Tag Archives: Community

Airport Park

IMG_9779

The first of Rock Countys Parks I visited this year is Airport Park on the corner of Knilans Rd. and Hwy. 51 south of Janesville. The park is not very big; it’s just about two acres in size. I must say there really isn’t much going on at this park. Dogs are allowed in posted areas but I didn’t see where that was. There are a few picnic tables provided and that is about it as far as amenities go.

airport

There is evidence that at one time there was a pump for water but that is gone. There are no grills, wash rooms, trash cans or playground equipment for children to enjoy. Being two acres though, there is plenty of room to organize games.

IMG_9792

Parking might be an issue if there were several people attending a family event. There isn’t a paved lot, just a circular drive. I suppose if necessary people could park in the grass at the back of the drive.

06airport

The one fun feature of this park, for those that like airplanes, is its proximity to the Rock County Airport. If you know the schedule of planes taking off and landing you can have a wonderful view of that happening from just across the road.

IMG_9778

This park is open for use from 5am to 10pm. As there are no trash containers please take with you all that you brought to the park so that it stays clean for everyone to enjoy.  See you next time for our next Rock County Park!

 

 

Our County Parks

FullSizeRender (54)

There isn’t really a great deal to be said about next stop on my mission to visit each of Rock Counties Parks. I have been to this one several times. This weeks park, Indianford County Park, can be found just east of Fulton and South of Edgerton. Indianford is a small unincorporated community that straddles the Rock River. The park is also small, just a bit over 2 acres, and is split between the east and west banks of the Rock River.

IMG_7205

Each side of the river has some amenities like picnic tables, porta-potties and trash bins. The west side park also has a water pump and I believe I saw a grill. Parking is limited on each side of the river. Parking on the east bank is shared with businesses. There are three restaurant/bars, that when open create competition for parking space.

IMG_7210

Although small, the parks are fairly well-kept. The east bank is higher, it’s bank is steep with many large rocks along the edge that are overgrown with weeds. This makes access to the water a little complicated. Years ago I would bring my young son to this park because he enjoyed climbing on the rocks and playing in the shallow water on this side of the river. The east side also gets more sun as there are fewer trees. The west bank park is nicely shaded and has a low access to the water making canoe and kayak entry to the water possible.

IMG_7217

The highlight of this park is the river and it’s dam. The first dam was built of wood in 1846. This turned what was a shallow stream with a gravel base and large rocks into a river and raised the water level in the lake upstream by three to four feet.

IMG_7212
Someone caught a bike!

When I was there several people were fishing from the banks on both sides of the river. You can catch Walleye, Muskellunge, Large and Small Mouth Bass as well as Northern Pike. The east side park has a sign posted listing size and catch limit regulations. Alcohol is not allowed in the park and dogs are allowed only in posted areas. The park is open from 5am to 10pm.

Have a great day!

Chapter One

The Beginning

The story of a community is not in its buildings, though buildings do have stories to tell. The story of a community is in its people. The brave men and women with a dream that work together to build that dream into a future for themselves and their children for generations to come. The story of Milton begins with a group of men with a dream but in order to tell their story I must first tell another.

That would be the story of a war.

Chief_Black_Hawk3Picture Courtesy of Wikipedia

The Black Hawk war is also the story of a community with a dream for its future. This communities dream came to a halt initially with the Treaty of St. Louis of 1804. The validity of this document and it’s ramifications carried on for 28 years before action was finally taken between Black Hawk and the Americans. There were parties on both sides of this treaty that questioned whether it was valid but nothing was ever done to correct the wrong done to the Sauk and Fox Nations.

This treaty is actually a series of 14 treaties signed between 1804 and 1824. But, it is the original treaty of 1804 that set the groundwork for the Black Hawk War.

Black Hawk tells the story of the incident in his Autobiography written in 1833. A Sauk warrior had killed a white man and was in prison in St. Louis. Four representatives were sent from Saukenuk, their village, to St. Louis to negotiate his release. The representatives were Quashquame, Pohespaho, Ouchequaka and Hashequarhiqua. When this party returned from St. Louis without their friend this is what they said:

“On our arrival at St. Louis we met our American father [William Henry Harrison] and explained to him our business, urging the release of our friend. The American chief told us he wanted land. We agreed to give him some on the west side of the Mississippi, likewise more on the Illinois side opposite Jefferson. When the business was all arranged we expected to have our friend released to come home with us. About the time we were ready to start our brother was let out of the prison. He started and ran a short distance when he was SHOT DEAD!”

Harrison of course had a slightly different story. In his account he says that the party came to St. Louis to bring the warrior and turn him over to authorities for the murder of the white man, not knowing that President Jefferson had already cleared him because it was an obvious case of self-defense. Harrison said that the prisoner was shot “While trying to escape.”

There were a few issues with the treaty that the Sauk and Fox Nations objected to. The first is that it happened at all. The four Sauk representatives that went to St. Louis were there to negotiate the release of a friend not a treaty. None of these men was authorized to negotiate or sign a treaty. Such a treaty should have had the proper representation of tribal elders and warriors from both the Sauk and Fox  present.

The second issue was that the treaty was specific about taking possession of Villages along the Mississippi and Rock Rivers, which included the ancestral village of the Sauk at Rock Island. The village of Saukenuk was a well established village like any white village with permanent homes, streets and other structures. The residents farmed and fished. There was always plenty for everyone.

The third issue was the amount of land involved. The team sent to negotiate the release of their friend agreed only to a small amount of land on the west and east sides of the Mississippi. The finished treaty took everything from the Fox River in Illinois west to the Mississippi, up into Wisconsin and west from Illinois into Missouri.

800px-Stlouistreatymap1804

 Map courtesy of Wikipedia

The fourth issue was that the treaty allowed the Sauk and Fox tribes to remain on their land until it was sectioned off and sold to white settlers. It would be at that time that they would have to vacate their homes. Prior to the war there were squatters on the land but none had been sectioned or sold to settlers. Black Hawk rejected the treaties authority and was determined to keep his people’s land.

President Jefferson’s Removal act of 1830 only complicated matters further and in the spring of 1832 after returning from the winter hunting grounds and discovering that squatters had taken over Saukenuk. Enough was pretty much enough. Black Hawk did his best to abide by the rules and worked to get the squatters out of his village but after doors kept being closed and being told to get out or else. The or else finally happened.

The war only lasted seven weeks. The native Americans didn’t have a chance as they were vastly outnumbered. The American side had 6000+ militia, 630 actual Army soldiers and 700+ members of Native American tribes not allied with the Sauk and Fox. On Black Hawk’s side there were 1100 people, 600 of which were women, children and men too old to fight.

It wasn’t a war. It was a massacre. But history is written by the victors.