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Local History Index - Government - Park System

Lisbon Community Park

Lisbon park to host live historic re-enactment; Church breakfast will kick off weekend event

A timeline event - a live re-enactment of periods of time in world and American history - sponsored by the Town of Lisbon will take place this weekend at Lisbon Community Park at Oakwood and Lake Five roads.

A timeline event - a live re-enactment of periods of time in world and American history - sponsored by the Town of Lisbon will take place this weekend at Lisbon Community Park at Oakwood and Lake Five roads.

More than 60 people are expected to participate in the event by re-enacting life as it was lived during different time periods.

About 50 re-enactors will camp overnight at the park, said Marlene Kumitsch, chairwoman of the town’s parks committee.

The program will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, on the north side of the park, near the skating rink, sledding hill and Bug Line Recreation Trail.

“A timeline event is when re-enactors observe different periods in time ranging from the Romans, to colonial times, to the civil war, World War II and Vietnam,” Kumitsch explained.

She said the event will give people the opportunity to re-enact various historic periods of time, educate participants and observers on their significance and increase public awareness of the facilities available at the town’s 121-acre community park.

Lisbon Presbyterian Church, founded in 1846, will sponsor a breakfast from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday to kick off the event. The breakfast at the church, near Hillside and Good Hope roads, will include pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and scrambled eggs and cost $6 for adults, $3 for children 5-12 and nothing for children younger than 5.

A flag and bugle ceremony starts each day’s series of events. A military chaplain will conduct services Sunday.

Local historians, including Sussex Village Historian Fred Keller, will offer readings and presentations. Quilting and other period crafts will be demonstrated.

Re-enactors, including French trappers from the 1600s and soldiers from the Civil War and World War II, will be stationed at campsites to depict the lifestyles and history of their times.

The Lisbon Fire Department auxiliary will staff concessions selling soft drinks, beer, brats and hamburgers.

Admission is free. Parking will be available on the grounds.

Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department deputies will control traffic.

Historic event has a future in Lisbon

Attendance up at second annual timeline event

Town of Lisbon — Pete Schubert of Wind Lake, an early Wisconsin history buff who dressed as a French fur trader, was one of about three dozen re-enactors who participated in last weekend's historic time line event at the Lisbon Community Park.

Schubert said he attends as many weekend historic festivals and re-enactment events "as my wife will let me." It looks like Schubert, his wife willing, can put Lisbon on his calendar for next year.

After a significant - almost dramatic - increase in attendance at the second year of the event, town officials appear ready to make it an annual affair.

Town Supervisor Dan Fischer, who is the Town Board's liaison to the park committee and parks department, said he was pleased with the increase in attendance and "would be interested having it again next year"

Only a handful of people attended last year's event, according to town officials.

More intense promotion of the event - particularly at the Pauline Haas Library ice cream social earlier in the month - helped increase attendance this year according to Park Chairwoman Marlene Kumitsch.

Kumitsch said the event may be scheduled next year for the fourth weekend in August when there will be fewer competing community events on the weekend before the Labor Day weekend

She also anticipates that more antique and historic exhibits will be added to the event.

Kumitsch said there were more people at the event during Saturday morning this year than attended on Saturday and Sunday last year. She described this year's Sunday attendance as steady.

However, it was still a relatively small crowd the size of which "shocked" Dody Schmitt of Hartland who said "it is sad more people are not here."

Schmitt, somewhat of a history buff herself, convinced her daughter Sheila Farafjord and her husband Brent to bring their twin boys Erik and Phillip, 7, and 5-year-old daughter, Anna, to the event.

"The kids like all of the stuff," the grandmother observed as the family visited Schubert's camp where he displayed animal pelts caught by the fur traders and some of the equipment and weapons they used.

The re-enactors spent the weekend in their encampments on the north side of the park near the Bug Line Recreational Trial providing visitors with demonstrations and information about the time period they were re-enacting.

