Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Vintage Wisconsin Postcards

This has been a familiar scene in Wisconsin for decades. Although this Long Lake is near Campbellsport on the eastern side of the state, we have a Long Lake on our side of the state too. It's there that my parents took my brothers, my sister, and me for a few days' vacation back in the 1950s.

What do I remember about that vacation? The scene you see in the photo postcard above. It looked just like that. There was a dirt path from the cabins to the canteen - where my mom bought windmill cookies (and probably other things that didn't make nearly as big an impression on me). I've loved windmill cookies ever since, although now they're thinner and smaller. Or maybe it's just because I'm fatter and bigger.

Vacations like that, whether camping in a tent or staying in a cabin beside the lake, make wonderful memories for a kid. It was a sweet time. Plus, I have no memory of my brothers trying to push me off the dock, so that's good too.

The photo above also looks a lot like Camp Chetek a.k.a. Chetek Baptist Bible Camp, where I spent many summers as a kid. Those were great times - swimming, making lanyard bracelets, buying cheap candy from the canteen, memorizing tons of Scripture, painting plaques for the wall, buying a glow-in-the-dark cross for my bedroom, sitting around campfires in the evenings, listening to missionaries tell of their work in foreign lands, watching camp counselor skits, getting homesick my first year there after everyone else in our cabin got homesick, etc.

These postcards are from Shawano, Wisconsin, pronounced SHAW-no. I know it looks like it should have an extra syllable...  I don't know when the photos were taken (turn of the century?) but they are definitely a part of Wisconsin history.

Did you get to vacation with your family when you were a kid? or did you attend summer camp? What are your favorite memories - or least favorite memories of that time??!


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Trace4J said...

You were blessed with many wonderful childhood memories as a child. ( sadly I was not)
But I sure made up for it with wonderful fun camping trips with my gang.
We had a pop up camper and monopoly,.
Nothing like a happy kids, a campfire and toasted marshmallows.
Woolie Blessings.
Love the old postcards. Love all things old.

Suzan Sweatman said...

I loved every moment of summer camp!
From Tuck ( that's what we called the canteen for some reason ) to the big mess hall - the camp songs - the canoeing - getting letters from home.
For a city girl it was heaven!!!
" we're the girls of Marion
you hear so much about -
and everybody looks at us whenever we go out
We've known for all our wisdom
and the clever things we do
Everybody likes us and we hope you like us too
When we go marching
and the band begins to P.L.A.Y.
Then you'll hear us
The girls of Marion
Are on their waaaayyyyy..........
My Kids hated every single moment of camp - couldn't wait to come home.

Muffy's Marks said...

My dad was a home builder, and we never went on vacation in the summer. Some years we'd take a week and visit relatives in Florida!!! Lucky you to have those memories of Wisconsin's finest vacation spots.

Terri D. said...

Oh my - memories! I hadn't thought of windmill cookies, glow-in-the-dark crosses, or lanyards in years and years!! What fun! Great postcards, too!

Diane said...

Great postcards! As far as the thinner, smaller cookies go-- nothing is as good as it used to be!

Empty Nester said...

We vacationed all the time at the beach or in the mountains. We had a camper and even spent fall weekends up in the mountains. But our week + long vacations were during the summer and, usually, at the beach. And you're right, the memories are quite enjoyable! Gotta love the good times!

Sandra said...

i like the post cards, part of our countries past. things that we all remember that are gone for ever, nothing looks the same, if we went to this same place it would be different. i think that is why i like photography, take a shot of something and a year later it looks totally different or is gone. you have many fond memories and that is good.

linda eller said...

I did go to summer camp and loved every minute of it. Our family was very close and we had fun, no matter what we, cook out, have company, etc. Childhood was good to me. Loved your cards and memories.

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Great memories of summer fun. Love the old postcards and the first photo of the boats at the dock.
We used to go to the lake too when I was young. I also attended Bible camp a couple of times. Fun times!

Jenn said...

