A walkabout is what I call actually getting out in to the thick of it...rooting in the fields and swamps, scouring streets and alleys. This is where it gets fun! Disclaimer here; no, I don't trespass, I don't think, so please don't anyone go out and get run over or arrested and say that nut on the website told me to do it! I always ask permission to be on private land, and just because it might belong to the city and you're a resident, I don't think they want us prowling around all over the place on city-owned property. I learned that once when I was about 9 or 10 or so, and a few of us thought it would cool to cross the RR bridge. Of course the "Pinkerton's" caught us, and told us to go home and tell our Moms because they would check up on it. We did; they didn't. They lied. It worked.
-BREWERY FOOTINGS, 4/7/01, 5/2/01: See separate section BEVERAGE MANUFACTURE for information on what may be the discovery of the site.
-CLAY PIT: Planned.
-Ravine Creek, fall of 1999: TBA
-Slaughter House Creek (Little Buffalo Creek), fall of 2000: TBA
-SKI JUMP FOOTINGS, found 4-7-01:
On a search for the brewery footings, I believe I found the footings from the ski jump. They could also be pilings from some power line poles, but I doubt it. Much farther north from the new parking area on the south end of Boom Lake than I thought them to be, they are a good block north of that low ground, yet typically at the highest point in the area. There are at least 12 huge concrete footings with 4 X 6" steel angle irons cut off flush. One is at the very top of the hill, and 2 sets are going down the hill. If this is the location, one must have landed on a hill of about 45 degees, and ended up on the lake itself! The photos I have do litle to give clues as to its whereabouts except "Boom Lake".
-STEAMBOAT LANDING, found 2006:
Found winter of 2006, before the first snow, when the river was extremely low. I walked the river's edge well below OHWM (ordinary high water mark), with from 3-30' of river bed to walk on. I did the walkabout in 4 sections, in nonsensical order but, went from the south edge of the former waste treatment plant to the paper mill. This walk was done on the east side of the river only. The banks are too high and there's too many homesites on the west side. Not once did I have to hop up on the high bank for this walk!
1) from Boom Lake to the RR Bridge: This run was a lesson in the gang-style grafitti under the College Bridge.
It was also the first time I've been able to look under the river-to-lake culvert and see thet other side due to low water levels. I noticed that there is a flow gate on the lake side, as a slotted board/grate holder. I suppose this could keep the lake from filling or the reverse, or keep fish in as if used as a rearing pond at some past time, or out. This is where I also found what I believe to be the site of the Steamboat Landing, as shown on the 1874 map. One can follow Pine Street as if it went through the high school, make a mark and go west to the river just as the map shows, and right at that spot are several pylons out in the river, about a foot out of the water. Only this low water situation would expose these. By spring 2007 there was no evidence of them, not even a swirling eddy. They are roughly across from the football field bleachers, just 10-15' south of the city's 8' round concrete storm water gate valve, which is only a few feet from the walking path.
2) from the former waste treatment plant to Boom Lake: the bank was more abrupt south of the plant and I was unable to much past it on the river bed. From there to the lake however was hard walking due to tons of broken granite put there at some time apparently to slow erosion of the bank from wrecking the stone fence that follows the road to the plant gates. This stone fence must have been repaired in about 2005. there is also a stone culvert flange between College Drive and the lake culvert, but only on the river side, not the lake side, nor is there any culvert visible on the lake side. I have no clue what this was for. There are some large pipes coming out of the ground there however...???
3) from the RR bridge to the Washington St. bridge: Here AI found a culver flange, or spillway, just south of the WS Bridge, that was quite major in construction. I must have been a major spillway for the streets at the time. There was a dead horse carcass or what was left of it up on the water's edge.
4) from the Washington St. Bridge to the paper mill: Here I found more inventive grafitti on the bridge's underbelly an pillars, and some creepy seedy type folks. They probably thought that of me. Nuff said.
-PUMP HOUSE (built 1882), found winter, 2006:
describes the location of this as "a small pump-house on the big river flat. This stood on the west side of what would be Seventh Street if extended north to the river..." I used to play down here for hours a day as a kid and never stumbled upon it. For the last few years I have been actively searching for it based on the description aboove, to no avail. Then in the winter of 2006 on that unusually low water year, I was walking upstream and spotted a brick half submerged, about 4' out in the water, but this year maybe 20' out from OHWM (Ordinary High Water Mark). The river is very shallow here. I thought it was a strange place for a brick indeed, so I walked with it at a perpendicular line to the river, heading south, and on the OHWM up on the top of the 2' high bank saw an iron stake in the ground, flattened out from pounding, and quite large in diameter, about 2". From there I kept the same direction and 40' later there it was. The brick matched those that remain of the foundation of a building, which appears to be the pump house. You can see the footings, a 10' round cistern, and several 6' well pipes sticking out of the ground and concrete floors. The outline of the foundation is clearly visible, and I will on my next visit measure it and try to find a city drawing of it from the original plans, if they exist, perhaps on an old fire map.
It's likely the City has a handle on this location and could have led me to it, but this was more fun. It turns out to be just 50' from the main trail/hogsback that I traversed a hundred times as a kid, just 60' from a tree I carved up with my new machete when I was 10 or so. I just cannot believe we never found it before! It is in an unusually thick part of the woods, and diffucult to get to, and on a very definite high spot in the area. I do have a photo of this structure. To date/2008 this has been my most exiting find!
-STEAM-GENERATOR PLANT, still looking:
B75 describes the location of this as being to the east of the Pump House above, on the east side of the imaginary 7th St. I have searched for this hours on end and can find nothing; no footings, bricks, iron pipes or guy wires or poles, or even beer bottles! In fact, this side of the hogsback is much lower that the west side, and there is a flowage ditch or stream-bed running alongside the hogsback, then floodplain from there east. The only high spot is right on the river bank, and when flooded would be an island, or at the end of the hogsback itself, making the description inaccurate, which is unlikely. I need to get a metal detector I guess and search for debris. I have never found a photo of this structure.
-WELL HEAD, 4-7-01, still looking:
This should be located where the brewery building itself was, but could be some distance away I suppose, and pumped underground. There is a standpipe that looks like a modern plastic well casing, but it could also be one of those pollution test-wells. Perhaps someone from the city water dept. can help on this. The city used this well as it's main sourse of supply for its pumpers before the water tower was built. I wonder if the city later bought the premisis after the brewery closed (see BEVERAGE MANUFACTURE).