ON THIS SPOT _ Issue 1

wisconsinhistoricalmarkers

From the Lake Michigan shoreline to the banks of the
Mississippi River, from Bayfield to Beloit, the Union's 30th state
boasts an eclectic, fascinating, impressive history that is often
overlooked in favor of the east coast colonies. From the first peoples
who have cherished the land from time immemorial; to the arrival of
the French explorers, "voyageurs" and Catholic missionaries in the
1600's; to the pioneer settlers who arrived in droves from the
late-1700's to the mid-1800's, Wisconsin's history has been shaped
by an enviable array of people, places, cultures, languages, and
events that influence residents and visitors even today.

Through interviews with those who placed the markers, ON THIS
SPOT augments the popular WisconsinHistoricalMarkers.blogspot.com website and provide readers with a deeper understanding
of the history briefly recounted in a marker's content,
such that, when in the area, readers may be
inspired to "stop and visit the spot".

W I S C O N S I N H I S T O R I C A L M A R K E R S M A G A Z I N E

ON THIS SPOT

The History

of the Marking

of Wisconsin

Marker 562: The

White Pine in

Neillsville History

I S S U E 1 | V O L 1 | W I N T E R 2 0 1 7


WELCOME!

to the first edition of

ON THIS SPOT

Wisconsin Historical Markers Magazine

From the Lake Michigan shoreline to the banks of the

Mississippi River, from Bayfield to Beloit, the Union's 30th state

boasts an eclectic, fascinating, impressive history that is often

overlooked in favor of the east coast colonies. From the first peoples

who have cherished the land from time immemorial; to the arrival of

the French explorers, "voyageurs" and Catholic missionaries in the

1600's; to the pioneer settlers who arrived in droves from the

late­1700's to the mid­1800's, Wisconsin's history has been shaped

by an enviable array of people, places, cultures, languages, and

events that influence residents and visitors even today.

Through interviews Add with a those little bit who of placed body text the markers, ON THIS

SPOT will augment the popular Wisconsin Historical Markers

website and provide readers with a deeper understanding

of the history briefly recounted in a marker's content,

such that, when in the area, readers may be

inspired to "stop and visit the spot".

Melinda Roberts, Author / Editor

Visit our website at

WisconsinHistoricalMarkers.blogspot.com


In this Issue

1.

What famous Wisconsonite

invented the outboard motor

in 1908 and founded

a new American industry?

WI HISTORY

CHALLENGE

2.

In what Wisconsin county

was the prototype of the

modern snowmobile

developed in 1924?

Answers on page 19

The History of the

Marking of Wisconsin

Wisconsin's first historical marker was

erected in De Pere (Brown County) in 1899.

Since then, literally thousands of markers

have been placed by the State Historical

Society, county and local historical

societies, private groups, and individuals.

(page 4)

Marker 562: The White Pine in

Neillsville History

When Mark and Mary Jurgaitis moved from

St. Charles, Illinois, to Neillsville (Clark

County), Wisconsin, they discovered not

only the interesting history of the area, but

a little­known history of their Latter­Day

Saints faith, as well.

(page 11)

History Mystery

Plug these coordinates into

your GPS and find yourself

at a fascinating Wisconsin

historical spot.

(page 20)

3.

What did four

Richland County farm boys

discover after a severe

rainstorm in 1897?

Four Cool Museums

Winter's a great time to visit

these unique Wisconsin

museums.

(page 21)


The History of the Marking

of Wisconsin

They're out there! Mostly in plain

sight, sometimes obscured by

over­growth, sometimes in places

so remote even locals have

forgotten them. Still, they’re out

there in the thousands.

Rigorously researched.

Meticulously made. Purposely

placed. Bronze tablets bolted to

boulders, massive wooden

markers mounted between hewn

logs, metal signs a top slender

silver poles – the history of

Wisconsin is preserved with a

variety of shapes and sizes of

historical markers. Easily

accessible at roadway turnouts

and rest stops, inside parks and

recreation areas, on or near

government or other important

community buildings, passersby

may not notice them at first ­­ but

once aware, markers turn up

everywhere!

Landmarks in Wisconsin, The State

Historical Society endeavored to

posit an enthusiasm for identifying,

preserving and marking

Wisconsin’s historic sites, and for

documenting those sites already so

marked.

