|Originally called Crooked Lake, this lake was a resort oasis for Milwaukee and Chicago families at the turn of the 20th century. This cache will trace its history, taking you along the paths worn by many before you as they sought peace and relaxation during the hot Summers. The cache is multi-stage, the walking portion of the cache hunt is about 3 miles, but if you wish, all but the last half mile can be driven
All of this cache hunt is on public roads, paths, or trails. There is no reason or purpose in trailblazing cross country.
The primary co-ordinates posted above will take you to the East Troy Electric Railway Museum. This building was the last stop on The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company until August 12, 1939, at which time the last run was made. Most of those wishing to take their Summer holidays at Lake Beulah between October 23, 1907 and the ending of the interurban line in 1939 would ride the electric trains out of Milwaukee, the ticket was 57 cents each way. As this was an electric line, not only did it provide passenger service but it also brought the first electric power to East Troy. In January of 1919, East Troy residents were warned to lay in supplies of wood, coal and kerosene as a probable strike of the railway would cut off their power!
Go to the front of the building and read the historic marker, make sure you note the year this marker was placed, you will need it later!
You are now headed for the co-ordinates N42° 49.788 W88° 21.328 which is known as Town Hall Park. You may drive there, but if you are hunting this cache during the Trolly Museum's operating schedule we strongly suggest you ride the trolly to the park. The museum has only recently added a flag stop at the park for picnickers, just tell the conductor you would like to be let off at the park. If you accomplish this step on the trolly, email us and let us know the car number you rode and the name on the conductor's name tag, and we will let you make a second Found It! log as a virtual cache along with the physical cache.
|Southbound at Beulah Station June 24, 1939
||Looking Southwest at station, 1920
From the park we now want to take you to a view of the original Lake Beulah Siding where the holiday makers would disembark the train and start their walk to the resorts. The co-ordinates are:
xxx= the year the historic marker was placed multiplied by .309
yyy= the same year multiplied by .217.
Head there now, but be careful on the roads, watch for cars!
|From this spot, looking Southwest you can see the Lake Beulah siding where the station was located. This is the siding on the East Troy mainline. Steps were built for the passengers that led up through the woods to the road leading to the lake. This is from the September 6, 1916 East Troy Times:
Leaving the train on the T.M.E.R.& L. Co. road at "Beulah Lake" station the passenger's eye meets with a sign "Beulah Lake" etc., and a path is then discovered and followed through the woods, over the hills, fields and wire fences, skirting the marsh land and leading into a meadow field we next pass through and into the aforesaid barn yard, from which the first distinct view of Lake Beulah is secured.
Click image for steps closeup
Do not walk the tracks, this is an active rail line!
Now its time to retrace the route taken from the train to the resorts. Take a rough compass bearing of 270° until you reach the lake. Imagine walking this route on hot, humid days with luggage and children in tow. How thankful they must have felt when the lake finally came into view, along with its cooling breezes! It is no wonder then that area developers came up with the idea of the Lake Beulah Canal read these words, also from the September 6, 1916 East Troy Times:
Why these conditions have so long been permitted to exist so near to the great city of Milwaukee, the Metropolis of the State of Wisconsin, and one of the largest cities in the U.S., with a population of 428,026 souls, is a mystery to the visitors at one of the Cream City's pleasure grounds and health giving, beautiful inland seas.
At last however, a popular movement has been started, which it is hoped will remedy the existing evils, by the construction of a navigable canal, deep and wide enough to float the largest freight and passenger craft on the lake. It will be roomy enough to accommodate row boats, motor boats, gondolas and pleasure craft of all kinds that ultimately may be seen in the attractive little harbor, touching the Electric Road and this craft will be waiting the arrival of the trains composed of roomy and comfortable cars from Milwaukee and many small towns and hamlets on that road.Planning and proposals were made between September 6, 1916 and January 3, 1917 and much progress was made. Survey and engineering drawings looked favorable, as did the core samples taken along the route. State agencies also appeared to be in favor, but for an unknown reason all work and mention of the canal ends in January of 1917 the canal was never built... There were plans for an overhead electric cable, much like the Electric Railway used, to power both electric boats as well as to provide electric power to businesses and residences at the lake, just as the railway had brought electric power to East Troy.
Click image to see hotel under construction
Once you reach the lake, follow a rough compass bearing 330° for about .15 miles, following the road until it curves sharply to the right and a private road continues on. Stop at the entrance to the private road. You are now facing the grounds of the once majestic Hotel Beulah.
Born the son of a local farmer, John Porter originally built his hotel on the East shore of Crooked Lake in 1887 on 65 acres. Originally 100' x 65' and three stories, it had rooms for 250 guests. An annex of the same size housed a dance hall, ice cream parlor, and some additional sleeping rooms. Eight years later winds blew flames from an adjacent streetlamp into the annex, and both buildings burned down. One year later construction began on a bigger and better Hotel Beulah, and was open for business to 500 guests in 1897.
Having the largest resort, complete with its own 850 lamp electric plant, ballroom, writting rooms, parlors, amusement hall, dining room with seating for 300, seperate gentlemen's and ladies billard rooms, restaurants, wine rooms, bowling alley, golf course, its own lake steamer, and telephone service to Milwaukee and Chicago appears to have given John Porter the right to rename the lake after his hotel, which in turn had been named for his only daughter, Beulah. Rooms were $2.00 - $4.00 per day, $10 - $21 per week.
John sold his hotel to Franklin Simons of Chicago in 1901, and in 1907 it had a few suspicious fires first a fire in the livery stable and later a fire in the attic. Several other attempts to burn the hotel down were made, and Deputy Sherrif William Plout investigated the arson. Due to financial problems, the hotel was closed that season. It was in October of this same year, as mentioned earlier, that the interurban service from Milwaukee started to Lake Beulah. The hotel's last owner was James D. Learned, who made considerable repairs and upgrades to the hotel. On April 5, 1911, fire calls went out to local departments that the hotel was ablaze. The flames could be seen over 4 miles away.
The hotel was never rebuilt, and the property was subdivided into the area you now see before you.
Look at the large sign in front of you on this sign you will see what this area is now called. How many letters are in the name of this area? Use the chart below to decode the location of the final waypoint, where the cache is located. Simply start with the letter of the alphabet that corresponds with the number of letters found in the name on the sign. For example, if there were 4 letters in the name, then start with the letter D. Starting with the correct letter, fill in the blanks below so that you have a decoding table. When you reach the letter Z, simply continue on with A until all 26 letters are on the chart. Now use this decoding table to decode the clues below for the cache co-ordinates.
Coded: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Clear: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
N42° 49.W R W N B R G O R E N
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
W88° 21.C Q A N N O X D A C Q A N N
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _