St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cushing Fun Days

Margo and I started Cushing Fun Days with the Cushing Fire Department's pancake breakfast at the Community Center.  It was, as usual, good, and fun to visit with the neighbors. 

The Cushing Fire Department had 50th anniversary T-Shirts for sale for $10 each, so I bought four (my Dad was one of those who helped to get it started back 50 years ago)
Sterling Township got the Cushing Fire Department started in 1963 after realizing that almost any local fire fighting would be better than waiting for 15 minutes or more to get trucks out from Luck, St. Croix, Milltown or Grantsburg.  

A list of all the folks who ever went on a fire run with the Cushing Fire Department.   Steve W. says that the phone used to ring in the Cushing bar, and often the fire crew included those who were tending bar from either side!
After having breakfast we took over from Marcie M. as museum guides.   We had somewhere between 50 and 100 folks through and lots of folks enjoying our local history exhibits. 

The Donation Jar

Russ snuck out to visit the Fire Department showing off their great assortment of trucks, equipment and the 1st Responder Truck

My neighbor, Steve W, told me about the first 50 years of the Cushing Rural Fire Department. 

Steve Warndahl gave me the tour and told me a little about the department.   When it was started in 1963, all of the volunteers then were trained and became the very first fully certified fire department in the State of Wisconsin!   The 1st Responders started in the 1980s and were the very first group in Polk County that were certified too.  At first, the County Sheriff was not favorable to 1st Responders--thought they would get in the way of police, but very quickly they were welcomed and now are an important addition to county response to accidents.  

A rural fire department has to have a lot of capacity to haul water.  The department has a 10,000 gallon underground tank near the firehall and a well to pump it full.

Back to the museum, I visited with the Wilson's (Karen and Meridee and families) as they toured the museum.  They were having a garage sale on the Wilson house in Cushing and had donated some items to the museum including a bat from the Tigers, a mail delivery leather satchel carried by three generations of Wilsons delivering Cushing mail, a desk and some books from the old Cushing School, and agreed to donate the 1960s console black and white TV with phono and 8-track player for the core of our brand new 1960's Den exhibit (which we just decided to start on seeing the TV console!).  

They mentioned the Cushing Lutheran garage sale, so I zipped down there to see what museum items might be on sale.  

I found some cloth table settings, towels, table cloths and fancywork and spent $5 for them.  We use them to put under some of our items we put on some of our old tables.  Enlisted several of the ladies to help us think about what would be suitable for a 1960's den in the museum.   Plastic table radio, lamp made out of a ladies leg, and a big star burst type of wall clock were ideas.  

While traveling back and forth, watched the folks block off mainstreet for the adult soap box derby by putting out rows and rows of big and little car tires on each side of mainstreet.  

A raft of kids swept through in the early afternoon searching for the medallion--clues were school teacher names, kitchen, and other items that seemed to point to the school.  During one of the sweeps, our Jif Peanut Butter donation jar was emptied of a $30 check for two books and about $17 in cash for books.  Guess we learned not to leave it unattended (we were both in one of the rooms for a while).  Sad, but I guess it won't break the history society, and the check we can get replaced, and Margo and I learned not to be so trustworthy.  

We missed all the children's events going on in the park including the pedal tractor pull as we closed the museum at 1:30 after no one came in for a while and went home for a break, returning for an hour to watch some of the adult soap box derby.  

 The right side of mainstreet Cushing is Sterling Township and has two taverns and off sale beer. The east side is Laketown and has the cemetery and church and for most of it's history was a completely "dry" township where you had to cross the street to have a beer.