Holmen Area Historical Society

 

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The 2000 Tour of Historic Homes was held October 14, 2000, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Below is a list of the homes included in the tour.


1 - Holland Town Hall
7937 McHugh Road
Tickets and tour brochures were available here.
Antique quilts furnished by the La Crosse Area Quilters Guild were on
display.
Complimentary refreshments and restrooms were available here during the
hours of the tour.

2 - Len and Sandy Beranek
N7910 Bluffview Court
Built in 1921 from cement blocks made by hand at the A. O. Casberg cement
block factory in Holmen.
The large wrap-around porch was built in 1921 of cement blocks hand-made at
the A.O. Casberg cement block factory in Holmen. Nestled along the bluffs,
the house features high ceilings and plastered walls. Five bedrooms and a
bathroom comprise the second floor, which has maple flooring. The current
owners, Len and Sandy Beranek, have replaced windows and extensively
remodeled the kitchen.
The foundation of the barn, built in 1908, is constructed of stone which was
quarried from the hills above the farm. The original owners, Martin and Teah
Hanson, were dairy famers and had operated a roadside stand for more than 25
years.

3 - Civilian Conservation Corps Site
McHugh Road just west of Holmen Drive
On the north side of McHugh Road approximately two blocks west of the Holmen
Drive intersection, stand two stone monuments and a sign reading "Civilian
Conservation Corp, 1932 - 1941." A military-style camp was built on this
site- complete with barracks, mess hall, operations offices, work building,
recreation hall, and church. The facility housed more than 200 men who
worked on area conservation projects which included reforestation,
establishing strip farming, stream bank protection and gully control. The
camp was closed prior to WWII and totally demolished.
A display of photos from the camp and a former CCC employee will be at the
site to answer questions and provide other information. Watch for the blue
tent.

4 - Robert Dummer and Christine Michels
N6669 CTH XX
Restoration on this brick farm home built around the turn of the last century
was started several years ago. The exterior was sandblasted, repointed and
sealed as several areas of brick on the north side were loose and ready to
fall out.
As you enter the front porch through the beautifully landscaped gardens, note
the lintels over the doors and windows of the original portion of the house.
Inside, the beautiful wood of the curved staircase and bannister had at least
seven layers of paint that needed to be removed before the wood was exposed.
Each layer, according to Christine, was darker than the one before with dark
aqua being one of the last.
The kitchen floor is of a cabinet grade pine, which is a much finer wood than
is usually found in a home of this vintage. Most of the remainder of the
house has had the old linoleum removed and the pine floors have been
restored.
The size of the kitchen and the arrangement of the cupboards reflects the
fact that this is a working farm with a young, active family living here.
Christine is an art teacher at Holmen Middle School and many of her paintings
and sketches decorate the rooms.
The master bedroom and upstairs bath have been remodeled and a balcony added
over the front porch. Family heirlooms decorate the master bedroom and spare
bedroom
The small building just to the north of the house was a wash house, a place
for the hired help to wash and shower.

5 - Green Mound Cemetery
Bluff View Court
Called the Holland Cemetery when it was organized in 1883 by Dutch immigrants
who settled the New Amsterdam area, the name was changed to Green Mound
Cemetery in 1884. The first lot was sold to Sjouke Chalsma in 1883 for $8.00.
Lots currently sell for $200. The oldest section at the top of the hill has
several interesting gravestones, including one in the shape of a tree with a
rope carved in it.
Local legend says that the person buried there committed suicide.
Suel Briggs, the second chairman for the Town of Holland is buried here. Look
for special markers and information about local people.

6 - Dale and Mary Komro
201 Kay Street
The house was built in 1936 by Arnold Casberg with materials from the Casberg
Lumber Company in Holmen. The original wood floors, woodwork, living room
fireplace and wood trim have been carefully refurbished by the current
owners, Dale and Mary Komro.
As you enter the house through the side porch, note the original sign from
the A.O. Casberg and Sons Universal Cement Co. The Komros found the sign in
the garage when they purchased the house in 1994. The Casberg Cement Co. made
the blocks that are visible in the foundation of the two homes across the
street and the Beranek home, also on the tour.
To the original four bedrooms and two bathrooms, the Komros added a 24 by 24
family room, carefully blending the addition with the old house, matching the
exterior cedar shake siding, wood trim, and fireplace style. Many of the
cupboards in the kitchen are original but have had the fronts resurfaced to
blend with the rest of the woodwork.
Feel free to stroll through the back yard. All of the landscaping and
perennial gardens have been designed and planted by the Komros.
Old photos of the home will be on display as well as numerous antiques from
the Komros' extensive collection.

7 - New Amsterdam Presbyterian Church
N7283 John Street
Dutch people who settled in the New Amsterdam area of the Town of Holland
organized the church in 1870. Fourteen members and friends including Sigourd
Chalsma, John Van Der Pan, John Van Loon, John Mulder, Harmen Van Der Water,
Aajan Westerhouse, Isabel LaFleur and Trietjet Dykra, developed a building
fund of $700. The church building currently in use was started in 1873 and
completed by 1879. The steeple and bell were added in 1905, and the annex and
basement were completed in 1916. Morning worship was conducted in Dutch until
1908, but English was the language used for the afternoon service and Sunday
school. A half-time pastor serves the congregation. Members of the
congregation will be on hand to answer questions.

8 - Scott and Lauri Stettler
202 Kay Street
This home was once a stable at 121 Long Coulee Road. It was moved across the
road to the current location by the owners of the Casberg Lumber Company and
converted into a house. Features include the original maple floors
throughout, pine trim, a pocket door, and foyer with open staircase. The
Stettlers have replaced the front porch, kitchen ceiling and cabinets, and
the rear deck. The also renovated the bathroom.
Included in the Stettlers' collection of antiques is a parson's chair which
was found in the Holmen Creamery building where the Stettlers have their
business, a lantern slide advertising the creamery, the dining room
collection of R. Atkinson Fox prints, and a collection of forest green
glassware.

9 - Seven Bridges/McGilvray Road
Amsterdam Prairie Road
Take a walk down the old McGilvray Road (formerly Highway 93) through the Van
Loon Wildlife area and over some or all of the historic bridges. The first
bridge is just a few hundred feet from the parking lot and you may take the
entire walk covering the five original bridges, 3.7 miles round trip. (You
may want to wear some bright clothing as the area is open to hunting at this
time of the year.)
The five bowstring arch and truss bridges built between 1905 and 1908 were
designed by Charles M. Horton. Bridge #5, built in 1920, is of a different
design and was moved to this location from Pierce County, replacing a king
post bridge destroyed by fire about 1985. Bridge #7 was dismantled in 1954
when the new Highway 93 opened.
In 1989 the Preservation Alliance of La Crosse responded to pleas from
concerned citizens because of threatened demolition of the abandoned bridges.
Friends of McGilvray Road, Inc. was formed to assist the Wisconsin Department
of Natural Resources in preserving and maintaining the bridges. Restoration
efforts were funded in part by the sale of limited edition art prints by
local artists Art Anderson and Michael Klafke.
The bridges are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the
Wisconsin Register of Historic Places.
If you would like to assist in this ongoing preservation effort, contact The
Friends of McGilvray Road, Inc., P.O. Box 2976, La Crosse, WI 54602.

10 - Dirk and Judy Wolff
W7766 Mc Hugh Road
According to the abstract for this property, the land was surveyed in 1864
and a patent issued for Homestead Certificate No. 789 by President U.S. Grant
on March 1, 1871. The home was built around 1870 by Suel Briggs, the second
chariman for the Town of Holland.
The home is a restoration work in progress. It is a variation of the model T
house, in which there are no hallways. Entrance to rooms was through another
room, usually the kitchen or dining room, the main year-round living area.
The parlor could be shut off and not heated except on special days.
An exposed area of living room wall shows the full two- inch thick 2 by 4s,
lath and plaster, and a fresco of the old wallpaper design imprinted in the
plaster. An original light fixture hangs in the living room. Kitchen
renovation is complete and includes custom built, lined oak cupboards.
Windows have been replaced with energy efficient units. Other renovations
include repairs to the foundation, new wiring and plumbing.
The completed renovation is expected to take several more years The upstairs
and bedrooms have not been finished and will not be included in the tour.
The barn is also in the process of being restored and has a new metal roof.

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