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"Hidden Places"

A series of articles appearing in the Antigo Daily Journal, from January 2005 to December 2008. The series then went on hiatus until May 29, 2010 when it returned on an occasional basis. The articles look at some of the more interesting, unique and unusual people, places and events of Langlade County and the northwoods of Wisconsin written by Lisa Haefs and Debbie Igl. These articles can be found on microfilm at the Antigo Public Library. Researchers should also note that usually pictures about the article are spread out through the same edition of the paper.
January 15, 2005The Courthouse Spiral Staircase
January 22, 2005The Volm Theater Catwalk
January 29, 2005Carnegie Library Building "Wine Cellar"
February 5, 2005Antigo Junior High School Tunnel
February 12, 2005Bear Caves Actually Glacier Deposits
February 19, 2005Remains of Home Theater Above Professional Building Offices
February 26, 2005Antigo High School Police Liaison Office
March 5, 2005County Historical Museum Attic
March 12, 2005Edward Daskam Mansion
March 19, 2005Pipe Organ at St. Mary 's Catholic Church
March 26, 2005Antigo Opera House
April 2, 2005Antigo Railroad Depot
April 9, 2005North Star Lanes Bowling Pin Setting Machine
April 16, 2005Behind Little Doors at the Elcho Elementary School
April 23, 2005Spring Brook under the Fifth Avenue Bridge and Antigo Businesses
April 30, 2005The 1960's Elcho School Tunnel
May 7, 2005Churchill Downs Twin Spires
May 14, 2005Antigo Post Office - Hidden gem will be restored
May 21, 2005J.L. Kraft Cheese Plant/Antigo Cheese Company
May 28, 2005Abandoned Lily Church...St. John Evangelical Lutheran...waits stoically for end
June 4, 2005Grandview Orchard lives up to its name
June 11, 2005"Heartbeat" of county found in tiny room of Safety Building
June 18, 2005The Great Fish Inn. A.K.A. The Old Hotel, Just George's Knights Inn, The New Beach Inn, and Beach Hotel (constructed 1898) at Pelican Lake.
June 25, 2005Hudson Street Bridge, two-span English-type architecture.
July 2, 2005Polar Community Ball Park
July 8, 2005Gary Hartl's garage "Tiki Bar" and "Mensters" ensemble studio.
July 16, 2005Trip aboard B-17 bomber stirred memories, great respect.
July 23, 2005Sherman tank dredges up memories at Liberty Days
July 30, 2005The Projection Room at the Palace Theater
August 6, 2005Downtown repository has hidden treasures: Langlade National Bank Building; Successor Occupants=Fidelity Savings Bank; Fidelity Marine; Bank One; Chase
August 13, 2005Derelict railroad engine may become local museum showplace
August 20, 2005Restored courthouse dome is spectacular from the interior
August 27, 2005Series coordinator during vacation finds Baker, Calif, home to Jerky, and Aliens?
September 3, 2005Gardner Dam bridges remain a river landmark
September 10, 2005Pile of stones leads to speculation on Lily's moonshine past
September 17, 2005Duffek Sand & Gravel's big pit northeast of Antigo
Septermber 24, 2005Hidden Place recreates African Village
October, 1, 2005Hidden places in the White Lake Robbins Flooring Plant. In early days the Yawkey-Bissell Lumber Co.
October 8, 2005Once-common bunker silos making return to farms
October 15, 2005Polar Pavilion all but forgotten
October 22, 2005Forest Hill Cemetery at Camp Randall, Madison Wis. "Confederate Rest," the northernmost cemetery for Confederate Soldiers.
October 29, 2005Paranormal Activity Reported in Neva Tavern.
November 5, 2005Big Stone Hole - Located on Kettlebowl segment of the Ice Age Trail.
November 12, 2005The Old Kellogg Sawmill at Polar
November 19, 2005The Hoffman House/The Lake Shore House
November 26, 2005The Old White Lake Boarding House/Logger's Hotel
December 3, 2005O'Brien Family 1932 Root Cellar.
December 10, 2005Heisman Trophy has Northwoods Ties.
December 17, 2005Antigo Hotel started its days as the "Backbone."