The Wisconsin Historical Society

had its eyes on New England and

Los Angeles, California, where

notable efforts to preserve, restore,

and label historic sites had been

underway since 1875 and 1895,

respectively. Also noted was the

historic self­consciousness” of

most European nations and the

organization of "scientific commissions

to mark, preserve and study

their ancient monuments."

Whether erected by state, county,

or local societies, individuals or

groups, Wisconsin’s historical

markers serve three purposes:

they identify a location where

some significant event occurred;

they commemorate and

memorialize that event; and they

bring that event to the attention of

people of varying ages and

backgrounds in a way that is

interesting, understandable, and

meaningful.

In its September 1913 Bulletin of

Information No. 70: A Record of


Wisconsin traces its European beginnings with the arrival of French

explorer Jean Nicolet in 1634 (just 13½ years after the Pilgrims

arrived in New England). Controlled by the French for 150 years,

Wisconsin possessed relics of the regime “in the region of Green Bay,

on the banks of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, on the shores of Lakes

Michigan and Superior, and along the Mississippi, the St. Croix, and

the Bois Brulé rivers.” In addition, the fur trade, lead mining, logging,

farming, and other commerce had left their mark on Wisconsin, and

there remained “in every community, scenes and events well worthy

of attention from local committees”.

The Wisconsin Historical Society suggested an extensive list of sites

to preserve and mark:

­­ The “Indian mounds” . . . “should be preserved and make the centre

of public parks”

­­ The sites of “old Indian villages,

cemeteries, implement

workshops, and planting grounds,

in the neighborhood of white

settlements, should where

practicable be preserved"

­­Tablets “should mark the

positions of fur­trading posts or

early military stations, the first

permanent dwelling, schoolhouse,

or church built in each

city, town or village, and other

sites around which historic

memories obviously cling”

­­ The naming of new streets . . .

schoolhouses, bridges, and

parks, “may appropriately be

named after old settlers or other

historical characters of the region”

Children and adults were inspired

to make annual historic pilgrimages

to interesting objects . . .


“such visitations being accompanied with popular

lectures and other educational exercises.” Libraries

were challenged to cooperate with other agencies to

collect local archaeological and historical materials

and to maintain a “natural history museum.” By

encouraging the attainment of these lofty goals, the

Wisconsin Historical Society believed its landmarks

movement might “be of much practical utility in

increasing popular interest in local history – and the

fruitage of such interest is civic patriotism.”

Brown County is home to one of the “earliest and

most important events” in the history of the placement

of markers. On September 6, 1899, a “striking

and beautiful monument” was unveiled at De Pere,

commemorating the 1671­72 erection of Father

Claude Allouez’s Jesuit mission along the Fox River.

The large, heavy bronze marker was affixed to a

boulder a top a stone platform and placed at the base

of the Allouez Bridge in east De Pere. The marker is

no longer at its original location, but is held in storage

at the De Pere Historical Society.

In the years that followed, due largely to the efforts

of the Wisconsin State Federation of Women’s Clubs

and its local auxiliaries, The Old Settlers’ Club of

Milwaukee, and the Wisconsin Archeological Society,

gallant strides were made in the placement of similar

tablets at Wisconsin’s historical sites and effigy

mounds, as well as in the erecting of monuments in

commemoration of “events or persons prominently

connected with the European discovery and

settlement of Wisconsin.”

In closing, the Bulletin lists in chronological order 29

known tablets and monuments erected state­wide

between 1887 and 1913. (In 1887, in Juneau Park,

Milwaukee, a massive statue of Solomon Juneau,

one of the earliest settlers of that city (1818) and its

first mayor (1836), was erected. The monument was

gifted to the City by Charles T. Bradley and William

H. Metcalf.)

For many years after, at its annual meetings, the

Wisconsin Historical Society garnered monument

reports from each of the state’s county and local

historical societies. The reports were then included

in the “Proceedings of the Wisconsin Historical

Society Annual Meeting" annual publications.

(left) Site of Fort of Three Nations, erected 1908


In 1943, the State Historical Society began an effort

to create a marker system “that would unite the

histories” of Wisconsin’s broad and diverse communities

“under the same historical marker design”.

A committee was organized, and nine “uniform

historical markers” were placed across Wisconsin

from 1943­1951.

