Tag Archive | pottery

Edgerton – Connect to Endless Possibilities


Welcome to Edgerton dign

Formerly known as “Tobacco City USA”, Edgerton  looks toward the future while acknowledging its past and origins.  Used to be called Fulton Station before it was renamed Edgerton.  This community of 5,461 was named after by Benjamin Hyde Edgerton  or his brother Elisha in 1853.  Here are a couple of famous people who grew up here. This is the Sterling North House, now a museum.  The museum hold a book festival the last Saturday in September.

Sterling North House in Edgerton


Sterling North home marker


There is a larger Sterling North marker located at Albion Park. Also the former Albion Academy.

Albion Academy in Edgerton

Sterling North Marker in EdgertonAlbion Academy marker in Edgerton

Another historic marker is in town, including one explaining more about Edgerton’s tobacco heritage. It is located at N42º49.133′ W089º04326′, on Lord Street just south of downtown.

Edgerton Tobacco Lands marker

Edgerton was not just famous for its tobacco, pottery also played an important part in putting Edgerton on the map. You can find these origins at Clay Pit Heritage Park. Located at 305 W. Lawton St, you will find the log cabin of Pauline Jacobus, taken apart in another location and rebuilt here in 2003.

Pauline Jacobus cabin in Edgerton

Let’s head downtown and see some of the historic buildings there.

Downtown Edgerton sign

About 20 of the original tobacco buildings still exist, complete with the old signs painted on the side or front of the building.

Tobacco building in Edgerton

Tobacco building in Edgerton

Leaf Tobacco Building in Edgerton


These were turned into housing, Tobacco City Lofts. Great idea!

Tobacco City Lofts in Edgerton

We also stopped at the Edgerton Public Library, another beautiful historic building. While we were there, we met a couple of local historians, Larry and Beverly Witzel.  Larry’s family were among the original residents in this community.  They educated us about Edgerton and showed us some great books about Edgerton’s past. We saw a historic home that was in the book near the library.  Thanks for the history lesson!

Edgerton Public Library


Larry and Bev Witzel and us in Edgerton

The Andrew McIntosh home

Andrew McIntosh house in Edgerton

The former City Scales downtown, now Mario’s Italian Restaurant.

City Scales in Edgerton in the 1800's

Maroi's Italian Restaurant in Edgerton


Other Local Businesses Worth Visiting

Jim’s Auto Trim and Upholstery

Owner Ace Illbeck is a friendly guy who is never too busy to say “hi” to passersby, his dog is just as friendly.

Jim's Auto Trim and Upholstery in EdgertonJim's Auto Trim dog


Edgerton Oasis and Truck Stop – Exit off of I – 90

The friendly staff ready to answer your questions and help in any way.

Edgerton Oasis sign

Edgerton Oasis

On March 22, 2017 we had breakfast there at their Winchester Family Restaurant. Delicious food and friendly atmosphere.

Chamber of Commerce is located in the Depot. The Depot Cafe is no longer open (2018).

Edgerton Depot - Railway Express Cafe


Edgerton has many festivals throughout the year that draws people from all over the country.  Tobacco Heritage Days celebrates their tobacco history with many family activities.

This year we attended for the first time the 25th Annual Chilimania on September 6. What a great festival!  This is a chili-cookoff competition drawing people from miles around.  Many of the competitors even wore costumes.  Come to Chilimania if you like chili, as you get to taste the chili and vote for your favorite!

Chilimania Collage


Edgerton is a friendly community that we plan on returning to again and again. We had a lot of fun here!

Downtown Edgerton

Mineral Point – Clay in May


Mineral Point signMineral Point Water tower

It has been almost a year since our last trip to Mineral Point, and it was time to go back!  On our last visit we took a tour of historic Pendarvis and Shake Rag Alley, very exciting! This time,  we returned downtown to see what we missed.

This weekend was their first festival of the season, their big “Clay in May” event.  This festival focuses on the many pottery artists in town, it was the 5th year.  The artists give visitors a tour of their studios, behind the showroom we see in the front of the store.  Four businesses took part in this event:

1. Brewery Pottery

2. The Mulberry Pottery

3. Windy Ridge Pottery

4. Howdle Studio – Bruce Howdle

Roland Sardeson – Pottery and mason, Shake Rag Alley artist.

Howdle Studios

We took the tour of Howdle studio, what beautiful work!  Bruce Howdle was happy to show us his latest creations, including works in progress.  Private customers can even commission from him custom pieces of art.

Howdle Studio insideBruce Howdle and us

In the back room of his studio his artist friend Roland Sardeson was making beautiful works of art on his potter’s wheel as we watched. On a couple of tables he had small pieces for sale too,  I got a tea-cup.  His artist skills cover a wide scope of categories.  He has even built this Free Little Library, beautiful!

Roland Sardeson pottery

Roland Sardeson

Roland Sardeson Little Library

We had lunch at the Red Rooster Cafe again, we loved it the first time we went last June.   This time we saved room for their famous Figgy-Hobbin dessert,  brought by the Cornwall miners a long time ago.  Yum!

Red Rooster Collage

Our visit included seeing other historic buildings we missed the last time.

The Walker House

The Walker House

The Mineral Point Railroad Depot Museum  Photography of exhibits are prohibited,  admission is charged.

Mineral Point Railroad Museum

Historic Jail Alley buildings.

Parley Eaton House

Jail Alley House

Jail Alley house row


As always, we enjoyed our visit to Mineral Point. Each visit is different and special!

Mineral Point Dog

Cambridge – Home of Motor City West Inventors


We became interested in Cambridge when we discovered what an important part of the recreation industry it is.  Also the art scene, pottery in particular. Cambridge has been dubbed the “Salt-glazed Pottery Capitol of the World” in the 1980-90’s.   See here for all the artists creating great art for sale in Cambridge.  We visited Rowe Pottery Works and really enjoyed seeing their great pottery and attractive displays.  They even can customize pottery for you to make a great gift for that special someone!

Welcome to Rowe Pottery UrnRowe Pottery Works store in Cambridge Wisconsin

Rowe Pottery display

beach-scene-beach-umbrellaCambridge Watertower

As for contributions to the recreation industry, Cambridge became a favorite place for Chicagoans to visit, especially in summer.  This all began in the late 1800’s.  Cambridge soon saw their own Lake Ripley’s beach dotted with many blue and yellow beach umbrellas in summer. Cambridge turned this into an opportunity to encourage tourists to come visit. They called themselves “Umbrella City”, and added a yellow and blue beach umbrella to their logo.  Some liken Cambridge to be like a little “Lake Geneva“, another lake in Wisconsin that boasts many Illinois visitors. The umbrella even tops of their historic water tower. Here is a winter scene of Lake Ripley as seen from Ripley Park, and a historic marker discussing another famous past resident of Cambridge.

Lake Ripley in Winter

Ole Evinrude outboard motor inventor

Ole Evinrude invented the outboard motor for boats, which no doubt are on many of the boats cruising Lake Ripley in the summer today.

The other famous inventor that resided in Cambridge was Arthur Davidson, of Harley-Davidson motorcycle fame.  See the Harley-Davidson  Museum in Milwaukee to learn more.  Matt Kenseth of NASCAR fame also hails from Cambridge.

We saw other historic buildings, the former school of red brick, now the home of the town museum and civic theater group.

Cambridge Historic School Museum

Cambridge Museum sign

The Cambridge House Bed and Breakfast, formerly the home of Doctor Bilstad in town 100 years ago.

Cambridge House Bed and Breakfast

For a longer stay in Cambridge,  you might enjoy  The Victorian.

The Victorian Bed and Breakfast

Also a beautiful Historic  Old  Stonehouse , built in 1851,  owned by the Cambridge Foundation and for many years has been home to The Voyager’s Jewelery Design

Cambridge Historic Stonehouse- Voyagers Jewelery

We enjoyed a great lunch at the Keystone Grill.

Keystone Grill in Cambridge WI

Motor your way into Cambridge,  you will enjoy your visit!

Beckman Mill-Heritage Day Festival in Beloit


Beckman Mill and Covered Bridge

Beckman Mill Marker

We time-traveled to the 1800’s to historic Beckman Mill in Beloit to enjoy some old-fashioned demos of skills used before high-tech and mass production.  The Amish help keep some of these crafts alive today. The centerpiece of this historic site is of course Beckman Mill, a grist mill that is still using the original millstones to grind mainly corn.  The covered bridge is a more recent addition and is quite popular!  The mill stream powers it, and this mill doesn’t use a waterwheel. Turbines inside do the turning of the grindstone. Enjoy this demonstration of the mill in action!

Buzz Beckman of the Beckman family was there and posed for a picture with us! The building behind us was where the Beckman family once lived, now it houses exhibits.

Buzz Beckman and us

We also enjoyed watching  the blacksmith making tools.

Beckman Mill Blacksmith

Another man was making flint arrowheads, wow!


Some vendors were also there that incorporated these 1800’s skills. A broom-maker had many beautiful brooms for sale.

Broom Maker

Another vendor,Terri Dodge of Double D’s B’s of Beloit (608-365-1646) sold wonderful hand-crafted soap that smelled wonderful!  We got some! They also sell honey.  Also some beautiful pottery, some was even being made as we watched! The little girl on the left won first-place in the Laura Ingalls Wilder contest at the festival.

Double D's B's

Pottery Demo at Beckman Mill, Beloit

President Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd were visiting the mill also.  They gave a 10-minute presentation in character.  They are played by Jerry and Judy Wubbena of South Beloit, Il.  Contact them for your event, 815-389-8829. 

Present Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd

We were also entertained by the Mill Road Band, playing tunes to get your feet tapping. Also dulcimer players, they played a song from Lincoln’s campaign before their presentation.

Mill Pond Band Beloit

Duclimer Players and Lincolns

The festival also featured a classic car show and wagon rides.

Horse -Drawn Rides

For an old-fashioned good time, come to Beckman Mill. They are open from May-October, mill tours on weekends.  Don’t forget a souvenier from the gift shop, your purchase supports the site’s continued operation!

Beckman Mill Gift Shop

Covered bridge at Beckman Mill

Related articles