Richard Saulpaugh of Greendale was dressed in the amour of a Roman legionnaire while he discussed various combat strategies and techniques with John and Joan Daily and daughters Imogene, 9, and Monica, 16, of the Town of Lisbon.

One of the reasons the Roman army was so successful was because of its organizational structure, according to Saulpaugh.

"One of the nice things about being behind a Roman shield was there were always six other guys behind you," he told the Dailys.

"It is a lot of fun. The people who come here are very interested. When you give kids information, you can see the wonderment in their eyes," Saulpaugh said.

Chris Kuenn of Sussex was shooting photos of his daughter Beatrice, 12, in front of another Roman legion camp while son Gabe, 14 watched.

"I had no idea they were going to have a Roman legion's camp here. Gabe has a fascination about World War II," Kuenn said.

Gabe's fascination about World War II is unusual, according to Bob Starr of Caledonia, a World War II re-enactor who explains the role of a combat chaplain to visitors inside his replica of a World War II tent.

"Most young adults know very little about World War I, World War II and Korea.

"They are either not listening in their history classes or it isn't being taught to them," Starr said.

The Sussex Piggly Wiggly donated the "rations" of beef, pork and vegetables that the re-enactors cooked over open fires while they spent Friday and Saturday night in their encampment in the park.


Lisbon considers garden plots in park

Town of Lisbon – Park officials are discussing preliminary plans for the development of about 20 or more individual garden plots in Lisbon Community Park.

Park Superintendent John Grieten said at least 16 families would be interested in leasing and maintaining the plots and anticipates more might be interested.

Grieten and Park Chairwoman Marlene Kumitsch as well as Lynn Nelson, who initiated the idea of garden plots a year ago, have visited garden plots developed and leased by the Waukesha County Park Department near the Huber Center and county fairgrounds in Waukesha.

Grieten said town officials will also confer with representatives of the University of Wisconsin Extension who could assist in the development of rules and regulations for leasing and gardening in the plots.

The leasing rates for each plot might depend upon the size, type and duration of the use of the plot. He said fees might range from $30 to $50 a season, but might ultimately be determined by how much it would cost the town.

Grieten said a lot of the labor and materials for the site – 3 to 5 acres next to the cul-de-sac at the end of the 125-acre park's main road – could be provided by donations and volunteers. The cul de sac provides ample parking area, he added.

Grieten anticipates the site may open in 2010 if it receives Town Board budget approval later this year.

To register for a plot, contact Grieten at (262) 246-7266 or the town Web site, [email protected].


Chain-saw carvings: Artwork in a Lisbon park

The beads of sweat trickling down Paul Pichler's cheeks were barely visible through the dense screen of the mask that protected his eyes and face from the clouds of sawdust and woodchips created by the artistic work of his chain saw.

The beads of sweat trickling down Paul Pichler’s cheeks were barely visible through the dense screen of the mask that protected his eyes and face from the clouds of sawdust and woodchips created by the artistic work of his chain saw.

With a specially designed chain bar, he nipped, cut and sliced away small pieces of wood as he shaped the features of a large owl: the wings and feathers, feet, eyes and ears.

The owl had been formed from a log that had been moved into the public works garage at the Lisbon Community Park.

Pichler applied the chain saw with surprising speed and quickness as he purposefully circled the owl, sometimes bending over or down on one knee to carve the bird.

Pichler has been chain-saw carving for about 20 years. He started the hobby “on a whim” by carving much simpler objects such as mushrooms.

“I just picked it up myself; I am self-taught,” he said.

Pichler has worked for the Town of Lisbon Public Works Department for about 14 years. His interest in carving animals began after he was assigned to the park about four years ago.

“I saw all of that unused dead wood. I went out and bought the (carving) chain saw. It came with a video that I studied. I also picked up some books in the library,” he said.

After Pichler experimented with carving a couple of animals, Park Superintendent John Greiten asked him if he would be interested in creating exhibits for the park.

Pichler is now teaching Greiten how to carve.

The 121-acre park at Oakwood and Lake Five roads was developed from farmland the town purchased from the Bartlett family in 1988 for $125,000.

The park, adjacent to the Bug Line Recreational Trail, includes pavilions, ball diamonds, playgrounds, and ice skating rink and sledding hill. There is also a large prairie grass nature park and dense woods laced with hiking trails.

Pichler’s carvings are scattered in nooks, crannies and prominent places through out the park.

Carved eagle’s heads adorn a handmade wooden bench near a man-made waterfall on a playground. An old man with a beard is etched in the remains of a tall dead tree deep in the woods.

A bear cub peeks his head out of the hollow of a tree along one of the hiking trails.

A large Easter bunny, carved for last year’s Easter egg hunt, is near a trail leading to the sledding hill.

In clearings near hiking paths in the woods are small benches carved out of old tree stumps.

Pichler said he begins with a photo or his visualization of the object he wants to carve out of a tree stump or log, which is usually at least about 4 feet high and about 2 feet wide.

He uses a standard saw chain with a 16-inch chain bar to form the outline of his object by carving blocks and chunks of wood from the log or stump.

He carves out the features of the object with a smaller chain saw with a specially designed 12-inch chain bar. The rounded tip of the bar is about the size of a dime.

Its small size and shape allows Pichler to apply the saw to small cracks and crevices as well as use it for bigger cuts and slices.

“The hardest part is putting in the eyes,” he said.

Usually Pichler works in the woods, carving his animals out of old tree stumps.

Occasionally, a large log is brought into the public works garage, where it is bolted atop another larger log, which helps protect the exhibit against theft and provides an easier work platform for Pichler.

“It is very difficult to work on the ground,” he observed.

He also does most of his work in the fall.

“I like it when the weather is cool and you have to wear a jacket. You don’t have to deal with the heat and the mosquitoes,” he concluded.

During the spring there is usually too much that has be done to have time to carve, and in the winter Pichler is usually driving a snow plow.


News Briefs

Lisbon park super Greiten wins prize

Lisbon – The Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association recently awarded Lisbon Park Superintendent John Greiten its 2008 Design Award of Excellence for the Lisbon Community Park Pondless Waterfall Project.

“Your project was rated one of the highest of all the projects submitted this year!” Park Section Awards Coordinator Ray Maurer wrote in a Sept. 23 letter to Greiten informing him of the award.

About 60 adults and children built the park attraction near the playground area close to the park entrace at Oakwood and Lake Five roads over two days, Aug. 29 and 30, last year.

“My park staff takes great pride in preserving the town’s open green spaces,” Greiten said at the time.

Local contractors and suppliers, including Aquatica of Wales and Delightful Water Gardens of Pewaukee, donated time and materials. Halquist Stone Co. provided discounted stone and rock for the waterfall’s bottom bedding.

Community Briefs

Lisbon will celebrate its first Arbor Day from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 25, in Lisbon Community Park.

The Lisbon town chairman will issue the proclamation April 14 at the 2009 annual town meeting at Hamilton High School.

At the celebration, a large October Maple tree, donated by the Rick Trojan family, will be planted in Community Park; Park Superintendent John Greiten will demonstrate planting and pruning techniques for new trees; Park Committee Chairwoman Marlene Kumitsch will demonstrate how to tap a maple tree for its syrup; and Arbor Day Chairwoman Denise Wenger will talk about the Emerald Ash Borer emergency in Southeastern Wisconsin and how to stop its spread into Waukesha County.

The holiday honors trees because they reduce erosion of precious topsoil, lower heating and cooling costs, clean the air, produce oxygen, provide habitat for wildlife and provide a renewable resource for paper and other wood products. .

 

Lisbon to receive forestry grant

The Town of Lisbon will receive a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry grant to conduct an inventory of trees and map their locations by variety using a tree locating and inventory program.

The program will help Lisbon foresters locate and map ash trees for emerald ash borer management and form the basis for planning and development of a Managed Forest Plan for Lisbon parks in 2010.

