News from the Northwoods of Land O Lakes

The Land O Lakes ares is one of my favorite northwoods destinations for fishing and simply enjoying the outdoors.  I've been visiting this area since I first got married over 40 years ago.  Sure, it's changed a lot over the years but there is so much there that brings back memories of the days when I fished there in the late  60's. 

Visiting a country store is part of the ambiance of the northwoods that people just love.  One place that has become a Go-To spot for every trip up north is the Forest Lake Country Store.  It's great to sit at the counter in the morning and have a cup of coffee with the  owner Mark Gostisha and hear about all that's going on in the Land O Lakes and Cisco Chain area. 

I can't be up there all the time, so Mark put me on his mailing list for his monthly newsletter.  I always look forward to hearing the the news from the Northwoods of Land O Lakes.  When I see Mark's email, it's my call to get a cup of coffee and take a few minutes to enjoy hearing about one of my favorite places to visit in Wisconsin.   So get your cup now then read what Mark has to share with us all....

Forest Lake Country Store Newsletter - June 2010

The north woods summer is in full bloom.  The trees are all leaved out, ferns are knee high, and hummingbirds are,,, well hummin!  There is talk of Trilliums.  Colonel Mustards is open.  And the Dairy Maid is open.  Bobby is singing and giving his news and weather reports.  Summer has started in the north woods. 

 Families coming to relax in Land O' Lakes are a family tradition almost as old as the sun rising on this land of lakes.  June 2010 is the end of our fourth year up here and the start of our 5th summer.  We continue to be impressed by how many families come to a family cabin.  A more impressive stat is how many cabins have been in the same families for decades. 

 Back to the 1950's, some to the '40's and even a few to the 1930's.  An important part of the children's lives is time spent in Land O' Lakes.  There are many rites of passage as a family vacations in the north woods.  Learning to swim at the family cabin, riding a bike down the lake road, S'mores over a campfire in the back yard, and for a yong lad maybe a first kiss with the girl across the lake,,,  summer is here!

New in the Store...

First let's give a reminder of the many products and services we do have at the store:

Great food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Free Wi-Fi.  Over 100 boutique wines, 80 craft beers and 40 artisan cheeses.  Unique grocery items; Italian coffee, English Teas, Amish Jams, Wild Rice, Wisconsin salsa's and real maple syrup.  We exchange 20# propane cylinders.  Ethanol-free low octane gas.  Live bait; minnows, leeches, crawlers and worms. 

New items since the last letter are Starbucks Frappuccino's (vanilla and chocolate) and Grown Up Soda's (G.U.S.) are in the Pepsi cooler, Muscle Milk in the dairy cooler, on the Amish jam rack we have cranberry-raspberry jam.  There is a load of other crackers and cheese and of course more beers and wines.  Stop for a sandwich, take home some weekend groceries.

We have an in-store wine special for June.  The most popular brand in Wisconsin is Ménage a Trios'.  Their claim to fame is blending three wines for easy to drink, enjoyable wines.  We brought in a stack of Ménage a Trios' for the Memorial Day weekend.  We have the popular Red (blend of Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon), the Rose (blend of Merlot, Syrah and Gewürztraminer) the White (blend of Chardonnay, Muscato, and Chenin Blanc) and the Ménage Chardonnay (a blend of 3 chardonnays from Monterey, Santa Barbara and Mendocino.  The Chardonnay just received an 88 point rating from Wine Enthusiast with a Best Buy rating.  Our special price, while quantities last, is $9.99 per bottle!  Better yet, mix and match any 12 and the price is $8.99 per bottle!  This price is good while quantities last!  Stop at the store to get these great values. 

For a beer adventure, check out our Capital Brewing products.  We stock every available variety of Capital Brewing products.  Their summer introduction is Supper Club beer.  Brewed to reflect a beer style developed when up north Supper Clubs brewed their own beer.  This is a very unique beer, for a very unique beer drinker.  We have Supper Club available in 6 packs of long neck bottles or 12 packs of cans.  Supper Club, it gives you a Wisconsin state of mind. 

