fiberglass, Animals, Shapes, & Trademarks) Corp. located in Sparta, Wisconsin. The figures include scarecrow, Toto, Dorothy, tin man, and the cowardly lion. Fiberglass statue molds for all kinds of projects dating back to the 1960s share a big yard outside F.A.S.T. Corp. in Sparta. [NOTE: Bob and I saw a lot of the molds alongside WI 21, but we didn't know what we were looking at! I would love to go back and roam around looking at all the stuff they have there. There's not a fence around it.]
|Follow the yellow brick road.
|A rainbow path to follow.
|Don't forget to smile!
|The Boardwalk by Lake Fowler.
|This is an inviting place to hang out.
|Train diorama inside Maxim's.
|Apparently, this used to be called
The Depot Inn at one time.
Tomorrow, we're taking a day off In the afternoon, we'll sign up for a couple more walks and get our books stamped for the walks we've already done ahead of the convention. We invited Susan and Darren to our campsite for dinner and a campfire tomorrow evening (weather permitting). If we can't do the campfire, we can eat and drink inside.