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Historic places and people in the land of milk and honey: Wisconsin's treasure: a tribute to our past, a celebration of the present and our commitment to continue the good life

[The Cook family homestead],   p. 101 PDF (370.7 KB)

Page 101

Since 1846, the Cook family homestead
has operated as a Walworth County farm,
with present owners, Vivian and Floyd
George, representing the fourth genera-
tion. Much credit must be paid to Anna
Cook, who continued to farm after losing
her husband, Gerhard, to blood poisoning,
in a wood-splitting accident just 7 years
after their arrival from Germany. Their son
Alex, took over the 227 acre farm and from
him it passed to Joe Cook, Mrs. George's
Jim Lloyd's painting shows Mrs. George
comforting a lamb whose mother was
stolen from their front yard when the lamb
was just 5 days old.
The stone house, plaster-faced by German
standards, housed ghandidancers as they
built the Mississippi railroad bed prior to
1852, cooking in a cellar fireplace made of
sand brick.
The original 100 foot, all stone barn was
razed in 1896 because it was believed that
moisture condensation on the stone
caused tuberculosis in cattle, transmitting it
to humans through milk. Less than 2 years
later, as the then new frame dairy barn was
being completed, the true cause was dis-
The sheep barn, built in 1885, still functions
in that capacity today, where the
Georges, for the past 40 years have raised
250-275 lambs annually from their 135 ewe
flock of Suffolk and Dorset sheep. They reg-
ularly produce club lambs for 4-H and FFA
members with 35 shown at the Walworth
County Fair in 1997 by their young owners.
They were recipients of Wisconsin's Master
Shepherd award in 1994. In addition, the
Georges are marking their 56th year as
gladioli growers for the local trade.
                 Vivian and Floyd George
                 1281 Spring Valley Road
              Burlington, Wisconsin 53105

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