Clinton preparing to celebrate 175th anniversary this weekend
Most of us learned history in timeline fashion: the dates of wars, assassinations, conquests, and events that changed history or marked the spirit of an era.
Among those significant facts are the smaller events that changed lives and created our communities.
Here's one: In 1837, Charles Tuttle, William Murray, Milton Warner and Dr. Dennis Mills, all of upstate New York, settle in what is now known as the village of Clinton.
This weekend, the village will celebrate its 175th anniversary with fireworks, a parade, dances and other activities.
The village has thrived, thanks to the richness of area's farmland and the stability of businesses such as The DeLong Co. and Badgerland Farm Center.
But it also has thrived because of ordinary people who loved their community and saw its potential.
Their stories—often just noted in single sentence paragraphs—are scattered throughout The Gazette archives:
Jan. 15, 1873
"Rumor says that the Western Union Railroad folks are to build a new depot east of the one now standing, the better to accommodate their increasing business. A thing very much to be desired as the shell now in existence, which does duty for both roads, is a miserable affair, hardly fit for a first class rat hole."
Jan. 9, 1909
"Turtle Creek was a gay scene of merriment last Friday evening when the young people of this village to the number of one hundred or more assemble there for skating.
Nov. 5, 1931
Under the headline, "Gaiety reigns at Clinton fete opening of road," G.E. Casper, LeRoy Township Chairman of Boone County, Ill., "told of the mud holes of a quarter century ago in this region, and related how the Rev. Mr. Westby, once pastor of the Bergen Church, met with farmers of the vicinity to urge them to take action to obtain macadam roads."
Oct. 2, 1958
A photo featuring Mr. and Mrs. Harry Erickson accompanies their retirement from the grocery business they operated for 35 years on the main street of Clinton.
From a undated clipping about the village's 125th anniversary: "Suspense was a common aliment here this afternoon among five young lovelies, each wondering who will be crowned queen of Clinton's 125th anniversary celebration."
The "young lovelies" in question were Janet Hahn, Louise Statton, Kathy Ellingson, Loretta Nelson and Judy Peterson.
May 21, 1971
From a Gazette editorial: "The 1,724 residents of Clinton have ample reason to be proud of their village these days. This week Clinton was the subject of a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal—the village's prize for being Wisconsin's most improved community."
Among the events planned for the 175th anniversary celebration in the village of Clinton are:
Friday, June 15
-- 8 a.m.: Historical Society Rummage Sale at the Cobblestone House, 607 W. Milwaukee St.
-- 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.: Library open house and book sale, 214 Mill St.
-- 5-11 p.m.: Carnival, municipal parking lot.
-- 5-7 p.m. Tailgate party and competition on Allen Street.
-- 7 p.m.: "Clinton, Our Town" production at the at First Baptist Church, 309 Allen St.
-- 7-11 p.m.: "Dance Downtown" sponsored by at Cougar Lanes and Boxcars. The band, Petty Things, a Tom Petty tribute band, will perform on in the lot between Allen and Front streets.
Saturday, June 16
-- 8 a.m.: Community Bank's 5K Run/Walk, registration at Cougar Lanes.
-- 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.: Community-wide rummage sales.
-- 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.: Library open house and book sale.
-- 9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Historical encampment and re-enactment on Mill Street and County J across from the Pelishek-Tiffany Nature Trail. They will provide visitors with historic demonstrations and stories.
-- 9 a.m.: Horseshoe tournament in Herb Reffue Park.
-- 11 a.m.: Cougar Lanes volleyball tournament.
-- Noon: Prairie Days Parade featuring horse-pulled wagons and farming equipment—no motorized vehicles are in the parade.
The parade starts at the Clinton High School, 112 Milwaukee Road, goes north on High Street then south on Allen Street. Then it loops back around on East Street and goes back to the high school.
The announcing stand is on Allen Street.
-- 1-11 p.m.: Carnival, municipal parking lot.
-- 2 p.m.: "Clinton-Our Town" production at First Baptist Church, 309 Allen St.
-- 3-7 p.m. Car and Tractor Show, downtown Clinton.
-- 4 p.m.: Local entertainment including the Heatwave Show Choir, Kathy Marx Dancers and the Clinton High School Band.
-- 4-7 p.m. Taste of Clinton, downtown Clinton.
-- 7-11 p.m. "Dance Downtown" at lot between Allen and Front streets with music by the BelCats.
Sunday, June 17
-- 9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Historical encampment and re-enactment on Mills Street and County J.
-- 10 a.m.: Community church service, high school football fields.
-- Noon-6 p.m.: Carnival, municipal parking lot.
-- 1-4 p.m.: Library open house and book sale.
-- 1-3 p.m.: Antique appraisals with Mark Moran of the Wisconsin State Historical Society, First Presbyterian Church, 312 Church St.
-- 2:30 p.m.: Time capsule ceremony, downtown.
-- 3-4 p.m.: Ice cream social, downtown.
-- 3-4 p.m. Christian concert, downtown.
-- Dusk: Fireworks, Clinton High School football field.