December 24, 2005A Christmas tree mystery sparks the season. Elcho trees reflect longtime holiday tradition, but who decorated them?
December 31, 2005This year's "Hidden Places" stories reviewed.
Series Winter Break
March 18, 2006Polar's Klement Family maple sap storage silo domes.
March 25, 2006Frank Kovac's Planetaium in Monico.
April 1, 2006Oshkosh Public Museum: Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.
April 8, 2006Usually landlocked (Skinner) dam has big role.
April 15, 2006Winter's harvest revealed at Canopy Gardens.
April 22, 2006"Lake Wisconsin" Northwoods guardsmen build oasis in harsh Iraqi desert.
April 29, 2006The view is worth the climb to top of Vilas fire tower.
May 6, 2006Kentucky Derby starting gate hearkens back to a bygone era in Antigo.
May 13, 2006Hospital archives preserve the past to keep ties to the future.
May 20, 2006Tom Benishek's youngsters log cabin playhouse.
May 27, 2006Soldiers Circle. A Place of honor in the Antigo Cemetery.
June 3, 2006Vilas Town Hall gains a new future after illustrious past
June 10, 2006Wreath is a miracle of parishioner (St. John's Church) ingenuity.
June 17, 2006Irv Kriewaldt remembers his old cheese factory at Langlade.
June 24, 2006Cathedral Woods: A 17-acre tract of historic pines in Nicolet National Forest
July 1, 2006Quietly, Deleglise Cabin remembers an era. Descendants still involved in tours, preservation.
July 8, 2006Antigo's Historical McMillion Hotel nears demolition.
July 15, 2006Restored Russian T-34 tank displayed at Fairground during Liberty Days Event.
July 22, 2006Aline Grose's Pickerel garden really works using old carpets and outdated newspapers.
July 29, 2006An Interview with Gizmo a six-foot robot prowling the Langlade County Fair
August 5, 2006Summit Lake island soaked in history. There was even a cabin, other buildings on tiny atoll.
August 12, 2006The private Antigo Island in Pelican Lake. Founders celebrating 100th year of the Antigo Island Club this summer.
August 19, 2006Baures Island: A family heirloom in Bass Lake.
August 26, 2006Wood's Island: A place straight of youngster's favorite tale on Pickerel Lake
September 2, 2006Marchese Island: Once the Wolf River hide-away home of Tom Marchese who ran automobile races on the Milwaukee Mile.
September 9, 2006Remember Antigo's horse racing heyday? Just take a trip to Fargo N.D.
September 16, 2006The Lumbercamp segment of the Ice Age Trail
September 23, 2006Jankowski Family maintains monument to 106-year-old religious sighting.
September 30, 2006Antigo has a wildland (Northern Natural Area) just a few blocks from the downtown core.
October 7, 2006Antigo had another great swimming pool (the William Rath facility) off the north end of Virginia Street in the 1930's and 1940's.
October 14, 2006The bell (a two clapper constructed by the Buckeye Company in 1903) no longer tolls over the closed (June 25, 2006) Holy Family Catholic Church in Mattoon.
October 21, 2006Sheriff's armored vehicle covers large swarth of north.
October 28, 2006The (haunted by the Indian maiden Jenny?) T.B. Scott mansion in Merrill.
November 4, 2006Nowadays, the Sherry is just a memory but once, Crocker Hills area was thriving community.
November 11, 2006Elmhurst pretty well gone, but rich history of pictures and tales show this Hidden Place was once very lively.
November 18, 2006Bavaria was a cracker of a town. Settled by Germans, area was hub of activity.
November 25, 2006Pratt Junction now hardly a memory. Absolutely nothing remains of once-thriving town.
December 2, 2006St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Neva: Tale behind the 1950's church intriguing.
December 9, 2006The Gartzke Flowage: An outdoor enthusiast's hiking, mountain-biking, snowshoeing, cross-county skiing and running heaven.
December 16, 2006Pickerel Lake's Buena Vista Lodge: Once Hanousek and Volm Families' playground now a hidden retreat for a "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" price.
December 23, 2006Crandon doctor creates Christmas lights display gift for community.
