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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Took a Ride to historic site Portland Church and Cemetery

I know it's been a while since I blogged.  I am trying to find interesting things to write about.  I could just blather on day in - day out of things I am doing or thoughts or ideas or plans?

We are gearing up to Steve's retirement, upcoming by the end of the year.  Counting down---- 4 months to go!

Last night we were at the Calumet County Historical Society meeting.  Someone had approached a member of the group to see if anyone was interested in helping to fund or fix a window on an old historic church (before it's innards get ruined from exposure).  I offered a vintage old piece of glass that could be cut up for the missing glass if someone was going to repair it. Hmmm we will wait and see if they take us up on our offer.

So tonight I whipped up a lovely supper of stir fry chicken with penne pasta, fresh veggies and Andria's Steak Sauce (yummmmm)  and a bright red pepper from my own little garden! Steve eats the pepper, I can't. But it looks so purty!

We hopped in the car and took a ride to see what was what on this old church.  It's only few miles north of town on Hwy 57 and then turn left (west) on Cty E to a tiny crossroads called Portland.  The Town of Portland later became the Town of Chilton.  This was in the 1930's. The City of Chilton was settled down the road closer to the river in 1845.

All that remains of the town of Portland now is a church, cemetery, and a remodeled schoolhouse which is now a private home.

 Here is the historic old church, 
in the golden setting sunlight of an August heat-filled day. 

Here is the poor broken window! 
Oh my, someone better fix that quick before it's filled 
with birds, bats, bugs and gosh knows what else! 

I hope someone on their cemetery crew decides to take up on my offer of the large piece of vintage glass, and have it cut up to repair the window.  Perhaps we could keep an eye out for a replacement of the same size if we could get some measurements.

This is what we found on the internet about the little church:

One of the most notable historic buildings and sites in the town is the Portland Church and Cemetery along the north side of County Highway E. Once a thriving community of New England Indians and folks from New York and portions of Vermont, all that remains of the community today is a restored church and cemetery. The church was built by settlers who arrived in the 1830's. The Portland Cemetery holds the graves of many Civil War soldiers and soldiers from the War of 1812.

Steve and I walked around a bit.  We couldn't peek in the shuttered windows, but we did explore the building from the outside.  For being close to 200 years old, it's in pretty good shape. We even saw little square headed nails in each of the clapboard of the siding.

We have been told the church interior is still original... 
no electric lighting, just oil lamp fixtures on the walls.  
There are still the original pews, lectern, altar etc. 

And of course, no running water.

Thus... this is a necessary outbuilding! 

We wandered around the cemetery a bit, gazing at the old tombstones scattered among the trees.  This is very well-kept and neat, with respect and honor to those buried here. We were told there are three people in a family who take care of this cemetery.  They are doing a good job!

Although it was still 82 degrees, it was much cooler out now in the shade of these trees than earlier in the day.  We walked a bit around to gaze at names and dates....

We saw many old tombstones that could barely be read....
but there are some newer graves too, as recent as 2012 or so. 

I am going to go out on a limb here and assume this is the bell from the school house down the road.  (the one converted into a private residence now)  There isn't any signage identifying it.  But with the overall good condition of the church, I would also assume that there already is a bell in the belfry over the front doors.  So this one might be on display from the school, to preserve it for the community, since the school is no longer being used.

I have never been much of an ancestry buff of people I do not know...
but I snapped a few of these tombstones with long ago names and dates. 

By the dates on these tombstones, 
 these are some of the original settlers of the area. 




This one is a KNICKERBOCKER----

look how they listed his age....
23 ys 8 ms 21 ds

 "in the 25th year of his age"


This is the oldest one I think we found

Well now that I bored you with a bunch of graves of people you don't know, well I don't know them either!  LOL   But someone should fix the window on their church.  Don't you think? 

I have a feeling somehow, somewhere, 
we might be involved a bit further in the future? 

1 comment:

  1. Wondering what type of Church it was? Reminds me of this now closed church in Waupun Township near where we used to live. They had about 15 yrs ago they still had one church service a yr in the historic building in Norwegian. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2385543


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