ESCAPE TO WISCONSIN TOUR 2005
By Keith Gumbinger
On Tuesday, September 13th, 2005, T's from all over the Eastern half of the US gathered at Cedar Valley Conference Center in Kohlsville, WI for our Escape to Wisconsin 2005 Tour. We enjoyed beautiful weather, great people, and wonderful places to see.
Our first day of touring took us to historic Cedarburg where we first visited the Cedar Creek Winery with all of their specialty shops in the complex. After a leisurely lunch, we continued on to see Dave Uiheins' private collection of restored early cars and motorcycles. Check out the pictures--- these cars were great one-of-a-kinds including an extremely rare 1912 Mercer Raceabout! Next, Dave showed us his personal hangout at the restored Concordia Mill originally built in 1853. Have you ever heard of Holley carburetors? Well, Dave has George Holleys' personal car and motorcycle on display in the Mill. Very impressive. Next we went over to Daves Race Car Museum that we had seen last year. It seems we never get tired of seeing his Model T high performance engines on display there, along with significant race cars including an Indy 500 winning car.
Tuesday evenings dinner was kind of a get acquainted time, together with a little humor. It seems that one of the tour participants from Hendersonville, NC had to be encouraged to come on the tour, so we had a few gifts for him. His first gift combined Model T's with his Jewish faith in a unique way. It was a Menorah radiator cap for his T. Not only that, but it was decorated with feathers to acknowledge that he is part Indian. Burt Greenburg was a good sport through all of this and not only was he surprised but very good natured about it too.
On Wednesday, September 14th, we toured to Watertown, WI. On the way, we stopped for a break at a beautiful riverside park in Hustisford. The weather was perfect! After the break, we continued on and visited The Octagon House in Watertown together with the first kindergarten in the USA which is also on the Octagon House grounds. Next was lunch at "The Market" in Watertown. This is a former lumber yard which has been transformed into a unique blend of specialty shops and antique stores set alongside the Rock river. On the way back to Cedar Valley we stopped at Honey Acres and their "Honey of a Museum", where we learned about the history of making honey. That evening, there were more gifts for Burt, and everyone nearly died laughing. And Burt, a true professional, was never at a loss for words.
Thursday we got off to an early start as it was a long drive to Old World Wisconsin. On the way, we had a quick break at Okauchee. Our visit to Old World Wisconsin, the largest museum of its kind in the world dedicated to the history of rural life, had an interesting plus for us. The museum has a '14 T and an early Sears Runabout in their collection, but not on display.
We had made arrangements to see these cars which are located just off the museums grounds. This was an enjoyable "plus" for us since there are no other automotive exhibits at OWW. The mission at OWW is to cover the years 1890 to about 1915. Since up to 1915 covers the early T years, we suggested that they have a Ford type exhibit to go along with the '14 T they already have. The museum rep. said they would like to build a replica Ford garage from about 1915, but that it is a long way in the future due to funding shortages. On the way back to Cedar Valley we toured over some very interesting hills and valleys through the Kettle Moraine area.
Thursday evening we had more fun for Burt and his Indian heritage. On the Cedar Valley grounds are a couple of teepees. We made up a story to get Burt and everyone to ride out in the T's to the teepee area. There Burt was surprised by one of the tour participants dressed as an indian who came out of one of the teepees and crowned Burt as the "chief". A good time was had by all and Burt was almost speechless!!
On Friday, we toured to the Wisconsin Southern Railroad headquarters in Horicon for a behind the scenes tour of their repair facilities. Todays tour was hosted by Adam Doleshal who used to work for this railroad. We were fortunate to have this tour since the public is not normally allowed into this facility. We saw that the sheer size of the buildings needed to repair and maintain railroad locomotives and freight cars make our T's seem very small by comparison.
Lunch was provided at the American Legion in Horicon and after lunch we were allowed to crawl into an M60 tank which is on display in front of the Legion building. This was very interesting as most of us had never been inside of a tank before. On the way back to Cedar Valley we stopped at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States. This refuge is home to many species of birds and wildlife, some of which we saw from the observation platforms.
This was our last day of the tour and we had our wind-up dinner that evening with door prizes given right after the dinner. There were many interesting door prizes and everyone got at least one. Many thanks to our generous friends and vendors for their door prize gifts.
Saturday the tour formally ended with a breakfast. Good-byes were said and everyone got going for the trip back home.
As a rule, most of the T's on the tour ran well, but there were two hard luck stories. Dan Schultz was driving his T to Cedar Valley to start the tour Tuesday morning when his T suddenly made a loud racket and quit. To make a long story short, he busted his crankshaft and his block also. But all was not lost as he came on the tour anyway & rode with Sam Turner and Waldo Emerson in Sam's '23 Touring and had an enjoyable time with them. Thursday morning on the way to Old World Wisconsin, Keith & Carol Gumbingers '26 Roadster Pickup started making a very loud noise and then suddenly locked up. It too busted the crankshaft and destroyed the block. Such is life, and this shows us how fragile T crankshafts can be.
Many thanks to Tour Chairman Jim Hess and Registrar and route co-ordinator Carol Gumbinger who did the bulk of the work in planning and laying out the tour. It should be noted that this was the third year of the "Escape to Wisconsin" tour series and will be the last as no tour is planned for next year.
|Carol |Stevenson and Bert Greenberg
having some fun and laughs
|Max Larson, Carol Stevenson and Carol Gumbinger sharing a laugh with Bert Greenberg||Bert Greenberg admiring the
Menorah given to him
|Dave Uihlein describing the finer points on one of his great cars||Dave Uihleins' restored mill building||'12 Roadster Pickup owned by
Wilbur and Beverly Swearington
|T's at the Octagon House||Spiral staircase at Octagon House||Sam Turner having fun at the Octagon House|
|Early Sears car at Old World
|Stevensons' Paddy Wagon as seen
with era artifacts in the back of
Swearingtons' '12 T Roadster PU
|'14 T Touring owned by Old World