December 30, 2006Frank Kovac's Monico planetarium (March 25th) named top Hidden Place story of the year. The readers and hidden places crew's favorite "best-of " stories reviewed.
Series Winter Break
March 17, 2007St. Patrick window at St. John Church, hidden tribute to Irish here.
March 24, 2007Final (rather hidden) resting place of City's founder, Francis Deleglise.
March 31, 2007Hidden marker notes the area's earliest homestead, of W.L. Ackley, near Riverview.
April 7, 2007Now hidden as storage building, Sanborn Chapel part of county's religious history.
April 14, 2007Movie theater film about life in 1940 Antigo stays hidden but Hidden Places crew continues search.
Also news article about Elcho businessman, Charles W. Fish, on 50th anniversary of his death.
April 21, 2007Foundation of huge 1920's Norem Sheep Ranch now hidden in woods of the Sherry.
April 28, 2007Huge white pine tree hidden in its Heistad Farm hollow near White Lake dwarfs others in size and age.
May 5, 2007Hidden among the sights of the Kentucky Derby race is the work product of Crandon's Mills Saddlery.
May 12, 2007Eight-ton ship's propeller, now area yard decoration, is far from its past watery domain and hidden history.
May 19, 2007Hidden in Antigo's Railroad History is a elegant Pullman car called "Badger 2" (aka: the fish car) that was used to transport fry planted in Wisconsin's lakes and streams.
Picture of car's 1921 visit to Antigo.
May 26, 2007Was it hidden black gold or white lightning under that Great Depression Era oil derrick in the Parrish hills?
June 2, 2007Hidden phantom moonshine stills pockmarked the northwoods.
June 9, 2007Hidden by a half-century of faded memories and an unmarked grave is the tale of the Gypsy Inn Murder.
June 16, 2007Collector items now hidden in area homes are all that remain of Antigo's infamous Madam Ella and her White House Bar brothel.
June 23, 2007Before the legal gambling of today's tribal casinos, illegal roulette wheels and card tables were hidden in the basements and back rooms of area taverns and night clubs.
June 30, 2007Chicago's old-time gangsters liked to take hidden vacations in the Northwoods. Capone and Dillinger visited Langlade County. Neopit's Billie Frechette was not like the movie version of a gangster's girlfriend.
July 7, 2007Town of Ainsworth's Ice Age Walking Trail is hidden along the Wolf River.
July 14, 2007Hidden Places fans/readers provide new information, make corrections, and update some of the crew's past articles.
July 21, 2007Hidden behind a paper mill an old Oconto Falls barn that was constructed of ceramic tile and built for commercial use is unique.
July 28, 2007Magic is a hidden art form. Prestidigitator Rusty Ammerman interviewed at the Langlade County Youth Fair.
August 4, 2007Ultralight flight over Youth Fair Midway with Postmaster John Szigat offers spectacular view hidden from the earthbound.
August 11, 2007Camp Lake Resort is a hidden place nestled in the Nicolet Forest near Lakewood. Its artistic hand-crafted cottages made of stone and unique wood adornments have drawn vacationers for decades.
August 18, 2007On the shores of Sawyer Lake, Silver Birch Ranch offers a hidden oasis from the busy world through retreats and camping.
August 25, 2007With the demolition of the McMillion Hotel building, the crew looks back at Antigo's Grand Hotel Era which is now largely hidden by progress.
September 1, 2007The exclusive and very private Knights Templar Club on the shores of Duck Lake has remained hidden from the general public for more than 80 years. Club and location significant in county's history.
September 8, 2007The Aulik Blacksmith Shop and its metamorphasized business buildings were last of an era. Demolition uncovered hidden artifacts of historical past.
September 15, 2007Hidden gems of the Wolf River are often truly beautiful locations that are different things to different people.
September 22, 2007The jade glass of famed Lake Gitchigumi. Superior's waters, caves are a hidden treasure.
September 29, 2007Old Elcho silo is still useful, but for a new purpose. Gains second life as a fine hidden place for reflection.
October 6, 2007Hidden by the history of the Chicago fire on the same day a maelstrom of fire and wind leveled Peshtigo 136 years ago. The crew visits the Peshtigo Fire Museum and Cemetery.
