Latest ExelandArea Newsletter in PDF format


The Exeland Area Association unveiled its new history display at an open house on Saturday, May 6. Coffee and doughnuts were served at the well attended event. The museum is inside the club headquarters on Main Street. Association President Jim Gerber commented, “We’ve had a lot of great items from Exeland’s past donated to the museum. This is a great way to preserve the history of our community. We’ll be open on occasion and will inform the public of those dates. We want to thank everyone who has given items to the museum.” If you have any news articles, photos or other things from Exeland’s past that you would like to donate, please contact Jim Gerber at 715-943- 2242.

The annual cleanup of Swan Creek Park took place on Wednesday, April 21. Although, it wasn’t the best weather a large group of community members still showed up to get the job done. Helping out that night were: Jim & Janet Gerber; Lois Gerber; Denny & Sue Kopras; Robert Deach; Dave Vitcenda; Mel & Trace Thome; Dana Zebro; Rob Maroney; Jim Sheskey; Ron & Jackie Thompson; Mike Waite; Craig & Teresa Kinder; Heidi & Holly Prochaska; Duane Mansky; Dave Dantzman; Billy Gordon; Alva Gordon and Rick Villiard. Once again, the crew did an excellent job in getting the park ready for the summer. They were rewarded with a picnic afterwards. Good job, gang!!

The Association will be in charge of the Trout Fest Parade over Labor Day weekend again this year. This is the 25 th annual Fest so it’s a special year. All businesses from the community are being asked to participate in this year’s celebration. Let’s make this the biggest parade ever!!

In April the Association held their annual fund raising spaghetti dinner and raised $1,500. All of the proceeds were donated to Exeland Youth Baseball. The community can be proud to have raised so much money for the kids. This year there are three youth teams in town and the money was really needed. Forty kids are participating in baseball this summer. The Association has bought new suits for the little league majors, new tops for the minors, hats (@$14 each) for everyone, bases for both fields (@ $100 each), lots of baseballs, other equipment, fertilizer for the diamonds and a new roller. This was all possible because of a wonderful and caring community.

The Association is now preparing for the “July 4 th” festivities. The baseball tournament will be held on Saturday, July 1 st and the community picnic & fireworks on Monday, July 3 rd .


Saturday – July 1

Hall of Fame Baseball Tourney

All day tournament with games beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Monday – July 3

5:30 p.m. – Community Picnic

(Everyone invited / bring a dish to pass)

6:00 p.m. – Good Time Polka Music

6:00 p.m. – Babe Ruth Game

10:00 p.m. – Fireworks

All events at the Sports Center



Youth baseball around town is in full swing. Over 40 kids make up three different teams. The little league Minors (ages 6 – 9) is run by Eric Rademaker & Curt Gerber. The Majors team (ages 10 – 12) is coached by Ryan Thome, Mark Saffert & Shad Strom.

The Babe Ruth team is managed by Jim Gerber. All three teams are having very successful seasons. The Majors team made it 17 years in a row that Exeland has captured a little league title by winning the regular league championship or the league tournament. A pretty good run and a pretty good program. Congrats kids!!

Hats off to the Birchwood High School girls softball team that captured the Regional championship and made it to the Sectional finals. A couple of Exeland gals were part of this great run. Congrats to Alex Schott and Destiny Kurtz on a tremendous season.

Congrats also to the Bruce High School softball team that also won a Regional championship. Their season came to close when they lost their Sectional game with Birchwood. Playing a huge role for the team was Morgan Mansky, Marina Mansky, Kara Graves, Hannah Shimko and Halle Anderson. Kara was named to the all- conference team. Good job, gals!!

Tanner Gerber continued to make a name for himself in the wrestling circles. The middle school wrestler recently participated on a national wrestling team and posted an 8 – 1 record in a tournament held in West Virginia. His only lost was 4 – 2 to a Pennsylvania wrestler.

Good job Brody Fischer! The senior made the all-conference baseball team. Over the years he was named all-conference in multiple sports. Now it’s on to the lumberjack show in Hayward. Good luck this summer Brody!!

The Bruce High School baseball team also had a solid year. Key players for the team were: Kevin Brockman, Drew Anderson, Sawyer Gerber, Kurtis Chafer and Justin Gordon. Win the conference next year, guys!


Rusk County Memorial Hospital in Ladysmith recently presented awards during National Hospital Week to show appreciation to their most dedicated employees. Earning a Leadership award was Michelle Thorson for her many years of hard work for the hospital.

The United Methodist Church held their annual Spring Rummage & Bake Sale on Saturday, May 6. Like always, it was a huge success and the church would like to thank everyone who stopped in and supported this fund raising event.

A nice improvement has been made at the Frontier Bar. Stop in to visit Todd and check out the nice new flooring in the bar area.

A lot of workers in town from the railroad company. A new bridge over Swan Creek Park is being installed. The trains are busy going through town, one every 45 minutes, so updating the tracks is a must.

A nasty all-day thunderstorm went through the area on Sunday, June 11 th . High winds, a lot of lightning, some hail, nearly 5 inches of rain caused trees to be blown over, flooding and power outages around the area.

Not as many bear sightings and reports this spring. The population appears to be down some from recent years. A lot of reports about seeing fawns around but most people are just seeing the does with a single fawn and not a pair.

A surprise 50 th wedding anniversary for Bill & Linda Milner took place at their home over Memorial Day weekend. Congrats to Bill & Linda on your wonderful life together!