By 1950, a new historical markers commission had

been formed. In addition to the State Historical

Society, members included representatives from the

State Highway Commission, State Conservation

Department, State Department of Public Instruction,

and State Planning Board. Two brown and cream

marker designs were developed – a 4.5x6 marker for

rural locations and a smaller marker for urban

settings. Each “official” marker would bear at its top

a distinct seal consisting of a badger emblem and

the words “Wisconsin Historical Marker”. Approval

of an “official” marker was a meticulous process,

designed to ensure that “only sites of bona fide

state­wide importance and significance” were

marked.

Dedication ceremonies celebrated the unveiling of

"official" markers. State and local officials attended,


Wisconsin Registered Landmark No. 98: The Mayville

White Limestone School Building (Dodge County)

as well as representatives from the Wisconsin

Historical Society. The ceremonies often involved

much pomp and circumstance – community bands

played, school children sang patriotic songs and/or

hymns, and persons of prominence gave speeches,

thereby creating a sense of sacredness and

importance for the history memorialized by the

marker.

The first “official” marker was dedicated Sunday,

October 7, 1951, at the Peshtigo Fire Cemetery in

Peshtigo (Marinette County), and coincided with the

80th anniversary of the devastating fire. Present

were a group of fire survivors (quiet elderly by then).

Governor Walter J. Kohler, Jr. also attended.Today

the list of “official” markers numbers approximately

560. (An interesting side note: only a handful of the

markers honor the accomplishments of Wisconsin

women!!)

architectural, cultural, archaeological, ethnic,

geological and legendary significance." All sites

included in the Wisconsin Registered Landmarks

program were required to be "of at least statewide

significance". After designating approximately 122

locations, the Registered Landmarks program

ended in 1973. Most of the distinguishable green

and white markers remain in place throughout

Wisconsin.

From Madeline Island to Wind Point (Racine Co.),

the Wisconsin Historical Society Maritime Trails

markers (example below) are peppered throughout

22 counties and recount the history of horrific

shipwrecks, the locks of the Fox River, and other

maritime events. The Maritime Trails program is

The Wisconsin Historical Society has sponsored

two additional marker programs. The Wisconsin

Registered Landmarks program (example above)

was established in 1964 by the Wisconsin Council

for Local History to provide a uniform system for

marking Wisconsin's many historic sites of local or

regional significance. The program complimented

the "official" markers program and further met

guidelines established by Chapter 44.15 of

Wisconsin Statutes [Historical Markers Program] to:

"Plan, develop and publicize a uniform system of

marking for state and local sites of historical,


still active, and includes dive sites and lighthouses,

in addition to the markers.

Over the years, county and local historical societies

have implemented their own, sometimes extensive,

marker programs – most notably Dane County,

Milwaukee County, Chippewa County, and

Washington County. Local groups and individuals

have also participated in the marking of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Historical Markers project began in

June 2012, 99 years after the 1913 publication of the

Bulletin of Information No. 70, and is the first 21st

century effort to identify, locate, document, and

digitally record Wisconsin’s historical markers and

sites. The Wisconsin Historical Markers website

currently boasts more than 5,500 posts of historical

markers and sites, museums, lighthouses, veterans

memorials, vintage hamburger joints, and Smokey

the Bear signs, along with more than 60,000 photographs

­­ it is the most comprehensive survey of its

kind anywhere online.

With Wisconsin's historical markers you can follow

the trail of Black Hawk and his people as they fled

Mysterious Aztalan

and its sacred platform mound

from Wisconsin Heights to the Mississippi River. You

can walk in the field where Abraham Lincoln’s horse

was stolen while he slept. You can visit the gravesites

of 40 soldiers of the American Revolution; the

gravesite of Lansing A. Wilcox, Wisconsin’s last Civil

War veteran (who died at age 105 years, 6 months

and 26 days); and the intriguing burial mound of an

early indigenous “princess”.

You can stand at the bisect of the 90th meridian of

longitude and the 45th parallel of latitude, and at the

“exact center” of the State of Wisconsin. You can

leave tobacco at “Spirit Rock”, sacred to the

Menominee; you can walk isolated, wooded pathways

leading to ancient effigy mounds; you can

climb the platform mound at mysterious Aztalan; and

you can follow the Wisconsin leg of the Yellowstone

Trail.

