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go to: official county website
go to: Washburn County tourism page

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attractions & oddities

resources

 

1

Museum of Woodcarving

 

location:  Shell Lake
museum

"The Museum of Woodcarving is the world's collection of wood carvings created by one man, Joseph T. Barta. The museum is now owned and managed by Maria McKay. Inside, you will find 100 life-size figures and more than 400 miniature figures carved over 30 years. Most of the life-sized carvings follow a biblical theme - his depiction of the Last Supper, for instance, took over four years to complete."
- section from the Shell Lake Official Site


  539 Highway 63
Shell Lake, WI  54871
(715) 468-7100

                           

hours:
May thru October  (daily)  9am – 6pm

Shell Lake Official Site
www.shelllakeonline.com

Roadside America
www.roadsideamerica.com

book:
"Wisconsin Curiosities"
by Michael Feldman and Diana Cook
Globe Pequot Press
(2nd ed., 2004)  pages 51 - 52

(3rd ed., 2009)
  pages 39 & 44
buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"Oddball Wisconsin"
by Jerome Pohlen
Chicago Review Press, Inc. (2001)
pages 23 - 24

buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"My Brother Joe, the Woodcarver"
by Lucy Barta McKay
buy it at Amazon.com

book:
"Eccentric America"
by Jan Friedman
Globe Pequot Press (2nd edit.)
page 85

buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"Great Little Museums of the Midwest"
by Christine Des Garennes
Trails Books (2002)
pages 35 - 36

buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"Strange Wisconsin"
by Linda S. Godfrey
Trails Books (2007)
pages 134 - 135
buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

 

2

Giant Bluegill Statue
at the Bluegill Capital of Wisconsin

 

location:  Birchwood
roadside oddity / self- designation

Some miscreant has broken off the Bluegill's ventral fins. 

      

  located in Birchwood's welcome park, west of town on south side of Highway 48

Birchwood Chamber of Commerce
www.birchwoodwisconsin.com

Birchwood Area
www.birchwoodwi.com

Fast Corp
(there's a photo of the fish)
www.fastkorp.com

book:
"Oddball Wisconsin"
by Jerome Pohlen
Chicago Review Press, Inc. (2001)
page 3

buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

 

3

"Mel" the Cowboy Muffler Man
at Bulik's Amusement Center

 

location:  Spooner
Muffler Man / roadside oddity

"Mel" was once in front of Mel's 66 Station, but now resides at Bulik's with his back to the water slides.

They should put a fire hose in his hands aimed at the people on the slide.

     


  (1 mile north of Spooner on west side of Highway 63)
N5651 Highway 63
Spooner, WI  54801
(715) 635-7111

                    

hours:
9am – 9pm

Roadside America
1. Bunyan List
2. Muffler Man List
3. Muffler Men Explained

New Low
www.newlow.org

World's Largest Roadside Attractions
www.wlra.us

Roadside Architecture
www.agilitynut.com

Thom.org
www.thom.org

book:
"Oddball Wisconsin"
by Jerome Pohlen
Chicago Review Press, Inc. (2001)
pages 24 - 25

buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"Midwest Marvels"
by Eric Dregni
UofM Press (2006)
pages 370 -371
buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"Strange Wisconsin"
by Linda S. Godfrey
Trails Books (2007)
page 179
buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

 

4

Rodeo Train Robbery
on the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad Excursion Train

 

location:  Spooner
conveyance of yesteryear / show

"The notorious gang of outlaws known as the Rawhide Renegades rides again during the Spooner Rodeo.  This gang of misfits stops the Wisconsin Great Northern trains and climbs aboard to put on quite a show.  With their Six Guns blazing, the Renegades have been known to take hostages along with whatever loot they can scare up.  This is one wild west recreation that you don't want to miss!"

"The Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad offers many special events throughout the operating season... Spooner Rodeo Train Robberies...Great Pumpkin Train...Tony's Riverside Family Pizza Train...Hobo Train...Great Wedding Train."
- sections from the Official Site

photo courtesy of official site

  426 North Front Street
Spooner, WI  54801
(715) 635-3200

               

hours:
• June thru October  (daily)  9am – 5pm
• check official site for dates & times for Special Event Train Rides

Official Site
www.spoonertrainride.com

 

5

2-headed Calf on Display

Plaques Detailing the Bathroom Visits of JFK & Tommy Thompson
Mounted Saber-toothed Tiger Head
(all at Big Dick's Buckhorn Inn)

 

location:  Spooner
tavern with character

      


John F. Kennedy stopped in here on the campaign trail back in 1960, took a drink of beer, then hit the head.  Gov. Thompson used the same facilities some years later. Both visits are commemorated with ceremonial plaques.  No word on the 2-headed calf's political affiliation.  The saber-toothed tiger is a fabrication, but it fits in nicely with all the other mounted heads.

