Did you ever hold a sheet of fine quality linen stationery or typing paper in your hand, NOTICE a watermark that said "Nekoosa", and wonder what in the WORLD is a "Nekoosa!?!"
Well, wonder no more for I'm about to 'splain it all to you.
First of all, a watermark is an identifying mark as important to paper as a manufacturer's mark is to collectible fine china. Since paper is made using wood pulp and water, a watermark is so called because it is formed into the paper by water at a certain stage of the manufacture of the paper.
One very fine brand of stationery grade (weight) paper is made in a tiny Wisconsin River town named Nekoosa, and is watermarked as such. Nekoosa just happens to be a tiny berg not much more than a stone's throw from here.
Even though the manufacture of fine papers is the economical underpinning of little Nekoosa, there is MORE than paper in the town.
Driving through Nekoosa the other day, I couldn't help but notice the gorgeous mosaic murals that adorn the sides of several of the prominent buildings in the town.
Upon questioning, I learned that these murals were truly a community project of love spearheaded by the Nekoosa High School art teacher, Laurie Tenpas. Nekoosa residents, students grades K-12, business people, and volunteers created them over a space of several years.
The murals themselves depict things which make Nekoosa, well which make Nekoosa Nekoosa.
The Wisconsin river runs through the first one - - - Nekoosa being on the banks of that river and the word "Nekoosa" itself coming from the Ho-Chunk Native American word meaning "swiftwater."
The paper mill, cranberries, Walleye, Sand Hill Cranes, and other central Wisconsin specialities fill up the two murals.
Really wonderful "stuff" those murals!
Of course Fisherhubby was FAR more excited to learn that Nekoosa hosts a Walleye Contest in March and April than he was about either the fine papers OR the gorgeous murals.
To each his own, I always say.
And when I pan out a bit with my camera, you can see that we are STILL working on melting away our snow here in Central Wisconsin. The calendar MAY say spring - - - but it will take more than the calendar to warm us up around here.
If you look closely, you will see we are STILL forming rivulets of melt-off in our parking lots.
Actually, a bit of a SLOW warm up is a good thing because if ALL that snow melts TOO quickly and IF much rain falls during the melting process it can cause flooding of rivers and streams.
Some rivers are reaching flood stage already.
We are fortunate in that while the Wisconsin DOES run through our town, it is not out of its banks and we live far enough away from those banks that even should they flood, we will be in no immediate danger of an unexpected "bath."
Thanks for your visit to my little corner of the world today.
(Photo Credit: The Nekoosa watermark image is from thepapermillstore.com)
Monday, March 21, 2011
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These murals are outstanding, and my favorite is the dancing cranes. Thanks for sharing them.
I really dig those murals. Also I think Nekoosa is a fun word to say. haha
That was interesting. You never know what you may find in a small town. We have an small town called Chemainus on Vancouver Island that is covered in murals. The visitors love it.
I cannot believe it is stil that cold there, Keetha. Thanks for this very informative post. The mosaic artwork is so pretty...Christine
Those murals are pretty neat! We have some in our smalltown too that were done 2 years ago. I'm loving that giant fish, my men would love that...and the walleye days too:)Gooooood eatin!!
What a sweet trip to an interesting town! Never heard of Nekoosa! Love the murals! Have a blessed day! HUGS!
What an interesting town! And what beautiful murals.
Thanks for the tour. I always look at mural detail to read what the story is being told.
In addition to being such a pretty town, it's so much fun to say. Nekoosa!
Love the murals. Looks like a nice town.
Oh, my...haven't lived in Wisconsin for almost 21 years and of course I know what Nekoosa is....and Paper Valley, and Mosinee(Phew) and all the rest of the paper industry up in the great state of Wis.....and the cheese is great as well....Love those cheese curds....Well, when the snow is gone I will come up to Winneconne and go to Zittow and get some...Yummy!!
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