Verona – Hometown U.S.A.


10-9-14

Verona sign

Verona‘s nickname was coined in 1966 since it was chosen by a detachment of men fighting in Vietnam as “the perfect example of Hometown, U.S.A.” It was originally a Native American settlement, it was ceded to the US government between 1829-32. It 1844 had a mill called Badger Mill, the first in Dane county. It was named after Verona, NY by some settlers from there. It was incorporated into a city on April 18, 1978. Today Verona is a vibrant community of over 10,000 a short distance south of Madison.

What first caught our eyes on the way was this covered bridge. It is located here.

UW Turfgrass Facility in Verona

Covered Bridge in Verona

 

The Ice Age Trail runs through this part of Verona and you can pick it up here. The trail is essentially following the edge of the glacier boundaries when it was in Wisconsin thousands of years ago.

Ice Age Trail sign in Verona

Another trail running through Verona is the Military Ridge Trail. We stopped at the trailhead in Verona and also saw this historic marker.

Military Ridge Trailhead in Verona

Dane County Home marker

 

For more information about Verona we stopped at their Chamber of Commerce downtown. We learned plenty from the friendly staff there.

Verona Area Chamber of Commerce

 

One thing we learned was a large house near here is the oldest standing house in Verona. It was the  Josiah H. B. Matt’s home, built in 1848. The building is for sale and also needs to be moved. It is the first brick house built in Verona.

Joseph H.P. Matt's home in Verona

 

Downtown yielded another historic building, The Auditorium. Now its Cahoots Bar. This was once a stagecoach stop and many performances were held there, hence the nickname “Auditorium”.

The Auditorium aka Cahoots Bar in Verona

 

You might call this grocery store in Verona historic also, Miller & Sons Supermarket. It has been in the same spot for 112 years, it has expanded larger more than once! A real nice store with 5 generations of the same family passing the torch. They also have a 2nd store in Mt. Horeb.

Miller & Sons Supermarket in Verona

In this same block are two other stores, Hometown Pharmacy and Greg’s Card Locker.

Greg's card Locker and Hometown Pharmacy in Verona

Our other favorite businesses in Verona, besides Miller’s, is The Sow’s Ear. The Sows Ear is a combination of a café and knitters’ yarn shop.  My friends who knit love the place. It has been in Verona for 14 years. Stop in, even if you don’t knit.

The Sows Ear in VeronaThe Sow's Ear inside in Verona

The Sow's Ear Mug in Verona

These businesses are located in the heart of downtown Verona, and so is the Hometown Junction shelter, a shelter right on the Military Ridge Trail. A Veteran’s Memorial is also here.

Hometown Junction in Verona

Veteran's Memorial in Verona

Make yourself at home in Verona, Hometown U.S.A.!

Verona Watertower and banner

Governor Nelson State Park


10-9-14

Gov Nelson State Park sign

Governor Nelson State Park is the one closest to our home, but this was our first time here. We wonder now why it took us so long, what a beautiful place! We hope to do some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing this winter there. This visit we looked for fall color and found plenty! Great trails too.

We hiked on the Woodland Trail, they even had a QR code on a sign to help you identify animal tracks you may see on your hike.

Woodland Trail at Gov Nelson State ParkIMG_8318

 

We didn’t see that but we did see an Ovenbird and Question Mark butterfly on our hike.

 

Question Mak Butterfly and Ovenbird

 

Lots of fall color! Here is a beautiful collection of autumn splendor!

Fall Color Collage at Gov Dodge

This park is on the shores of Lake Mendota, the largest in the Madison Chain of Lakes and northernmost. For great fishing information about these lakes, contact my brother Lee Tauchen. He is a Captain and professional fishing guide who will take you out in his boat to the best spots to catch the fish of your choice.

We made our way toward the lake and found a fish cleaning station. An anchor is on display nearby.

Fish Cleaning Station at Gov Nelson

Al and Laurie selfie with anchor

It was beautiful lakeside. we could see the Madison skyline from here. Staff were removing the piers for the winter the day we went. We were across from Governor’s Island from this location.

 

Madison Skyline from Gov Nelson

Governor's Island at Gov Nelson

This part of the park has a sandy beach and a very large shelter. Also a playground and even a checkers table!

Large Shelter at Gov Dodge

Beach at Gov Dodge

Checkers table at Gov Dodge

If you have a lot of items to bring down to the beach, they have carts you can use to do that.

Gov Nelson carts

We saw more color as we wound our way back to the car. This is a wonderful park and plan on coming back to see all the seasons.

Fall color at Gov. Dodge

14th Annual AppleFest – Madison Northside


10-4-14

Madison Northside sign

Warner Park Community Center

 This is another great event, hosted by the NESCO (North/Eastside Senior Coalition), just like the Warner Summer Concert series that we attended in June. It is held at the Warner Park Community Center inside. It was a cold rainy day so that worked out well.

Apple Fest poster

The first thing we see is the apple tent outside the community center with apples for sale. Yes, it was raining at the time.

Apple tent at AppleFest in Madison

 

Upon going inside was lots of activity, food and a silent auction to help raise money for NESCO.

AppleFest main area

Inside the gym are lots of great kid attractions. First thing at 9:30 AM was a fun drum circle, Let’s listen in.

Drum Circle leader at AppleFest

After the Drum Circle was Doodlebug the Clown making balloon animals for the kids. We have seen her at the Columbus July 4th celebration also.

Doodlebug the Clown at AppleFest

We also brought home a bag of books from their book sale. It was time for some more entertainment. We went to the snack bar room for some lunch and a performance from  Dance Dimensions from Stoughton.

Dance Dimensions with logo

Following them were Just Too Accordions, wonderful! Lets hear them perform a favorite, “On Wisconsin”.

Just Too Accordions at AppleFest

The last performance we saw was Madison College Big Band perform jazz and big band music, two of our favorites! Lets hear some of their performance!

Madison College Jazz

What a wonderful day, we hope to enjoy this great festival again next year.

Apple Fest Collage