Events in the Store

June 11th  Capital Beer and the Automatic Blues Band 5 PM

We will be joined by Kirby Nelson and Rod Fischer from Capital Brewing and Charlie Kania from Miller of the Northwoods (our Capital distributor).  This summer is the official kickoff on Supper Club, the newest beer from Capital.  Of course there will be free tastes of their other great beers.  Food is available off the menu.  Come in to meet these legends of the brewing business.  Learn about all of their great products and hear some great Blues from the Automatic Blues Band.  Kirby and Rod will be here around 5 PM with music to follow around 5:45.  Cost is $10 in advance for singles and $15 for couples and $12 at the door.  This is an outdoor event, come early to get a choice table.

July 6th 5:30 PM Jake Donze in our Amphitheater 

Food Pantry Fund Raiser

Jake is a very well known folk artist in the mid west.  He is visiting family and we were able to get a one night date for him to play.  You can listen to a couple of his songs here:   Jake ,   you and your family are sure to enjoy his show.  Food is available off the menu, wine/beer and mixed drinks from the store.  The Country Store will cover Jake's performance fee.  We will have buckets out for free will donations for the Food Pantry at this show. 

July 23rd Celebrate Washington Wine month with Chateau Ste Michelle and JazzWorks  5:30 PM

Chateau Ste Michelle is an award winning vinter from Washington State.  Not one vineyard but many brands of Washington's best wines.  Al Clemmensen from Chateau Ste Michelle will be here to discuss many of their great products.  After his presentation we will open up the tasting tables with abundant crackers and cheese available.  JazzWorks will play soothing jazz tunes for the tasting and social event.  Price is $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

August 14th South American Wines with Palm Bay  5 - 8 PM

Ted Cuneen from Palm Bay Imports will be on hand to review many of their South American wines.  A couple key brands of Chilean wines will be available for tasting including MontGras, Antu and more.  Get in on the rage of all the great South American wines and learn from an expert tonight!  There will be tastings and cheese and crackers available.  Music to be determined.  Cost is $12 in advance and $15 at the door. 

August 21st Sprecher Beer Night at the Country Store

Jeff Hamilton, Sprecher Brewing president, and one of the favorite speakers at the Country Store, will be here to offer tastes of the incredible beers produced in the Glendale WI brewery.  2010 is the 25th anniversary of Sprecher and we hope to have tastes of their new beer celebrating the milestone!  Music will follow his presentation with beer tastings and snacks.  Band to be determined.  Cost is $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

Events around Land O' Lakes

  The Headwaters Food Pantry continues to serve many residents in need from the Phelps, Conover and Land O' Lakes communities.  Since the onset of winter between 50 and 60 families use the Headwaters Food Pantry nearly every week as their primary food source.  Donations of canned and dry goods are always appreciated.  There are drop off points at the bank in Phelps, the Chamber of Commerce in Land O' Lakes, Jensen-Akins in Conover and at the Forest Lake Country Store.  There is also a cash deposit box on our in-store crate or donations can be sent to Patricia Juday PO Box 597 Land O Lakes WI 54540 (identify them as food pantry donations)

 Here is a note of thanks to all who drop off food items or cash in our drop box at the store:


The Headwaters Food Pantry would like to thank the patrons of the Forest Lake Country Store for your support of the food pantry.  We are serving many clients and with your support we are able to continue to provide good basic food items for those in need.  We appreciate your support of the families in our communities. 


Patricia Juday

Headwaters Food Pantry


Recurring events in Land O' Lakes

Wednesday Night Family Bingo at St. Albert's Church opening night June 16

Family bingo is a weekly tradition in Land O' Lakes.  Doors open at 6:30 PM, BINGO calling starts at 7 PM.  There is a $15 charge for 15 games; 12 with a $25 payoff and 3 with a $50 payoff.  Refreshments and snacks are available. 

Farmers Market  Downtown Land O' Lakes Opening Day is June 17

Every Thursday is the morning to head down to the old lumberyard for your fresh produce and more.  The market is open at 9 AM until 12 PM every Thursday thru the summer.  Fresh produce, crafts, and more are in town every week.  This year there are three special Saturday events; July 3, July 24, and Aug 7th. 

