Walk with the stars in Lake NebagamonA recent sojourn to Shangri-La, otherwise known as Lake Nebagamon, revealed a striking absence from the enchanted village: mementos of the past.
By: Don Leighton and Mike Granlund, The Daily Telegram
The following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola.
A recent sojourn to Shangri-La, otherwise known as Lake Nebagamon, revealed a striking absence from the enchanted village: mementos of the past. We found “Don Leighton, 1966,” inscribed on the vertical concrete in front of Schaller’s Variety Store, but other than that reference to our hero, we found few reminders of the people who made this berg what it is today. It is the people, after all, who define a village — the business people, the church people, the school people, the people committed to youth, the village board. Everyone who called Lake Nebagamon home defines what this village is.
To preserve the memory of the valiant residents who have come and gone, “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” has a proposal. Lake Nebagamon should have a Walk of Fame! We know this is not Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, but what a unique way to preserve the memories of those who have gone before us. The walk of fame could begin at the corner next to the auditorium and proceed west and south in alternating years. A big celebration could take place each year as people are honored, maybe the Fourth of July Weekend would be appropriate for this prestigious ceremony. What a great way to commemorate the citizens of Lake Nebagamon.
Maybe we would wear tuxedos to the first ceremony. Imagine the family of the inductees saying a few words, the canvas removed from the sidewalk, the band playing, the television coverage beaming to all the Northland on the 10 p.m. news. What a great day! What a tourist attraction!
The village board could decide who deserves the honor. It would have a tough time selecting the inductees because generations of families who still live in Lake Nebagamon were some of the first settlers and business owners during the late 1800s when the village came to be. Maybe induction would be reserved for those who have been taken from us.
Perhaps families could donate to help defray costs of the venture. However they decide, we think it would be a great attraction to this serene village, nestled on the shores of the peaceful lake called Nebagamon. Honoring those who have contributed and those who continue to concern themselves with the betterment of Lake Nebagamon should be recognized with a permanent memorial. History unfortunately has a way of being forgotten. It is important to know where we have been so we can know where we are going.
We will take this opportunity to nominate a few people for the first stars on the sidewalk.
• Wally Urbaniak and his wife Marge purchased Lawn Beach Inn in 1968, and it continues in the family today. Urbaniak was a man who devoted his life to making things better for kids. Kids in Nebagamon was his dream, and it is a terrific organization for the youth in the area.
• Imogene McGrath was an endless advocate for her home village. A woman who refused to let obstacles stop her; a warrior.
• Tony Yaworski was an accomplished local artist who gave continually back to his community.
• The Tamburitzans were the Duquesne University dance troupe that trained in Lake Nebagamon for years and always performed an entertaining show for the locals.
• Count Guilio Bolognesi, Italian general counsel, moved with his wife Countess Rose to Lake Nebagamon and started the Stella Cheese Company in 1919.
• Vollmer Anderson was a pioneer of the area, leaving a strong family tradition.
• Mike Harvey was a good man taken from us too early.
• D.L. Johnson was another man who left a strong family legacy.
• Frederick Weyerhauser was of the original logging company that settled the village of Lake Nebagamon. Edward Rutledge and E.L. Ainsworth were his business partners. Logging has long been a theme of the village, kept alive by the historic Village Auditorium facility itself and the emphasis put on logging by the 97-acre Boys Camp.
• Dr. Fred Johnson came to Lake Nebagamon in 1900 and battled a typhoid epidemic. He was honored in 1939 by the Wisconsin State Medical Society for his distinguished service and was the lone physician in Lake Nebagamon for many years.
• Otto Finnell was a long time businessman in the village.
• Bill Borgh ran the service station on the corner for years.
• Ed and Irene Bridge founded Bridge’s Indianhead Tavern, a Lake Nebagamon landmark, in 1948. It remains in the family today, with Jerry and Karen Bridge as owners.
• Nardie and Sally Stein were the longtime owners of Camp Nebagamon for Boys, a local anchor. The camp carries on the legacy of logging in the area and is home to a unique museum.
• Max and Janet Lorber founded Camp Nebagamon in 1929, which today is the largest taxpayer in Lake Nebagamon. The camp brings people to northern Wisconsin from all over the world.
• Ernie Vennerstrom is a lifelong Lake Nebagamon legend.
• Pat Moreland was the venerable teacher and coach at the grade school.
• Whoever started the Dairy Queen in Lake Nebagamon should deserve consideration. We understand it is the oldest Dairy Queen in the state. (That’s good, right?)
• And then there is the Knolls, the Hildebrandts, the Snydles, the Drolsons, the Larsons, the Johnsons, the Rybergs, the Hansons, etc. This could be a long sidewalk.
So that is our proposal, a Walk of Stars or Walk of Fame in Lake Nebagamon. It is not new, but we feel it is unique to a smaller community and will set Lake Nebagamon apart from other bergs in the Northland. How about it readers; what do you think? How about it, village board of Lake Nebagamon? Let’s roll!
Boyleing in the Pirkolater
• The Wisconsin Baseball Association playoffs begin this weekend with 32 teams qualifying to play at four separate sites. The St. Croix Ravens and Bayside Vipers compete in Osceola today. The Ravens will be without pitcher Tim Bouvine, who signed with the Duluth Huskies.
Ashland and Proctor of the Upper 13 League will be in Haugen. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the Proctor Padres win? They are not on Highway 13 and they are not from Wisconsin.
Spooner will be in Osseo, and the Oulu Blue Jays will be down in Rib Lake. The top two from each site will get to Ashland next weekend at Pufall Field for the WBA state tournament.
“Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” runs occasionally in The Daily Telegram. Opinions and/or story ideas can be e-mailed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org