The 45x90 marker is misidentified

as a "geological" marker

Wisconsin is the birthplace of Flag Day and the

Republican Party. Wisconsinites developed the

typewriter, the snowmobile, the outboard motor, and

four­wheel drive, and Wisconsin is home to world

famous Colby cheese.


Historical markers honor myriad Wisconsin­born celebrities, including jazz trumpeter and band leader

Bunny Berigan (1908­1942), Betty Boop cartoonist Myron “Grim” Natwick (1890­1990), artist Georgia

O’Keefe (1887­1986), poet Lorine Neidecker (1903­1970), and guitar master Les Paul (1915­2009).

Forty­two Wisconsin sites are listed as prestigious National Historic Landmarks, and countless public

buildings, private homes, churches, and shipwreck sites are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wisconsin’s history is so expansive, eclectic, and diverse, there’s something for everybody! Even if all

that interests you is the Green Bay Packers – then there’s the absolutely fascinating and awe inspiring

Packers Heritage Trail and Oneida Walk of Legends!

Historical markers make history fun! The content is short and sweet, and you won’t get tested later on

what you read. Historical markers take you to places you might never have thought of visiting. Historical

markers spark the imagination and provide insight into the people and events that preceded us –

engendering an “historic self­ consciousness” that deepens civic patriotism and pride at the local, state,

and national levels.

Now, go out and visit a fabulous Wisconsin historical marker or site! History is waiting for you!

Did you know there's an historic

windmill in Wisconsin! Built by Finnish

immigrant and homesteader, Jacob

(Tapola) Davidson, the "Davidson

Windmill" in Douglas County bears a

locally­placed marker, and is listed on

the National Register of Historic Places.


The White Pine

in Neillsville History

A decree for genocide, a revelation from God, an assassination, and, above all else, the

perseverance and determination of men and women of unwavering faith comprise the

fascinating back story of Wisconsin Historical Society "official" marker No. 562.

The first time Mark and Mary

Jurgaitis saw Neillsville was from

a knoll on Highway 10. “As we

looked down on Neillsville the sun

was shining directly on it,” said

Mary. “It was a sign!" added Mark.

Devout members of the Church of

Jesus Christ of Latter­Day Saints,

the couple had no idea of the

area's Mormon roots when they

moved to Neillsville from St.

Charles, Illinois, in 1996, with

three of their six children. It was a

rudimentary plaque in nearby

Greenwood that alerted them to a

story of Mormon loggers who had

lived in the area before it was

known as Neillsville. “And I

thought, I wonder if that’s all there

is to it?” said Mark. So he set out

to discover what had brought the

Mormon loggers to Wisconsin.

Mark and Mary Jurgaitis worked together

to research, write, and secure funding for the marker.

Mark's research took him to the

library in Black River Falls, about

30 miles southwest of Neillsville,

in nearby Jackson County. There

he met librarian Mary Woods, who

provided him with a plethora of

documentation. Almost as quickly

as Mark got one question

answered, he found himself

stumbling on even more. Soon he

had a three­ring binder filled with

information about the loggers.

"What I discovered was

fascinating," said Mark.


now the Ho­Chunk) and

Menominee, with whom the

Mormons lived in harmony.

A very brief history of the

Church of Jesus Christ of

Latter­day Saints

Organized by Joseph Smith on

April 6, 1830, in Fayette, New

York, the LDS Church and its

members were often persecuted

for their faith. The “Saints” were

forced several times to move –

from New York to Ohio to

Missouri in 1838. There the

“Mormon War” ensued between

the Saints and other Missouri

settlers, culminating in the now

infamous “Execution Order 44”

of then­governor Lilburn Boggs.

The Mormons were charged with

“having made war upon the

people of this State”. Boggs

ordered that “the Mormons must

be treated as enemies, and must

be exterminated or driven from

the State if necessary for the

public peace – their outrages are

beyond all description.” (emphasis

added)

The history of the Mormon loggers comes to life

It wasn’t until years later that Mark and Mary started using the information

he had collected. They had joined the Neillsville Improvement

Corporation and learned others knew about the Mormon loggers. One

of the members worked for the Chamber president who, after hearing

the story, encouraged them to share it with the community during the

Neillsville Area Heritage Days celebration held each July. “So that is

when we really started putting things together,” said Mary.

“I started looking at the information that was available and I was

amazed, really amazed to learn the things that I did!”

