On the Same Page: ