An open house will be held this Sunday allowing the public to tour the Scott Mansion along with Holy Cross Convent as the Sisters of Holy Cross celebrate their fiftieth anniversary of their arrival in Merrill. The historic celebration began with a mass on Oct. 24 as this marked the day Mother Aniceta Regli, Sister Rose de Lima and nine postulants arrived on the 8:43 train, loaded their baggage on a truck and walked to their home on what is now fondly called “Holy Hill.” The Sisters had come from Switzerland via Dickenson, North Dakota to establish a hospital on the advice of Monsignor Gregory Reuter of Medford who befriended the Sisters when he studied in Switzerland. Father Michael Prock and Merrill Mayor Reinhardt escorted the Sisters to look at the property including Scott Mansion which had been sold to the city in 1919 by its last owner Herman Fehlhaber. Those who tour the 1894 mansion will enjoy the recent renovations which were spearheaded by Sister Elaine Paluck. Sister Elaine remarked that the mansion is not only the first home of the Holy Cross Sisters but is part of Merrill’s heritage and should be preserved as a historic landmark. (Once again an important need 40 years later).
Merrill Fire Captain Joe Schneider is pictured on page four speaking with a sixth ward resident as the pair watches the sixth ward landfill burn. The fire department set the landfill ablaze at 8:30 a.m. Monday and Fire Chief Ray Priebe expects the debris to smolder a week to 10 days. After the burning is completed, the area will be covered with soil and seeded. Chief Priebe noted this will be the last open burning that will be allowed at either the old or the new city landfills. On a side note, firefighters found a shack built in the woods between the landfill and the west bank of the Wisconsin River. It is believed the shack was constructed of lumber salvaged from the landfill and contained a stove and some furniture and other articles which Merrill Police think were stolen. The stolen items were confiscated.
Despite giving the Shawano Indians two touchdowns in the first half, the Merrill Blue Jay football team came roaring back in the second half to come away with a 13-12 victory Friday night. The Jay’s fumbled twice in the first half, allowing two easy touchdowns but the point after failed on the first touchdown and a two point conversion after the second touchdown also failed giving the Jays the one point difference. Head Coach Ira Rebella named Phil English the offensive player of the game but noted a tough game lay ahead as the Stevens Point Panthers come to town on Saturday for a 1:30 contest. Panthers quarterback Tom Rush is the powerhouse weapon on the Point squad, according to Rebella.
A time capsule was buried last Thursday on the front lawn of City Hall. The capsule was actually a large burial vault donated by the Wistein, Taylors and Schram -Waid Funeral Homes. Students from Lorraine Muschinske’s Washington School sixth grade class were responsible for filling the capsule which will be opened in 50 years. (20 more years to wait – I doubt we will be able to read what is on all of those fancy floppy computer disks they put in there)
The new Sixth Ward bridge was opened and dedicated last week after four months of construction. Merrill Chamber President Dee Olsen is pictured breaking a bottle of champagne on the newly repaired bridge as representatives from Wisconsin DOT and the Sixth Ward Business Association look on. The cost for repairing the bridge, which was originally built in 1928, was $267,000. In other Sixth Ward business news, the Auto Stop had a ribbon cutting to celebrate its remodeling and expansion. The store will now feature convenience store items such as snacks, automotive products, pop, cigarettes and frozen pizza. (The sign in the background says gas was $1.25).
Late next week, the City of Tomahawk will see a huge decrease in traffic as the Hwy 51 bypass is scheduled to open. Shoulder work delayed the project several weeks, according to the Wisconsin DOT. The biggest change motorists will find is a four way stop at the intersection of US Hwy 51 and US Hwy 8. It is possible that State Rd 86 may be re-routed through Tomahawk in the near future to make up for lost traffic from travelers heading north on US Hwy 51. It may be possible that a freeway could one day be completed from Merrill north through Tomahawk to the Oneida County intersection of County Rd K; but that will be up to the newly formed Transportation Project’s Commission headed by Governor Tony Earl.
Roger and Marilyn Brandenburg are pictured on page one as they “take the plunge.” The couple has purchased the now empty building which housed Spurgeon’s Department Store. NAPA Auto Parts Store will move to the vacant property sometime after the first of the year. Congratulating the couple in the picture are Norm Heckendorf and Gary Hartwig from Lincoln Realty.
The Merrill on the Move awards banquet will be held this Saturday at Les & Jim’s Lincoln Lanes. Recipients of this year’s awards include: Collette Harris – Mayoral Heroism Award, Ellsworth “Zoney” Plautz will receive a special commendation from the mayor for his possible record setting number of years as a city alderman; Otto Settele, owner of the Cosmo as a Merrill on the Move individual. The organization being recognized as putting Merrill on the Move is the Central Wisconsin Polka Club, Glenn Hartley will be recognized as past president of the Chamber of Commerce, Ambassador awards will be given to State Teacher of the Year winners John Gravelle, Lorraine Muschinske and Mary Weddig. The prestigious Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame Award will go to Dr. Walter and Beryl Lewinnek.