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Kiva Loan for Conway Cottage

May 2, 2020

Hello Friends!

We are happy to announce that our company, Juliart Ventures, LLC is crowdfunding a 0% interest loan on Kiva. Kiva is the first and largest micro-lending service in the world that has distributed $1 billion over 10 years, in 86 different countries, among 1.5 million small businesses.

We are NOT asking for donations, we are asking you to invest in our business.   This is a loan that will be paid back in installments, once we reach our public fundraising goal.

We are  currently in a public fundraising period, during which we have 45 days to reach our goal of $9000,  Anyone can lend to us using the Kiva lending platform. The funds from this loan will go towards fixing the Conway Cottages’ front porch and replacing the sinking rear deck. 

 If you are able, you can lend as little as $25 (which you will get back!) so that we can progress to the public fundraising period.  If you would like to support us, please follow this link to our profile page  https://www.kiva.org/lend/1962284 . This is the only way your loan will be tracked as coming through us.   We are honestly so grateful for your support!

 Thank you!

 

Julie Hearley & Stuart Koehler, Innkeepers

Ringling House Bed & Breakfast

ringlinghousebnb@gmail.com

608-356-4229

Ringlinghousebnb.com

Safer at Home Order in Wisconsin for COVID-19

Governor Tony Evers has called upon all of us to take all possible actions to reduce further spread of COVID-19 to save lives. Therefore, the state of Wisconsin has issued a Safer at Home order that prohibits all nonessential travel.  The order is effective at 8 am on Weds., March 25, 2020 and will remain in effect until 8 am, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued.   I’ve added a copy of what constitutes essential travel above, directly from the emergency order #12.   Any violation of this law can result in a $250.00 fine and/or 30 days in prison for those found in violation.

However, for those of you that have essential travel, we are here to be able to support you in this difficult time.   We are licensed, inspected and insured and use the utmost of safety and precautions and adhere to all the required guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Please see a previous blog page for more information on the precautions we are taking:  COVID-19 Info

Our dedication to cleanliness and  hospitality is our commitment to you. Our guests are like family.  So if you must travel, our inn may be the right spot for you.

We welcome you to also explore our website, for your future travel planning, as we all look forward to resuming our normal lives.

We sincerely hope that you and your family and friends are safe and well during these challenging times.

 

 

The “Carnival of Horrors” Haunted House Fundraiser

Halloween spirit alive at Ringling House Bed &Breakfast’s “Carnival of Horrors” haunted house.

What better way to scare up money for a great cause than to host a haunted house?
Stuart Koehler and Julie Hearley and a committee of volunteers are, for the second consecutive fall, creating a haunted house in a carriage house behind Ringling House Bed & Breakfast. Their goal isn’t to conjure Ringling family ghosts, but to raise money for improvements to the historic property.
Last year a nonprofit organization, Friends of the Charles and Henry Ringling Estate, was formed to preserve the buildings and grounds once owned by the brothers of circus fame. The one-acre estate includes the main house, which the couple operates as a six-room bed-and-breakfast; the carriage house; a cottage; and a barn. The 1901 Colonial Revival home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“We think – we hope – the community wants this property to stay intact,” Stuart said.
Julie said the nonprofit will remain in place even if the property changes hands someday. “This is designed to protect these buildings as long as they’re around,” she said.
The couple plans to transform the carriage house in an event venue. They foresee hosting theatrical performances and other events attracting groups of 100 to 200 people. “There aren’t a lot of places in Baraboo for those kinds of events,” Stuart said.
Money generated through the Carnival of Horrors haunted house will support that project. Setup work began last month, with the team adding to the maze of horrors it set up last year. Julie said the team needs volunteers to help set up the haunted house and operate it. A crew of 15 is needed to sell tickets, provide security and act as ghouls within the indoor-outdoor haunted house.
Also needed this year are sponsors. The Friends of the Charles and Henry Ringling Estate group is offering sponsorships ranging in cost from $40 to $1,000 in exchange for tickets and prominently displayed gravestones bearing donors’ names. Donors will be invited to a VIP event at Ringling House, featuring personalities from the “Bordello of Horror” television show. Rachel Frank will offer demonstrations of horror-themed makeup and fashion. To volunteer or secure a sponsorship, send email to ringlingfriends@gmail.com.
The VIP event isn’t the only new feature this year. The haunted house is adding matinees for kids, who figure not to get as frightened in the daylight. Carnival of Horrors will be open Fridays and Saturdays starting October 11 from 7-10 p.m. During the final week of October, it will be open Thursday through Sunday, featuring $5 matinees for kids that Friday and Sunday from 2-4 p.m. (Otherwise, the haunted house isn’t recommended for youths under 10). Admission will cost $15 at the door, but tickets can be had in advance for $10 at https://ringlinghousebnb.com/event/, at the Al. Ringling Theatre and at Con Amici Wine Bar,  starting Friday, September 27th.
Last year the haunted house attracted 700 people. This year’s goal is 1,000. Halloween fans came from across the state last year. “That’s a lot of people who probably wouldn’t have come to town otherwise,” Stuart said.

