Pagels presents Tracks in the Timber

The historical connection between logging and the railroad industry is the subject of a presentation at the newly restored Holt & Balcom Logging Camp Museum. Brad Pagels, a logging railroad expert, will present Tracks in the Timber at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 25, at the museum, located off County Road F, just east of Lakewood.

Pagels will tell how railroads, introduced to the Northwoods by W.A. Holt in 1903, changed the way logging was done. Pagels documented his research in a short book and developed an educational program that includes rare photos of the period. Pagels, of Eagle River, is employed by Pukall Lumber in Woodruff.

“For several years I have found old rail beds throughout Oconto County, and in 2003 I began my personal quest in finding out what these railroads were all about,” Pagels said. “With information from historical resources and fellow historians, I have explored and evaluated the conditions of what were once logging railroads.”


Eye surgeon finds fulfillment on mission trip

Mission trips occur all over the world and serve many different purposes. Thanks to the missionary efforts of Dr. Kevin Wienkers, of the Green Bay Eye Clinic in Oconto Falls, some of the people of Myanmar have received the opportunity to see their world in a different light.

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Academy of Ophthalmology (WAO), the Jan. 19-Feb. 3 mission brought in trained surgeons to perform cataract eye surgeries in an area where poverty is the norm.

“There was some real need and isolation there,” Wienkers said.

Myanmar, once called Burma, is in southeast Asia and is bordered by China, Thailand, India, Laos and Bangladesh. Since 1962, the country has been under military control and isolated from much of the world. But since 2011, the military council controlling the government was dissolved, allowing for interaction with other countries.

“It’s a very austere country, with very austere living. The people really have no money,” Wienkers said.


Cancer fight motivates relay participants

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Oconto County will provide a chance for the community to gather together in its fight against cancer. The event begins with an opening ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday, July 26, and ends at 6 a.m. Saturday, July 27, at Memorial Field in Oconto Falls.

As the world’s largest grassroots fundraising program, the Relay for Life movement mobilizes friends, families, businesses, service organizations and other groups to celebrate those who have battled cancer and remember lost loved ones.

The theme for this year’s event is Sports of All Sorts.

Teams are encouraged to decorate their campsites with a favorite sport theme or team, with judging to take place before nightfall.

The kickoff event will feature speakers from the community who have benefited from the funds raised at relay events and will honor cancer survivors.


Abrams actors performing in ‘Anything Goes’

Eight actors with ties to Abrams are jumping county lines to perform in the Box in the Wood Theatre Guild’s latest show, “Anything Goes.”

Long viewed as a popular show for school and community productions, the musical will debut July 18 at the Mielke Arts Center in Shawano. “Anything Goes” takes place aboard an ocean cruise liner leaving New York and heading to London.

Faith Fuller, a performer with Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc., is one of the leads in the Shawano show, playing Reno Sweeny, an evangelist turned nightclub singer. She helps a young stowaway named Billy to win the heart of Hope, a young heiress on her way to London to meet her fiance, Sir Evelyn Oakleigh.

Fuller has plenty of family support in this show. Her father, Early Fuller, will play the Right Rev. Henry Dobson, as well as one of the passengers, while her sister, Whitney Fuller, portrays a reporter and mother, Karen Fuller, is a photographer.


Copper Culture Museum open daily through Labor Day

The city of Oconto and the Department of Natural Resources, the Copper Culture Museum will be staffed with guides daily from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Labor Day, thanks to additional funding provided by the state.

Operated by the Oconto County Historical Society, the museum is located in the Copper Culture State Park, one block south of the intersection of state Highway 22 and U.S. Highway 41.

The museum focuses on the Old Copper Complex, an Archaic Tradition people who utilized native copper to form tools and ornaments.

Within the park is the Oconto archeological site which is the oldest dated burial ground in eastern North America.

Some experts suggest it was used primarily between 3,000 and 4,000 years B.C.E.


Gauthier reaches century mark

Janina (Joan) Gauthier celebrated her 100th birthday at the Oconto Falls Senior Center on May 24. Friends and relatives came from near and far to be with her.

Gauthier was born in Milwaukee. She later lived in Spruce and finally in Oconto Falls, where she still lives on her own with a little help from her daughter, Sue Campbell.

Gauthier was married for 50 years to her late husband, Leo. They had 11 children and now have about 178 descendants.

Gauthier did seasonal work at the canning factory and at one time was the health inspector for the town of Stiles. She was a leader in the 4-H sewing club.

She has lived in the same farmhouse for close to 70 years and still plays cards with her neighbors at the Senior Center.

As part of her centennial celebration, a Mass was held in her honor at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Oconto Falls.


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