Shake Rag Alley’s 10th Annual Garden Getaway

Don’t shut off all the lights in Mineral Point! While the whole town will be flocking to the Kohl Center on Saturday afternoon, Mineral Point will still be bustling with folks traveling to town for Shake Rag Alley’s 10th Annual Garden Getaway.

This year’s Garden Getaway features a line-up of 17 hands-on workshops and informative lectures. Here is the schedule:

Saturday Sunday
9–10:30am Growing Berries* 9am–noon Whimsies (Gourd Art)
9am–noon Hypertufa Planter 9am–noon Japanese Style Lantern
9am–noon Glass Garden Gizmos 9am–noon Ikebana Tray
9am–noon Accent Table/Plant Stand
10am–4pm Enchanted Fairy Gardens 1–5pm Color and Coil (on a Gourd)
1–5pm Glass Garden Ornaments 1:30–3pm Beginning Gardening*
1–5pm Kimchi 1:30–3:30pm Felted Soaps
1:30–3pm Sustainable Landscaping* 1:30–4:30pm The Deviled Egg Birdbath
1:30–4:30pm Pebble Mosaic Turtle 1:30–4:30pm Bent Willow Trellis or Gate
1:30–4:30pm Bent Willow Trellis or Gate 3:30–5:30pm Herbal Soaps and Scrubs(note: time has changed)

GG2There are still spaces available in many of the workshops and lectures. If you would like to register, show up on Saturday or Sunday or give us a call 608-987-3292. We are anxious to ring in Spring with this annual gardening event. If you can’t make it to Garden Getaway, be sure to check out our other upcoming workshops this Spring at and Go Pointers!

- Contributed by Megan O’Connell, Executive Director, Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts

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An $11 Play About a $10 House

Edgar Hellum (left) and his partner Robert Neal shortly after their restoration of Pendarvis

Edgar Hellum (left) and his partner Robert Neal shortly after their restoration of Pendarvis

In the midst of the Great Depression, Bob Neal and Edgar Hellum paid $10 for a crumbling stone house on Mineral Point’s Shake Rag Street. They not only managed to restore the building – thus starting a preservation effort in Mineral Point that continues today – but they converted it into a national destination restaurant.

The restaurant closed in 1970, but the impact of these two men continues. Their beautifully restored buildings now comprise “Pendarvis” one of ten Wisconsin Historical Society sites attracting thousands of visitors to Mineral Point every year. The Mineral Point Historical Society they helped establish is still going strong as is the Mineral Point Archives which they had the foresight to create.

In Mineral Point, these men are simply known as “Bob and Edgar.” Now, a wider audience is learning about Bob and Edgar thanks to Rick Kinnebrew and Martha Meyer of Evanston, Illinois.

As newlyweds, Rick and Martha visited Taliesin in Spring Green WI and heard about Frank Lloyd Wright, his adultery and the tragedies that followed. It wasn’t the feel-good love story the honeymooners were looking for. They headed to Mineral Point, toured Pendarvis, and found what they were seeking. They read through Bob and Edgar’s extensive papers at the Mineral Point Archives, researched the two men, and wrote a script based on the Bob and Edgar story.

The result is “Ten Dollar House” a retooled version of “The Bachelors” described as “a play about love and historic preservation” which opens this Friday, March 20th and runs through April 11th at the Broom Street Theatre in Madison.

Some of you may recall the staged reading of Rick and Martha’s clever screenplay “The Bachelors” at the Mineral Point Opera House. The story remains the same, but the name has changed to “Ten Dollar House.” This production was developed in partnership with Pride Films and Plays in Chicago and with Will Fellows, author of A Passion to Preserve It is directed by John Siewert and the cast consists of: Christopher Holland, Andrew Lonsdale, Bob Moore, Wendy Prosise, Donnovan Moen, Vanessa Vesperman

Tickets are $11.00 (just $1 more than Bob and Edgar paid for Pendarvis). For more information or to make reservations contact Broom Street Theater at (608) 244-8338 or go on the Broom Street website.

To keep tabs on the production, follow Ten Dollar House on Facebook.

- Contributed by Don and Lisa Hay

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For The Love of The Team

If you’re visiting Mineral Point on Thursday, don’t be surprised if there’s no one here. The boys basketball team is headed to state for the first time in 41 years. For the last few games, the limited number of available tickets have sold out in less than an hour. Pointer fans in attendance at these games are estimated to be well over 500.  Not bad for a town of 2487.

Luckily, the Kohl Center can accommodate the entire town.

This is the third time in the 100 year history of the WIAA Boys Basketball tournament that MP has made this historic journey to Madison. The first time was the 1934-35 season. The trophy from that year stands proudly in the trophy case as you come into the high school.


Although the “Pride of Mineral Point” (shown below) fell short, they were heartened by the overwhelming community support. Over 500 residents of Mineral Point headed to Madison to cheer on the team as they competed in the State Tournament.


Keep in mind, this was 1935. Getting to Madison from Mineral Point wasn’t as easy as getting on Hwy. 151 and going 65 miles an hour.

Forty years later, at a rally for the 1974 team, Harry Ivey remembered how big the venue seemed to the ’34/’35 Pointers and advised the 1974 team “not to look up” as they enter the floor in Madison.

