It’s the unofficial kick off of summer and while it might not quite be June 21st yet, we can certainly start to enjoy some of the summer fun during our long Memorial Day Weekend.
Honor Those Who Served
At the Eagle River Historical Society Museum they are proud to showcase those who have served. As described by Karen Sailer, President Eagle River Historical Society, the museum has displays covering soldiers, sailors and airmen from the Civil War and into this century.
Henry Ashby, born in 1832 and one of our earliest veterans served in the Civil War and retired to Eagle River. Henry was unique for his time, being an African-American veteran. Henry served in the 6th Wisconsin Brigade Light Artillery. He lived and worked in Eagle River for the remainder of his life and is buried in the Eagle River Cemetery.
Generations of young service people departed for duty from the Depot in Eagle River. The last World War I draft contingent left to enlist in November of 1918.
The military history display is not just statistics. There are touching letters from overseas and letters following the loss of life in action. A World War I display describes the Last Man Club. Members of a unit purchased a bottle and agreed it would pass to the last remaining soldier. As it happened, the last two surviving men opened it and together toasted their comrades.
Unlike military history museums, the Historical Museum looks at the lives and history of our local veterans and is more of a human story of service and sacrifice. We show uniforms worn by actual local residents; from a naval aviator’s leathers to a West Point full dress uniform.
The military display is a perennial favorite with the fourth grade students who visit each year. Possibly because of the uniformed docent who greets them with a sergeant’s ‘Ten-hut’ and demands a ‘snappy salute’.
Visitors can also see some of the sacrifices made at home. There are ration books and tokens, needed to buy many food items.
This Memorial Day please visit the Depot and Historical Museums and see the stories of some of your neighbors – perhaps your own friends and family. There is nowhere military history is so near and so personal as a small town. The museum opens Wednesday, May 26th and closes Labor Day Weekend. Hours all summer are Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 3pm.
You can also attend the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Eagle River Courthouse on Monday, May 28th to honor those who have sacrificed.
Fire Things Up
It’s officially grilling season. Stock up on your BBQ essentials at Trig’s supermarket, Pick-N-Save and Prime Choice Meat Market. Or if you don’t feel like cooking for yourself, visit one of our bar and grill restaurants for some flame-kissed flavor. If you’re looking for more of a campfire feel, gather around the outdoor fire pits at 70 E Road House, Pirates Hideaway, Shotskis, or Eagle Waters Resort. Or you can stay warm as the sun goes down around a personal fire pit at one of our resorts. Many of these resorts also have outdoor fire pits for larger groups.
Visit the Park
Gather up your friends and family for a picnic in the park. There are grilling stations available at Silver Lake Beach, Eagle Lake Park, the T-docs and Riverside Park. Or, if you’re looking for a bigger space to claim as your own, you can rent a pavilion at Eagle Lake Park (County Forestry Dept.) and Riverview Park (City of Eagle River). Bring lawn games, a football and plenty of picnic blankets, but remember to leave the park how you found it and clean up after your party.
Get Out on the Water
While the water is still too chilly for most of us to take a dip, you can cast a line or take a cruise around the chain. Rent a boat or schedule a boat tour ahead of your visit. And if the weather doesn’t want to cooperate, you can still enjoy the lake views when dining at one of our water-front establishments.
Enjoy the Area Events
The start of summer means a lot more outdoor events. Visit the Memorial Day Arts and Crafts Show and Sidewalk Sale. Plan a family retreat at Camp Luther with staff-led activities. And don’t miss a special Memorial Day ski show from the Chain Skimmers.