July 14, 2001

Heading south out of Sheboygan, the Lake Michigan mariner passes John Michael Kohler and Terry Andrae State Parks, a separately run pair of natural recreation areas on adjacent parcels of land, donated in the names of Andrae, owner of a Milwaukee electric supply company and Kohler, the founder of the bathroom fixtures company.

Beyond is the village of Cedar Grove, founded by Dutch immigrants in the 1840s. The main product manufactured here today is wooden shoes, although it's not likely the original settlers wore them very often. (Dare I suggest it may be the main reason they left Holland). The next true city is Port Washington, nicknamed the City of Seven Hills for its topography. A number of its streets end in stairways, and Sauk Creek, the impetus for the first settlement in 1835, has to poke its way to Lake Michigan through a slot between the hills. The early history of the settlement follows a pattern much like that of Sheboygan. One slight difference - while the Panic of 1837 left Sheboygan with just a single settler, Port Washington was abandoned completely. But, like the city to the north, it soon began experiencing a rebirth. In the years just preceding the Civil War Port Washington had a grain separating machine factory, a foundry, a tannery and a money exchange, not to mention ten stores, five hotels, two breweries, six shoe shops and two commercial piers. In the 1890s it would also become home to a chair factory and influence music history. Domestic architecture consisted primarily of homes in the Greek Revival and Federal styles; the Italianate was beginning to make an appearance, although mainly in commercial structures. Nice, sleepy little town. Until the morning of November 10, 1862.

The Federal government had put out a call in July for 300,000 three-year volunteers, and Wisconsin provided enough men for 14 new regiments, in addition to a large number of volunteers when war was first declared. Many in the area had not volunteered this time however, most of them farmers planning for the autumn harvest. Northern armies continued waging lackluster, losing battles under incompetent leadership. Another call went out on August 4th. 300,000 more men needed; 11,904 from Wisconsin. Governor Edward Salomon, realizing volunteers would not provide nearly enough recruits, knew a draft would be necessary but asked for a postponement, so that farmers could get their crops in for the season. Washington gave him one extra week. Other forces were at work in area communities. The farmers were primarily recent German Catholic immigrants. They had come to America to seek freedom for themselves, not unknown people at the other end of the nation, from another continent. Their attitude was summed up in a criticism of the Lincoln administration, calling it, "tainted by abolitionism, nativism, and the godlessness of German anti-church liberals." To their minds this was a war backed by wealthy, Republican city dwellers, who used political connections to stay out of the war while the poor fought and sowed faraway fields with their blood. Salomon had no alternative and called for a draft. Local attorney William A. Pors was appointed to make the selections. He and several assistants gathered in the courthouse at 9 AM on November 10th. A few curious onlookers braved a driving rain to observe the process. Pors began arranging his records. He was interrupted by the sudden blast of a nearby cannon.

Next wek we'll see whose. For Classical 91.5 and 90-point-3, this is David Minor


This actually ties in more closely with a script a couple of weeks down the road, but it's a case of "quick-catch-it-before-it disappears". Just saw the film Songcatcher last night. If you need a break from summer's mind-sedative, eye candy blockbusters and you're at all interested in folkways, check out this film's website
A beautifully done period piece with strong women's roles (You'll enjoy it too, gents). You can check on their website to find out if it's playing near you. If you see it, let me know what you think.



Whether you have a budding architect at your house, or you just want identify the style of that house down the street or across the city from you, for your own curiosity, you can check the We Are What We Build site at:


This site was put together by the fourth garders of the Middleburgh Elementary School in New York's Schoharie County, but adults can also learn much from it. You'll find details of architectural styles from Federal and Greek Revival through Italianate, Palladian/Georgian Revival, right down to Modern Pre-fab.Or, if you think you know it all already, there's an architecture quiz. You can also view a gallery of the fourth graders drawings of architecure detailing. And you can download a zipped file of the ""Technical" font, resembling that used by architects.



© 2001 David Minor / Eagles Byte

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