Country Blues => Weenie Campbell Main Forum => Topic started by: Cambio on May 30, 2004, 02:22:11 PM

Title: Hallowed Ground
Post by: Cambio on May 30, 2004, 02:22:11 PM
I live in Wisconsin and recently took a trip to the eastern part of the state to visit some friends and see a show.  My buddy Mike and I took a drive to Port Washington where the Wisconsin Chair Factory housed the Paramount headquarters and then over to Grafton, to visit the site of the Paramount recording studio.  The factory in Port Washington (on Lake Michigan) has all been demolished and is now a marina surrounded by condos.  The site of the Grafton factory is along the Milwaukee River (which they used as a source of power) and borders private property.  The town of Grafton finally got savy (due to the Tefteller visit) and put up a plaque, which explains to the locals why, a few time a year, there are wierd looking people excitedly taking pictures of a partial foundation which is being overtaken by trees.  Up until a few years ago there was the remainder of a dam from the plant, which the state DNR removed to improve the small mouth bass habitat in the river.  We took the ceremonial pictures and walked around the foundation (pieces of which we stuck in our pockets) and had a contemplative moment on the bench which the city installed.  We walked the path from the hotel, where the musicians stayed, to the recording studio.  A former mayor of Grafton once told my buddy Mike that he remembered seeing musicians with guitar cases making the walk when he was a boy.  Being there it made me think of how odd the experience must have been for blues musicians.  To take a 500 mile trip to a town that was all white, predominantly German ( just a few miles from Sheboygen, Bratwurst capital of the world), to cut a few records.  Made me wonder if they took the train, as Skip James did, or drove in a car.  Maybe Patton had a car.  Could you imagine that ride? Charlie Patton, Son House and Bertha Lee.  It boggles the mind.(http://)

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Title: Re: Hallowed Ground
Post by: uncle bud on June 04, 2004, 01:24:24 PM
Hi Todd,

I resized the image and added a zoomed detail and moved this back to the main forum. I like the explanation to the locals part!  :D
Title: Re: Hallowed Ground
Post by: Slack on June 04, 2004, 01:39:18 PM

You may be aware of a new book on the History of the Wis. Chair factory.  I bought the book about a month ago - but have yet to get around to reading it (impulse purchase - it is pricey at $45 - but is a very nice book.  Here is the url in case you are interested:

A History of the Wisconsin Chair Company and its Recording Activities (http://www.mainspringpress.com/book_paramount.html)

I'll review it if I ever get around to reading it!

Title: Re: Hallowed Ground
Post by: Eldergreene on June 06, 2004, 04:57:34 AM
Great post - Patton, House, & Louise Johnson travelled by car (driven by Wheeler Ford of the Delta Big Four gospel group) according to  Calt/Wardlow's Patton- King of the delta Blues; during the trip, House "stole" Louise away from Charlie (alchohol consumption may have been involved) & roomed with her at the hotel in Wisconsin - bluesmen all the way ! ..
Title: Re: Hallowed Ground
Post by: Richard on June 06, 2004, 08:17:14 AM
Isn't that nice  :o

Excellent pictures and I hope you don't mind but I've just added them to my screen saver - which comprises nearlly 500 mainly B&W pictures of assorted jazz and blues subjects as I come across them on the net - all run courtesy of a free little program called  create_a_saver.exe which (I think) came free on an AOL disc - it's really good and customizable with a random pic appearing every few seconds  :D

If you fancy doing it but can't find the prog I'll happily email a copy.
Title: Re: Hallowed Ground
Post by: revmac on April 22, 2006, 04:51:52 AM
Hello from Grafton, WI!  Be sure to get the annual Blues Festival Guide and read about this crazy lady who has revolutionized the village of Grafton and all that's going on.

Or, if you would rather read it now online, see here:


Come to the 1st annual Paramount Blues Festival www.graftonblues.org

Plans are also being made for what to do at the "Halowed Ground" during the festival.  Any ideas?

See the downtown plans for the Paramount Plaza and Walk of Fame


Title: Re: Hallowed Ground
Post by: revmac on April 22, 2006, 12:36:23 PM
Yes, they will both be there.  I don't know the extent of their relationship.  But don't anybody bring up King Solomon Hill!   ;D  It ought to be interesting.  I was on the phone with Gayle Dean Wardlow yesterday. 

Title: Re: Hallowed Ground
Post by: waxwing on April 22, 2006, 12:45:49 PM
I heard that their clashes from the past are behind them and they did both work on the Revenant Patton project.

David was at PT a few years back and was a delight, whether lecturing blues history, teaching Delta playing, or just playing his reso while breakfast was being made.

There was some interest in getting GDW to PT also, both from him and from knowledgeable Weenies. Maybe next year.

I'm sure it would be a gas to see either of them at Grafton.

All for now.
John C.
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