Welcome To My Blog

Weekends are for wandering Wisconsin. That's what Rick, my guy, and I do. Occasionally we wander during the week, too. Sometimes we just drop in on other people's lives.

This blog is my way of sharing where we've been, neat places and things to do that we've found.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

For the last weekend of 2012 we wandered out of state – to the flatland south of us to visit our friends Anna and Bill in Freeport. We met up at the Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum in Rockford. 
Look closely and you'll see Rick at the side of the cottage - playing with his phone, of course!
The backside of the cottage. Its basement is still above ground. Robert Tinker
had his office down there. 
As we learned more of the history of the cottage and its builder during our docent-led tour, I thought about a couple of Wisconsin similarities – the Schlitz Brewing Company and Villa Louis. 

Robert Tinker was a bookkeeper for the Manny Reaper Works (a big competitor to Cyrus McCormick at the time). McCormick sued John Manny over patent infringement – all the way to the Supreme Court – but Manny won. However, the trial took its toll and Manny died only two weeks after the verdict. Tinker eventually married Mary Manny, John’s widow. He connected his cottage to Mary’s home with a draw bridge over the creek that separated them. 

Now for the Schlitz similarity – Joseph Schlitz was the bookkeeper for August Krug’s tavern brewery. After Krug died, Schlitz married Krug’s widow and took over the brewing company naming it after himself. One difference was that Mary Manny Tinker ran the company making her a rarity among women of her day.

As for the similarity to Villa Louis, the Tinker Cottage has many of its original furnishings, artwork, and household items still on exhibit just as the Dousman family artifacts are at Villa Louis. Both homes were turned over to the cities in which they were located after family members lived there for many years. Both are now operated as museums.
The fireplace in the parlor - all decked out for the holidays.

This spiral staircase was fashioned from one continuous piece
of wood that was bent over a period of many months.

One of the serving pieces in the butler's pantry.

All of the china was painted with a variety of flowers.

After the Tinker Cottage, we stopped in at the Burpee Museum of Natural History, also in Rockford. The centerpiece of its paleontology collection is Jane, a juvenile tyrannosaurus rex.
Jane has more of her original bones than any other dinosaur on exhibit in any other U.S. museum.
She was uncovered in Montana.
This depiction is of a Neanderthal, a human's
closest extinct relative.
On New Year’s Day, we met our friends, Laurie and Greg who live in Illinois, for brunch at the Honeypie Café in the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee. Greg grew up in Bay View so it was a homecoming for him. The food was delicious and the conversation scintillating. It was a great way to begin the new year. 

Since we’re still in the first week of the new year, it’s probably okay to end this first post of 2013 by wishing all of my readers a Happy New Year! May your 2013 be filled with friends and adventures!

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