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Mon
16
Sep

River of Lakes still a local paradise after 60 years


At the 60th anniversary event for River of Lakes, members of the Irish and Schiffman families enjoyed their time. Pictured (from left) are Lori Irish, Pam (Irish) Myhre, Tom Irish, Ken and Jean Irish, Mick and Sue (Schiffman) Redman, Rob and Mickey Irish. (Submitted photo)

Jean Irish holds their daughter Pam, alongside husband Ken and his business partner Don Schiffman, with a string of fish they caught at River of Lakes in May 1960.

This new sign for the resort was erected this summer adjacent to the Bagley community sign. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Business partners Ken Irish and Don Schiffman stand on their handbuilt docks in May 1960, less than one year after purchasing River of Lakes Resort.

Don and Ken tend to the self-service minnow tanks back in May 1960.

After buying River of Lakes and opening on July 1, 1959, Don Schiffman and Ken Irish stand in front of one of the original cabins—Florida, which was among three others named Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois—in May 1960.

The current River of Lakes campground business is run by Tanya and Bruce Clark and Greg and Shelly Page. Here is the store as it is today. (Photo by Correne Martin)

Jean and Ken Irish are pictured with their son, Tom, and his wife, Lori, in one of the lead cars for the 60th anniversary golf cart parade and celebration.

By Correne Martin

Another day in Sportsman’s Paradise, at the resort known as River of Lakes in Bagley, is one that embraces nature, fishing, boating, camping, grilling and good company. 

There may be more UTVs buzzing around the streets than golf carts or motor scooters, but 60 years after the popular vacation spot got off the ground, River of Lakes is still a reflection of the simple life.

Buying and forming the resort

Friends Ken Irish and Don Schiffman, from Lancaster, saw an ad in the local pennysaver that Art Dearborn had four wooden boats for sale. 

Mon
16
Sep

7.57 inches of rainfall in PdC, floods cripple the area


A filthy mess remained just north of County K along Highway 35.

Prairie du Chien public works crews focused on clearing the streets and helping homeowners on the eastern portion of the city nearest the bluff overnight Thursday into Friday. This is an alleyway in the vicinity of Buchanan and State streets.

Mud scraped from the streets of Prairie du Chien was piled in the vacant Blackhawk Junction space.

A crew of Burlington Northern Santa Fe workers were north of Prairie assessing and attempting to repair Mother Nature’s damage to their railroad tracks.

The bottom of Mill Coulee Road looked like a pond by late Thursday into Friday.

Burlington Northern started bringing in breaker rock to restabilize the railroad property.

More rock was hauled in and dumped in an effort to fix the railroad bed washout that occurred along Highway 35.

City employees skidsteered mud off of Cass Street in Prairie.

These chairs washed down Picatee Creek Road.

Cliffwood Drive near Prairie du Chien’s North Gateway Business Park was covered in sludge.

A cornfield on Cliffwood Drive was essentially leveled.

From County K and the Cliffwood intersection, facing east, another large pond formed.

A pump at Godden’s pit along Fremont Street worked to drain the retaining pond Thursday afternoon, Sept. 12, hours before heavy storms dumped rain and brought flash flooding to the community of Prairie du Chien.

An amazing amount of landowners’ belongings were relocated by rushing water, thick mud and moving debris.

A new lake north of Pedretti farms formed along County Highway 35.

Road construction signs for the County N road project were splashed with mud, likely from plows that were out pushing it off roadways like Highway 35.

A farm sign was overtaken by muck.

A driveway on Picatee Creek Road was still oversaturated Friday morning.

Fences all around looked like this one on Picatee Creek Road, snagged with uprooted grass and mud that floated in on the high waters passing by.

Some large trees came down Picatee Creek.

Trees and rocks washed up everywhere. Here, the pavement just south of the Spring Lake Inn was buckled by mud.

This railroad bridge along Highway 35, just a few miles north of Prairie, was undermined.

Workers at Solomon Corp. in the North Gateway Business Park had plenty of cleanup to do this morning.

The intersection of State and Cass streets was nearly impassable Friday morning, with numerous inches of mud making passing through very difficult.

