News: Greenwood – Museum Adds Historic Bathroom (2016)


Surnames: Syth, Wollenberg

----Source: Greenwood Gleaner (Greenwood, Clark Co., Wis.) 25 Apr 1963

Members of the Branstiter “Old Streets of Greenwood” museum committee stand near the entrance of a new restroom facility that was built by local carpenter Kevin Syth using pieces of his family’s historic barn. They are (from left) Kurt Humke, Dale Thomas, Kay Landini, Diane Wildish, Pat Lindner, Mary DelFatti and Syth.

A restroom facility was recently added to the Branstiter “Old Streets of Greenwood” museum, with lumber for the improvement part of the area’s past.

The restroom was recently completed by local carpenter Kevin Syth, who used boards and beams from a barn on his family’s farm a few miles south of Greenwood.

Since it was first built beginning in 1982 by the late Don Branstiter, the museum has not had plumbing to provide water or a restroom for visitors. That changed earlier this year when the city of Greenwood extended a water/sewer connection to the building on South Main Street, and Syth took care of the indoor carpentry work.

The “Old Streets of Greenwood” museum is a collection of storefronts and shops Branstiter built to recreate a city scene from 1932. With hundreds of artifacts he and others collected over the years, he lined the storefronts along boardwalk streets in the large museum building. Syth built the restroom facade to fit into the old Greenwood motif.

The boards for the room’s front were once siding on the barn of the farm settled by the Syth family more than 150 years ago. The beams around the door came from a 40-foot hand-hewn beam that was part of the barn’s frame.

The barn once stood on the Syth farm south of Greenwood, just south of the highways 98 and 73 intersection. It had stood for nearly 100 years before it was torn down in 2014. It was built around 1916 by Jack Syth, Kevin’s grandfather, the year Kevin’s father, Reynold, was born.

The barn replaced the original one on the farm, which burned down when a spark from a steam-engine thresher set it on fire while a crew of local farmers was threshing the season’s oat shocks.

Jack Syth was the second generation to work the home farm. His father, Tom, moved to the area from Canada in the late 1870s. The family changed its name from Forsythe when it moved to Wisconsin.

Tom Syth was known as a fiddle player at local dances, and his wife, Emma, was the daughter of Christian Wollenberg, who had a butcher shop in the first floor of the old Greenwood Hotel, which is one of the buildings depicted in photos in the museum.

Jack and Emma Syth had three children -- Albertine, Donald and Reynold. Reynold took the farm over in the 1940s. He and his wife, Helen, raised fi ve children (Luanne, Colleen, Dennis, Kevin and Kent) on the farm.

Dennis and his wife, Joyce, still live on the farm. The “Old Streets of Greenwood” museum will be open to the public on July 3, Aug. 7, and Sept.. 4, from noon-3 p.m. each of those days. It will also have an open house on Sept. 10, during Greenwood’s End of Summer Fest, from 1-4 p.m., with a wine and cheese tasting event and quilt show. Anyone who has a quilt they would like to display can contact Pat Lindner at 715-267-6355.




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