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Posts Tagged ‘Pierre-Esprit Radisson’

Couderay and Radisson, Wisconsin

Posted by graywacke on January 28, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2322; A Landing A Day blog post number 753.

boxDan:  Today’s lat/long (45o 45.318’N, 91o 16.145’W) puts me in the northwest Wisconsin boonies:


My local landing map shows that I landed quite close to my two titular towns:


My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Section 20 Creek, which flows to Section 19 Creek (just kidding!); which flows to the Couderay River (1st hit ever!); and on to the Chippewa (10th hit).


Zooming back, you can see that the Chippewa flows southwest before discharging into the MM:


I threw in the St. Croix, just so you’d realize that it shares border-definition duties with the Mississippi.

It’s time for my newly-shortened Google Earth (GE) spaceflight. Click HERE.

Street View is lousy (over a mile away from a tree-lined road), so I won’t bother.  I do have a decent view of the Couderay River (be sure not to pronounce Couderay “corduroy”):


And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:


True confessions:  I did a little photo editing of the above shot.  Here’s the original:


I bet the GoogleCamMobile driver pushed the envelope of available light for shooting!

Anyway, moving right along to Couderay.  From Wiki:

Couderay is home to Al Capone’s northwoods hideaway, a tourist site called “The Hideout.”

It required a fair amount of research, but I figured out that it is on Pike Lake, north of Couderay:


Note “New Post.”  A little more about that later.  Anyway, zooming in:


And in even further, for a close-up of Al’s house:


Here’s a picture of the house:


From a 2009 AP story:

Chicago mobster Al Capone’s former hideout in northern Wisconsin, complete with guard towers and a stone house with 18-inch-thick walls, was sold for $2.6 million Thursday to the bank that foreclosed on it.

Capone owned the 407-acre property in the late 1920s and early 1930s during Prohibition, the bank said. Local legend claims that shipments of bootleg alcohol were flown in on planes that landed on the property’s 37-acre lake, and were then loaded onto trucks bound for Chicago.

The two guard towers on the property reportedly were manned with machine guns whenever Capone visited.

The Chippewa Bank acquired the property after foreclosing on owner Guy Houston and his company The Hideout Inc., according to court records.

The Houston family bought the property in the 1950s from Capone’s estate and had operated it as a seasonal bar and restaurant, known for its prime rib, and offered guided tours focusing on the Capone lore.

caponeCapone – nicknamed “Scarface” – headed a massive bootlegging, gambling and prostitution operation during Prohibition and raked in tens of millions of dollars. He was widely suspected in several murders but never charged.

He was considered the mastermind of the gangland killing on Chicago’s North Side in 1929, known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Seven rivals of Capone’s gang were gunned down in a garage, but investigators never could collect enough evidence to put anyone on trial for the deaths.

Capone was eventually convicted of income tax evasion and spent part of an 11-year sentence at the infamous Alcatraz prison. He died in 1947.

The property’s current status is not clear, but it’s not open to the public and is unoccupied (based on internet postings of snoopy people).

So, what about New Post?  Well, since you’re currently reading a new post, I figured I had to at least give New Post passing mention.  I could find absolutely nothing on the internet about the town (at least initially), even though it has some substance:


And here’s what the OD sees (looking east):


After digging deeper into the internet, I found this about the town’s name (gleaned from the Chippewa Flowage Lake Association website).  Evidently, an old trading post was located nearby, around which a small town built up.  The town became known as simply “Post.”  Post was substantial enough to have its own baseball team in 1913:


Ten guys, eh?  I guess they probably had two pitchers . . .

The “Chippewa Flowage” is a single large lake created by damming up the East & West Forks of the Chippewa River:


The dam (built in 1924) created numerous embayments, called lakes (like Pokegama Lake) which are all part of the “Flowage.”

Anyway, the town of Post was flooded by the flowage, and New Post was built to replace it.  I really doubt New Post has a baseball team . . .

Time to move on to Radisson – spelled just like the hotels. And guess what?  That’s not a coincidence!  Here’s the story.

