Saturday, September 6, 2014

Kenosha, Wisconsin

It is time to start heading south, it did get a bit cool for us early this morning.  We will be leaving the Lake Geneva area today, and driving into Illinois.  Yesterday, on our way to Kenosha, we stopped at the Jelly Belly Center which is located in Pleasant Prairie.  We took a train tour through the factory which amounted to stops at video stations where the history of the Jelly Belly Candy Co. is told.  We were informed that to see the actual production of the candy we need to visit their company out east.
 One interesting part of the tour was their art gallery which has mosaic artwork done with jelly bellies.  At the end of the tour we were encouraged to visit the sample bar.  They actually have flavors of "barf" and "dirt", "moldy cheese" as well as "peas and carrots".  They will make any flavor requested by the public.
The colorful fountain pictured above can be found on the ground's of Kenosha Public Museum.  Rain storms kept us inside the museum most of the day, and that was not a bad place to be!  In the museum there are wonderful natural history exhibits on the Ice Age, Native Americans of Wisconsin, as well as the Schaefer mammoth of Kenosha County.  In 1830 there were four Indian villages near present day Kenosha.  The main village was called "Kee-neau-sha-kau-ning" or, literally translated, "Long Nose Abiding Place" in Potowatomi.  There was an abundance of pickerel  fish found in the rivers of the area-they have long noses.
Currently there is in the museum the artwork of Peter Bianchi, who worked for National Geographic magazine from 1959-1974.  He is a native son of Kenosha, and died in 2001.  In 2003 his wife donated a selection of thirty paintings and drawings to the museum.  His famous painting of the fossil Zinjathropus entitled "Earliest Man" is in that collection.  Peter Bianchi accompanied Dr.Leaky to Africa in 1959 to illustrate his prehistoric Olduvai Gage discoveries.  Also in the picture above is a medal he sculpted for National Geographic which was awarded to the American Antartic Mountaineer Expedition in 1966-67.
Kenosha is Wisconsin's southernmost Lake Michigan port.  Once the rains stopped I took a brief walk to the harbor and saw this lighthouse, which I later learned was the Kenosha Pierhead Lighthouse.  Established in 1856, it was one of a succession of lighthouses in this location, as structures were either destroyed by natural causes or became obsolete as the pier extended.  In 2008 it was deemed "excess" by the Coast Guard and sold to a local artist.

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