The 1974 team was big news.  Their berth at the state tournament was reported above the fold in the Wisconsin State Journal.


Two of the loyal fans from ’74, Sandy Weitzel and Sue Gevelinger shared their scrap books with us.


What follows is a small fraction of what they saved.











The photos of Merle Freymiller praying (above) and Sandy Weitzel’s tear-stained face (below), tell the story of the outcome.


Despite the loss, the team returned home to a massive rally, demonstrating that they were “number one where it counted — in the hearts of the Mineral Point and area residents.” The celebration included a conga line of alumni cheerleaders led by Pascalena Dahl, mother of Mineral Point’s current Athletic Director, Vickie Dahl.


Like the two state teams before them, the 2014-15 Pointers have secured a place in history and in the hearts of their legion of fans.  They will long be remembered for coming so far and treating the town to this wonderful ride.


Whether you are new to town, or a life-long resident, come to Madison Thursday night to cheer on the boys.  A big batch of tickets go on sale tomorrow at the high school office. School starts late on Friday, so you can pack up the kids and bring them to the 8:15 pm game.

If we’re loud enough, the Kohl Center won’t seem so large to our small town team. And, if any of the boys happen to look up (contrary to Harry Ivey’s advice) they will see their hometown bursting with pride.

- Contributed by Don and Lisa Hay with a big thanks to Sandy Weitzel and Sue Wheeler Gevelinger (shown below, bottom left) for sharing their memories and their scrapbooks.



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Lind Pavilion Taking Shape

If you have driven past the corner of Hwy. 23 and Commerce you may have noticed the Ken Wallace construction crew working hard at the former Napa Auto parts, now owned by Shake Rag Alley.



I talked with Mike Christensen, Manager of the Longbranch Gallery, and the new President of the Shake Rag Alley Board of Directors, to find out more about the status of this project.

HSB: Tell us what is happening at the Quonset Hut. Over a year ago, we reported on Shake Rag’s acquisition of the Quonset Hut and the effort to raise funds to renovate (see this post from July 2013), but we noticed a lot of activity down there recently. Can you tell us what’s happening?

MC: The truth is that most people don’t know that we’ve been renovating the building on the inside for over a year. Ken Wallace of Mineral Point has been the lead contractor, and his vision and expertise has made this a very pleasant experience for all of us at Shake Rag. When he and his crew took down the south wall this week, everyone noticed! Soon, a new wall will be constructed, and it will have several large windows that will go up almost to the top of the arch of the building. On the inside, a mezzanine is being built for added storage, and sinks and countertops for workshops will be added. An HVAC system and interior lights will be added in the coming weeks. The final completion date is set for later this spring.

HSB: We understand that the Quonset Hut will now be called the Lind Pavilion, can you tell us about John Lind?

MC: Our dear friend and fellow board member, John Lind, passed away early last summer. (Click here to read more about John.) I’ve never met someone as passionate and hardworking as John, and his presence has been greatly missed. When he died, his family approached Shake Rag with an idea that would leave John’s legacy with us forever. They knew how much John loved Shake Rag and what this new building would mean to the future of the organization. The Lind family generously offered to fund the remaining project at the quonset hut. We are naming it the “Lind Pavilion” in honor of John and his family. Everyone at Shake Rag owes the Lind family a huge and heartfelt thank you.

HSB: What are Shake Rag’s plans for the Lind Pavilion?

MC: The Lind Pavilion will provide a spacious setting for our many workshops throughout the year. It will essentially be one large open room with the opportunity to section off the building for multiple workshops at once. With a capacity of 150 people, this space is also ideal for community and private events, such as wedding receptions, family reunions, graduation parties, or birthdays. We’re exploring the possibility of making it available for corporate retreats as well. Our own workshops and events are almost always on weekends, which means the Lind Pavilion and the rest of our beautiful campus is open for rentals whenever it is not in use. Megan O’Connell, our Executive Director, is happy to share more information. She can be reached at Shake Rag’s main office at 987-3292.

In addition to answering our questions, Mike took a few pictures of the work in progress.  Check them out.


We look forward to watching the Lind Pavilion continue to take shape and will report back on its progress.

- Contributed by Lisa and Don Hay

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Regionals Edition


Here’s a gracious and sweet blog by #23 Alec Schmitz. Great photos by Michael Smith, Shannon Mumm and Joëlle Doye capture the excitement of last night’s game.

Originally posted on schmitz | 23:

(…We have a few things to catch up on first though)

Hello everyone! It’s been a pretty busy few weeks for me, and I wasn’t able to write about the past few games! We’ll catch up on some things before we get started.

  • 22-0.. two straight years. We never thought we’d be able to pull off an undefeated season this year. Tougher conference, tougher schedule—it was bound to be more difficult. Plus, two straight years of dominance really takes a lot. We’ve won 48 of our last 49. Shocking to type that. A 97.9% winning percentage! Something to definitely be proud of.
  • Senior night was a few weeks ago and, in honor, i’ll rattle off a few sentences about each senior!


 Photo by Michael J. Smith

  • Taylor Ryman: The guy that keeps us pretty relaxed. Always has a one liner up his sleeve. Loudest laugh on the team. Deadly…

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