Washburn’s Phil Tetzner, owner of Tetzner’s Dairy, passes away


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Philip Ernest Tetzner, owner of Tetzner’s Dairy in Washburn, died March 30 at Memorial Medical Center, Ashland. He was 91 years old.In 2014, he spoke with writer and photographer Catherine Lange for her book,  “Why This Place.” He allowed her to climb the 80-foot-high Harvester and photograph the 360° views.Here are excerpt of his stories:“I never knew my grandfather, Frank Tetzner, because he died in 1930, and I was born in ’31. He probably got this land about 1890. He didn’t live here. He just owned it. He lived in town and had Tetzner’s Meat Market in Washburn. He was an immigrant from Germany. He’s the one that I think maybe my parents got life insurance from to build this house.“The house was built in ’31, and I was born in ’31. And that’s the only house I’ve ever lived in. Our family had eight kids. I’m the only one left. They were all older, a lot. So I don’t hardly remember them being here. My brother and I were kind of alone then. We were almost the same age as my brother Willis’ two boys. “The object of this farm was my parents, Ernest and Lillian, were going to raise pigs and chickens and beef for that meat market in Washburn. They moved out here in 1915. But, see, that all got disrupted because grandpa died. If I had been older, I would know more. See, when you’re only a teen-ager, you don’t think to ask any questions. And you got to be 40 or 50 years old before you start looking back.“There were no trees back then. There were stumps. Big stumps. They were so thick that up here at one spot, you could go from this road to the next road just jumping from stump to stump. I can remember this being so bare. We used to be able to stand right here and see Madeline Island. Now you got to go up in the Harvester to see it.“There were always ore boats out here in the bay. There were always, always ore boats. Either one coming in, or one going out. Or two or three at a time.“They had a small school right up here on Nevers Road. Progress School. I went the first five grades. One room. The teacher was Ida Kenssler. She lived on this road, too. She always had to walk. Everybody walked.

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