2011 SPRING KICKOFF AND PROGRAM
Join Max and Donna Daniels for
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
First Congregational Church
801 Bushnell St.
(between Park Ave. and Church St.)
Max and Donna have an extensive background incommunity theatre and have portrayed Abraham andMary Todd Lincoln professionally since 1988. They are past Vice-presidents of the National Associationof Lincoln Presenters and were named by the Association as the first recipients of its award for “Best Abraham and Mary Lincoln Team” in 1994.
For more information please visit the “New and Improved” SLU Website at www.sluinc.org
If you’re looking for the SLU
(society for learning unlimited) website
Please go to: http://www.sluinc.org/
Meet Tom Long & Amanda Berard… Gretta and Harvey as well.
From: Amanda is from Hayward WI, Tom is originally from San Francisco and more recently from Chippewa Falls WI.
How long in the neighborhood: 10 months, February 09′
Family: Gretta, the white coat golden-doodle looking dog and Harvey the dark haired mix are both rescue dogs they had prior to moving to Beloit. Gretta loves to run, Harvey… he likes being carried.
Occupation: Amanda works for United Health Care and telecommutes managing her team from their home office. Tom works at Kerry as a commercial & operations controller – dairy division.
For Fun: They enjoy walking and playing with Gretta and Harvey. They’re into their Roku digital player for watching TV programming over the net. And on the other end of the technology spectrum Amanda knits, and very well too. Yes we’ve told her about the fanatic knitters in the neighborhood along with the when-n-where. Tom is looking to hone his handi-man skills with various projects planned for the house.
Community Involvement: As they’re new to the community and still settling in their focus has been on getting their new home set up.
Why this neighborhood: They had looked at homes in various communities in the state line area and as far south as Rockford. By chance they drove past the home on Bushnell and saw it for sale. Prior to moving to Beloit they’d lived in a new home where they were the first owner. They were intrigued by the distinctive architectural character of the old house. They contacted the realtor that afternoon and checked out the home that evening. Following that, looking at vintage homes elsewhere regionally they chose their Bushnell St. home. Tom appreciates having a short commute to work.
Best part of living here: They really enjoy being able to walk downtown. They particularly enjoy Nikki’s because they’re open late and they tend to work late. Having the park directly across the street is very nice and they’ve enjoyed events hosted there. They enjoy taking walks through the neighborhood looking at the old houses. There is a lot to do but regret that they’ve missed a number of things they’d have like to attended but they heard about too late.
Aspirations for the neighborhood community: It would be nice if there was a dog park nearby. Tom would also like to bike to work if there was a bike route available. They enjoy the growing number downtown restaurants and look forward to more downtown development of this sort.
Meet Tom & Amanda (and possibly Gretta & Harvey): You’ll bump into Tom & Amanda down at Nikki’s, usually late. You’ll see Gretta & Harvey out early walking their people around the neighborhood.
Meet LaVaughn Kunny
From: Finley, North Dakota (north of Fargo – it’s very much like the movie)
How long in the neighborhood: 59 yrs. Moved in with Husband Bart in 1950.
Family: Husband Bart passed nine years ago. Three grown children, daughter, daughter, son. Bart was chairman of the biology department at Beloit College.
Occupation: Retired. Taught biology at Aldrich middle school.
- - The Arts League of Beloit – Past president
- - SLU (Society for Learning Unlimited) – Founding member and past president
- - Beloit Historical Society – volunteer
- - Atonement Lutheran Church – member
Why this neighborhood: Bart had accepted a teaching position at Beloit College. Initially they moved into a rental home on the 700 block of Park. They subsequently purchased their home on Church. They moved into the neighborhood because of home values and proximity to work. Also, having studied art and architecture in college LaVaughn loved the character of their distinctive old house.
Best part about living here: LaVaughn loves her home, her neighbors and the neighborhood/community. With her appreciation for architecture and wanting to maintain the unique character of her home, subsequent updates to the home were done with professional architect design. As they entertained frequently they enlarged both the dining room and first floor bathroom.
As for the community, the best part is the diversity she and her family have enjoyed. Her children attended Wright School, Aldrich and BMHS and are the better for having experienced diversity in their education and upbringing. She’s proud of the diverse makeup of her and her children’s friendships.