Hop Growing in Sauk County

Did you know that Wisconsin’s proud brewing traditions were at one time centered here in Sauk County Wisconsin?

The conditions of soil and climate were found to be well adapted to the growing and curing of an excellent quality of hops, and Sauk County soon was among the leading counties of the West in acreage and production.

Hop Farm in Sauk Co

Hop farm in Sauk County

Pioneers in the industry had demonstrated that hops could be raised at a profit, and when prices suddenly went up, there was a rush into the business In 1866 and 1867, more than sixty per cent of the farmers in the townships of Greenfield, Baraboo, Fairfield, Delton, Dellona, Reedsburg, and Winfield had hop yards, while other townships in the county were extensively engaged in the industry. Many who owned no land rented from two to ten acres, and started to make a fortune.

The sale of hop roots became an important addition to the hop raiser’s revenue, as seed roots were very much in demand.

Competition in buying was intense, and buyers drove through the county bidding on the hop holdings of farmers. When a man had “sold his hops” he was viewed as ready to pay the bills that for months had been accumulating, unpaid.  

Few farmers were really enriched by the cultivation of hops, but, hops made it possible to erect buildings for hop-houses, and, though not well suited to other uses, such as stables or granaries, some still stand as reminders of the days when hop farmers were rich, or thought themselves so.

Disaster came almost as immediately as the craze started. In 1868, when, partly from over production, and partly from destruction of the hops by insects, prices fell markedly. Some were able to sell their crops for what they could get, but many growers held out, hoping for better prices next year. By then, the bottom dropped completely out of the market. 

Hops

Harvested Hops

The “hop-crash” brought widespread disaster. Even the women, who had picked the majority of the hops, were not paid for their hard, back-breaking services. Merchants, blacksmiths, carpenters, doctors, and even lawyers, had charges upon their books that they could not collect. 

 

Due to the honesty, industry, and thrift of the Sauk County farmers of the time, within ten or fifteen years, the “hop-crash” was almost completely overcome, and exists today only in the memory of the older inhabitants of Sauk County.

Taken from “The Hop Days in Sauk County”
By Hon. John M. True
January 25, 1908

Most Famous Ringling Performers Ever?

Most Famous Ringling Performers Ever?

Undoubtedly two of the most famous — and most tragic — circus aerialists, were Lillian Leitzel (1892 – 1931) and Alfredo Codona (1893 – 1937).  One of the rooms at the Ringling House Bed & Breakfast is even named after the couple.

Lillian Lietzel

Lillian Lietzel

 

Leitzel, one of the early stars of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in the 1920s, was best known for a feat called the one-arm plange, or swing-over, in which she would perform a nearly vertical rotation while hanging from a ring by only one arm.

Leitzel grew up amid a well-knownEuropean circus family. Her mother and two aunts travelled throughout Europe with their trapeze act known as the Leamy Ladies; and her uncle, Adolph Pelikan, was a popular circus clown.

