August 17, 2020 – Washington Co., WI – Spending the next week capturing some of the memorable history and personality of the back roads and townships in Washington County.
Town of Wayne: Was dead set on finding “the claim to fame” in the Town of Wayne. According to the maps from the Washington County Landmark Commission the largest diamond ever found in Wisconsin was discovered in 1866 by Louis Endlich in the Town of Wayne. He reportedly found the stone while clearing his land for farming. The stone was cut by a jeweler into 10 perfect blue and white gems.
Local auctioneer and historian Mike Paul said the diamond could have come from Canada via the glaciers.
There was little trace of the giant diamond. Jason Jug from Jug’s Hitching Post reportedly has an article laminated to the top of his bar. The gem was not located during my stop in Kohlsville.
However…I did manage to find the three-story cement block home at 6105 Wayne Center Drive which was built in the early 1900s.
Across the street was the Wayne Center School. Built in 1903, it was used as a school until 1961. The video below is dedicated to my mother as I’ve heard lots of stories about the outhouse while she was growing up.
Stopped in Slinger at Rosenheimer’s Cemetery. “Lehman Rosenheimer, a merchant, came to Slinger after the railroad arrived. He built a large store and also purchased a a lot of grain and cattle. Five of his six sons followed in their fathers footsteps. The private cemetery is still in use today.”
“The Slinger Train Depot, 414 Kettle Moraine Drive, S. The building was moved to the west of its original location. It is owned by E.H. Wolf and Sons, Inc. Several passenger trains used to serve Slinger each day.”
The water tower atop the hill in Slinger with the steeple and partial cross in the foreground. The 100-year-old building used to be home to St. Paul’s Church.
It was sold in 2016 to the Kettle Moraine Playhouse and now is home to an intimate theatre for locally-produced performances.
The statue of Jesus on the cross is the centerpiece at the end of the main driveway at St. Peter Cemetery at the west end of Slinger on Hwy 175.
A bit of wit and personality along the roadside in Slinger.
St. Peter Church, 202 E. Washington Street. “Missionaries held services in private homes until 1856 when a log church was built. In 1892, a stately brick structure, 113 x 49 feet, was built at a cost of $19,300.”
The first school was built just after 1881. The parsons was built in 1912. In 1942 a new school was built.
By 1959 a convent was built as well as a second story to the school.
Looking south down Kettle Moraine Drive in Slinger.
What was once The Slinger Hotel is located on the corner of Chestnut Street and Kettle Moraine Drive. It was the Slinger Post Office through the mid-60s; it is now an apartment building.
Looking west from behind the St. Lawrence Fire Company on Saturday night. Hat tip to Chief Infalt for hosting my stay that night.
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