The Exeland Senior Center was closed from June 5 – 10 for remodeling and painting. A lot of volunteers showed up to help with the project. It was a great improvement and the Center known as the “Crossings Diner” invites people by to stop in and get a great meal!

Nice story in the Ladysmith News about Bernard Waite. Bernie is a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces and got to make the “Freedom Flight” to Washington D.C. to visit the vet memorials there. Bernie, who now lives in Sparta, was born and raised in Exeland and ran the Buckhorn Bar for many years.



In May the Exeland Rod & Gun Club held their annual Fishing Expo for 4 th graders from four different schools. Over 90 kids attended the field trip. It was a huge success as Club members taught kids about fishing and conservation. After the field day was completed all of the kids were served a meal and then each given a nice new fishing pole. Great event by the Club!

The Club is already done a lot of preparation for this year’s Trout Fest. This is the 25 th annual fest and they want to make this one special. Raffle tickets for a 4-wheeler, gun and $100 will be up for sale in the near future.

By the time this newsletter is printed, a new sign showing the way to the Sports Center should be completed. Dean Johnson is the master mind of this project. A big thank you to Dean for all of his great work!

The Club made a $450 donation to the Bruce High School ice fishing team. They also made a $100 donation a young man who has physical disabilities so it would be possible for him to go on a dream hunting trip.

More improvements are being made at the pavilion. A new bar is being installed in the near future and a new cooler was purchased for the softball field concession stand. It’s great to have such a nice facility for the public to use for big events. Contact the Club if you have an event and would like to rent the pavilion.

The 7 trees that were blown over on the Nature Trail have been removed and the trail is open and ready to be used.

The DNR planted another thousand rainbow trout in Balsam Lake and the public is welcome to fish all they want. The little lake is behind the Rod & Gun facilities and there is a boat landing available. Otherwise, fish off one of the three Club docks.


Congratulations to Meghan Ayers on being selected as the 2017 Badger Girl from Bruce High School. The week-long program is held each June to teach Wisconsin high school students leadership and the workings of government. The event is held at Ripon College.

The Exeland community was well represented at the 2017 Bruce High School prom. Meghan Ayers was named the Queen and Drew Anderson was chosen as the King. Congrats to both students for receiving this royalty.

Congratulations to Kara Graves (daughter / David & Lisa Graves) on earning co-valedictorian honors at Bruce High School. The graduating senior will be attending UW-Madison in the fall with a major in chemical engineering.

Making the Dean’s List for the 2017 spring semester at University of Minnesota Duluth was Hanna Anderson (daughter / Andy & Missy Anderson. Congratulations Hanna!!


The Exeland community would like to extend their condolences

On the recent passing of:

Phyllis Gerber (April 9)

Leo Hoeft (May 10)

Elroy Lund, Jr. (May 10)

Theresa (Wojcik) Shoquist (June 9)

Ruth Ewert (June 13)

Wonderful people who will be missed by all of Exeland.


In remembrance of people from Exeland’s past who graced the community year’s ago:

Art & Coke Clark

Helen Seliga

James Leader

Sherry Gerber

April Rademaker

To preserve the memories of a friend or relative you can buy a spot on the Memorial Plaque in the café’. Contact Janet at the bank for more info.


Exeland Village President Sue Kopras would like to thank Robert Deach, Rod Brown, Jake Thome, Alva Gordon and Denny Kopras for helping repair the fence at the little league field in Swan Creek Park. Two large posts that support the fence were broken andmhad to be replaced. Vandalism is suspected.

Have you noticed how nice the Exeland Welcome Sign now looks. A huge thank you to Craig & Teresa Kinder for a lot of hard work in restoring the sign and making it look like new again. Teresa was the boss of the project because she’s smarter than Craig. The entire community extends a huge thank you to the Kinders for job well done!! The funding for the project was made possible by the Exeland Rod & Gun Club.

A big thank you to Neal & Marna Halberg! The two of them painted all of the bleachers, dugouts, bathroom and concession stand at Charlie Waite Park. They put in over 60 hours of hard work to update all of these buildings. A huge thank you from everyone around for doing such a huge task. JOB WELL DONE!

Each May before Memorial Day weekend a new flag is put on the pole at the Sonny Shimko Memorial site in Swan Creek Park. Updating the flag each spring is made possible by the daughters of Marjorie (Houg) Michaelson, Lisa & Raquel. The Houg family was one of the pioneer families of early Exeland and ran a big sawmill in town in the early 1900’s. Lisa (from Seattle) and Raquel (from Phoenix) send the donation each year in memory of their mom and believe a new American flag at the Sonny Shimko Memorial is the perfect spot. It’s great to know good people who never forget their community and where they came from.

A big thank you to the Shimko family (Bill Shimko, Gene Shimko, Roger Shimko & Mary Bates Shimko) who made a $500 donation to the Exeland Area Association to be used at Swan Creek Park. Also, a $500 donation was made to Swan Creek Park in memory of Ervin Englebrecht who passed away in March. The Association will decide at their June meeting how these new funds will be used. A couple of new steel benches for the park are being considered. Thank you Shimko family for your kindness and God Bless, Erv’s memory!

Thank you Dave Vitcenda for hiring a band, Good Time Polka, for the community picnic to be held on Monday, July 3 rd . It’ll be great to have live music at this event.


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