Exploring Shattuck

After lazing around in the morning for a long time, recuperating from the ride last night, we got out and took a look around.

Directly across the street from the hotel was an outdoor windmill museum.

The sheer variety on display was astonishing. And these were not whimsical pieces or art either, they were all designs that some inventor had settled on for a particular purpose — and then probably patented as well.

The Montgomery Ward 'Windmaster', sold from 1939-1943.
Windmills abound!
Just enough time to get some nice photos and then the storm rolled in.

In the center of the windmill forest was a house, constructed in the prairie style. It was not new construction, but an actual homesteader’s house, built in 1901 and then transported to the outdoor museum and reconditioned, with the interior furnished to match the original time period.

Other structures had been brought along with it:

The interior of the house looked remarkably cozy!

But if you’re thinking about breaking in to have a more tactile look around, think again:

You really don't want to go inside the fronteir house.

"Come inside the fronteir house! I swear I won't sting you! More than a dozen times, anyway!"

The interior was crawling with wasps!!

Best to stay outside and admire the place from a nice distance. If you want something else to do, you can read the bit of poetry posted at the corner of the park:

On the north side, separating the windmill museum from a small parking lot, was a low brick wall.

Each brick was stamped with the name of an early pioneer, and the date they arrived in the area. I wondered if I might find some relatives mentioned here.

It didn’t take long. The first one I found was Daniel Birkle.

Then a procession of others:

I was delighted, and took pictures of them all.

The windmills and the wall were fascinating, but there was more to see. The Shattuck cemetery was just down the street.

Gotta follow the rules to visit the dead.

Like the windmill museum, there was no fence around the cemetery. Not a lot of vandalism or narrow disputes over property lines here.

The early sunset colors make a nice setting for browsing graves.

Using a chart posted near the gazebo, I narrowed down my search.

The only two "Birkle" plots in the whole place.

And there it was: The same grave marker that my father located in 1981.

Daniel Birkle's burial site, after 79 years.

For comparison, here’s the photo he took back then:

A photo of the same grave marker that my father Ben took in 1981.

After locating the grave I rode out to find some food, and got caught in a little storm as I returned to the hotel. Just a tiny reminder of the elements my ancestors had to deal with.

That was enough sightseeing for the first day. Nick and I both had work to do, and with the bad weather closing in, we hunkered down at the hotel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *