25 years ago

this week (1992)

The Al. Ringling Theatre will be just like it was in the old days when its $3.3 million restoration project is completed. According to Daniel Pierotti, one of the project coordinators, the theater will be completely restored to its original form. “This theater is one of a kind,” Pierotti said. “There are no others like it anywhere.” The Al. Ringling Theatre has stood in downtown Baraboo since November 1915 when Ringling circus proprietor, Al Ringling, built the theater as a gift to the people of the community. In 1989, the theater was purchased from private owners by the Al. Ringling Theatre Friends, a non-profit organization. The restoration project, which will cost a considerable amount of money, is getting its funds through donations, and many people have already donated to the cause, Pierotti said. The Al. Ringling Theatre restoration fund got a major boost when the Jeffris Family Foundation donated $500,000 to the project. The city of Baraboo has also made a contribution of $150,000 for the restoration efforts. According to Pierotti, no definite date is set for the start of the project, but once the money is raised and architectural work is ready the construction will begin. Pierotti said he expects it to begin in the summer of 1993. The project is expected to take about 14 to 18 months. “It may seem costly,” he said, “but once it is complete the theater will not need any more touch ups. Everything will be done and it will last for another 70 or 80 years.”

50 years ago

this week (1967)

A fossil of a trilobite was found in a lime pit, located on a farm one mile northwest of Baraboo. Sunday, Dennis Lentz, 10, son of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Lentz discovered the perfectly intact fossil while surveying the pit with cousins. Young Lentz checked the encyclopedia to obtain further information regarding the new discovery. Trilobite is the name given to a group of sea animals that lived during the Paleozoic era. Dennis learned that the other records of trilobites having been found, is seemingly limited to the Midwest, where records show trilobite discoveries in Illinois. The fossil is a distant relative of modern day crabs and lobsters.

An area couple were made extremely happy last evening by a telephone call. This was not an ordinary telephone call. Around 8 p.m. last night, Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Potter, Baraboo, received a ham radio operated phone call from their son Terry. Terry left for Vietnam in September of this year. He is with the 36th Engineering Platoon. Mrs. Potter stated that the young man that helps reunite parents with their sons is from San Francisco. He places the call by using his ham radio equipment to pick up the callers voice in Vietnam and then transmits the call to the homes of the relatives. Young Potter related to his folks that he is fine and will be transferred soon to another area in Vietnam.

75 years ago

this week (1942)

The body of Ben Mikkelson, 84, missing since last Wednesday, was recovered today about a mile north of the Sauk County home where he had last been seen Wednesday afternoon. Dr. O.V. Pawlisch, Sauk County coroner, decided the death had probably occurred on Thursday and he attributed it to exposure. The point at which he was found was a half mile off the main highway and in the woods, where the elderly man had apparently lain down in a pile of leaves. Mr. Mikkelson had been in the habit of walking along the highway in the vicinity of the home. No inquest is to be held, the coroner stated.

Sgt. George Sprecher has been made crew chief and now has a plane of his own, he writes his parents, Mr. and Mrs. N.E. Sprecher of this city. George has been in England for some months and he writes that he is kept plenty busy, keeping his plane flying. He has three assistants under him and he writes that his first assistant is from Milwaukee. “We sure are seeing a lot of the world, aren’t we? I sure wish I could take pictures of all of the places I have seen since I have been in the army,” he writes.

100 years ago

this week (1917)

The five members of the John Wartzok family, who reside near Denzer, have been poisoned is the belief of those who have been investigating the case. For some time there have been feuds in the neighborhood, buildings and other property being destroyed. About a month ago Mr. and Mrs. Wartzok and three other members of the family were taken ill and later were taken to the sanitarium at Madison. The water in the well has been analyzed and the chemist reports the presence of arsenate of lead. That the presence of the poison caused the illness of the family, those connected with the case believe. The five members of the family are quite ill and the neighbors are looking after the farm as best they can. District Attorney James H. Hill and others have been working on the case. It may require some time to sift the matter to the bottom.

Information taken from the Baraboo News Republic, research materials provided by the Sauk County Historical Society.