This branch of the Austrian Hesch family is descended from Johann Hesch and his wife Marya (Schlinz) Hesch, who came to America from Oberschlagles, Bohemia with three sons: Paul, Mathias, and Anton. +++Johann & Marya settled in Buffalo County, Wisconsin but moved to Pierz, Mn in about 1885. .+++Mathias settled in Waumandee, Wisconsin and moved to Pierz in 1911. +++Anton never married but farmed with his dad in Agram Township, where he died in 1911.+++And Paul, my great grandfather, settled five miles away, in Buckman, Minnesota. He died there in 1900.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Duluth Zoo

How many childhood vacations included a visit here?  Duluth was our family's default destination in the summer, I suppose cuz we could get there in less than 6 hours on the road, do a few fun things on the Northshore, and be home before midnight.

I remember arriving at the zoo when it was still cool morning.  The parking lot was on the other side of that brick building, and you entered thru it into the worst smell EVER.  It was "the monkey house" and in my little girl mind, something to be endured till we could get out into air that didn't make my eyes water.  Sure the monkeys were fun to see, but even at 5 or 6, I knew those concrete and steel cages were mean to the animals, and way too small.

But you know how childhood memories are--I've stopped there a few times as an adult, at maybe 10 year intervals--hoping the smell in that building will be mild or gone, an indicator that those monkeys have large airy outdoor spaces now with fun trees and rocks to climb.  But no.

I think maybe somewhere inside me is that little kid looking forward to the miniature train ride we took a couple times when I was under 7 years old.
Like enduring the monkey house over and over might bring the train back?


(There was a photo of us on that little train...whatever happened to it? Anybody know?)


  1. Wasn't that photo of us on the train taken at the Como Park Zoo? I always thought it was. It will ruin one of my fondest childhood memories if it wasn't taken there but that's OK - I'll cope. Therapy is cheap. You just go ahead and do what you have to do. The blog must go on...

    Love - PT

    PS - Wasn't the slacker Mass at 11? Or maybe that was for mega-slackers.

  2. Nope, that train was definitely at the Duluth Zoo, but part of a business called Kiddieland across the parking lot. (lol...after you commented, I googled some more, and found the postcard of the TRAIN) YAY!
    Thanks, PT!
    PS--naw, the 11:00 AM mass was added after Vatican II, in the 60s. The 5PM masses, too, as part of your "Sunday obligation" started then. Evidently, Catholics discovered major time loop-holes on weekends during the Vatican Council.
    Who knew?