Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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SURING SCHOOL DISTRICT LOCAL HISTORY
1979
Page 28
Page 29


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Mat Savage's Pioneer Saloon. Built around 1903, it was >cated where Haase's Bar now stands.
The other principal saloon during the early 1900's was owned by Sven Olson. The building is presently occupied by the Nicolet Hotel. It seems the Irish, Germans, and Poles preferred Mat Savage's bar and the Swedes met at Sven Olson's bar. When they came, trouble often brewed and Sven was afraid that his building would be damaged. To save himself worry and the cost of repairs, Olson would simply move his bar outside onto the main street. It was there that lumberjacks enjoyed their recreation.
Most of the early settlers in Mountain were Scandinavian as the names of Stromberg, Olson, Anderson, and Jensen would indicate. However, other European countries were also represented in Mountain's early history as the Baldwins came from England and Fred Bartz came from Germany in 1886.
After the forests were no longer able to support the logging industries, new ways of making a living came aboXx A slight depression in the 1920's brought more farmers, by 1926 a local cheese factory had 62 customers. About the same time it also had a broom factory and vats for pickles for the Gillett Pickle Factory. The pickle factory bought beans and pickles from local gardeners tor lit per pound.
The depression of the 1930's brought the CCC camps to the Mountain area. One camp was located at Crooked Lake and another was situated at the present day site of Bowman's gravel pit. The government hired the men, who occupied these camps, to start replanting the pine that had been almost completely cut down. Each camp had about 200 occupants plus the people it took to run the Camp. The CCC Camp men also helped to build roads, but they are mainly responsible for the many beautiful plantations growing in the Mountain area today.
As Mountain "shifted" from a logging community to an area interested in developing farms and businesses, so did its cultural interests. From 1917 to 1927 people in the Mountain area held an annual fair to display the products of the year's efforts in many tasks. The event was named "The Intertownship Fair" and was organized by the people from the townships of Armstrong, Riverview and Doty. Displays were set up in the school house and prizes were offered to the best entry in such areas as education, farm products, domestic accomplishments and art projects.
A few years later additions were put on the the school house on the north and south sides. This is still the same building that remains in use today, except for the all-purpose room which was added in 1961. The building was used for both elementary and high school classes until 1948. After that, students from the Mountain area attended high school in Suring and only grades Kindergarten through grade 8 use the present building.
The saloons in the early legging towns were the main source of relaxation and recreation for the tough, pleasure-hungry loggers. After a log drive was over, the men would come into town to enjoy a break from their hard work.
One of the first saloons in Mountain was named "The Mat Savage Pioneer Saloon". This building stood where Haases Bar is now located and was later torn down.
Each year the fair grew in the kinds of events that were offered. Dinner was served in the school kitchen. Entertainment consisted of speeches by local and county officials. Movies and dances in the evening highlighted the event. In 1925 the fair program advertised music by an orchestra and moving pictures. The 10th anniversary of the fair was held in 1927, but the depression brought an end to the annual gathering.
Mountain also had an experience with the Ku Klux Klan when it was nationally powerful back in the 1920's. In November of 1924 a Klan meeting was held at Mountain with nearly 1000 people in attendance. The gathering took place at the town hall with people attending from the neighboring Marinette, Shawano and Marathon counties.
About 30 or more Klansmen were in attendance, dressed in white robes, but not masked. A 6 o'clock program with singing and prayers, was held in the town hail. During an outdoor program, later in the evening, a fiery cross illuminated the scene. The affair closed with the initiation of 70 or 80 members.
Despite its scant population of 200, Mountain's young men have contributed greatly to protecting our country during wars. During World War II the high school basketball schedule was cancelled because most of its players had enlisted. Mountain and its nearbv areas has given up eight of its sons whose lives were lost in service 10 their country. This tragic total includes Lynn Elliott Dunlap. George B. Jameson, Albert Zitske, Lyle B. Frost, Delbert L. Bartz, George Klover, Richard Sandberg and Kenneth Nelson.
Mountain is now a community of about 50 per cent retired people who either came here long ago and never left or who had been here once and decided to come back. The forests of the area still provide an income for loggers, but Mountain's wooded areas now cater to the tourist and the recreation-minded. It is well-equipped to do so with its green forests and beautiful lakes and streams. As some of the old timers around Mountain say, "Once you've been to Mountain, you always come back..