 

The Leamy Ladies performed on both sides of the Atlantic, but upon their return to Europe in 1911, Leitzel decided to stay behind. In 1914, Leitzel joined the Ringling Bros. Circus and, within five years, became the undisputed star. While swinging high over their heads, the audience would keep count of her rotations. Her record was 249 revolutions, an incredible feat, considering that each time Leitzel would complete a swing-over, her shoulder became partially dislocated, then snapped back into place.

When not performing, Leitzel had a reputation as a prima donna, unpredictable and demanding, and, was the first circus performer provided her own private Pullman rail car, complete with baby grand piano

Alfredo Cordona

Alfredo Cordona

 

In 1917, the Flying Codonas also joined the Ringling Bros. Circus, where Leitzel was already a star. Alfredo Codona also came from a circus family. His father, Eduardo, owned and operated a small circus in southern Mexico, and several family members performed as aerialists. When Alfredo’s father retired, the Flying Codonas changed their name to the Three Codonas, including Alfredo, Lalo, and their sister, Victoria. Later, when Victoria quit the act, she was replaced by Vera Bruce.

In 1928, Leitzel married Alfredo Codona of the Flying Codonas, a stylish and graceful performer known for his daring triple somersault.

The Three Codonas appeared in a short film titled “Swing High” (1931), which was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Short Subject. Alfredo Codona also performed most of the aerial stunts for the early “Tarzan” films starring Johnny Weissmuller in the early 1930s.

Leitzel and Codona shared similar temperaments, and their tumultuous marriage featured numerous arguments, public shouting matches, breakups and reconciliations. In addition to their combustible personalities, both craved the spotlight and attention they received, and often scheduled performances during their winter breaks from the circus. During one of these performances in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1931, one of the brass connections on Leitzel’s rope broke, and she fell 45 feet onto a concrete floor, suffering severe injuries.

Codona rushed to Copenhagen, but Leitzel insisted that her injuries weren’t serious, so Codona returned to Berlin to finish his engagement.

Two days later, only a few hours after Codona left her side, Lietzel died.

Codona was devastated by Leitzel’s death.

Desperate to find comfort after his loss, Codona married Vera Bruce in September 1932. Alfredo continued to perform his trapeze act, but became increasingly reckless, and was seriously injured in a fall in 1933, ending his career.

Vera Bruce filed for divorce in 1937. While in Bruce’s attorney’s office discussing the divorce proceedings, Codona asked to speak to his wife in private. After the attorney left the room, Codona locked the door, pulled a pistol from his coat pocket, and shot his wife four times, then shot himself once in the head. Codona died instantly, and Bruce died the next day.

So, ends the sad story of Lillian Leitzel and Alfredo Codona ….

Edited from http://www.cemeteryguide.com/codonaleitzel.html

Baraboo Cocoa Crawl 2019

Third Annual Cocoa Crawl 2019

Purchase your $2 tickets to Delectable Drinks and Family Fun!
This is a BRING YOUR OWN MUG EVENT! Or you can purchase a souvenir unbreakable cocoa mug at Becka Kates for $7.95.

Join us at the second annual Baraboo Cocoa Crawl on Saturday, January 26th, 2019 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm! Sample delicious and unique flavors of hot chocolate & other treats at two dozen area businesses – stops will offer hot chocolate OR another sweet treat such as a cookie AND a salty snacks and water to help your palate survive!

$2.00 Admission
Tickets are available for purchase at Bekah Kate’s (Kitchen, Kids and Home) at 117 3rd Street in Downtown Baraboo, and online at https://ringlinghousebnb.com/event/baraboo-cocoa-crawl-2019

On January 25 or January 26, bring your online receipt or ticket to Bekah Kate’s to exchange it for your cocoa stop punch card (required at each stop) and map. Turn your punch card in at the last stop for a chance to win one of two gift baskets, valued at over $100 each, containing items from participating business. A total of 400 tickets are being sold so buy now! 

Stops to be announced shortly!

Sponsored by Downtown Baraboo, Inc., Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce, Ringling House Bed & Breakfast, Bekah Kate’s, ReMax Grand and Gem City Creations.

