Adjacent Tree Towns

On January 5, 2017 · 1 Comments

While looking at a map recently I noticed two curious towns in Wisconsin. Their names seemed perfectly fine and normal, Poplar and Maple. Their proximity seemed more than a little coincidental. I never found an explanation for collocated tree towns and the pattern didn’t extend to other settlements in Douglas County. Nonetheless, I felt a connection so I took a closer look. Eventually I realized that I drove through both of them on a trip to northern Wisconsin several years ago. My path took me from the Apostle Islands to Duluth, Minnesota. However, the names never dawned on me for some odd reason as I crossed through them in-person.

Poplar


poplars
Poplars. Photo by P K on Flickr (cc)

More people lived in Poplar (map) than Maple, about 600, even if little happened there during its long history. Even so, the village hoped to celebrate its centennial in 2017 assuming it could form a committee to handle the details. Hopefully people will step up and help recognize the hundred years since its founding. I also enjoyed the interactive cemetery map. It was really well done. Seriously. You should check it out. Yellow rectangles marked veterans’ graves and blue ones marked everyone else.

The website also featured a Lockheed P-38 Lightning airplane on its banner. Those fighters last saw combat during World War II. I’ve always loved the shape of those planes. They’re a bit difficult to describe so…


Lockheed P-38 Lightning 10
Lockheed P-38 Lightning on Flickr (cc)

… there. Hopefully that got the point across.

I wondered if an airplane museum might also exist in Poplar. No, unfortunately one did not. However, the website did memorialize the most famous person ever to come from Poplar, a WW2 pilot named Richard Bong. He shot down 40 Japanese aircraft during the war, becoming the recognized "Ace of Aces" while earning a Medal of Honor. I know this shouldn’t amuse me and I don’t want to take away from this great hero’s accomplishments, but a local historical marker did list him as Major Dick Bong. My apologies in advance for the Beavis and Butthead humor.

Sadly, Bong died in 1945 while serving as a test pilot.


Maple


A sugar maple morning
A sugar maple morning. Photo by Mark K. on Flickr (cc)

Two Maples existed in Douglas, a township and an unincorporated community (map) within the township. The larger area included several hundred residents and also provided an informational website for its residents. The top item on its Frequently Asked Questions page involved reservations for its baseball field. It must be nice to live in a place where the residents’ biggest concern focused on recreational sports.

If I were to guess, I’d say that the maples in Maple must have been sugar maples. They grew all throughout Wisconsin natively. I couldn’t find any places in Maple selling maple syrup although I bet they’re there if I looked close enough. My wife’s family elsewhere in Wisconsin, knows people who make their own maple syrup so it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Then I looked a little closer and spotted another community called Blueberry.


Blueberry


Blueberries
Blueberries. My Own Photo

Of course, Blueberries don’t involve trees, they grow on bushes. I saw that in person when I went up to Maine a few years ago. Nonetheless it was a plant and maybe close enough to keep the naming convention going? Three adjacent communities, three plants?

Several Blueberries fell within the same area, the Blueberry community, a Blueberry Creek and the Blueberry Swamp Natural Area (map).

Now I’m hungry. Time to go.

On January 5, 2017 · 1 Comments

One Response to “Adjacent Tree Towns”

  1. Peter Jorge says:

    I think the Blueberry and Maple (syrup) combo set me picking muffins – okay dashing to the pastry shop around the corner – and having stuffed myself thoroughly I just wanted to express my fondness, weakness for Poplar. Wish I could visit it at some point but it’s a bit of a herculean effort getting to Wisconsin from here. I happen to be in beachy Algarve at the time so there is a Freixo (ash tree) nearby but not the one with a sword on its belt which is about 300 miles north and 30 degrees away from this here Here. Loved the post and hoping it’s still acceptable may I wish you a Happy New Year & all kinds of best wishes for you, yours and the blog? If so hang and all of the above.

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