September 27, 2008

Old World Wisconsin: More History

Finally, here's a few more pictures from Old World Wisconsin that don't fit into any larger category.

This pond is actually a "kettle," which is a leftover depression in the topsoil formed when the glaciers retreated from Wisconsin at the end of the last ice age. The glaciers left behind depressions (and also piles of of rocky deposits variously called "drumlins") that fall below the water table and today make up the tens of thousands of ponds that dot the Wisconsin landscape:



This tiny building is, believe it or not, a church. The church was moved from a community called Harmony Ridge, which was a racially integrated rural towns in Wisconsin (meaning black and white people lived and worked together). Wisconsin was never a slave state and so the black people who lived in this community were free -- which is not to say that there was not racial prejudice, especially in the more urban areas like Milwaukee, Beloit, or Green Bay. But the presence of a town where black and white people lived and worked together, before the Civil War, indicates that Wisconsin contained some elements that were significantly more progressive than many of its neighbors, and this is an element of their heritage of which Wisconsinites can rightfully be proud.



Finally, I have two pictures of a Danish farmhouse. We didn't tour it, because we needed to get into Milwaukee to meet up with my family for the Friday night fish fry. But the buildings strike me as particularly well-preserved and very evocative of the historical period the park is trying to capture:



This is an example of a "stump fence" on the Danish farm. This is what was done with the stumps of felled trees that were pulled out of the ground by oxen using huge hooks so that fields could be cleared and used for farming:

2 comments:

Dave said...

My dad and I miss friday night fish fry. They have just a few here in TN but they just aren't the same as in Wisconsin and the U.P.

Transplanted Lawyer said...

I hear you. Not enough Catholics and too many catfish.