October 13, 2007The crew takes a "silly break" (their words) and explains how in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan book Jane jilts Tarzan and returns home to a hidden northern Wisconsin farmhouse to live.
October 20, 2007Hidden in the mists of memory the Battle of Mole Lake took place 201 years ago this month between the Ojibwe Chippewa and the Sioux over area rice beds.
October 27, 2007The Ghost Team of Antigo - a group of 12 women spread across the Northwoods who volunteer to examine the activity of not always hidden ghosts.
November 3, 2007Hidden in the shadow of the Mole Lake Casino the historic Dinesen Log Cabin Restoration Project is slow going and financially painful.
November 10, 2007The rifle range is a true hidden place in the Antigo American Legion Clubhouse's basement.
November 17, 2007Sheldon's Inc. trophy room is a deer hunter's paradise including a unique hidden trophy story.
November 24, 2007Alvin Linden's fame and gun stock shop near Bryant is a true hidden story. Self-described 'gun butcher' was a true craftsman and artist.
December 1, 2007Recalling evanescent Casper Landing: A now hidden community that prospered during Langlade County's logging and railroad era.
December 8, 2007Once a bustling sawmill community, evidence of Strassburg now hidden by overgrowth of grass and weeds.
December 15, 2007A place of parties and hidden moonshine now vanished Ormsby far from forgotten in the memories of those that proudly called it home.
December 22, 2007Kent is now hidden in all but fleeting memories. At one time, venerable mill town was a thriving place.
December 29, 2007Al Linden Workshop (November 24th) named top Hidden Place story of the year. June's month-long series on vices was second and the Peshtigo Fire research trip third. The readers and hidden places crew's favorite "best-of " stories and comments reviewed.
Series Winter Break
April 19, 2008A visit to the Mawikwe Sea Caves along the Apostle Island National Lakeshore.
April 26, 2008Traveling on the ice road between Bayfield and Madeline island.
May 3, 2008On this Kentucky Derby weekend, a Hidden Places' article about a visit with Antigo native, Steve Avery, a manger with Taylor Made Farm near Lexington, KY and the farm's thoroughbred horses.
May 10, 2008Recalling the railroad trestle that once crossed Kellogg's Pond. The remaining piles now are only seen when the Fourth Avenue Dam gates are opened to drain Antigo Lake in the spring to prevent flooding.
May 17, 2008John W. Smith developed his award-winning "Triumph" seed potato variety on his Kent farm fields in the early twentieth century. Today, his fields are hidden by Christmas trees, his achievement is not mentioned in current literature, and only a few seed companies sell the variety for home garden use. Thanks to his family, however, his achievement is now documented at the Langlade County Historical Society.
May 24, 2008On this Memorial Day weekend, a Hidden Places' article about the original plaster model of the Iwo Jima Memorial, signed by sculptor Felix De Weldon which was rescued from the attic of John Bradley's Antigo home. Originally presented to John Bradley by the sculptor it now is on display in an alcove of the Bradley Family Funeral Home in Antigo.
May 31, 2008A new massive vault being built at the Langlade Memorial Hospital Radiation Care Center will both protect and preserve something very valuable --- life.
June 7, 2008Horse bridle paths are hidden gems. The crew kicks off a month of looking at "County of Trails."
June 14, 2008"County of Trails" takes a watery twist. The Wolf River has attracted the adventuresome for centuries.
June 21, 2008The Nicolet Roche Mountain Bike Trail isn't for everyone's abilities, but it is another hidden gem in our "County of Trails."
June 28, 2008Not all county trails are the silent sort. Crew has a ball enjoying extensive ATV system trails.
July 5, 2008The Ice Age Trail concludes the "County Trails" series. Originally proposed as the Moraine National Park in 1958 it actually developed into a trail system that hugs the glacial lobes that enveloped much of Wisconsin. Segments in Langlade County are named, Kettlebowl, Lumbercamp, Old Railroad, Highland Lakes, and Parrish Hills.
