St Croix River Road Ramblings

Welcome to River Road Ramblings.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

River Road Ramble 2010

Stops on the 5th Annual River Road Ramble

Keyed to the map (online at

A. Festival Theatre Historic Downtown St. Croix Falls

3rd Annual Costume Sale – Saturday, September 25th in the front courtyard. Beverage sales all afternoon. Tim Sparks and Phil Heywood Saturday, September 25th @ 7:30

Claudia Schmidt, Sunday, September 26th, 2:00

B. The famous Wolf Creek Bar (Little Swedes) historical spot has been serving liquor continuously since 1832!! Photos of “old” Wolf Creek on display. Great year round spot for dining, socializing and watching sports.

C. Penny Lane 2566 240th Ave (Cty Rd G)

Eclectic shopping. Handcrafted items, unique treasures, odds 'n ends, purses, dolls, vintage glassware and pottery, sasonal items and homegrown produce. New and used bargains. Homestead of John Penny.

D. Wolf Creek Methodist Church 2417 River Road – maps available Lunch served from 11 to 2. Large rummage and Bake Sale, produce, coffee, rolls, lunch. Opening at 8 am.

E1. Antique Horse Drawn Vehicles and Garage sale 2586 River Road. Collection of original, carefully restored, antique sleighs and wheeled vehicles and appointments will be on display. Garage sale, saddle, tack and other driving appointments will be for sale.

E2. Sterling Homemakers 2586 River Road Sterling H.C.E Garage and Bake Sale. Proceed help residents in need, supports local scholarships and community projects.

F. Sunshine Gardens 2747 Evergreen Ave.Sunshine Gardens Wed thru Sat. 10 to 6. FREE PLANTS!? HOW? Stop in for our 'Pick-a-chip' Sale! Pick-a-chip and save $1, $5 of get your entire purchase FREE!! Saturday 9am – 5pm only. Browse our Trees, Ornamental Shrubs, Perennials, Fruiting Shrubs, Water Plants, Ironworks and handmade items. Cookies, lemonade and coffee provided all day. Don't forget – FALL IS A GREAT TIME TO PLANT!

G. Hanson Farm 2558 Evergreen Ave. Farm market, apples, squash, pumpkins, maple syrup and seasonal garden produce

H. Multi-family Garage sale 13017 Solness Rd, located almost to Grantsburg off Hwy 87. Seven family garage sale. Something for everyone: clothing, crafts, collectibles, glassware, books, households, perennial plants, guy stuff and much more!!

I. Holmes Lake Orchard 20338 Range Line Rd 1 mile east of Hwy 87 on Cty Z. U-pick apples stop and enjoy the beautiful setting and delicious fruit.

J. C. Kapp Art Studio and Golden Egg Farm Christine Kapp – maps available Open house/Rustic Barn Art Studio. Located inside our big red barn, second floor. Meet the artist and see some of her vintage themed oil paintings. She will have art and prints for sale.

K. At-las Antiques downtown Atlas (Cty Rd B) Antiques, gifts, collectibles, wonderful “old fashioned” gardens. Don't miss this stop; you'll be telling your friends about this one of a kind shop. Located in the old general store and living quarters.

L. Cushing 240th Ave. choose anyone of the three exits. “The small town with the big heart” SEL HS Histoical “Memory Room” and Museum Community Center 2nd floor – entrance on east side of building. Large collection of area photographs and information. Display of farm and dairy equipment, first Post Office, Country Schools and Churches. Copies of Cushing Wisconsin History available for purchase. - maps available

Suzy Q's Snowshoe Tavern a great place for breakfast, lunch of dinner. Daily specials, We have whatever you are hungry for. Ramble special – $1.00 off appetizers or Burger Basket.

The Dugout Bar and Grill Sports Bar – famous for delicious burgers always serving daily specials. Sponsor of 13 area teams: fastpitch, softball, pool, bowling leagues, trap and more. *Suzy Q's and The Dugout are co-sponsors of the Cushing Fundays Adult Soapbox Derby

M. Pole Barn Sale 2355 215th Ave. Pole barn sale: Circular saw blades 11” to 24”, collectables, beeswax, tools, hubcaps, old pulleys, household, misc.

N. Eureka Center

Townhall – School on Hwy 87 just north of 210th st. - maps available. Open house of the beautifully restored school house. Interesting display of Eureka history, pictures, artifacts, stories and farm memorabilia including antique tractors. Serving ice cream and rootbeer. Hosted by Betty and Sherman Jensen

Eureka Farmers Market Oktoberfest A special farmers market with a classic car show 10 -5. NE corner of Hwy 87 and 210th St.

K.J's Eureka Tavern popular spot for “locals” you should stop too! Building sits on original site of 1904 Eureka creamery. Walls from 1915 creamery are visable in the current tavern and dining area. Good food and friendly staff. Stop and visit

O. Chateau St. Croix Winery and Vineyard 1998 Hwy 87. World class wines in the St. Croix River Valley. Tasting, tours and more. There is no better way to end you day of traveling “the loop!” Relax and enjoy a glass of wine in the rural setting of this amazing place.