Oh gosh.. we did a family vacation once a year.. they are great memories for me. We also went camping as a family (including aunts, uncles, cousins) at least twice a year... and I have WAY more memories of those times. Just pure fun!
Great post, Judy... thank you!!

Joyce said...

I love that first one especially...such a nostalgic shot of summertimes past.

Cherry's Prairie Primitives said...

My father was very outdoorsy so we were always camping allover New Mexico, Colorado and visited my grandma in Florida one year and went to Disneyland and Seaworld. It was always a new adventure with lots of exploring!!

Ellie VanCaster said...

I'm so happy you have such great summer memories-I didn't so I tried to relive them through the boys. I always chuckle about Shawano also, out of town friends could just never say it without that extra syllable.
PS-I LOVE windmill cookies.

laurie said...

Sounds like some good times! We went swimming and had picnics at the lake when I was a kid. The lake was about a mile a way so we went often. It was lots of fun!

Eileen said...

I love nostalgia, although my family didn't have much money and we didn't have holidays.
However we moved to Wales when I was a child for Dad's health. We moved from the industrial, smoggy area for the clean, sea air here on the north Wales coast. We returned to England regularly to visit family left behind until I was in my late teens. The times from those trips are my treasured memories.

I'm glad you have wonderful memories and the postcards are just lovely!

Jori said...

SO pretty! I love looking at old post cards. I grew up partially in Utah, and part in Idaho. Most of our vacations were to Yellowstone or Jackson Hole Wyoming. I love the mountains. We always stopped at A&W drive in's, or had picnics. I LOVED doing that on vacation. :)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

It was fun looking at these with you, Judy.

My grandmother had an amazing postcard collection, and she saved ones from friends who traveled all over and ones from her vacations, too.

These are treasures.



Eva Ason said...

Nice postcards, it's great to have those memories. We were often out camping when I grew up, it was fun.

Debra @ Homespun said...

What a fun post..for some reason it reminded me of Vacation Bible Schools over the years ( fun break! :)

Denise said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Judy, wonderful memories and beautiful images. Always great stopping by to visit with you. I've been a little preoccupied with all my blog changes, but I'm back to visiting more regularly now.
Hope you could join in the Steel Magnolias challenge somehow, maybe a recipe?
Good to hear from you.
Much love.

Carla TePaske said...

I love the post cards.
Camp Nawakawa is a Girl Scout Camp over by New Auburn. I had great summers at camp. I too remember getting homesick. :-)

Fun post!!

lynn said...

Wow where did you get those postcards and where can I find them? Very nice!

Cynthia said...

I love these postcards and that you have great childhood memories. I am fortunate to have great vacation memories too but mine took place at the beach in NJ. It is wonderful to have such great memories to hold onto.


Lynn said...

These pictures and post cards take me away to some wonderful place. I loved this post.

TexWisGirl said...

hi there! love the vintage wisconsin views. never got to vacation as a kid - except to drive to visit relatives near butternut for an overnight trip - or maybe green bay. :)

thanks for finding me and leaving a comment! blessings to you, ms. wisconsin!

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Lovely postcards. It is so fun when they are places you know.
We weren't the best family vacationers. Dad likes to drive and camp and Mom likes to visit everythign along the way and sleep in a bed. Plus, I am sure vacationing with five kids isn't too easy. The few vacations we did take always ended up epic adventures! Lol!

amanda | wildly simple said...

We always went up the north shore of Lake Superior as kids. (and more often we swam & camped at small lakes down the road from home in rural northern Minnesota.)
I love Lk. Superior - to this day I think it's my favorite place on earth!

Love the old postcards.

Chatty Crone said...

You know - your memories brought a lot of memories back to me. It was a different time wasn't it?

So are you in spring or snow?


Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

When we lived in California we went camping in the mountains a couple times and then we crossed the country - when Dad retired - that was my best memories. I do appreciate you sharing your memories and vintage images on Home and Garden Thursday,


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