Where Some See Ignored #History, #Writers See The Beginnings of New #Fiction.

An Indian Summer gripped Wisconsin for far too long this September. Mosquitos rejoiced, trees clutched their green leaves. It was even hot enough to go to the beach for my mother’s birthday. But no heat wave would thwart me this year. I would have my fall foliage pictures no matter what Mother Nature said, dammit!

So when Bo suggested getting one more weekend at the family cabin up north, I gave an emphatic “YES!” Trees galore, beautiful lake, a well-timed cold-snap. Awesome, right?


Just look at that gorgeous blue water. Surrounded by green leaves. Grumble grumble.

But there was no denying the joy of a lakeshore littered by wee rocks. Bo and Blondie worked on skipping stones. Biff and Bash enjoyed their “fireworks”–aka, throwing clumps of sand into the air over the water.

Bo knew I was disappointed. “Did you want take pictures of the fish hatchery for your blog?”

(Insert irritated glare here.) “No.”

The weekend over, we stopped at a nearby town for gas, coffee, and a playground before heading home. We passed something we pass so often when visiting this town, and an idea hit me:

“Can you handle the kids at the park for a little while?”

“I guess. What’s up?”

“I want to take some pictures.”

“Of what?”


Many immigrants of German descent came to Wisconsin, which is why this state had such a large number of breweries for a while. Unlike the others, however, the Tiger Brewery has never been torn down, even though it’s been out of use since the 1930s.



It’s not for public entry. It’s not a museum. It’s just…a monument? That requires power lines, and blinds in the windows?


I take care with my camera when I near the occupied house next to the brewery. Perhaps they’re the caretakers, or neighbors who loathe snoopers.

But I can’t help but wonder about this place. It’s not falling apart, it’s not technically in use. In this town, it doesn’t seem to be anything. Why leave it alone? Why not enter it, and invite others to do the same? What’s in there people can’t look at? What’s hiding in there? What is this town protecting? Even the apples hang forgotten, rotten, from its trees.


One window board upon the tower flaps open. Bet there’s a stairwell in there to the top, and even to the underground. Deep, deep into the earth, beneath the river running behind this ignored place, deeper still where another forgotten world awaits, where eyes blink in darkness and long nails dig through stone, hunting…


Perhaps your own town has a similar street, where life hums at sunrise and sunset, but is otherwise left to a breezy quiet. What hides among the normal? What is the price this world pays to ignore its presence? What…where…when…who…why, why, why….These questions fly by us as leaves caught up in the wind.

Give chase, and don’t look back.

42 thoughts on “Where Some See Ignored #History, #Writers See The Beginnings of New #Fiction.

    • Oooo, yes! And each ghost would have his own little story to share to outdo the others–rather like the, oh, what were they called, the Yorkshire Men sketch from Monty Python.
      Already, we have the makings of a little anthology… πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oooooh man…it’d be all town-wide panic, and they’re just knocking on an antique store window saying, “Look, we just want a bottle opener. Stop screaming! Gah, don’t throw that wheelbarrow through the window at me, that’s so uncivil of a neighbor.”


  1. I love this! My mind works the same way and many around me don’t get in to all the possibilities like I do. This made me think of a post I did a couple of years ago where I discovered an abandoned house in a touristy coastal town. I can’t get it out of my head. Reading this inspired me – I’ll have to go back and investigate a bit further. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just love abandoned buildings from which the paint peels and the memories linger. I saw Mike’s comment and he’s right Where we lived before there was a Georgian house right on the corner, very near with bricked up windows still. .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great post! I’m loving your intro narrative, the photographs, your follow-up on a new exploration. The Tiger Brewery seems in such good condition, it’s hard to believe it’s just been left alone for imaginative people to muse about all these years😊.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed! I need to utilize my in-law’s acquaintances and find out more about the place. It *looks* like someone goes in there, but the rest of the building is in such disrepair that I can’t believe it’s officially habitable. Questions abound, don’t they? Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooooooooooohhhhhhh! I bet I’ll dream of this place tonight!
    I’m reminded of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” when the peddler (with knives on his car) forebodingly tells Charlie:

    “Up the airy mountain,
    Down the rushing glen,
    We dare not go a hunting,
    For fear of little men.
    You see, nobody ever goes in, and nobody ever comes out.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank Bo for mind the kids and letting you have a good explore of this fine old building (exterior only for now). Maybe you can find someone who used to work there. I can already hear you badgering your in-laws for information. Go for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jean, I love your imagination and your descriptions, though I’m glad I don’t live in the town with that brewery, because I’m sure that it would always look sinister to me now (long nails in the dark, was it? πŸ™‚ )
    Hmmm, ‘the beer with a purr’ sounds mighty interesting tonight- shame that’s gone. (It had to be better than ‘Milwaukee’s Beast’ anyway, right? πŸ™‚ ) Hug Bo and the kids for us. Then have him give you a hug from us too… xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Buildings such as this are another reason I am not a man of independent means, because I would spend all of it, and my time, arranging for the restoration and conversion of them. Also I would hire a driver to take me everywhere while I took naps in the backseat.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It does sound like a wonderful place. I love the stories of old buildings. They are bridges to past lives. Just walking around York and the mind goes into overdrive, all that history, all those long forgotten stories and characters. Yes I would love to hear more about your regions buildings and the associated stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: #WriterProblems: Finding #Worldbuilding #Inspiration in #SmallTownLife | Jean Lee's World

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