Historical Sites

1 Festival Theatre 210 Washington Street, St. Croix Falls. In the late 1880's St. Croix Falls was a bustling river town, and as it continued to grow, citizens interested in cultural endevors wanted to build an auditorium. Construction began in 1916, and continued throughout the year, and in 1917, while WWI raged overseas, citizens of St. Croix Falls gathered to watch silent film-The Battle Cry of Peace. The history of the building is very interesting. Originally designed to have a civic community center on the first floor and auditorium on the second floor, which was changed to a

movie theatre. Read all about the changes and growth of this remarkable building and the people who have kept theatre in the valley of over 92 years.

2 St. Croix National Scenic Riverway Visitors Center – 401 Hamilton St. St. Croix Falls. The St. Croix scenic riverway is 154 miles, flowing from Gordon, WI to its confluence with the Mississippi River System. It is one of the last undisturbed, large floodplain rivers in the upper Midwest The river is an unrivaled combination of exceptional natural and cultural recourses and scenic, aesthetic and recreational value. The Visitor Center is open

daily from 8 am to 4:30 pm. A large variety of brochures and maps are available.

3 Spangler's Landing – located on the River Road; watch for Nat't Riverway signs The Spangler family settled right on the river and provided a stopping place for travelers heading north on the River Road from St. Croix Falls, It is said that there was a pause

in the rapids on the river at ths spot, so boats trying to run the rapids could rest too. The rapids have been gone for 100 years since the power dam in St. Croix Falls flooded them all the way to Wolf Creek.

4 Nevers Dam – located on the River Road watch for Nat'l Riverway signs. There is access to the wild river at this spot. You may be able to see some remaining parts of the Nevers Dam that once stood here. In 1890, Charlie Nevers had a stopping place

along the river. Loggers sent millions of logs down the St. Croix and found them getting jammed on the rapids, especially at St. Croix Falls. To solve the problem, they built a huge wooden dam where Charlie had lived. They stopped the logs there, built up a great head of water and then let them go with a rush that took them all way through St. Croix Falls, and sped them on their way to the sawmills at Stillwater.

5 Wolf Creek Methodist Church and Cemetery 2417 River Road

This is the site of the first Wolf Creek School that was built in 1882. The school burned down in 1922, and was replaces by the current building that is now used as the Methodist Church. Wolf Creek was an early Indian trading post by 1831, and a loggers moved through, farmers and other settlers followed them and Wolf Creek became a “blooming community.” By 1860 there was a dam and mill on Wolf Creek, a Post Office, General Store (the proprietor's records are at the SEL HS Memory Room) doctor's

office, a school and church congregation. With the Homestead Law of 1862 allowing people to claim up to 160 acres of US land and get it for free after 5 years of improving it, settlers rushed in. Take a walk through the cemetery, there are family graves dating back to 1859 or earlier.

6 Ives Stopping Place and Cemetery – a few miles North of Wolf Creek.

Site of one of many stopping places used by the early settlers who traveled along the “road to the pineries.” The oxen in the wood at the logging camps could live on wild hay, but the horses used by the settlers traveling up the River Road, needed better feed. Creating the necessity for stopping places along the way.

7 Bush Bakke/ Pioneer Cemetery – Evergreen Ave. west of the River Road. This cemetery was used 1880 – 1920. There are many families that settled in the 400 acres of Sterling Township forest on the barrens that are buried here. The church built in

1879 was constructed of logs with white pine boards covering it. Today a memorial church stands on the original site. Some of the grave sites have raised rectangles of dirt around them, some grave markers are partially hidden, and there are also depressions there the pin boxes have given way. The little church and historical displays inside were recently damaged by arson in 2008 and has been lovingly restored – stop in to see.

8 Trade River – you will cross this river several times while traveling the “loop.” This river was used by the logging camps in the 1850's. Huge white pines floated down river to the St. Croix. The Trade, however, was much too small to get logs all the way, so a series of dams were built. In the spring the logs and water built up behind one dam, which was them released, and the logs roared on to the next, until they reached the St. Croix.

9 Grettum Flowage – cross over the Trade River and head north into Burnett Co. Hwy 87 and the River Road both cross the Trade River. At one time two roads joined together at the river and headed north as one. Take the River Road north until it seems to

dead end in a lake. This is the Grettum Flowage.

10 & 11 Trade River and Trade River School – a town located on one of the dam sites. Turn east off Hwy 87 at the new Trade River Evangelical Church, and you will enter what was once the thriving community of Trade River. Stores, mill, telephone and electrical company, old church, sawmill, furniture factory...all that remains is the cemetery and a few houses. The Trade River School, with merry-go-round in the yard, was closed in the 1940's.

12 Orr School – another “country school” along hwy 87 located at 285th This is the 4th Orr Lake School, it was closed in 1950 and remodeled into a home.