Found: Winnebago Couple, Wisconsin Dells, WI

Found: An attractive Winnebago couple do not seem to notice our sight-seeing boats pass along the beautiful shores of the Wisconsin River at the Dells Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. D133 Photo by John A. Trumble. Published by DELLS PHOTO SERVICE, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Sun Johnson Printing Inc. Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Circa 1970s.
Found: Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Along the shores of the Wisconsin River there are 15 miles of colorful rock formations. The soft sandstone has been worn into many unusual shapes  by the weather.  D197 Photo by John A. Trumble. Published by DELLS PHOTO SERVICE, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Circa 1970s.
Found; THE SUGAR BOWL. A large steel passenger boat going through the narrow channel that separates the rock island from the mainland. In the ""Lower Dells" of the Wisconsin River. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. D127 Photo by John A. Trumble. Published by DELLS PHOTO SERVICE, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Sun Johnson Printing Inc. Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Circa 1970s.
Found: Dancing Waters. The Fabulous and Amazing DANCING WATERS. As Featured at Tommy Bartlett's Water Thrill Show. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. D200 Photo by John A. Trumble. Published by DELLS PHOTO SERVICE, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Circa 1970s.
Like so many pre-Internet era professional photographers, precious little is known about John A. Trumble whose theatrical color photographs document Wisconsin Dells on postcards. Decades after H. H. Bennett's romantic approach to capturing the Dells, Trumble's carefully crafted photographs  used male and female models in "Indian" or touristy shorts outfits to accent rock formations and waterways circa 1970s. His colorful geometric Dancing Waters at Tommy Bartlett's Water Thrill Show postcard indicates a departure from earlier landscape adulation thus paving the way for the "Waterpark Capital of the World®" version of the Dells of today.



Harvestore (Spirit of America), Forest Junction, WI

Harvestore (Spirit of America), County K near Forest Junction, Wisconsin (2.15.2014)
© J. Shimon & J. Lindemann
A direct reference to the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the "Spirit of America" catchphrase was baked into the enameled metal of some Harvestore silos. Many consumer products, including the Spirit of America Chevrolet, expressed patriotism in preparation for the US Bicentennial celebration. The blue Harvestore was the ultimate though towering as they did above the American rural landscape.


Found: Stand Rock, Wisconsin Dells, WI

STAND ROCK is the most curious and wonderful formation in all the region.
It is a huge table supported by a single water-torn rather
irregular shaped column of rock, about 46 feet high.
The top is a great sandstone slab some 18x24 feet in area
and practically level. The is 5-1/2 feet from the main cliff.
Copyright by H. H. Bennett Studio, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
"C.T. Art Colortone,"
Made only by Curt Teich & Co. Inc. Chicago, U.S.A. Circa 1940.
Found: Lone Rock, Dells of he Wisconsin River, Kilbourn, Wis. Published by W.S. Blatchley Kilbourn, Wis.
At first it was all about the rocks and the stunning sandstone land forms etched by the water in the driftless area of Wisconsin. The place was eventually named Kilbourn City after its founder, a land surveyor named Byron Kilbourn. Photographer H.H. Bennett was so inspired by this landscape on the Wisconsin River, that he began making photographic views to sell at the new railroad stations to entice people to visit. He invented an instantaneous shutter to capture his son jumping from the cliff to stand rock and sold Ho Chunk artifacts from his studio. So successful was his venture making postcards and 3-D stereoscope cards that Kilbourn City became a bustling destination. The town name changed to Wisconsin Dells in 1931 to more clearly identify it in the public mind with the landscape. Decades later, "the Dells" reinvented itself as "the water park capital of the world." Its theme parks often overwhelming the senses to such a degree that visitors can miss the landscape that started it all.


Harvestore Dealership Sign, New Holstein, WI

Former Harvestore Dealership Sign (Lakeside), Hayton Road near New Holstein, Wisconsin (2.21.2014)
© J. Shimon & J. Lindemann

The American Revolution Commission, established in 1966, called on all people and communities across the country to do something to celebrate the US Bicentennial in 1976. Harvestore contributed to the "spirit" by adding US flags to their structures** which towered over the rural landscape in increasing numbers. After Vietnam and Nixon's resignation, the Bicentennial inspired nostalgia, patriotism, and "looking to the future with hope" as Nixon himself proclaimed in a speech (see below clip) years before Watergate. Decades later we found this Harvestore still decorated with the flag while being repurposed as a sign for a rural contracting company.

**Rural legend had it that the flag on Harvestores signified it was paid for. A reliable source claims that in fact the flags were Harvestore's contribution to the Bicentennial celebration.


