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Chippewa River Bridge Promised by Gov. Kohler
Highway 35 Boosters Must Wait Passage of Administration Bill
8/2/1929, Winona Republican-Herald
Cochrane -- Bridging of the Chippewa river at Nelson to cut off approximately 35 miles from Highway No. 35 between Nelson and Pepin within the next few years has been promised by Governor Kohler and the Wisconsin State highway commission, it was revealed today by D L Hammergren, who returned Thrusday from a conference with the governor and commissioners at Madison.
Mr Hammergren, secretary of the Cochrane Commercial club and newspaperman, was one of the delegates from the western tier of Wisconsin counties selected at the Pepin meeting of Highway 35 associations to press claims for early improvement of the western Wisconsin scenic route from Chicago to the Twin Cities. Minnesota has been getting the lion's share of tourist traffic on its paved Highway No 3, the northern and southern groups contend.
The committee, which met with Governor Kohler for two hours in the governor's chamber, is composed of Dr R G Averson, Frederick; W B Webster, Hudson; J A Corcoran, Webster; J A Grover, La Crosse; E C Amann, Prairie du Chien; S A Fleming, Pepin; D I Hammergren, Cochrane, and R B White, Maiden Rock.
Bridge to Cost $600,000. Provision for the $600,000 bridge connecting Nelson and Pepin will be made in the 1930 budget, said the governor, provided that his administration bill to be presented soon to the state legislature becomes a law. The Kohler bill calls for increase of the state road and bridge appropriation from $500,000 to $600,000. Another bill, calling for increase of the appropriation to $750,000, is now before the legislature, and has a good chance of passing, said Mr. Hammergren.
Buffalo and Pepin counties would have to petition the state highway commission for the bridge. The Highway 35 committee, the Cochrane delegate said, was promised the cooperation of the commission in a session with the three commissioners and chief highway engineer at the capitol.
Governor Kholer and the commissioners told the western delegates that paving on Highways 29 and 12, connecting the east and west portions of the state, was now being pushed to provide an all paved route acros the state. Highway 29 extends across the state from Madision in the west to Lake Michigan. Most attention is now being given to paving Highway 12.
The southern Highway 35 group was given full support of the northern counties in the immediate aim of the groups to get the bridge over the Chippewa river, said Mr Hammergren.
Highway 35, Alma to Nelson, Opened
12/11/1931, Winona Republican-Herald
Alma -- Highway 35 betwen Alma and Nelson was opened Thursday after extensive improvements during the summer and fall, the fifth division office of the Wisconsin highway commission announced.
The highway was graded and a part of it relocated. Crushed stone surfacing was used.
Highway 35 in Wisconsin
Ol' Man River By Captain Frank J Fugina, 09/1/1951, Winona Republican-Herald
Scenic highway 35 in Wisconsin is rapidly nearing completion and a super highway it really is. It reflects much credit in the Wisconsin highway department and to contractors engaged in its construction. The inconvenience endured by the use of various detours was well warranted. A better view of Indian Head rock on the bluff near Dam 5-A is now presented from this highway.
There is just a small marker, a cellar-hole in the hillside left to show where the Old Stone Housestood. River pilots who have not made a trip between Winona and Fountain City in the past three yeras will notice a marked change in the shoreline on the Wisconsin side. In early days, when there were no wing dams, channel markers, or electric searchlights, the Old StoneHouse, built more than 100 years ago, was recognized by those early day pilots as a reliable shore mark. The peak of the bluff in the rear of the Stone Housealso stood out boldly in the dark of night, and on moonlit nights threw its shadow clear across the channel to Blackbird island.
Improvements on this same highway between Bluff Siding and Galesville are now nearing completion, much widening and straightening having been done. Western Wisconsin waited a long time for the improvements of those two links of highway, but they were well worth waiting for.
Bridges Across The Buffalo River Bottoms (North Alma)
From a Dike Road to a Span Bridge to the Great River Road Bridge
Dig Out Of Depot Hill (North Alma)
Blasting Out Solid Rock To Make A Road
Paving Main Street (Business District, Alma)
From Dirt to Crushed Rock & Oiled Streets to Pavement
Widening State Hwy 35, Demolition Of Homes (South Alma)
Battle Between Railroad Right-of-Way and Existing Homes
Loss Of The Old Stone House (Below Fountain City)
History Lost in 1950 With The Paving of Wisconsin Hwy 35
The Old Stone House was built in Buffalo County just below Fountain City in 1848 by Caspar Wilde, the 3rd white settler in the Fountain City area. Rivermen knew the place as Wilde's Landing and it was a landmark easily found on their travels up and down the Mississippi River because of the bluff that stood out in the dark.. Wilde's Landing was recorded in the US Lighthouse book and was known as the Stone House or the Halfway House because it was located halfway between Winona and Fountain City. The Mississippi River channel had not changed its course at that point and followed the Landing closely.
When the Stone House was built there were no inland roads, no way of getting supplies and cordwood could be supplied to passing boats. Wilde's Landing served as an entry point for pioneers coming to Wisconsin, a trading post to gather & barter much needed supplies and later a reference point for news when the river froze or there was an accident. Those pioneers who landed at the Stone House had to walk to Fountain City.
In 1856 the Ferryboat Turtle was put into operation running daily from the Winona levee to the Old Stone House, it could carry 12 teams of horses. In 1878 the Ferryboat Van Gorder also traveled daily from Winona to the Old Stone House.
During the many years that the Old Stone House stood as a sentinel, it was considered one of the principal points of interest along the Upper Mississippi River. When the government inaugurated the system of channel markers, it placed a post beacon light at Wilde's Landing. The Wilde family tended the U.S. beacon lights from the C&NW railroad drawbridge to the head of Betsy Slough first by rowboat and later by motorboat on a daily basis for well over 50 years. In 1933 Lock & Dam 5A was built south of the Old Stone Houseand it was put into operation in 1936.
Progress claimed this landmark of old river days in 1950 when it was torn down to make way for the widening of Wisconsin State Highway 35. The Old Stone House faced the Mississippi River with railroad tracks between the front porch and the river. Behind the Old Stone House was Wisconsin State Highway 35, the dirt road that led north to Fountain City or south to Bluff Siding.
1930 Buffalo County Townships (North to South)
Where Wisconsin State Highway 35 Routes Are Recorded
1930 NELSON Township (South Part)
1930 ALMA Township (West Part)
1930 ALMA Township (East Part)
1930 BELVIDERE Township
1930 MILTON Township (West Part)
1930 MILTON Township (East Part)
1930 BUFFALO Township
Many thanks to Neal Clark
for providing the
1930 Plat Book of
Pepin and Buffalo Counties
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