LaVaughn loves being so close to the college. There is so much made available for the broader community that there is more to do then time to take advantage, and it’s so close. She’s particularly fond of the symphony, Wright and Logan Museums.
Being a retired teacher she enjoys the affection of many former students who still go out of their way to show her their appreciation and friendship. She has lots of stories. Ask her and you’ll get her going.
Aspirations for the neighborhood community: LaVaughn looks forward to ever more cultural diversity in the community. She’s particularly hopeful for more active involvement from Beloit’s Hispanic community.
Meet LaVaughn: “You’ll find me at out for lunch downtown somewhere. Stop and say hello.”
Wow! The level of creativity shown in the carved pumpkins just keeps getting better each year.
We’ve some very creative folks in the community who would seem to have discovered their creative outlet through pumpkin carving. The volunteer pumpkin carvers really got into it. I don’t think the video really does justice to how cool many of them were. Guess you just had to be there.
The creativity seems to have been appreciated as there were hardly any pumpkins left by the end of the evening. A near sell out!
We were fortunate to have great weather and enjoyed a great turn out. Lots of neighbors and friends showed and it was a great chance to hang out and catch up with folks.
The neighbors on Church Street initiated this great event and again outdid themselves. It would not have happened though without the generous help of close friends, relatives and those too slow to duck. I’m reluctant to name names though as I know I’ll forget someone. It’s a great neighborhood though of close and caring neighbors and friends willing to share their time and effort. We raised some money for the park but it’s also just a fun group of folks to hang out with. Thanks to everyone to volunteered.
Also, thank you to our generous sponsors.
Bushel & Peck’s – It’s a great place that keeps getting better and better. Stop by some time for us.
Harris Ace Hardware – Couldn’t be more convenient and the folks there really go out of their way to help you.
Doodles – They’ve got great creativity based programs for the kids. A wonderful opportunity for our community’s kids.
Beloit’s Historic Rasey House
& River Stone Construction
Rasey House: 517 Prospect St. Beloit WI 53511
It’s likely most folks know about Beloit’s historic Rasey House and have visited at one time or another. We finally stopped in for the first time during the Beloit Heritage Days just passed and had a wonderful time talking with the volunteers. It’s an amazing house and and a very special and integral piece of Beloit history. It seems so many of these historic home’s residents and the historic structures themselves factor into the stories of other’s lives and events.
I love good stories. Rasey House has lots.
Its a fascinating piece of local history not simply from the standpoint of historic architecture but also the lives of the figures who made Rasey their home and the intertwining of these stories with other lives and events.
The stories around this relatively unique building construction are very interesting. As you likely know historic river stone constructed buildings are increasing rare as more are being demolished passively due to neglect or intentionally as they’re considered to be in the way of the current purpose.
Rasey house itself on more then one occasion had been threatened with demolition. It’s sad to think if those efforts had been successful. The home, for years now has been lovingly maintained by the Beloit Chapter of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution.
I think Beloit is a better place because Rasey House has survived and the DAR’s stewardship. It is a significant part of what makes Beloit distinctive, anchored and, well… non-generic. It’s part of Beloit’s identity.
The expression is “death by a thousand cuts” meaning that a major single blow did not fell the victim but rather it was little bit by little bit. The single impact of any one or even several events did not cause the demise however, over time, the cumulative result is none the less the same. I understand that at one time Beloit was distinct in the region for the number of river stone building in town. Over thirty as I recall. We are now down to three. It’s too bad.
Beloit’s Rasey Home came to mind as a friend of mine from another historic community, Elgin IL just posted some wonderful pictures of a river stone constructed home in their community. It’s very cool. You can see it here. Love the original rough hewn timber framing and while not original to the house it sports a very early radiator that’s kinda cool.
As long as we’re at it. I understand there are efforts to try and save another Beloit river stone home over on St. Lawrence. Not sure of current status.
View Larger Map
Old House Unveilings – What a concept!
While I’ve blogged on the concept before it’s likely a completely foreign concept to many people. Perhaps most.