The grant also provides funding for educational programs and information dissemination on emerald ash borer at the town's Arbor Day celebration April 25 and Historical Timeline Event, scheduled for this summer in Lisbon Community Park.

Lisbon hesitates on spending state funds

Town of Lisbon — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has awarded the town a grant of about $13,000, but town officials are not sure whether they want to spend the required local matching dollars.

Park Superintendent John Greiten said most of the money was intended to be spent on forest management activities, and the remainder of the money was allocated for public education about emerald ash borer infestations.

Greiten said the town would have to spend about $5,000 to $7,500 to match the state's share of the grant.

Town Chairman Matt Gehrke said he and other members of the Town Board were informed last year there would be no local matching funds required for the grant.

But Greiten told the Town Board on Monday night that all urban forestry grants require a local match of state dollars.

Greiten said he intended to use the grant to purchase a program using satellite imagery and computer technology to map and mark trees in town parks.

Once all of the trees are marked for the satellite imagery, park officials can then monitor the health of the trees and schedule tree maintenance.

Greiten said the computerized system is much more efficient and effective than relying on park employees to periodically check park trees for diseases.

He said the program would cost about $4,500 to $5,000.

He estimated another $2,400 might to update the mapping of the trees.

Greiten suggested to the board that a decision about how to spend the local money for the grant needed to be made by the end of the year.

However, Town Chairman Matt Gehrke had warned board members a few minutes earlier they had to be prepared to make cuts in the 2009 budget.

Gehrke said town revenues were likely to be lower than anticipated, and spending would have to be cut for the remainder of the year.

He warned Greiten that he probably would not vote for the computerized tree marking system.

"I would rather see this money spent on a bike path along Lake Five Road," he said.

But Supervisor Dan Fischer suggested the board delay a final decision until they had time to learn more of the details of the tree marking system.


Lake Five bike path planned

Town of Lisbon – Town officials are optimistic that bids might be awarded later this year for the construction of a biking and walking path that would connect the Thousand Oaks and Woodland Oaks subdivisions to Lisbon Community Park.

The subdivision streets that connect the new development with the older neighborhoods, which front Highway VV, provide a new and safer access to the park.

Before the new subdivision opened, farmland blocked access to the park. People in the subdivisions who wanted to go to the park had to use Highway VV and Lake Five Road.

The proposed path will begin at the entrance to the new subdivision and travel north along the east side of Lake Five Road to the Oakwood Road entrance to the park, a distance of a little less than half a mile, said Parks Superintendent John Greiten.

After the town completes right-of-way negotiations with one property owner, he added, there will be a 33-foot wide public easement along the Lake Five Road right-of-way from the new subdivision to the park entrance, providing room for a six-foot wide asphalt path.

Hiking, biking path proposed

Village of Merton might pay to extend path

Town of Lisbon – Town officials are in the preliminary stages of planning and constructing a hiking and biking path from the entrance to the Sixth Addition of the Thousand Oaks subdivision at Phyllis Way north to the Lisbon Community Park entrance at Oakwood Road.

Town Chairman Matt Gehrke said the town needs to secure a property easement and add construction funds to the 2010 budget to complete the project.

The path is intended to provide adults and children from nearby subdivisions and housing developments a safer access along Lake Five Road to the 125-acre town park.

Merton village officials would like the path extended about 200 feet south, almost to the Merton-Lisbon Union Cemetery, and are willing to pay the town to do it.

Village residents of Woods Edge Estates could walk across Lake Five Road and use the path as access to the town park, Merton Village Clerk-Administrator Tom Nelson noted.

At Monday's Lisbon Town Board meeting, newly elected Supervisor Dan Heier asked who would be responsible for maintaining the additional 200 feet, the town or the village.

Gehrke said he was optimistic that some agreement could be reached on the path's maintenance. He said he anticipated progress would continue since his election as chairman in April in the improved relationship between the town and the village.


 

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