Special Events in Land O' Lakes

From Helen Hayhurst of the Cisco Chain Riparian Owners Association

The Cisco Chain Riparian Owners Association (CCROA), is sponsoring a Father's Day

Benefit Breakfast to be held at Bent's Camp on Sunday, June 20th serving from 8 am until noon.

The menu includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, orange juice, coffee or tea, all donated and cooked by Lisa and Paul Stemen.  $8 for adults, $4 for kids 6 and under.  Kully Rohlen and the Milfoil Queen will hit you up for donations to the CCROA, ask you some trivia questions, and reward you with prizes!  All proceeds go to the CCROA for ongoing projects including the continuing fight to stop the spread invasive species.  Call Helen Hayhurst 906-358-4125 or Lisa Stemen 715-547-3487.


St. Albert's Community Vacation Bible School June 21 - 23

This is a cooperative effort between Ely Memorial and St. Albert's churches.  Daily schedule is from 9 AM - 12 Noon.  The program is designed for kids from kindergarten thru 6th grade.  The day includes snacks, refreshments, Bible stories and games.  Early registration is required with forms available at either church.  We have a few of the forms on hand at the store also.

Julie Zelten from the Land O' Lakes Library has sent the following June events for the Library:

June 8th  @ 8:00 a.m.
Bird Walk with Peter Dring.  Repeat due to popular demand!!! Bring your binoculars! Why do so many people watch birds?  Why are there so many articles, books, pictures and works of art about birds?  Peter Dring thinks it is because they are so interesting and easy to see.  They are colorful and diverse.  They fly, sing and migrate to far off places.  As a group birds are plentiful.  With a little effort you should be able to find about 100 to 200 different species in a year.  Join us on Tuesday, June 8th to discover how to become a birder.The group is limited so please call the library to sign-up.

June 11th @ 1:00 p.m.
Movie Afternoon:  Avatar
Library lower level

Jake Sully is a former Marine confined to a wheelchair. But despite his broken body, Jake is still a warrior at heart. He is recruited to travel light years to the human outpost on Pandora, where a corporate consortium is mining a rare mineral that is the key to solving Earth's energy crisis. He is given a mission to infiltrate the Na'vi, who has become a major obstacle to mining the precious ore. But a beautiful Na'vi female, Neytiri, saves Jake's life, and this changes everything.

Land O' Lakes Library Recollections
The Library Board is researching our early history and trying to compile a more complete record of the library's beginning.  We're asking for your help!  You can jot down memories of the library's past and bring them in or write your memories directly in a Memory Book when you're in the library.  If you have pictures or news clippings of the library's early day you'd be willing to donate or allow us to photocopy, we'd appreciate you bring those in.  Our library has always been a community center and we're hoping some of you will have memories you can share with us.

Computer Questions?!?
The Land O' Lakes Library will be offering one-on-one computer training on Friday afternoons.  PC or Mac questions can be addressed.  Sign-up is requested; please call us at 547-6006.

Joanne Spinner, local representative for the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) provided this recap from a recent event:

The members of Mrs. Erickson's fifth grade class at Land O' Lakes Elementary School participated with the officers of Nokomis Chapter, NSDAR,  in a respectful U.S. Flag Retirement Ceremony 20 May, 2010 at the Town Park in Land O' Lakes, WI.  Students held stripes of the demonstration flag, representing the original 13 colonies/states and the union just before an adult placed the stripes on the fire. Taps was also played by one student. 

From L.O.L.A.


Looking for something "cultural" to do with your family during the week of the fourth of July?   Land O'Lakes Artisans (LOLA) and its affiliate cooperative gallery, ARTISTREE are planning an open house at its "DREAM ARTS CENTER".  Through the generosity of Inge Owen and her family, the former site of Northwoods Living and the Bucksnort Coffee Shoppe will serve as the temporary Land O'Lakes Art Center and ARTISTREE GALLERY.   LOLA is planning a full gallery showing of local artists works including prints, watercolors,  fiber arts,  rustic furniture, jewelry and many other items crafted by its members. 

This past winter and spring, Wendy Powalisz, a local artist, conducted several children's art programs in conjunction with our elementary school, the PTA and the parents of our home-schooled students.  These wonderful works by local children will also be displayed, as well as classes under way for the open house.