  105 Walnut Street
Spooner, WI  54801
(715) 635-6008

Spooner Online
story "The Buckhorn changes but stays the same" or (here)

book:
"Wisconsin Curiosities"
by Michael Feldman and Diana Cook
Globe Pequot Press
(2nd ed., 2004)  pages 52 - 53

(3rd ed., 2009)
  pages 44 - 45
buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

 

6

Giant Walleye Statue
AKA The Two-Tailed Walleye

 

location:  Shell Lake
roadside oddity

   

 

From the front and back ends, the walleye appears to have 2 tails, due to the need to maintain a 3D effect from both sides of the sign.

Note: if you catch a fish like this, do not eat it.

  on Highway 63 in Shell Lake

Shell Lake Official Site
www.shelllakeonline.com

Thom.org
www.thom.org

Roadside America
www.roadsideamerica.com

 

 

 

sighting  /  phenomenon  /  morbid curiosity

resources

 

1

Mysterious Red Light Near Gull Lake  (2000)

 
UFO
location:  Springbrook

"It hovered above the tree line very slowly. Finally it went down behind the trees and it was gone."
- section from UFO Wisconsin report

UFO Wisconsin
www.ufowisconsin.com

 

2

• Big Devil Lake & Little Devil Lake

• Devils Lake

 
hellish moniker
location:  Sarona / Hayward (Sawyer County)

The Weird Wisconsin website ponders the multitude of Devil-related place names in Wisconsin

Weird Wisconsin
www.weird-wi.com or archived (here)

 

3

Large Object Seen Over Barn  (2003)

 
UFO
location:  Trego

"Blue, red and yellow lights flashed across it's front. I could not discern the shape,but it was big..."
- section from UFO Wisconsin report

UFO Wisconsin
www.ufowisconsin.com

 

4

"The Yellow River Hunter"

 
ghost
location:  Spooner

In the book "Northern Frights", author Dennis Boyer tells of a spirit who still helps out in the family hunts.

book:
"Northern Frights"
by Dennis Boyer
Badger Books (second ed., 2005)
pages 83 - 87
buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

 

5

Strange Star-Like Object  (2001)

 
UFO
location:  Minong

"It went in all sorts of directions left, right, circles, it did everything."
- section from UFO Wisconsin report

UFO Wisconsin
www.ufowisconsin.com

 

6

Stone Ax Found

 
historical oddity
location:  Birchwood

A 300 pound artifact discovered in the soil.

(note:  Could the ax have been found in the town of Birchwood in Kewaunee County instead?)

Weird Wisconsin
www.weird-wi.com

 

7

Spooner UFO Sightings

 
UFO
location:  Spooner

"In the cylindrical view it is full of brilliant lights within, with red and green lights on either side."
- section from UFO Wisconsin (August 1985) report

UFO Wisconsin
www.ufowisconsin.com

 

8

Possible Meteorite or UFO?  (2005)

 
UFO
location:  Birchwood

"I assumed it was a meteor except for the fact it was not the green or blue I usually see, plus the fact that is was very low in the sky and VERY slow moving."
- section from UFO Wisconsin report

UFO Wisconsin
www.ufowisconsin.com

 

9

Little Valley Road

 
    haunted road
location:  Spooner

The road is rumored to be haunted, complete with a phantom hearse.  I don't know if we're talking about a motor vehicle or an old horse-drawn hearse, but the latter would be awesome.   Read more details in the Unexplained Research link at right.


Impressions by Intuitive Wendy

official psychic of wisconsinosity

Nothing.  I didn't get any type of feelings or energy from this site.

  Take County Road K north from Spooner for 2 miles.  Turn right on Little Valley Road.

\
The Haunting Experiments
thehauntingexperiments.synthasite.com

Unexplained Research
story "Ghost hunters return to haunts"

Spooner Advocate
article "
Ghost hunters explore dark shadows in Spooner" or (here)

book:
"The Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations"
by Chad Lewis and Terry Fisk
Research Publishing Co. (2004)
pages 146 - 147

buy it at
Barnes & Noble.com

Intuitive Wendy
www.intuitivewendy.com

 

 

"Bald Man at My Brother's Crib"

 
ghost
location:  Spooner

"I was on the edge of the bed nearest the door and could see my brother's crib through the door when I woke up later that night. To my confusion, I saw someone standing over the crib and reaching in."
- section from Ghost Village website

Ghost Village
www.ghostvillage.com

 

11

The Stone Pony
formerly the Corral Bar

 
ghost
location:  Spooner

    


"In the mid-1970s a bartender was murdered in while she was closing up, her body found slumped in the corner the next morning. She had been stabbed. Her murderer was eventually caught, but not convicted until years later when he committed another murder. Patrons of the bar have reported the juke box apparently starting itself, sometimes running through all the records in a blur. Workers late at night have reported seeing something, a person or a presence, standing in the shadows, passing behind them in a mirror, and walking across the floor. Never a clear look, always just a glimpse. Enough, however, to let them know that they were not alone in that bar."
- section from The Shadowlands website


Impressions by Intuitive Wendy

official psychic of wisconsinosity

I got the name "Elizabeth".  Then a feeling of something in my stomach making me sick and it was painful.  When talking to the bartender she said the woman who died here was stabbed in the stomach.  She didn't know about Elizabeth.