Since 2011, the "Honoring the Mormon Logger Missionaries of the

Wisconsin Pineries" group has participated in the Heritage Days

festivities. They set up a historically informative area, dress in

pioneer costumes and play pioneer games with the kids. They model

Dutch oven cooking. They have posters that tell the story of the

Mormon loggers. Included in the display is a history of the Winnebago

Smith and his congregation fled

to Illinois where, in 1839, they

purchased the small town of

Commerce; they renamed the

town Nauvoo (Hebrew for “to be

beautiful”) in April 1840. Nauvoo

quickly grew, and, notably, by

1844, was the largest city in

Illinois, with a population of

12,000; Chicago's was approximately

8,000.

Build a temple in Nauvoo!

On January 19, 1841, Joseph

Smith received a revelation

regarding the development of

Nauvoo as a “cornerstone of

Zion”, including an instruction that

the Saints should build a temple

where God could communicate

with His people. Plans were


THE WHITE PINE IN NEILLSVILLE HISTORY (Marker Text)

(Front side) Neillsville has strong ties to the majestic white pine forests of the Wisconsin Territory. These

forests along the Black River and its tributaries drew members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter­day

Saints in 1841. Remembered today as the Mormon Loggers, they came for lumber to build their temple in

Nauvoo, Illinois, 400 miles away. For four years they logged and created clearings for settlements along

nearby streams, including one 2 miles south of here, named for Elijah Hanks Cunningham, a Mormon

logger who drowned in that stream in the spring of 1843. Following the June 1844 assassination of their

leader, Joseph Smith, the Mormon loggers began to leave. Most had left by the spring of 1845.

(Back side) In 1845, these same water highways, great trees and clearings attracted James O’Neill to what

is now O’Neill Creek. By 1855, O’Neill had cleared 50 acres and platted four acres for a village. Logging

pushed Neillsville’s population from 250 people in 1860 to 2,104 by 1900. The nation’s expanding need for

lumber brought the railroad up to the Black River on the west in 1881 then into Neillsville in 1887, which

also brought new industries. Factories and businesses sprang up. Downtown businesses and grand

residences reflected the successes of the area. Many of these buildings and homes can still be seen in

Neillsville today, all because of the majestic white pine.

To learn more about Neillsville, please visit http://www.neillsville­wi.com/

made, and, on April 6, 1841, the cornerstones for

the temple were laid.

Timber was needed for the interior and roof of the

temple, as well as for divinely­inspired “Nauvoo

House” (a guest house for visitors). As Illinois was

a flat plain, church members headed north to

harvest White Pine. At that time, Jackson County

had the most trees of any county in Wisconsin.

There was already considerable lumbering in the

area, and many Wisconsin rivers were choked with

logs. But until the Mormons arrived in 1841, there

had been no logging on the Black River north of

Black River Falls. The isolation appealed to the

Mormons. Also, because the Black River was a

tributary of the Mississippi River and did not have

rapids, this would make it easy to get the lumber

back to Nauvoo.

When the Mormon loggers and their families arrived

in what is now Neillsville, they cleared land for their

camps. They lived initially in tents, while log cabins

were built. Some of the families built regular homes,

thinking they might stay in the area indefinitely. The

first couple of winters were reported as very

difficult.

Because of its soft texture, White Pine is easily

worked and was popular with the pioneers for

homes, barns, and fencing material. A White Pine

near the Plover River in Marathon County was

reported in 1884 to have a circumference of 19’6”,

and a height of nearly 200 feet. Felling a White Pine

was no easy feat!

The Mormon loggers sawed the enormous trees

into 16’ lengths to get them into the Black River.


Bird's-eye view (looking east) from hill, across Mississippi River to Nauvoo (circa 1855)

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Call Number: U.S. GEOG FILE - ILL.--NAUVOO [item] [P&P]

There they would go to one of three sawmills in

Black River Falls, where they were cut into lumber.

The lumber was then used to make a raft that

included a little cabin for the loggers to cook and

sleep in. When they arrived at the convergence of

the Black and Mississippi Rivers, they would tie

their rafts together. These conjoined rafts were

about an acre in size! From there they would travel

to Nauvoo, on the east bank of the Mississippi

River. It took two and one­half weeks to travel the

400 miles from Neillsville to Nauvoo. When the

rafts arrived, everyone in Nauvoo stopped their

work and came down to the river to disassemble

the rafts.