LOLA was formed two years ago when the Development Committee of the Land O'Lakes Chamber of Commerce conducted a community-wide study of the   feasibility of establishing an artisans' organization.  Today over 50 artisans are involved in the organization.  LOLA has formed a charitable, not-for-profit corporation and has begun working with several private, governmental and individual arts groups.  LOLA is hoping to raise the funds necessary to rent the Dream Gallery building on a long term basis.   It will house the ARTISTREE cooperative gallery, the LOLA performing arts and music groups, art lessons, and other artisans' activities serving our north woods community.   The Board of Directors of LOLA includes, Robert Ivancevich, President (a part-time resident) Linda Shulz, Vice President and Donna Wolf, Treasurer (local business persons), Lynn Richie, Treasurer (a local resident and community organizer) and Wendy Powalisz, Treasurer (an artist and local resident). 

Ivancevich has said of LOLA, "We are impressed with the vast talent that has come together to help us grow this important initiative".  "In my years of community service, frankly, I have never seen as dedicated and talented a group of individuals."  Lynn Richie went on, "They say that success breeds success.   We see now that it appears that LOLA will be growing, more folks want to get involved and support this worthwhile effort."

Children's' programs have really caught on.   Water color and collage clinics hosted over forty young artists this spring.   Wendy Powalisz, Board member and children's' program instructor has commented, "If everyone could see the faces of our young area artists as their works are framed and displayed at ARTISTREE, they would surely be moved."   "At a time when schools must cut budget and scale back arts programs, LOLA is really filling a much-needed role.

The Open House will be on Saturday, July 10 from 10 am until 7 pm.

Community Garden

The Community Garden project has undergone an expansion program.   Nearly double in size from last year, with a few raised beds available, this is a great addition to the Land O' lakes community.  There are about a dozen ladies in the area that have worked diligently to make this dream a reality.  Meetings, planning, working with numerous contractors and in turn stacking up a large pile of expenses.  They sponsored a raffle this summer to help offset the development and operation costs.  They have a beautiful quilt with a garden theme.  You can see the quilt at Forget-Me- Not Floral.  Tickets are $2 each or 6 for $10.  Tickets are available at Forget-Me-Not, Bernadette's Gifts, at the Chamber of Commerce office, Farmers Market and the Forest Lake Country Store.  The drawing will be held on September 24th at 5:30.  Winner does not need to be present to win!


People around Land O' Lakes

June 1  Ken Brown celebrates his birthday

June 2nd is Ken and Barb Brown's anniversary.  It is also Ralph Tuttle's birthday!

Silas Beattie celebrates his birthday on June 6th.

June 11 is a shared birthday for Dianne Schindelholz and Phyliss Rassmussen.

June 14th is the birthday for our baby, Olivia.  Isn't she cute?

June 16th is the birthday for Cindy Geib. 

Jim Achuff celebrates his birthday on June 21st.

June 24th is the birthday for Bud Schlack

June 26th is another shared birthday.  It is Dick Melhop's birthday and the third birthday for our granddaughter Riley Grace Cain.

Last, during our time off in April we travelled a little bit and looked around for different places to eat.  Part of our searching included the internet, and in turn we found places to have our own business included on restaurant oriented search engines.  You know we like it best when you travel to Land O' Lakes.  But, if you are going other places these search engines are a great tool for finding unique eats.  Here are some hot links to the sites with our information, then browse around the entire site:  Yelp, and Urban Spoon, and Restaurant Row .  Please let us know what you think.

As always we thank you for the business that all of our customers give to the Forest Lake Country Store.  We are blessed with great support from the people that call Land O' Lakes home all year.  After a long winter we are very happy to see many seasonal residents returning to the area.  There are lights on in cabins that have been dark for a while.  Old friends are coming back for a weekend, a month or sometimes the whole summer.  Please stop and say hi when you get back.  We look forward to seeing you again,

Best Regards,

Kris and Mark Gostisha and girls

Forest Lake Country Store

6256 County Road B     Land O' Lakes WI 54540     715 547 8222

Store Hours Monday thru Saturday 7 AM - 8 PM  Sunday 7 AM - 3 PM

Memorial Day weekend until late September

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