Read more details about this visit in Wendy's blog on her website (linked to the right).

  114 Walnut St.
Spooner, WI  54801
(715) 635-3432

The Shadowlands
www.theshadowlands.net

The Haunting Experiments
thehauntingexperiments.synthasite.com

Spooner Advocate
article "
Ghost hunters explore dark shadows in Spooner" or (here)

Intuitive Wendy
www.intuitivewendy.com

 

12

Frank Hammill House
PRIVATE PROPERTY

 
ghost
location:  Spooner

"Railroad and newspaper man Frank Hammill is generally regarded as the ”Father of Spooner.” He arrived in 1883 on the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. He later became publisher of the Spooner Advocate, mayor of the town, and a prominent Republican politician. Hammill died suddenly in 1922 of a mysterious stomach problem. His body was displayed in the beautiful house he had built for himself and his family. His wife lived the remainder of her days there and often reported felling that Frank was still there with her. As time passed and new owners took over, the house gained a reputation of being haunted. Frank, said the owners, was still in “his” house, watching over “his” town. Most reported hearing noises, voices, and feeling that they simply were not alone in the old house -- one family even moved out. Today the apparent hauntings continue, and the current residents are absolutely certain they are not alone. They even refer to their “guest” as Frank."
- section from The Shadowlands website


Impressions by Intuitive Wendy

official psychic of wisconsinosity

Nothing.  I didn't get any type of feelings or energy from this site.

  122 Summit Street
Spooner, WI  54801

The Shadowlands
www.theshadowlands.net

The Haunting Experiments
thehauntingexperiments.synthasite.com

Intuitive Wendy
www.intuitivewendy.com

 

 

"Ghosts of America" Haunted Location Reports
(take with a grain of salt)

 
ghosts
location:  statewide

The reports on this site are presumably fiction, using random Wisconsin place names in the stories listed there.  Even so, you might get a kick out of reading them.

"A woman with a blue face has allegedly been distinguished on a handful of instances pulling a body from the chilly water of Black Creek late at night. According to the locals, this ghost may be a distinguished days gone by inhabitant of Spooner."
- section from Ghosts of America website

Ghosts of America
www.ghostsofamerica.com

 

 

"The Fishing Shanty"

 
ghosts
location:  Spooner

In the book "Spooky Wisconsin" is a tale of Wisconsin character Bluenose Brainerd and the never-ending battles he had with his wife.  This time, however, it was Bluenose's accordion playing that caused the ruckus, in the form of ghostly music lovers.

book:
"Spooky Wisconsin"
by S. E. Schlosser
Globe Pequot Press (2008)
pages 47 - 53
buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

 

 

 

taste of local history

resources

 

1

Railroad Memories Museum

 

location:  Spooner
museum

     


"THE RAILROAD MEMORIES MUSEUM is housed in the former Chicago & Northwestern Railway depot and has been transformed into a museum packed with artifacts and memorabilia of railroad history and is staffed by retired railroaders and volunteers."
- section from the Washburn County Official Site


  424 North Front St.
Spooner, WI  54801
(715) 635-3325

                  

hours:
Memorial Day thru Labor Day  (daily)  10am – 5pm

Washburn County Official Site
www.washburncounty.com

Spooner Train Ride
spoonertrainride.com

 

2

Washburn County Historical Museum

 

location:  Shell Lake
museum

"Located in Shell Lake, the museum was a century old German church which now houses pioneer, logging, farming and native American memorabilia. A parson's house and one room school house are also on the premises."
- section from Washburn County Official Site


  102 W Second Ave.
Shell Lake, WI  54871
(715) 766-3876

                   

hours:
• Memorial Day thru Labor Day  (Wed - Sat)  10am – 4pm
• September  (Fri - Sat)  Noon – 4pm

Washburn County Official Site
www.washburncounty.com

Shell Lake Official Site
www.shelllakeonline.com

 

3

Log Museum

 

location:  Birchwood
museum

"The Log Museum holds a collection of logging memorabilia as well as a hand carved replica of a logging camp operation."
- section from Washburn County Official Site


  Howard Morey Homestead on Park Avenue
Birchwood, WI  54817
(715) 354-7300

                

hours:
Memorial Day thru Labor Day  (Fri - Sat)  1pm – 4pm

Washburn County Official Site
www.washburncounty.com

Portal Wisconsin
www.portalwisconsin.org

 

More Washburn County historical attractions listed at:

Washburn County Official Site

 


updated 06-27-09  •  all images excluding those attributed to others are property of Wisconsinosity.com