Jan. 16, 2017 – Barton, WI – Hank and Essie walked hand in hand under the railroad trestle coming out of Young America. The sun was bright and the pair squinted as a sharp glare came off the frozen Milwaukee River.
Their conversation was minimal. Hank felt lucky to have such a beauty on his arm. “You look really swank in that fur coat,” said Hank.
Essie stopped in her tracks. “What did you say,” she questioned Hank in a rather sharp tone that set him on his heels.
“I said…,” he hesitated. “I just said you looked swank in your fur.”
The next thing he knew Essie was pinwheeling her arms and racing towards Hank’s face. “Hank Raymond,” she growled. “You better get ready to defend yourself.”
And with that Essie was on his back, her arms hooked under his. “Get ready for a double chickenwing tiger suplex,” she yelled.
Hank turned around effortlessly. “Did you say something,” he asked smiling.
Essie pushed Hanks wool cap over his eyes. He stretched out his arms like a zombie and continued walking forward.
“Can you please tell me what you’re doing,” he said… trying to muffle a laugh.
“The big MAYHEM for Mason is coming up…. and I’m practicing,” said Essie.
Hank jumped onto the curb with Essie still flailing on his back. “I think you better practice putting on some weight,” he advised. “Have you seen the size of some of those guys?”
Essie reversed her grip. “Get ready for the Black Widow and then prepare to submit,” she hollered.
Hank knew he was going to get grilled if his buddies saw this.
He gently, and relatively easily, unleashed Essie’s death grip and lowered her to the ground.
“Are you going for the title belt,” he said… backpedaling down the sidewalk.
Essie caught her breath. She had beads of sweat on her forehead and threw a bunch of mock punches in Hank’s direction.
“I can do what I want,” said Essie.
Hank took a defensive stance and had serious written all over his face. “Your watchword for the day my dear is Dragon Sleeper … and believe it or not, it’s coming your way.”
Essie turned the corner onto Barton Avenue and returned to her lady-like form. She scrunched her nose, straightened her hat and gave Hank a look. “Now behave yourself,” she said.
A hat tip to history….
The building at the right on Barton Avenue is the Sunny Side Saloon in about 1912. It had a dance hall and was established by Gerhart Koenings, who also had a slaughter house, horse barns, and an adjoining blacksmith shop.
The building to the left, according to The Village of Barton by Richard Driessel, is the “home of Raif Adams, a black man who was a highly respected resident of the village from about 1864 until his death in 1899.”
Adams was brought to the community by Dr. Asa Hayes who was a medical officer during the Civil War. Hayes sponsored Adams when he came to Barton in 1864, as a free man.
On an interesting historical note, on this Martin Luther King Day, is in 1865 when Hayes died of “lung fever” he transferred his house to Adams, who was the only black person to live in the village until he married his wife America. The couple were well respected in Barton and it was noted in Driessel’s book that Adams was a “well-regarded resident of the village.”
Both Adams and his wife are buried in Newark Cemetery. While his grave is not marked, his obituary listed him as “a laborer and a slave for 40 years from the age of 12.”
The funeral for Adams was held at the Presbyterian Church in Barton and burial at Young America.
Long Branch Saloon on the market
The Long Branch Saloon in Barton is for sale soon. The local restaurant at the corner of Barton Avenue and Commerce Street closed in early 2016. The building went to a sheriff’s sale and then got hung up in the system.
Paula Becker with Re/Max United is listing the property for $184,500. The property was last assessed at $242,200.
Build. Boost & Buy in Barton – – Shop these local businesses
Wisconsin House Woodworks
Lake Lenwood Beach and Campground
Sandy’s Barton Cafe
St. Mary’s Parish
The Sign Shop of West Bend, 1624 Schmidt Road All exterior signage including Banners, Yard Signs, Sandblasted, Illuminated and Monument.
Interior signage including, Engraved, Way finding, and Room Identification Decals include: Corporate branding, Security, Serialized, Safety/Warning/ OEM decals, and Control Panels.
Vehicles graphics for Corporate, City, and County fleets, Recreational and Personal Vehicles, and also Window Decals identifying business name, and hours of operation.
Vrana Frame & Body Shop
West Bend Glass Block, 1527 N. Main Street