Found: View from Memorial Bridge, Appleton, WI

Found: View taken from Memorial Bridge across the Fox River at Appleton, Wisconsin.
Photo & Published by G. R. Brown Co., Rt. 5, Eau Claire, WI  54703-9990. Circa 1980s.
Found: Three States View, Iowa-Illinois, Wisconsin, from Eagle Point Park, Dubuque.
Published by Buettell Brothers Company, Dubuque, Iowa. Circa 1930s.
These views of rivers are "taken" from built structures revealing scenes of contrast. On the one hand, the river flowing through the landscape and on the other the buildings, docks, and gateways enabling human access.


Harvestores/Lake Michigan, Cleveland, WI

Harvestores, Lakshore Drive along Lake Michigan, near Cleveland, Wisconsin (2.21.2014)
 © J. Shimon & J. Lindemann

The iconic blue Harvestore® silo or "structure" was the ultimate vertical vessel design for fermented silage (animal feed). Made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by A.O. Smith as an extension of its glass-fused-to-steel technology first used in hot water heaters and beer brewing tanks, the Harvestore became a symbol of progressive, technology-savvy farm practices. From 1949 until 1984, Harvestores were going up all over Wisconsin and other places in North America--then sales bottomed-out due to an economic downturn. More than 75,000 Harvestores were sold in that time.  A.O. Smith sold Harvestore in January 2001 after various consolidation efforts. Throughout the 1970s though, farmers took on debt to erect the once prestigious silos. By the 21st century, feed storage went horizontal to ag-bags and covered piles preferred by industrial-sized dairy operations. Mechanical problems with the Harvestore bottom unloader plagued farmers and Harvestore. Slowly, the structures transgressed from state-of-the-art to relic. You still see them glinting on the horizon throughout Wisconsin though with fewer and fewer being used. Many are being torn down due to safety concerns. In collaboration with Worm Farm Institute/Fermentation Fest/Dtour, parts of a salvaged Harvestore® may rise out of the ashes as a Band Shell in October 2014...


Found: Let's Have a Picnic, Manitowoc, WI

Found: Let's Have a Picnic, Greetings - Manitowoc, Wis.
Published by Wyman Studio, Wausau, Wisconsin,
Mirro-Krome Card by H.S. Crocker Co., Inc. San Francisco 1, Calif. Circa 1960s
Found: First tint of Autumn, Greetings - Appleton, Wis.
Kodachrome by Sid Lane. Published by Wyman Photo Center Wausau, Wis. Dextone.
Made Direct From Kodachrome and Ansco Color by Dexter Press,  Inc. West Nyack, NY. Circa 1960s.
These watery views could be anywhere in Wisconsin, though are given a location (Manitowoc or Appleton) via  a caption that reads like a poetic turn of phrase. There are few visual cues whether the bodies of water depicted are lakes or rivers in Central Wisconsin or Eastern Wisconsin. The captions suggest time. "Let's Have a Picnic" reads as a summery message to accompany an isolated maiden leaning against a birch tree, back to the scenic view, pondering an empty picnic table on a beautiful sunny day. The surface of the Mirro-Krome "photochrome" shows delicate crackles on its once perfect "high-gloss" varnished surface imparting an eerie quality. "First tint of Autmn" seems a melancholy text accompanying an unpeopled shore sprinkled with a few autumn leaves with a vast expanse of icy blue water ahead in the fading light of day. "Greetings."


Lake Michigan Froze, Manitowoc, WI

Lake Michigan, Manitowoc, Wisconsin (2.15.2014)
© J. Shimon & J. Lindemann

The frigid cold seemed unrelenting in the early part of 2014. The reportage not long after this phtograph was made that Lake Michigan was more than 90% frozen (the average is 40%) according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration proved it was so.


Found: Lake Nokomis, Tomahawk, WI

Found: Lake Nokomis. Air View of Lake Nokomis, Tomahawk, Wisconsin.
Antigo Card Service, 935 Pine Street, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409. Circa 1980s.

Found: Lake Thompson, Rhinelander, Wisconsin.
Antigo Card Service, 935 Pine Street, Antigo, Wisconsin 54409. Circa 1980s.
The unpeopled "air views" of lakes distributed by Antigo Card Service provide an out of body experience of verdant spaces and crystal clear blue lakes that become blue and green abstractions. It's as if it is the heavenly view without the speed boats, fishing rigs, dockside dining establishments, lake homes, and mosquitoes.


Kohler Residency, Summer 2013

Shimon & Lindemann Poplar Structure with Rambler,
John Michael Kohler Arts Center Garden & Parking Lot, Sheboygan, Wisconsin (6.29.2013)
© J. Shimon & J. Lindemann

We gave a series of workshops and lectures during the year leading up to our exhibition, We Go From Where We Know, at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center. The workshops were part of the Connecting Communities Program and helped us meet people from around the state. In Sheboygan, we built a structure out of poplar trees harvested on our farm and installed in the Kohler Arts Center garden to serve a a trellis for beans, squash, morning glories, corn, and sunflowers we planted with friends old and new.  We talked with people about postcard imagery of Wisconsin as we all altered "found" postcards of the state. At the Wisconsin Concrete Park in Phillips, Wisconsin we all made small figural sculptures inspired by Fred Smith's glittery creations using Sculpey clay. Visitors to the ARTery continued this work by crafting gem encrusted tear drops and concrete corn cobs that became part of our "Wisconsin Reliquary" and "Nash Corn Crib" installations.

