240 West 2nd. Street
Marquette, WI 53947
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" I found the photos and Doering articles especially interesting. Growing up in Markesan, I spent many hours in Marquette and on the lake. My first recollection of being in Marquette was going there in the spring in the early 1950's to fish for walleyes on the Fox River. Walleyes didn't bite but I recall seeing numerous boat and shore fisherman, up and down the river.
My next association with the area was playing summer recreation baseball with Al Cahoon, Rudy Winther and Duwayne Jahnke. Since the kids from Marquette went to Markesan High School, most of them became my friends. Rudy was then and still is, one of my closest and dearest friends. We hunted and fished together all through high school, then went our separate ways to college, etc. but stayed in regular contact and still do. Although we live in LaCrosse, my wife and I make regular trips to Winther's Resort to hunt ducks and kayak the local waters.
Among the many memories I have of Marquette were playing pool for rounds of beer at Stan's Bar, taking our outboard motors to Marv Strahota to repair, swimming in the pool at Winther's Resort and, of course, fishing for catfish and hunting ducks with Rudy. In the '50's the east end of Lake Puckaway was a refuge full of duck food and it held 1000's of ducks and coots annually. The refuge was ringed with duck blinds and competition for the best spots got pretty intense. In those days, geese were pretty rare and one had to go to Horicon to see or hunt them. When the Grand River Marsh was flooded in 1968, all that changed and geese became common sights in the area. Another thing I remember were the numerous spring die-offs of geese and swans on the lake caused from ingesting spent lead pellets that were everywhere there was a solid bottom--while some lead probably remains, the switch to non-toxic shot has thankfully ended such waste.
Before the Grand River Marsh was flooded it was one of the most popular deer hunting areas around Markesan. In fact, until I was almost out of high school, there wasn't a gun deer season east of Hwy 73."
James . M
Griffith Family 4th of July Story
More than a year ago Rudy asked if I might contribute a story having to do with my grandfather, Fred Griffith, and the then Methodist Church (historical society) across the street from the Griffith family home. I said that I would and with a skill that I have finely honed, that of procrastination, "pen is finally put to paper".
Apparently, one 4th of July sometime after WWII, but before I was born in 1949, the Griffith home hosted a get together complete with a fireworks display. This is a bit hard for me to picture, for my grandfather was a serious man who followed me around making sure that I didn't trample the gardens or break anything in the house. I was about eight years old when he died and the funeral service was held in the very same church. Seeing Grandpa Griffith lighting off skyrockets is something I just have a hard time imaging. Perhaps there was strange connection to one of his loves, early morning duck hunts on Lake Puckaway.
As one might guess, all of the skyrockets did not stay on the predicted path. One peeled off for the church and lodged in the steeple. Soon there was evidence of smoke and it became obvious that something up there was on fire. I don't know if the volunteer fire department was called out, but after some degree of panic and damage the fire was put out. Years later, my mother, Ellie would always use this story to explain why Grandpa was always the chief donor to the church's new roof fund. It's an amusing tale when told in hindsight, and it's too bad that my folks, who were present, aren't here to flesh out the details.
Aside from missing the occassional Welsh sing, the Griffith family is grateful that the church now houses the historical society. My grandfather would be especially happy.
Respectfully submitted-June 29, 2014
240 West 2nd. Street
Marquette, WI 53947