Mystery place: Dec. 7, 2008

Work with farm women honored

Rep. Ryan talks about the economy

Lake Geneva native named pastor

Downtown Whitewater chooses new board members

Delavan manufacturer closing

Better e-mail address for Dan Plutchak

Swope conviction upheld

Lake Geneva home prices drop

Delavan woman pleads not guilty to embezzlement

Oct. 2008 stories

Sept. 2008 stories

Aug. 2008 stories

Powered by Blogger

New: Walworth County travel planning made easy

Friday, November 25, 2005

Web log remembers the Geneva Inn

It didn't take long after I began covering stories in Lake Geneva nearly 15 years ago that I heard about the Geneva Inn.

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's hotel on the shores of Geneva Lake was demolished in 1970, and is now the site of the Geneva Towers.

I'm one of those who regrets not having been able to see the Lake Geneva Inn in person, however there are still plenty of people from town who remember it's decay and eventual demise.

Some of their comments on the Inn were posted this week on the Racine Journal Times' Wright in Racine blog, written by director of photography Mark Hertzberg.

Wright has a rich history in Racine, and Hertzberg has spent the last several years chronicling Wright's accomplishments.

A Web site of his work is on the Journal Times Web site.

You can also order Hertzberg's book, "Wright in Racine" from

We've mentioned the Inn in stories in The Week from time to time, but outside of first person accounts like Charlotte Peterson's, who Hertzberg quotes, there's not much of a written record.

I've seen only a few photographs of the place. I believe the Geneva Lake Area Museum of History has some of the only photographs that I know of.

There is some good news for Frank Lloyd Wright lovers in Walworth County, however.

You may have heard that Susan and John Major, who own the Fred B. Jones Estate, known as Penwern, on Delavan Lake were honored last month for their restoration of the estate. The honor comes from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy (FLWBC) based in LA.

According to a news item we ran last month, the Majors bought the main part of the estate in 1994 and purchased a separately owned parcel of the land, which included the gatehouse in 2000.

Restoration of the main home was completed in 2000; the gatehouse restoration was completed in 2002, with restoration of the stable completed in 1998. The restoration of the boathouse was completed this year.

The boathouse is one of only three Wright structures "designed with undisguised Japanese details," (primarily in the rooflines) as stated in the application for both the Wisconsin and National Registers of Historic Places submitted in 1974.

Post continued HERE

Friday, November 11, 2005

County athletes at the top of their games

Granted, Bears’ fans have more to celebrate than Packers’ fans; however, sports nuts of any stripe can be proud to live in Walworth County these days.

In the past two weeks, we’ve crowned a state champion in high school volleyball, a runner-up in high school soccer and a batch of swimmers from county schools are competing in the state meet this weekend.

And at UW-Whitewater, three teams–football, men’s soccer and women’s volleyball–have qualified for NCAA III tournament play.

The soccer team lost their opening round game Friday 2-1 to Wheaton College (Scores).

The volleyball team won their opening match Thursday, forcing a showdown with league rival Platteville Friday (Update).

It may be the third year in a row that the Williams Bay volleyball team has returned from the state tournament with the first-place trophy, but I’ll bet it never gets old.

As coach Jim Neave tells contributing writer Todd Mishler, you can attribute the winning attitude to senior leadership.

“I feel good about the talent level we’ll put on the floor in the future, and part of that can be attributed to our seniors, who lit a fire under many of these kids at a young age.”

They’ve lit a fire under the soccer players in the Delavan-Darien area as well, with a high school program well stocked by a successful club program. Many of the players in this year’s state tournament squad have been playing together since they were little kids.
Playing in six championship games in the past 12 years is proof of the success of this program.

“I told the guys at the beginning of the week that there were 249 teams in the three divisions and that they had ordered six trophies and we were going to get one of them,” Mowery said.

State tournament action continues this weekend with the state swim meet at the Natatorium on the UW-Madison campus. Swimmers from the Badger/Big Foot, Delavan-Darien and Elkhorn teams will be competing.

Elkhorn’s relay team, including juniors Ali Matelski, Jenni Sisko, Danielle Fink and Breanna Beinborn, earned a berth. Beinborn will also compete in the 500 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. Sisko also qualified in the 200 individual medley and Fink advanced with seventh-place time of 25.85.

Delavan-Darien’s Brianna Peyer qualified in the 100 breaststroke and the 50 freestyle.

Badger/Big Foot/Bay swimmer Barbara Kamps qualified for the Division 1 state meet in the 100 backstroke.
If it’s a busy time of year for state high school tournaments, it’s even busier at UW-Whitewater.

The Warhawk football team, which has clinched its seventh league title and is ranked No. 2 in the nation, hoped to preserve an undefeated season in the finale Saturday. Next they’ll begin preparing for the NCAA Div. III playoffs.

Warhawk fans are also keeping an eye on the volleyball team, a traditional powerhouse, as well as men’s soccer, which is playing the opening rounds in Whitewater.

All in all, not a bad few weeks, not to mention a nice diversion for Packers fans.

Post continued HERE

Thursday, November 03, 2005

What's next for Yerkes?

The University of Chicago knows what it wants to do with Yerkes: sell it.

Both Mirbeau and Aurora University know what they want to do with Yerkes: Buy it.

Both groups have made proposals to by the site, and now it's a waiting game.

An accepted offer won't be the end of it, however. Reporter Chris Schultz, in a story in the last Monday's Gazette, quoted Williams Bay Village President Don Weyhrauch as saying, "We don't have anything to say about it until it's sold. Once it's sold, we hold the cards."

Weyhrauch promises a long and public process, so why not get the ball rolling here?

What do you think of the proposal?

Here's a batch of links to the various proposals as well as background on Yerkes.

At the bottom of this post, click the comments link and add your own thoughts.

Yerkes Observatory University of Chicago
A brief history of Yerkes Observatory

Save Yerkes Observatory Web site
The Web site of Yerkes 21, a local group working for the preservation of the observatory.

University Submites Proposal for Yerkes

Aurora University
submitted a proposal on Friday to purchase Yerkes Observatory and the
surrounding acreage and buildings located in Williams Bay, Wis., owned
by the University of Chicago.

download of Aurora's proposal

Proposal for the purchase
of the Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay Wisconsin.

Preservation Plan from Mirbeau

The Yerkes Preservation
Plan by Mirbeau was submitted to the University of Chicago on September 23,
2005 in response to the University’s Request for Proposal.

Post continued HERE

Latest Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, weather
•Find a place to stay
•Find a place to eat

Photos of the week
reprints Click to View photos and order reprints

Walworth County movie times