St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Friday, June 29, 2012

1965 St Croix Falls Interstate Park Flood Recovery

Back in the spring of 1965, just graduated from SCFHS, I took at job with 70 other young men working in Interstate Park cleaning 8 inches of sand off the lower beaches and in general working to improve the park.   I include some clippings and other memories from the friends I had there. 

From Dennis Olson, a member of the same crew as I was on

Our crew started cleaning the road in the lower park while another crew resurfaced hiking trails using crushed traprock.  We next rebuilt the streambed that runs alongside the bathhouse.  I remember much fooling around as there was really not alot to do.  Next we were moved to Lion's Park where we cleared a lot of brush and I believe we finished with another stream project near the fish hatchery in the lower park.

There were many guys from other schools as well as St. Croix Falls.  I remember Simon Nelson from Frederic, Jon Clark from Milltown and Galen Skow from Luck.  From St. Croix I remember; George Gullickson, Marlyn
Olson, Dick Erickson, Jim Rutch, Ron Kurtz, Dick Bulman, Scott Minar, Jeff Minar, Lynn Minar, Greg Lundsman, Lonny Thompson, Ted Olsen, Dave Keyes.  There were a few trips to the clinic.  I remember 2 accidents
with axes.  One of the injured was Dick Erickson.

I have many good memories of the summer but in retrospect it was not a good way to enter the world of work.  There was so little supervision that we spent many hours just hiding somewhere and sitting around.  I think you may have been wise to move on.
Hope that helps,

From Woody Minar
I know that it evolved from cleanup to actually building and improving all the paths in the park.  We re-creosoted (if that's a word) some of the wooden bridges, too.
(First name escapes me - Harvey?) Harlander from dresser was our Crew Forman.  It might have been Dennis Harlander's dad (Marlys Nesseth at the school in SCF might know). 
We packed out own lunches and I remember on the south side of "Berger's Lake" there were wild onions growing so we'd add those to our sandwiches at lunch time.  I took my kids on some of the trails about 10 years ago.  On the north side was a cement step I built and it had my name enscribed in it still).
Dennis has some good memory to remember all those names.  Bob Clayton was on the work, crew, too. 
 Arlen Dombrock's dad was also a foreman.  Arlen lives in Appleton If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.

From Russ Hanson
I called John Nesvold, who was the Park Admin at that time.  He retired in 1985.   He said a fellow, "Rosie" (Rosenkranz) was sort of the overall foreman.  He said that the program lasted until school
started. He remembered as many as 5 crews of up to 15 people working (75) at one time.  He remembers a lot of work getting done for the park and the kids "doing a lot of good work"  He thinks there are photos of the project. 

John lives in Hartford, WI, near my in-laws who live in West Bend.  I plan to interview him sometime later this year when we are down there for a visit.  I called him and he immediately was able to remember theproject and many details.  "one of the better things that happened at the Park when I was there"   He remembers the work on trails, roads, seeding, streambed repair, and of course, removing silt from the 25acres along the river.

The two weeks I worked there, several on my crew were farmboys. George Gullickson and I both remember being told to work slower.  We were so used to the physical work on the farm, and working to get jobs done quickly (haul the hay, clean the barn, etc.,) that we were struck by this "pace yourself" view of the crew boss (I think we had thisRosenkrantz guy).

From Julie Fox of the Park

Hello Russ,
 I was able to ask our own "historian" Steve Jensen about documentation following the flood and subsequent clean up efforts, but he didn't recall ever seeing any paperwork.  That was even before his time here at the park!
I'm sorry that I don't have any more information for you.  I'll look forward seeing the results of your research efforts however.
Have a great weekend,