Joseph Smith is assassinated

Construction of the Nauvoo Temple was only half

completed when, on June 27, 1844, Joseph Smith

was assassinated, along with his brother, Hyrum. A

“succession crisis” occurred, as, with both Smith

brothers dead, there was confusion as to who

should next lead the Saints. A schism resulted. The

majority eventually left Nauvoo in February 1846,

and followed Brigham Young to Utah (that trek is

now a National Historic Trail, running through

Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Utah).

The Mormons in Neillsville finished logging in the

spring of 1845. Partly because of the assassination

of Joseph Smith and partly because of Governor

Boggs’ still­enforceable Execution Order, the group

decided to leave Wisconsin. They left behind

cleared land, their houses ­­ everything, except their

animals and what they could carry on their backs,

by handcart, or in a wagon.


Burning of the Temple by Carl Christian

Anton Christensen (1831­1912)

(Inset) The rebuilt Nauvoo Temple (photo provided by Mary Jurgaitis)

Following the razing of the original Nauvoo Temple, the lot it once stood on was used for a variety of purposes. Between 1937

and 1962, the LDS Church reacquired and restored the lot. In 1999, church president Gordon B. Hinckley announced the

rebuilding of the temple "on its original footprint". The rebuilt Nauvoo Temple was dedicated on June 27, 2002. Using the

original plans, the exterior of the temple is a replica of the first, but the interior is laid out like a modern LDS temple.

The presence of the Mormon loggers is recorded

rather pejoratively on page 36 of the “History of

Clark County Wisconsin”, compiled by Franklyn

Curtiss­Wedge and published in 1918:

Next came the Mormons, seeking timber for the

erection of their tabernacle at Nauvoo, Ill. . . . For a

time the wild arches of timber rang with the sound

of axes and reverberated with the crash of falling

trees, and the solemn night was made more

somber with the chant of dirge­like hymns and the

sinister preaching of a strange religion, while the

hearts of the woodmen beat high with false and

fantastic hopes of a day when their little colony in

Illinois would dominate a vast area of which they

were to be the rulers and elders.

Daguerreotype of the Nauvoo

Temple, dated from details in

the image to circa 1847. The

photographer is Louis R.

Chaffin. The original is in the

Cedar City Chapter of the

Daughters of the Utah Pioneers,

Cedar City, Utah.

Perhaps the Mormon loggers felt unsafe in

Wisconsin, too?


The fate of the Nauvoo temple

After Smith’s assassination,

hostilities against the Illinois

Mormons increased such that

plans were made to abandon

Nauvoo. Even so, the Saints

continued to work on the temple.

It was officially dedicated on May

1, 1846. The building was 128’

long, 88’ wide, and 60’ from

ground level to roof. The copula

tower stood another 98.5’ above

the eaves.

In October of 1848, the temple

interior was destroyed by arson.

In May 1850, a tornado demolished

three of the exterior walls.

In 1856, the remaining wall was

razed.

The arrival of James O’Neill, Sr.

James O’Neill, Sr. had long been

logging in Black River Falls. He

had seen first hand the work of

the Mormon loggers, and how

much lumber they were bringing

down the Black River. When the

Mormons left, he decided to visit

the area. He quickly realized the

value of the land and the homes

left behind. By 1855 he had

opened the first farm at Neillsville,

cleared about 50 acres, and had

a successful logging business.

He was also a tavern­keeper and

he served two terms in the

Wisconsin Legislature. It is

O’Neill who is credited as the

founder of Neillsville.

history with Neillsville. As recognition

and awareness of this

relationship grows, Mark and

Mary would like to see Neillsville

become a place of pilgrimage for

the Saints.

“The LDS Church is very

interested in its history," said

Mary. "But the other thing we

discovered is that Neillsville is a

historic community and there are

people who live here who are

interested in preserving that

history. In fact, the two just go

together,” Mary explained.

Therefore, Mary’s goal for the

Wisconsin Historical Society

“official” marker was to not only

recognize the Mormon loggers

and the fact that they were here,

“but also to let people know the

history of Neillsville and the pride

its people have in their

community.”

Neillsville as a Mormon

Pilgrimage Site

Prior to Mark and Mary’s recent

work regarding the history of the

Mormon loggers, the LDS Church

had not recognized, or even been

completely aware of, its intimate

Highway signage makes the marker easy to find.

