Showing posts from October, 2013

Sabula, Iowa, the Island City

This is an amazing location that I did not know about until I went by on my boat.  Sabula is truly an island city and the only one on the river.  Across the river is Savanna, IL.
Sabula is 1/4 miles wide and 1 mile long and connected by causeways to Iowa and Illinois.  
Legend has it that Isaac Dorman crossed the river on a log and decided to settle here.  Must have been quite a log and a strange wind/current that day.  Sabula was the site of a button factory - clam shell buttons.  Strangely it was also the site of hog butchering.  
Originally the island was surrounded by marshland, but when Lock and Dam #13 was put in the pool flooded the marsh and made the town in to a water surrounded island.  

The Geneology Trails site says: Commercial fishing is engaged in to a considerable extent with about 120,000 pounds of rough fish - carp, buffalo and perch - and about 25,000 pounds of dressed catfish being shipped annually.
The town was platted and recorded in Dubuque in 1837 by Wood, Brown …

Potosi WI brewery

Set in a wonderful hollow just north and west of Dickeyville, WI is Potosi.  Well worth the drive off the major roadway, this small location is home to one to some of the greatest beers to be found. is the website for this terrific location and on the site you can not only get location information but also a history of the brewery:  Welcome to PotosiBrewing Company, one of the oldest breweries in Wisconsin dating back to 1852. The Brewery was re-opened by the Potosi Foundation in 2008 and now, in addition to brewing beer like the good old days, Potosi Brewing Co. 

Famous for its Root Beer which Kate had the best recommendation must come from Kate's brother who comes here with some regularity to buy the root beer for his wife.  The great restaurant helps too and so does the beer.  

We had an excellent pumpkin chili and I had a sampler which was really excellent.  Here are my notes from my tasting: Grades - 1 - 5 color from yellow to opaque  1 - 5 malt t…

Magpies by Kate Crowley

WINGIN’ IT By Kate Crowley I have often spoken of my fondness for all members of the Corvid family (jays, crows, ravens and nutcrackers). Their innate intelligence has been well studied and scientists have noted that in terms of the ratio between brain volume and overall size these birds compare relatively speaking with primates and whales.  Living in northern Minnesota my favorite of the group are ravens, but if I were to move out west, it would definitely be the black billed magpies.  Like their relatives, they are a very social species, often to their detriment because of their habit of roosting in trees in large numbers and disturbing the peace of their human neighbors.  I first saw these striking black and white birds, with bronzy green iridescent tail and rounded wings in the Badlands of South Dakota.  They had taken up residence around the cabins at Cedar Pass Lodge.   Their loud, scratchy sounding chuck-chuck-chuck calls were the soundtrack for our visit.  One of the most impres…

A letter to a small town

This is a letter that needs to be written to many communities who see McDonald's as a boon.

Letter to the Editor,
Another McDonalds.  Just what the world (and Moose Lake)needs.   I know this is a done deal and so it is useless to complain about this franchise that will now grace the Moose Lake exit on I35.  But I still feel it is important to talk about this development and how it will impact Moose Lake. I am NOT anti-development, but let’s not kid ourselves.  This fast food purveyor is not going to contribute money or value to the town.  Yes, there will be some minimum wage jobs for a few teenagers, seniors, or struggling underemployed adults, but that’s about it.  How many people will pull off the freeway for some fast, unhealthy food and then decide to drive into town to see what other businesses they might visit? Think about your own travels on our country’s highway systems.  How often do you venture into the town after a quick stop for gas or food?
What I am concerned about a…

The apple of our eye

There is an apple sitting on our dining room table in a place of prominence, almost like a piece of art.  This is a very special apple and I am treating it as such.  Five years ago I planted six honeycrisp apple trees and one other species (for pollination purposes).  I had high hopes for these trees and tried my best to water them and protect them with fences from the voracious deer.  They grew, but spring after spring not a blossom was seen.  Until this year when low and behold, two of the trees produced about a half dozen blooms between them.  I celebrated their pale pink petals and sent out tentative tendrils of hope.  The long, cold spring meant there were few pollinators flying, so not wanting to take any chances that these long awaited flowers would miss out on the necessary transfer of reproductive material, I went out with a small watercolor paintbrush and swept it over the golden stamens.  Then I transferred the pollen (or tried to) to anothe…