Rockstone Building: Lake Nebagamon cornerstone

When her husband, Walt, bought the Rockstone Building at the corner of county highways B and P in Lake Nebagamon, Angie Moss' reaction was less than positive.

When her husband, Walt, bought the Rockstone Building at the corner of county highways B and P in Lake Nebagamon, Angie Moss' reaction was less than positive.

"I thought my husband was nuts at first," she said.

A year later, the renovated stone building is ready for its public debut during an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

"Now I wouldn't part with it," Moss said. "It turned out to be something really important for us."

Village residents are impressed with the transformation.


"Wally Moss has done a great job," said Karen Bridge, who co-owns Bridge's Indianhead Tavern with her husband Jerry. "It's added so much beauty to coming into Lake Nebagamon."

"It's a wonderful welcome for visitors coming into the village," said resident Kay Coletta.

And it's pulled in new businesses like Anderson Family Chiropractic, Cornerstone Surveying & Mapping and Peace at Hand Massage.

"The more businesses we have in town, the better," Bridge said.

Chiropractor Michael Anderson opened a branch of his Superior business in the building last September.

"I thought I'd be going down there to do paperwork or take a nap," he said. Instead, the patient roster at the office, which is open 1-6 p.m Tuesdays and Thursdays, has grown to include residents from Lake Nebagamon, Poplar, Brule and Iron River.

"It just saves people from driving," Anderson said. "It's more convenient."

Plenty of curious people drove past as Walt Moss and his brothers, Herb and Tom, renovated the structure.


"I think it holds a lot of memories for people in the community," Angie Moss said.

The building was designed as a restaurant and constructed in the late 1940s. Brothers Frank and Jerry Kotera did the stone work from fieldstone collected from the family's farm fields.

Over the years, it has worn many faces. In the early 1950s, it was a residence for the John P. Johnson family. Later, Ed Bridge Sr. ran Rockstone Sports from the building. His son, Jerry Bridge, remembers selling outboard motors, boats, pontoons and bait out of the shop, with inventory stored on the second floor.

Tony and Marge Gardinio converted the building to a drive-up and cafe in the 1960s. Karen Bridge recalled the red-checked tablecloths in the restaurant, and the pizzas they served.

It also served as an art studio for photographer Keith Moreland and painter Nancy Ranta.

Most recently, Stacey Kitzman ran a gift, variety and floral business from the Rockstone.

For the Moss family, the building has personal connections. Three brothers worked together to give the structure a facelift, and their mother called it home.

"When we lived there, there was no indoor plumbing," Lois Moss said. She recalled a vine her mother planted there that wound its way up to the roof every year.


She was a teen when she lived in the Rockstone with her parents and three siblings. And during that time she met her future husband.

She thought it was neat that her son, who runs Walt Moss Trucking, bought the building. And she was impressed with the renovation work that's been done.

Along with the businesses in the lower level, the second floor is a two-bedroom apartment. A new rock wall winds beside the building and a forest green sign has been planted in the parking lot.

The building is set to last another 100 years, said Angie Moss, and "we plan on keeping it."

Maria Lockwood can be reached at or call (715) 395-5025.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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