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Bits and Pieces for June 7
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There are a number of news stories lurking in the background this week that will be featured in far more prominent venues in the Journal than Bit and Pieces.

But as I see it, getting a jump on things is just good journalistic fun.

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The first deals with an abandoned church in Gleason, but an important piece of history.

On Nov. 8, 2008, the Journal’s “Hidden Places” crew visited the building off Highway J near the Langlade-Lincoln County line east of Gleason.

In its day, it was the Estonian Lutheran Church, the first congregation of its type established in the United States.

The little church has a fascinating history and it has captured attention. The 2008 Journal article suggested it was destined to fade into the forest, but in only about six years its fate has turned.

Today, a volunteer workforce from Chicago will be gathering to shore up the foundation of the ailing building, which dates back to 1907. It will be a big job, but must start at the base and at least it is getting underway.

We are meeting in a matter of days with the people behind the restoration project to produce a traditional newspaper story.

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The annual fly-in at the Langlade County Airport, set for Saturday, Sept. 20, will have a special and sad twist to it.

It will be dedicated to the memory of Bill Cowden, who died in Stevens Point on June 1 when his stunt plane crashed at the community’s air show.

Cowden, a 47-year-old pilot from Menomonie has flown for a number of the Antigo/Langlade County shows in the past and in the process, got to know a number of local residents well.

I have met and talked with Cowden at the airport here a number of times, discussed his experience and passion for stunt flying and a tingle of that “barnstorming” spirit appearing at shows throughout the region.

There were pictures with his YAK-55M plane, a perfect stunt vehicle, and he had great pride in what he was doing.

He went into the sky with decades of flight experience in the military and commercial planes.

If you were a mingler at the Antigo/Langlade County Airport show, very likely you met Cowden.

Cowden died doing what he loved. Early and tragic, yes, but few of us have that opportunity.

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At this time of year I’m a regular at Frisch Greenhouses. With the arrival of planting time, I run up quite a bill filling boxes making the final days of spring and most of the summer a little brighter and joyful.

I always pause at the display the Frisch family has put in place for the 100th anniversary, checking out the ledgers, pictures and other bits of history.

One of them is this photograph, probably from the 1940s, showing the patriarch, center, Ignatius Frisch, and two of his sons, Del at the left and Con.

We tried to figure out who the ladies at the right are but I haven’t a clue.

If you do, stop at the greenhouses and check the larger photograph and help us fill in the blanks.

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I get terribly set in my ways.

The Antigo Daily Journal still gets its newspapers in bound monthly books for racks that fill a room on the second floor of our building at 612 Superior St.

It is called “the morgue.”

But that word has connotations of death, but as you know, I find history quite a lively topic. Especially local history.

I actually read portions of the newspapers from 1939 and 1964, and have done it for years authoring Peeps at Our Past.. Of course, time available dictates that service. Using microfilm or computer screens is, by comparison, a pain in the neck.

So there must have been idle muses in the air the other night when I spotted a piece on the local page about a party of about 40 traveling to Deer Lake outside of Three Lakes for the Memorial Day holiday.

Our editor, Earle Holman, or a member of the staff would go to the Chicago and Northwestern depot and check the college students coming and departing, the businessmen making visits and in this case, likely that group of 40.

Led by Bob and Carl Marty Jr., operators of a major cheese plant in Monroe County, they were bringing co-workers and employees to their cottages on the Chain of Lakes.

No one, perhaps not even the Marty folks, know that in a matter of a handful of years, they would create a spectacular resort, show facility and golf course on that Deer Lake property. It was the Northernaire, and the casual travel note was a quiet signal that something bigger was going on.

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That little piece and my memories of the resort and its owner led me to dig into my “Bits” desk drawer.

Recently, the people from Arcadia Publishing, a wonderful South Carolina firm, sent the Journal a copy of their latest regional book, “Images of America: Three Lakes.”

The same firm prepared the tremendous Kingsbury photographic edition for the Langlade County Historical Society.

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The Three Lakes book traces the early history, arrival of the railroad and development of the entire region.

While I’m not that familiar with development in the area, there are tremendous pictures and very attractive writing by Alan Tulppo and Kyle McMahon, associated with the historical society.

It is a very nice gift or piece that friends of the Three Lakes area should own.

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Finding the trip by the Marty crew was an example of working with history, and enjoying it.

Every day I read about the chess game in Europe between the Nazi powers and what will be the Allies.

It is a fast-moving, stunning day-by-day lesson that is an eye-opener to this Baby Boomer. I don’t think there is a history book, or series of them, that can cover the events quite like the daily newspaper did.

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I tried to get a picture while driving home from Rhinelander later Thursday afternoon.

I was crossing the bridge over the Eau Claire River on Highway B and glanced east. Standing in the stream was a deer with water about to its knees.

By the time I got the car stopped and turned around, the deer was gone. But I thought it would have been a great flick for our spring picture page coming up soon. By the way, we still need entries and the deadline looms — June 21.

Send them along to adj@dwave.net with “spring pictures” in the subject line, drop them off at our office or through the mail, 612 Superior St., Antigo, 54409.

I’ll continue to look for the deer, who was likely trying to escape the mosquitoes.

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It is a busy weekend, please enjoy it.
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ANTIGO DAILY
JOURNAL
612 Superior Street
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

WEEKLY
JOURNAL
EXPRESS
612 Superior Street,
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

*Member WNA & NNA

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