Wednesday, August 23, 2006
The woman in the Seney train depot told her dog to stop barking just before giving me a 10 second run down of what the little museum had to offer. There was a fair amount of old photos and artifacts from the pre-1900 Seney lumber town that had a substantially larger size than today. That wild west atmosphere had burned out by 1919 when Hemingway visited and though it wasn’t literally filled with burned out stumps at the time of his visit, the impression of a ghost town was accurate. The Hemingway exhibit in the train station had an interesting display case filled with 1919 era fishing and camping equipment – the same type described in the equipment list Hemingway had written at the time. While it isn’t known exactly where Hemingway and his 2 friends camped in 1919, it is known that they camped among some late summer blueberry pickers, and those pickers camped along the east branch of the Fox River near its intersection with the highway (top picture). Hemingway fished the main branch of the Fox as well (primarily it seems) and so did I (second picture). Both are very deep and cold rivers, even by north woods, trout standards. I caught nothing in either but used a Hemingway fly (yes, they make an Adams fly with that specification/title). I suspect this elevates my geekiness above the previous Star Wars/comic book/Warhammer nexus it had previously inhabited. Fair enough. The river and country were just as beautiful as the Wisconsin north woods I know so well, only with an added dash of history I enjoyed. I doubt I will be back to Seney anytime soon, but there is something (with ALL hipness certainly aside) to be said for having fished the same water and stood in the same woods as Papa himself.