I’ve talked about communities like Elgin Illinois where they’ve been doing this for years. I’ve mentioned Rock Island Ill too, where Elgin got the idea from and where they’ve been doing this for about 17 years now. They’ve gotten to the point where they don’t do it so much any more as they’re running out of candidate home to unveil.
I just heard about an old house unveiling in another community, Hannibal Mo, home of Mark Twain, population ~ 17k.
What’s an old house unveiling? It has some similarities to an old fashioned barn raising whereby neighbors and the community come together to uncover an old house that’s been cloaked for years by unoriginal siding.
This example in Hannibal MO while recently uncovered is still incomplete in its restoration. All the same you can see where this is going. And you can likely see the potential the owners are striving to regain.
I would imagine that such an undertaking and the fear of the unknown would give most people pause. Quoting Bob Yapp, historic preservation consultant…
Which is not to say there’s not a lot of work to be done. More, that it’s not as scary as you might imagine and not more then a motivated home owner with some vision (and some wallet) can manage. As far as wallet goes though, such an undertaking is not without its benefits. Again as Mr. Yapp was told on his TV show, “About Your House with Bob Yapp”…
I imagine some might see this as counter intuitive. And again Mr. Yapp on Old House Unveilings...
Indeed there have been some individuals who’ve uncovered their homes here in Beloit. With a little encouragement and community support perhaps there may be more. Not only is the change dramatic for the individual home. It can likewise be a catalyst for that street. The neighborhood benefits which is why the community turns out.
- - Old House unveiling in Rock Island IL.
- - Old House unveiling in Elgin IL.
- - Old House unveiling in Hannibal MO. (click on photos to enlarge)
A Neighborhood Stroll
Self-Guided Tours of Beloit Historic Districts
Another project undertaken by the Beloit Landmarks Commission and lead by Marge Fizzell along with J. Beckman has been the creation of an online self-guided tour of Beloit’s Historic Districts. A new website has been created and you can see A Neighborhood Stroll here. It’s a work in progress check it out and watch for further development.
Beloit Historic District Neighborhood Walk
The Beloit Landmarks Commission sponsored several events this year for the Beloit Heritage Days just passed. For a first effort it went very well. We look forward to expanding on this effort for next year.
There was a good turn out for each of the three speaker presentations and the comments from those who attended were very encouraging. Representatives from the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office spoke on
- - Old House Renovation 101
- - Identifying Popular Housing Styles
- - How To Research The History Of Your Home
Additionally they hosted their first historic district neighborhood walk in years. It was very well attended. Learnings will be gathered from this first effort, the guided tour will be refined and later made available for other community occasions. This first year took attendees through the College Park Historic District. Next year the Bluff Street Historic District will be added.
Carved Pumpkin Sale
A Benefit For The Historic Horace White Park!
Saturday Oct 24th. 5:30 pm at the park
Now in it’s 3rd year the neighbors on Church Street have been hosting this popular event to support Horace White Park.
- - Sale begins at 5:30
- - All pumpkins are $5 and reserved on a first-come, first-served basis
- – Pumpkins to remain on display until 7:00 pm at which time you can take your pumpkin home.
The best pumpkins go fast so don’t be late.
(If you’d like to keep the cool little electric light inside… $6/pumpkin w/ light)
Sponsored by: Bushel & Peck’s Local Market
Photos curtesy of Old Onliner.
Rob Baller’s Historic Beloit Photo Essay
Come out and join us for our next Beloit NPA gathering. We think you’ll enjoy it.
If you’ve not seen Rob Baller’s amazing slide presentation of historic Beloit you’ve really missed something. It’s a little difficult to describe. You just have to witness it.
What he’s done is gathered numerous historic Beloit photos. He then researched determine from what exact location the various photos were taken from and then took contemporary photos from the same vantage point. Through various computer aided graphics techniques he’s been able to morph the old photo into the contemporary one. Its really amazing to watch the transformation.
Beyond being thoroughly entertaining it’s both informative and educational as to how our city has evolved over time and what some of the influences were for these changes. It’s sure to evoke a lot of conversation.
- - Date: Monday Sept. 28th
- - Time: 7:00 p.m.
- - Location: Vision Beloit Center – Conference Room (500 Public Ave.)