Today we explored the town of Ashland, which has a population of about 8,000. But in the late 19th century it was a bustling metropolis with shipping on Lake Superior and rail service to the Minneapolis and Chicago areas. Northland College was founded here in 1892. It started out as a school for the logging camps and actually morphed into a college in 1907. The Hotel Chequamegon, 1877, originally built by the Wisconsin Central Railroad was destroyed by fire in 1915. The hotel was rebuilt in 1986 and copied a combination of the original hotel and the Grand Hotel located on Mackinac Island in Michigan. Guests here view the Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior. Chequamegon is a Chippewa Indian word meaning "a narrow strip of land running into a body of water".
We walked through the Farmer's Market this morning here in Ashland. One of the vendors was giving away free ice cream in celebration of Dairy Month here in Wisconsin. They sold fresh milk, cheese and homemade ice cream. Several of the vendors were selling local honey, plants, and locally made crafts.
Ashland's mural walk is an 8 block Main Street business district, listed on the Register of Historic places and is a fascinating walk through Ashland's history as seen through the eyes of artists Kelly Meredith and Susan Prentice Martinsen. It includes a Waitress Mural, Aviation, 1920's Jazz Era & Schiller Shoe Store Mural, Railroad Mural, Lumberjack Mural, Storefront Mural, Veterans Mural, Lighthouse Mural, etc.,(18 murals in all). They are very interesting and lovely. Lynd was not able to get a picture of any of them, unfortunately.
We drove on to Cornucopia, WI which is another very small town located on the shores of Lake Superior. One of their claims to fame is Artesian well water that anyone can collect to drink. It is fresh water right beside the lake that comes from beneath the rock beds of the lake itself. Cornucopia has the Northern most post office in the state of Wisconsin.
The next little settlement was Port Wing. This small town began the concept of free transportation for public schools. They began this in 1901 with a canvas covered sleigh, pulled by horses that picked up school age children and transported them to and from school. This is the first place in the nation to do this for the students.
It has been a full and enjoyable day. Tomorrow we will travel once again. This is a short travel day however.
This entire area of Wisconsin has an abundance of beautiful wild flowers, including huge clusters of lupines in pinks, purples, and whites. They are very plentiful in the fields and banks beside the highways.
Happy Father's Day to each of you fathers. Hope it is a great day for you and your families.