July 12, 2008Remembering the 1975 cult classic "The Giant Spider Invasion" filmed in nearby Gleason, which was one of 12 low-budget flick churned out by Bill Rebane for the southern drive-in theater crowd from his studios located on Highway J between Irma and Gleason. Local people including some from Gleason, Tomahawk, Merrill and Antigo appeared as extras in the films.
July 19, 2008When is a woodpile not a woodpile? When it is used to create the Stovewood Building at Jennings in Southeastern Oneida County. Built by John Mecikalski around 1900 it is now listed on the National Registry of Historical Places.
July 26, 2008A "dressing room" visit with the Budweiser Clydesdale draft horse team and their handlers during their appearance at the Langlade County Youth Fair.
August 2, 2008Legendary people-powered boat races were once held at Long Lake. Held in the 1970's and 80's near the Thirsty Bear Pub, they were the brainchild of Conrad Simon and sponsored by the Vilas-Deerbrook Snowmobile Riders as a summer activity for the club.
August 9, 2008Artist nurtured in Antigo wins acclaim. Chicago gallery has work of Frank Vavruska on display.
August 16, 2008No need to travel to enjoy natural wonders. The Eau Claire Dells ranks up there with Yosemite for mystic beauty.
August 23, 2008Long-gone Chicago & Northwestern Railroad's ice house lives on in model railroad sets. The ice was harvested from Kellogg's Pond and used to air condition passenger cars and refrigerator cars loaded with potatoes up to the 1950's.
August 30, 2008The Wolf River Lodge is a landmark that has catered to everyone from fishermen and kayakers to future presidents and travel writers.
September 6, 2008This hidden place offers a poignant tribute. The 9/11 monument and piece of steel from the World Trade Center in front of Antigo City Hall is easily seen by visitors but its significance is often overlooked by many.
September 13, 2008Ancient logs hidden for 1,600 years old recently pulled from a bog in Crocker Hills.
September 20, 2008Cellcom builds one-of-a-kind "green" antenna tower in Ackley wildlife area.
September 27, 2008Changing times spell end for Farmers Elevator. Longtime Antigo feed mill will change business model and relocate, without signature "hen house."
October 4, 2008The James Driscoll House has interesting history including hidden doors and secret stairways. Flipper Jim Schultz has added some extra touches of his own.
October 11, 2008Mascot loved by many, but who knows what's inside the Antigo High School Robin's head?
October 18, 2008Langlade Courthouse is home to turn-of-century mural pinup. Model Katherine Ryerson, wife of artist Edward Soderberg, quietly became icon across Midwest.
October 25, 2008Bill and Kay Majest enjoy a ghoulishly good time. Nine-Mile area home hides a true Halloween spectacular display.
November 1, 2008Long ago, Langlade County politicians gathered in the "wigwam." Rather strange structure was constructed, for the 1896 presidential election, on the site of the present day Historical Society Museum.
November 8, 2008Dedicated in 1914, the Estonian Lutheran Church near Gleason, the first of its kind in the U.S., has now fallen into disrepair. History documented by Sharon Thatcher in 1978 series of articles in the Merrill Shopper & Foto News.
November 15, 2008Crocker Hills/Kent area relied on deep, hand-dug wells. Today, blister-busting craft is now all but forgotten.
November 22, 2008A museum of sorts for major crimes is hidden away in the evidence locker of the Langlade County court office.
November 29, 2008Deer Camp is a tradition, not location. Pyatt clan upgrades from hut, still adding family memories.
December 6, 2008Ullrich Vosmek was a master gunsmith. His fame is largely forgotten, his tools were sold or lost, and his masterpiece "Golden Mauser" is now believed owned by gun collector in Florida.
December 13, 2008The Strike Zone Lanes' past life as the Antigo Hardware Company garage was once home to one of the finest Studebaker showrooms in Wisconsin. It also hosted a bowl-off between bowling's famous top female kegler, LaVerne Carter, and Antigo businessman/famous kegler Bob Kommers.
December 20, 2008Neve's Furniture and Flooring store hides relics of mystic past. Grand ballroom, pipe organ still prepared for Masonic rituals.
December 27, 2008"The Giant Spider Invasion" (July 12th) named top Hidden Place story of the year. "Ullrich Vosmek, master gunsmith" was second (Dec 6th). "The James Driscoll mystery house" was third (Oct 4th).