(Looking west along West Division Street / U.S. Route 10)


Mary, what would you suggest to someone who might want to

embark on a similar project?

The best place to start to erect a marker is to contact the Wisconsin

Historical Society. All the data had to be verified. There were 15

pieces of data I had to verify. I also found that the some of the

sources were fudged a little bit. I had to look a little bit further.

I talked with a lot of people, I did a lot of reading, and it took a while.

But I did it all by myself. In a way it’s good to have someone help you,

but when you do it with others it’s like too many cooks in the kitchen.

All the help that I did get was more for my sources, and people would

recommend where to look.

The process takes a lot of time. It was intense for me to put down just

the wording. I did have one person read every time I made a change

on the marker content. And that was very helpful to have a different

set of eyes look at it.

Mark was my driver and emotional support. He was willing to go

wherever I needed to go whenever I needed to go. That kind of

support was absolutely wonderful.

Add a little bit of body text

Additional Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org

/wiki/History_of_The_Church_of_

Jesus_Christ_of_Latter­day_Saints

https://en.wikipedia.org

/wiki/Death_of_Joseph_Smith

https://en.wikipedia.org

/wiki/Missouri_Executive_Order_44

https://en.wikipedia.org

/wiki/Nauvoo_Temple

https://www.lds.org/church/temples

/nauvoo­illinois?lang=eng

Curtiss­Wedge, Franklyn. History

of Clark County Wisconsin. Chicago

and Winona: H. C. Cooper, Jr, & Co.,

1918.

Add a little bit of body text

You also have to find the resources to pay for the marker. The

marker cost $1,900. We were able to secure funding from The

Mormon Historic Sites Foundation. For placement, we went to the

city and they agreed to put it in. The marker comes with the pole.

So the city dug the hole and poured the cement and then they

placed the marker. That was a good thing for them to do, so we

didn’t have to pay for the marker to be placed.

What’s next for Mark and Mary?

The couple has just been accepted for a mission with the Salt Lake

City Headquarters Mission. They will be in Salt Lake City for about a

year to work on further historical research on behalf of the church.

They will then return to Neillsville.

Map of Wisconsin

with Clark County highlighted in red

Marker Location

in Clark County, Wisconsin

The marker is located adjacent

to the parking lot of Listeman

Arboretum, and is accessible from

westbound West Division Street /

U.S. Route 10, west of its

intersection with Grand Avenue,

Neillsville, Wisconsin 54456.

GPS Coordinates:

44.552557, ­90.606120


Marker Dedication

Wisconsin Historical Society

"official" Marker 562: The White

Pine in Neillsville History was

dedicated on Saturday,

September 10, 2016. Present

were local dignitaries and

members of the Mormon Historic

Sites Foundation, including

Richard Lambert, a direct

descendant of the Mormon

loggers. The dedication was

followed by a celebration at

nearby Clark Cultural Arts Center.

Photos

Top left: Marker dedication

invitation

Bottom left: Mark and Mary's

first peek at the new marker,

still secure in its shipping box

(photo provided by Mary

Jurgaitis).

Bottom right: Neillsville Mayor

Steve Mabie unveiling the

marker. The gentleman behind

him to his left, in the blue jacket,

is Richard Lambert, the aforementioned

descendant of the

Mormon loggers (photo provided

by Kenny Mays of the Mormon

Historic Sites Foundation)


There's lots to see in Neillsville (Clark County) !

Use the search feature on the left top

corner of the Wisconsin Historical

Markers website for more information

about places to visit in Neillsville.

1919 Case Steam Engine

Chatty Belle / World's Largest Talking Cow

Clark County 1897 Jail and Museum (listed on the National

Register of Historic Places)

Listeman Arboretum

Neillsville G.A.R. Civil War Memorial (erected 1908)

Neillsville Post Office (listed on the National Register of

Historic Places)

Reed School Historic Site

The Highground Veterans Memorial Park

WCCN's Wisconsin Pavilion of 1964 New York World's Fair

Wisconsin Registered Landmark 41: Major General

Clarence L. Sturdevant (1885­1958)

Wisconsin Registered Landmark 42: Clark County Moraines

WI History Challenge Answers

1. Ole Evinrude (1877­1934). Ole invented the outboard motor and founded a new American

industry. His story is told on "official" Marker 19: Lake Ripley, in Cambridge (Jefferson County).

