Friday, August 5, 2016

Road Trip: Alderley, Wisconsin and the West Bend Jailhouse.

Sarah's family lived on their farm in Pierce County since 1867.  Her great grand parents immigrated from Norway, but we knew they had spent some time in southern Wisconsin somewhere around Watertown.  Recently Sarah uncovered a handwritten note her grandmother had written for her for an assignment in grade school about her ancestors experiences.  It contained the line "Shortly after they were married they left Alderley, Wis. in a covered wagon pulled by oxen, which took them about 30 days."

A few minutes on Google Maps, and sure enough, Alderley still exists in eastern Dodge County. Curiousity overwhelmed us and we had to go take a look.

Alderley turns out to be like a lot of unincorporated villages in Wisconsin, about eight houses and a bar, who's main feature is a small dam on the Ashippun River, with a golf course next to it.

Just east of Alderley is Norwegian Road.  Probably has something to do with Rasmus Hanson spending some time here.  Here Sarah photographs a house that looked like it might have been around at the time they left for Pierce County.

Norwegian Road crosses an unnamed intermittent tributary of the Ashippun River.

On the other side of the road, several cows watched Sarah take pictures.

West Bend is only about 20 miles away, but most of the route we took goes through several small towns with stop lights and it took us about an hour to get there.  We were planning to visit the Washington County Historical Society's museum in the old courthouse, but it was pretty late and we just had time to go on the tour of the old jailhouse next door. It included not only the lock-up, but the front of the building was also the residence of the Sheriff and his family. Must have been an event for them when miscreants were brought in through the front door, the only entrance to the building.

I tried taking pictures inside, but we had to follow the tour which included a family with some really curious children, and I only could get about 30 second exposures, which only yielded this rather dark image of one of the cells, which I guess is kind of appropriate for the subject.

All with the Populist.  .15mm pinhole, 24mm from 24x36mm frame.

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