Hidden Places returns from hiatus now on an OCCASIONAL BASIS.
May 29, 2010Famed, but flawed Isettas drive again. Microcars turn into macro-project for Mattoon man.
July 3, 2010Sailor (Gerald George Lehman), once lost (grave marked as Unknown), finally comes home. DNA testing of his saliva on letters written to his mother reunite Antigo man, killed during Pearl Harbor Attack, with family.
July 17, 2010Birnamwood Hotel slated for auction. Massive, once-grand structure recalls bygone century.
July 24, 2010Pickerel man (Bud McBain) among first to see Hitler's bunker. Hidden bunker is long gone, but memories and photos linger.
August 13, 2010A skeleton in a tunnel! Recalling Lower Post Lake's Breezy Point area 1935 unsolved mystery. Maybe or not, a patient who didn't survive a well-known "gangster hospital" located a few lakes to the west?
August 20, 201050 years after tragedy, family remembers Marty Tucker. Dedicate bench at walkway that is again 'filled with life.'
August 28, 2010Decades ago, youngsters had real fun. Jones' water park mixed thrills and dangers at Neva Lake.
September 4, 2010In Kentucky bluegrass, the Neva Corners Service Garage finds a new home.
November 13, 2010Sailor's quiet WW II heroism recalled. Kermit Heistad saved ship's crew, finally getting recognition.
July 16, 2011Casino auction marks end of an era. Mole Lake's Grand Royale Casino, the first true Las Vegas-style casino in the northwoods, goes on the auction block July 23rd.
January 14, 2012Artist has a "World of Wonders." Clayton Bailey honed his early skills in Antigo.
February 25, 2012Mechanism built by Merit Gear helps steer enormous telescope in Flagstaff, Arizona.
March 17, 2012Venerable fairgrounds dairy barn not hidden, just totally gone. Modern machinery made quick work of structure that dated to 1924.
May 5, 2012On Derby day, recalling Antigo's racing past. Northwoods was center of exciting, often gritty action.
June 23, 2012Subdividing of Wolf River Lodge marks end of era. Sale will also bring new generations to a venerable facility.
June 30, 2012Antigo man (Pvt. Albert Ross) played role in Little Bighorn battle. Antigo museum relic (1876 Winchester rifle) may have been a weapon used in the fight.
July 7, 2012"Artist's garden" will be featured in annual tour. Oasis usually hidden from public view will go on display.
July 14, 2012Ashland ore dock will soon be lost to history. Community landmark deemed unsafe, being razed in enormous project.
July 21, 2012Staunch Lucerne no match for Superior storm. Shipwreck in 1886 off Chequamegon Bay stunned maritime community.
July 28, 2012Edward Keyes was quiet WW II hero. Survived the sinking of the USS Indianapolis by a Japanese submarine.
August 4, 2012Artist won't be hiding any longer. Clayton Bailey returning to Antigo for reunion and program.
August 11, 2012Emotional week in Aniwa as school falls. Logically, the failing building simply had to be razed.
August 18, 2012Project unveils remmant of downtown's heyday. Facade work points to time when Fifth Avenue was teeming.
August 25, 2012Long before iPhone, there was Kingsbury's typewriter.
Famed photographer chronicled the northwoods with amazing device.
September 1, 2012From Langlade Hospital's rubble, amazing artifacts. Long-hidden entrance, and stunning memento of once-grand facility.
September 8, 2012Some Hidden Places meet a sad end, such as the Kriewaldt's cheese factory. (see June 17, 2006 Hidden Places article)
October 6, 2012Group working to save Ashland ore dock as it is razed. Ideas for massive structure include cruise ship termainal, maritime park.
October 13, 2012Long-forgotten time capsule recovered. Included in veterans Elmwood Cemetery monument, time and elements have taken toll.
July 20, 2013"Wisconsin's Artist Plumber" recalled. George Falkenhagen wanted to paint every lake in county.
May 10, 2014Phlox monument to Jack McBride recalls 75-year-old gala
Today, few recall angler Jack McBride, his influence.


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