By Correne Martin and Ted Pennekamp

Strong to severe thunderstorms rolled across the area from early afternoon through the late evening hours of Thursday, Sept. 12. The storms produced very heavy rainfall, resulting in flash flooding across portions of southwest Wisconsin and northeast Iowa, along with rises on many rivers and streams.

In addition, the National Weather Service of La Crosse reported that strong to damaging winds accompanied some of the storms (including one EF-0 tornado that touched down in rural Winneshiek County, Iowa, just south of the town of Ossian). 

Mon
16
Sep

Bird hired as new district administrator for Prairie du Chien


Bryce Bird

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Bryce Bird has been hired by the Prairie du Chien School District to become the district’s new superintendent. Bird is replacing former superintendent Robert Smudde who is leaving for the Dodgeville School District.

Mon
16
Sep

Bible Baptist Church to host 50th Anniversary Celebration


Bible Baptist Church at 1110 N. Marquette Road became a functional building in the summer of 1973. There have been several additions to the property since. (Photo submitted)

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Bible Baptist Church of Prairie du Chien will be hosting a 50th Anniversary Celebration from Sunday, Sept. 22 through Tuesday Sept. 24.

Thu
12
Sep

Museum pillar adoption a success


Architectural Restorations has been contracted by the Prairie du Chien Historical Society to restore the pillars that hold up the Fort Crawford Museums military hospital veranda. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

All 26 wooden pillars holding up the Fort Crawford Military Hospital veranda have been adopted by generous Prairie du Chien area community members, so they can be restored and continue to support the museum. The project got underway Monday. 

Circa 1940s, the white-painted pine columns were in deteriorating shape and in need of repair or replacement in order to hold up the fort for the future, said Mary Antoine, Prairie du Chien Historical Society president. Total replacement was cost prohibitive, so the museum reached out to the public with the idea of simply repairing them and received a swift response. 

Thu
12
Sep

Adults have plenty to do at Hoffman Hall this fall and winter

Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series about upcoming recreational offerings in Prairie du Chien. 

By Correne Martin

Adult fitness, aquatics and leisure activities are abundant through the Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Department over the winter season. 

More details about the programs, which are mainly held at Hoffman Hall, are available in the city’s fall/winter activity guide, available at the rec center or city hall. Register online at pdc.recdesk.com/community/program, or mail or drop off completed registration forms and fees to the city office. 

Wed
11
Sep

Baseball coach resigns, board talks superintendent position

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

The resignation of Mark Pedretti as Prairie du Chien High School baseball coach was accepted at the Prairie du Chien School Board meeting Monday night. 

Wed
11
Sep

Settlement anticipated for hospital lawsuit

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

There is an anticipated settlement of the lawsuit filed by Crossing Rivers Health Medical Center against the town of Bridgeport, Crawford County and eight other defendants because of the mediation hearing on the matter on Sept. 6 in Madison.

Wed
11
Sep

Holy Family Parish marks 50 years of its fall bazaar

The 50th annual Holy Family Parish Fall Bazaar is Sunday, Sept. 15, at St. John’s Church in Prairie du Chien. 

Enjoy a charcoal broiled chicken dinner from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Also, homemade chicken noodle soup and chicken salad and ham sandwiches will be served from 4:30 to 6 p.m. 

During the bazaar, entertainment includes raffles, games and refreshments. The raffle drawing at the evening meal is highlighted with a grand prize of $1,000. There will be a country store with produce, crafts and baked goods, a basket raffle and money cage, parcel post and paddle wheel. This will be fun for the whole family, as many more games and activities will fill up the day. 

Mon
09
Sep

Enthusiastic crowd enjoys K9 unit fundraiser


There was plenty of fun, food, family and friends at the K9 unit fundraising event outside of Jim’s Bar in Prairie du Chien Thursday evening. (Photo by Ted Pennekamp)

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

An event to raise funds for a new K-9 unit for the Prairie du Chien Police Department drew an enthusiastic crowd Thursday evening outside of Jim’s Bar of Prairie du Chien.

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