2. Vilas County. Carl Eliason of Sayner developed the snowmobile prototype. The story is told on

"official" Marker 212: Snowmobile, in Sayner (Vilas County).

3. Chris, Harry, Clyde, and Verne Dosch discovered the remains of an extinct American

Mastodon.This became the first recorded discovery of mastodon bones in Wisconsin. The story is

told on "official" marker 326: Boaz Mastodon, in Boaz (Richland County).


History

Mystery*

Northwest

Region

(Dunn County)

The marker is at the

entrance to a parking

lot. A WWI veterans

memorial is nearby.

44° 52.598′ N,

91° 55.672′ W

*Just

plug the

coordinates

into your

GPS and go!

All locations

are accessible

in winter.

© This map Reproduced with

permission from the State of Wisconsin

Northeast

Region

(Manitowoc County)

Two markers here ­­ one

embedded in the sidewalk,

the other in the

middle of the street!

44° 5.962′ N,

87° 39.479′ W

Southeast

Region

(Racine County)

Several markers are at

this city square.

42.727105, ­87.78296

North Central

Region

(Wood County)

The marker is at a wayside

on the east side of

a bridge that crosses

the Yellow River.

44.43779,­90.130189

Southwest

Region

(Sauk County)

The marker is at a

wayside near the east

bank (south side) of the

Wisconsin River.

43.36561,­89.61913


Four Cool Museums

Probably 80% of Wisconsin's historical markers are pretty

much inaccessible during winter months, making this the

perfect time to visit Wisconsin's fabulous museums.

Here are four of my favorites.

Wisconsin Automotive Museum

Hartford (Washington Co.)

Showcasing transportation history,

the museum is Wisconsin’s largest

auto museum, featuring an everchanging

display of classic and

vintage autos and artifacts plus the

largest assembled group of Hartfordbuilt

Kissel luxury automobiles.

http://wisconsinautomuseum.com/

National Mustard Museum

Middleton (Dodge Co.)

Founded in 1986, the National

Mustard Museum is the home to

more than 5,700 different mustards

from all 50 states and more than 70

countries. Antique mustard pots,

tins, advertisements, and works of

art make a visit to the Mustard

Museum a "must" for everyone.

http://mustardmuseum.com/

Paper Discovery Center

Appleton (Outagamie County)

Home of the Paper Industry

International Hall of Fame

The Paper Discovery Center invites

visitors to explore the world of paper

through exhibits, interactive activities,

hands­on interpretive displays,

and an opportunity to make their

own piece of paper (way cool!) in

the Purdy­Weissenborn Paper Lab.

http://www.paperdiscoverycenter.org

Honey of a Museum

Ashippun (Dodge Co.)

This family owned and operated

business has been in the Christian

Friederich Diehnelt family since

1852! There are a variety of honey

products available for purchase, a

sweet museum to tour, and other

honey­related activities.

https://www.honeyacres.com

/museum.html


Coming May 2017

from regional author Rhonda Fochs

Visit http://rhondafochs.weebly.com

to pre-order your copy!

Free U.S. Shipping until May 15, 2017

Wisconsin has over 200 lost,

long ago, and nearly gone

places. Why they began, and

why they faded or died, involves

many issues and reasons. For

author Rhonda Fochs, her love

of lost towns and places began

in northern Wisconsin. In this

book, she explores the stories

and tales of Wisconsin’s lost

places of the past.

Rhonda Fochs brings to life stories

of Wisconsin’s past as told by communities

that have faded from our

roadmaps, but not our memories.

She reveals how these places were

rooted in the land’s resources and the

people who pinned their dreams on

the prosperity they offered. These

‘ghost towns’ whisper secrets that

provide a glimpse of our past and

lessons for the sustainability of our

future.

– Catherine Techtmann, author,

Rooted in Resources: Iron County,

Wisconsin, 1893­1993


I hope you have enjoyed this premiere issue

of ON THIS SPOT Wisconsin Historical Markers Magazine.

Contact me at wisconhistoricalmarkers@gmail.com

with any questions or comments, or to purchase a PDF of the magazine.

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© 2017 Melinda Roberts /

Wisconsin Historical Markers

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