From Wiki:

The Village of Radisson (pop 241) was named in honor of the early French explorer, Pierre-Esprit Radisson (c.1636–1710).

Pierre was born in France, but traveled to New France (Quebec) in 1651, residing in Trois-Rivières.

From Wiki:

pierre_esprit_radissonAccording to Radisson’s account, in 1652 he had been hunting with several other men near his home in Trois-Rivières when he was captured by the Iroquois.  Only Radisson was spared.  Citing his youth as the reason he was left alive, Radisson states that the Iroquois treated him relatively kindly and that he, partially by showing an interest in Mohawk/Iroquois language and culture, was assimilated into a local Mohawk family who then supposedly settled near modern day Schenectady, N.Y.

After six weeks, Radisson’s assimilation was completed.  However, shortly thereafter, while out hunting with three Iroquois, Radisson reluctantly agreed to attempt escape after meeting an Algonquin man who offered to help him return to Trois-Rivières.  Raddison and the Algonquin killed the three Iroquois.

[Now wait a second!  He was assimilated by the Iroquois/Mohawks, but then killed three of them to escape?]

Radisson and the Algonquin man traveled for 14 days until they were within sight of Trois-Rivières, but were recaptured by patrolling Iroquois shortly before reaching the town.

The Mohawk killed the Algonquin and subjected Radisson, along with approximately 20 other prisoners, to ritual torture.

[That’s what he gets for murder!]

However, much of his punishment was lessened as a result of the advocacy of his adopted Native family. Eventually he was released, and, overwhelmed with relief, described the experience as a moment in which “all my paines and griefs ceased; and, not feeling the least paine, my father bids me be merry, makes me sing, to which I consented with all my heart.”

With the Mohawks, he traveled to Fort Orange (Albany) on a trading mission, and was recognized by the Dutch there as a Frenchman.  They obtained his freedom from the Mohawks; in return, they required three years of missionary work.  He traveled to Holland, and then did Jesuit missionary work among the Indians.

Moving on to Encyclopedia Britannica:                 

With his brother-in-law, Médard Chouart des Groseilliers, he spent the next few years on trading expeditions to the West. In 1658 they explored the Great Lakes region, crossing what is now Wisconsin and the upper Mississippi River valley, and then circling east through what is now Canada.

[Maybe traveling through Radisson!]

Because they had failed to secure a government license, the French authorities in 1663 confiscated their furs and fined them. As a result Radisson and Groseilliers offered their services to the English in what is now Nova Scotia.

They then sailed through Hudson Strait [the entrance to Hudson Bay way up north near Baffin Island] and into Hudson Bay. Their report on the wealth in furs led to the formation of the Hudson’s Bay Company [chartered as a British company] in 1670.

In 1671 he founded Moose Factory, a company trading post a few miles south of James Bay [a southern extension of Hudson Bay].

Three years later, Radisson and Groseilliers made their peace with France and served in the French fleet in French Guinea and Tobago.

[Guinea’s in Africa and Tobago’s in the Caribbean.  Man, this guy gets around!]

Radisson became a resident of Quebec in 1681, and the following year he led an expedition against the English on Hudson Bay.

[OK to be French, but fight the Brits on Hudson Bay?  After all, he founded the British Hudson’s Bay Company!]

After revisiting both France and England, he was again employed by the Hudson’s Bay Company and was eventually pensioned by the company.

I can’t believe he got away with all of the s%#& he got away with . . .

Oh yea.  What about the Radisson Hotels?  From Wiki:

The towns Radisson, Quebec; Radisson, Saskatchewan and Radisson, Wisconsin [yea!], as well as a street and Metro station in Montreal, are named after him.

The first Radisson Hotel, built in 1909 in Minneapolis was also named after him.  The modern Radisson Hotel chain grew from this Minneapolis Radisson.

Here’s a GE Street View of the original (but obviously renovated) Radisson in Minneapolis:


It’s time for a couple of GE Panoramio shots from the general vicinity of my landing.  First this, of the Couderay River by BTJ98836:


And this of the Chippewa, by Schwist:


I’ll close with this, by Prntdckt:


That’ll do it . . .




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