The Houses that George Built—an Isenberg Retrospect

A few years ago, Margie Isenberg Abel stopped in Baraboo on a trip through Wisconsin, and that trip piqued her interest about her family’s links to Sauk County history. She knew of local kin Jim Isenberg (who is a second cousin), and wanted to learn more. With help from author Jerry Apps, a local Ringling historian, Abel contacted relatives of George Isenberg in Germany. She learned that three of seven Isenberg brothers left the family carpentry business to come to America. Two of the brothers, George and Carl, started Isenberg Brothers in Sauk City before moving to Baraboo. Here they built several landmark structures that, despite being built more than a century ago, remain vibrant institutions.

Early Ringling House 1901

Then about 2 years ago, The Isenberg great-granddaughters returned for a week to Baraboo, intent on researching the indelible imprint the Isenberg buildings left on Baraboo. They came from Kansas and New Hampshire to see the Baraboo Library, the Al. Ringling Mansion, St. John’s Lutheran Church, the Ringling House Bed & Breakfast and the Van Orden Mansion – all built by their Isenberg ancestors.

“They weCarlIsenbergre unbelievable mansions for that time,” said Margie Isenberg Abel, the chief family researcher.

They compared notes with Executive Director Paul Wolter of the Sauk County Historical Society, about the construction company run by their great-grandfather and his brother George.

“They were, bar none, the premier builders of Sauk County,” Wolter said.

 

There were seven sons and three daughters in the Isenberg family. George, being the youngest son, was educated in Germany, and as a youth was apprenticed to the trade of carpenter. In 1885, he immigrated to the United States, and once arriving in Sauk County, he eventually took up residence in Baraboo, where he lived without interruption-although in the interest of his business affairs, he resided for short periods at other places. For three or four years he was employed as a carpenter by his brother Karl, with whom he eventually formed a partnership, and the firm of Isenberg Brothers grew to be one of the leading contracting and building concerns in this part of the state. During this time the brothers erected many of the largest buildings in Baraboo, including all the Ringling buildings, and in 1912 George Isenberg went to Florida, where he erected the winter home for Charles and Edith Ringling.

IsenbergDecendants

 

Margie Isenberg Abel of Kansas, Ann Isenberg of New Hampshire and Carol Isenberg Dillon of Kansas, sitting on the stirs of the Van Orden Mansion, one the homes constructed by Carl and George Isenberg.

 

 

 

Thanks to Ben Bromley of the Baraboo news Republic and the Archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society for Information in the preparation of this piece.

Greenhouse

Greenhouse in Charles Ringling Estate in Baraboo, WI

Greenhouse in Charles Ringling Estate in Baraboo, WI

The Charles Ringling Estate was pretty high tech in it’s time, it was made to be a self sustaining estate.   It had a barn with a chicken coop, carriage house for carriages and horses, an underground cistern system that collected water from the gutters of all the buildings, and a green house.  Now this cistern system fed water to the fire suppression system in the house, the outdoor fountain, the horses in the barn, and the plants in the greenhouse.  Yesterday, as we were cleaning out the greenhouse, we found out how high tech this estate was for its time.  The greenhouse was heated by a radiator system.   Not only was the greenhouse heated, but the tables that held the plants were heated from below so the plants would survive the cold wisconsin winters!   As history buffs, these things just amaze us! Hope you enjoy us sharing this with you!

"Radiant" heated greenhouse tables.

“Radiant” heated greenhouse tables.

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Start of radiator lines inside the Charles Ringling Estates Greenhouse in Baraboo, WI.

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End of radiator lines in the greenhouse

Phox Video

Check out this new video, done by the Grand Marshals of the coming Circus Parade this Saturday in Baraboo:   Baraboo’s own folk music group PHOX!     All video work was done in the Ringling House Bed & Breakfast!

We LOVE the video, very creative!  Thank you PHOX, Jordan Jensen, Zach Johnston, Michael Doyle Olson & Nanci Caflish!

The story of the seven brothers…Ringling History

http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whspress/books/book.asp?book_id=163

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