The Story of the Woodlanders Gathering

garden gate-2

Learn to dye silk scarves with Wisconsin Gardener Shelly Ryan

Learn to dye silk scarves with Wisconsin Gardener Shelly Ryan

This weekend is the 12th Woodlanders Gathering at Shake Rag Alley.  If you haven’t already signed up there are still spaces available.  Register with a friend, or a family member.  It’s not unusual to see fathers and sons, mothers and daughters —  even husbands and wives -working side by side, making furniture or art that will last a lifetime – or longer.

This annual event has grown into an extravaganza with over 50 “make and take” workshops and communal, arts-related activities. To understand the magnitude of the classes being offered, click on the links for classes offered each day:

Thursday’s Classes

Friday Classes

Saturday Classes

Sunday Classes

Mike Table

* * *

Had it not been for Woodlanders, there’s a possibility that Shake Rag Alley would not exist as we know it today.

In 1970, Al and Eadie Felly purchased the series of historic structures along the Federal Spring and transformed it into Shake Rag Alley.  After the Felly’s sold the property in 1990, it passed through several hands and was home to many different businesses.  In 2001 Glen and Harriet Ridnour purchased the property, ran a tea house in the cafe and hosted antique shows and other community events such as the Woodlanders.

JudySandy.webIn 2004, in the midst of the 3rd Woodlanders Gathering organized by Sandy Scott and Judy Sutcliffe, owners of the Longbranch Gallery – (pictured at right) they learned not only that Shake Rag was for sale, but that it might be sold to someone who would close it to the public.  Concerned that there would be no place for future Woodlanders, they acted quickly , organized a small, but determined group, raised money for a down payment and created the not-for-profit entity.  Initially, it was called the “Mineral Point Living Arts Center” but everyone just called it Shake Rag Alley. Within two weeks, an after school arts program for local students was formed with Di Sterba at the helm, and Shake Rag Alley was off and running.

Needless to say, the Woodlanders Gathering – now one of many themed weekends at Shake Rag – holds a special place in the hearts of Shake Raggers. It’s a wonderful experience you don’t want to miss  Contact Shake Rag Alley –, 608-987-3292 – for more information.

-Contributed by the Hays

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