Timber Inn Motel Room, Highway 13, Phillips, Wisconsin (7.10.2013)
© J. Shimon & J. Lindemann


Found: River Road, Near La Crosse, WI

Found: River Road, Near La Crosse, Wis. 
From La Crosse to Prairie du Chien the motorist encounters highways of scenic grandeur,
passing in the shadow of river bluffs, then the broad majestic Mississippi, and again
beautiful vistas of the most interesting countryside.
Published by Levy's News Agency, La Crosse, Wis. Circa 1938.
The undulating landscape of Wisconsin grows more dramatic near the Mississippi River. The Great River Road follows the River over a stretch of 3,000 miles from Northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. In Wisconsin, there are remnants of native cultures, old settlements and opportunities to watch birds, experience agritourism, and take in the bluffs and hills.


House, Bear Creek, WI

House/One Way, Highway 45 and 22 and 76, Bear Creek, Wisconsin (7.10.2013)
© J. Shimon & J. Lindemann

Driving by, we wonder what goes on inside of this house at the cross roads.


Found: Lawe Street Hill to Fox River, Appleton, WI

Found: Lawe Street Hill to Fox River, Appleton, Wis.
 E.C. Kropp Co., Milwaukee. Made exp. for Conkey & Co.  Pub. Circa 1907. Written in fountain pen on back:
"Hello Tarmer: How goes it. Got here all in good order bag and baggage. Many of the old students are not coming back
but we seem to be getting lots of fresh ones. Met one bro this morning. Ever, Oscar."
Postmarked Appleton, September 9, 1907.
Found: New Concrete Bridge, Juneau Park, Milwaukee, Wis.
This massive concrete bridge length of span 217 feet with 81 feet over the tracks of the
Chicago &  Northwestern Railway, leads to a beautiful six-mile drive along the lakeshore from
downtown Milwaukee through Juneau and Lake Parks to East Kenwood Boulevard.
Made in U.S.A. by E. C. Kropp Co, Milwaukee, Wis. Circa 1933. Written on back in ball point pen:
"Lake Michigan walked all around here Frank & I were here September 24, 1933, Milwaukee, Wis."
Found: Crossing the John A. Blatnik Bridge
 Crossing the John A. Blatnik Bridge linking Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin.
Westerly Ports of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
 © Photo and Pub. by Gallagher's Studio of  Photography, 920 E. 1st Street, Duluth, Minn. circa 1961/1971.
According to these postcards, bridges in Wisconsin evolved from quaint stone walkways for ladies with bustles to passages over railroad tracks to massive concrete structures linked to the new war friendly Interstate system. Perfect for popular Elvis-like pink Caddys to zoom along high above the waterway, the concrete bridge was named for Minnesota Congressman John Blatnik in 1971. Blatnik supported St. Lawrence Seaway development and was among those in congress who did not support the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Mid-State Body Shop, Abbotsford, WI

Mid-State Body Shop, Highway 13, Abbotsford, Wisconsin (7.10.2013)
© J. Shimon & J. Lindemann
Truck dealers and auto body shops have FaceBook pages. Claimed to be one of the biggest body shops in the Midwest, Mid-State's website says "no job is to (sic) big or small" specializing in bus and truck collisions.  It's located at the cross roads of highway 29 and 13.


Found: Jason Downer Commons, Appleton, WI

Jason Downer Commons houses Lawrence University's food preparation facilities, dining rooms and the
Alice G. Chapman Teakwood Room. The Teakwood Room was moved from Milwaukee-Downer College
after the merger of Milwaukee-Downer and Lawrence in 1964 to form Lawrence University.
Photo by Lembcke's Natural Photography Dist., 613 N. Tonka St., Appleton, Wisc. 54911.
 Curteichcolor® 3-D Natural Color Reproduction (Reg. U.S. A. Pat. Off.). Circa 1968.
Completed in 1968, Jason Downer Commons at Lawrence University memorialized the merging of colleges and continued growth and progress. This new food preparation facility could feed 600 students who walked through three various Fordist military industrial complex food lines. Students meals had been previously prepared and served in individual houses and dormitories--likely considered inefficient by the space-age 1960s. Within 40 years, the once state-of-the art food production core in the basement was obsolete. The space was repurposed in 2013 as the Hurvis Film Studies Center with various administrative offices on the upper floors.