WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Members of the Williams Bay High School History Club don’t just study the past. They mine it to bring old traditions into the present. In some cases, they even use it to create a piece of the future.
Take, for example, one of the club’s biggest projects -- Frost Park. The slice of land at Congress and Geneva streets was created by the Williams Bay Garden Club in 1935 to honor Edwin B. Frost, a physicist and astronomer who worked at Yerkes Observatory in the early 20th century. It was designed with astronomical symbolism, including a moon garden. But more than 70 years later, the park had slid into neglect.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Casey Medema’s organically grown vegetables and herbs have not only graced the plates of diners at Pier 290, a lakeside restaurant in Williams Bay, but they’ve shown up in area food pantries and at farmers market stands.
This is Medema’s second year as operational manager of Farm 290, where his past summer she worked about an acre of land owned by the restaurant’s president, Bill Gage, and supplied Pier 290’s chef with fresh produce for the menu. She also has a greenhouse on the property to help her expand the growing season.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- The universe captured on glass plates, with the earliest images dating over a century ago -- from photographs of Halley’s comet to the Andromeda galaxy -- have added layers of data to research for astronomers like Wayne Osborn. An extensive collection of these plates can be found at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, where Osborn has been making it his job to ensure their preservation.
Born in Los Angeles, Osborn and his family crisscrossed California while he was growing up. He moved across the country during his graduate studies, ending up with a doctorate degree in astronomy at Yale University.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- The plays taking center stage on Walworth County high schools next month showcase some wonderful theater, with several presenting familiar stories given a new twist.
Big Foot High School
Audience members will see a familiar fairy tale turned on its head with “The Cinderella Complex” at the newly remodeled auditorium at Big Foot High School, said director Rachel Wenndt.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- About 20,000 boats travel on Geneva Lake throughout the summer. Besides the boaters, the lake also is busy with swimmers, sail boaters, wakeboarders and water skiers.
With all that activity, someone has to make sure the lake remains safe for users. That’s where the Geneva Lake Law Enforcement Agency comes in.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- For Mark Duran, memories of war are a constant companion. But so, too, is Duran’s art. And it’s the latter that helps him focus on a future that’s alive with color and hope.
Duran, 43, of Delavan is an Army veteran who served and was seriously injured on the front lines in Afghanistan in 2005.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Principal Barb Isaacson says it’s a bittersweet goodbye she and the faculty at Williams Bay Elementary School said last Friday, June 3, the last day of classes in the building that has stood for 100 years at 139 Congress St.
Come September, students will be in a new elementary school building, connected to the Williams Bay Middle/High School at 500 W. Geneva St., on the west end of the village.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- You went the whole nine yards this Valentine’s Day: a dozen lipstick-red roses, dinner at a restaurant that doesn’t have a dollar menu, a movie with enough onscreen action and romance to make you forget the popcorn you’re holding.
Or maybe you stopped short on Feb. 14: the kids caught the flu, you pulled a weekend shift at work, the maître de laughed when you called for reservations yesterday, or you, um, forgot.
Editor’s note: Saving Downtown is an award-winning series by freelance writer Lisa Schmelz exploring how Walworth County communities are breathing new life into their historic downtown districts. This is the fifth installment. Visit other towns in the Saving Downtown series by going online to communityshoppers.com/tag/Saving-downtown.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Last Sunday morning, a table was hard to come by at Daddy Maxwell’s in Williams Bay. Two hours before the Packers-Bears kickoff, this igloo-shaped diner felt as crowded as Soldier Field -- provided one made the proper per-capita and square-footage adjustments and was still prone to exaggeration.
But folks here didn’t mind waiting for a table, being elbow-to-elbow at the counter or shoulder-to-shoulder along the western wall, where a row of tables overflowed with locals and weekend visitors. The mood was jovial. Conversations were a mix of politics, town gossip, including whether or not the cashier should be allowed to wear a Bears jersey in Packers country, and the glorious fall weather of the moment. There was also much pontificating as to where downtown Williams Bay started and stopped, and even more specifically, if Daddy Maxwell’s could claim to be a part of downtown Williams Bay.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- At 112 years old, every inch of the 17-foot-tall Birge Fountain in Whitewater looks like what you’d imagine an imposing turn-of-the-last century sculpture to be: cherubs astride undulating dolphins, a Greek maiden-dubbed “Maid of the Mist” holding a water jar and Classical Revival-style detailing.
It’s hard to believe it was assembled from a catalog.
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