Yore Place

...in Egg Harbor

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Big Hill Sledding - #1105


An afternoon of sledding at Lawrence Big Hill Park was on the agenda for many Christmas vacation days, or the Saturday or Sunday afternoons in the month of January and February until that late winter sun finally did its nasty duty and melted away the fun for another year.  Sledding on Big Hill was the thing for us to do in the '50s...the days of youth before TV, computers and electronic games.

A gem for Sturgeon Bay was this prominent edifice overlooking the city.  The park land was given to the city in 1939 by Mr. & Mrs. A.W. Lawrence, owners of the hill with its towering pine trees and apple orchards that surrounded the hill on the north, east and south sides.  The sled hill was carved out through the orchard on the northeast side of the hill, which was probably too steep for growing and harvesting apple trees.

On a good day, one could ride the hill down the center chute for a good 100 yards or more, but then there was the walk back up, a real day's exercise.   For the hardy, or should I say fool-hardy, there was also the 'jump'.   On the north edge of the sled hill there was the '3-stooges' run over three rock ledges through a narrow trail in the trees.   On the south edge, the hook around the big maple tree avoiding the rocks by making a sharp turn back to toward the center of the hill.  I think you can guess by its name that the '3-stooges' run frequently sent some kids home with cuts and bruises, or at least a sled that needed repairs before the next weekend.

It was a good time, those days on 'The Hill'.  Before writing this dialog I had to satisfy my nostalgia, so I took a drive to the bottom of the hill, now completely surrounded by homes in place of the apple orchard.  The underbrush has almost completely taken over the run...there were a few tracks, but no sledders this day.  I drove from the top of the hill in the park to my childhood home on 10th and Rhode Island...3/4 mile.  Those that know Sturgeon Bay know that it is all up hill from Rhode Island St. to the park.  For a kid growing up in the 50's there were no second thoughts of dragging your sled 3/4 mile 'uphill' to spend an afternoon sledding  'Big Hill's' various runs, over and over...oh, what fun we had.   But then as the sun started setting behind the pines it was 3/4 mile all the way back to 10th and Rhode Island, at least it was all down hill.

Original watercolor by PaPa Giz - 11"x15" - #1105 - SOLD - Prints still available.


Yore Place in Egg Harbor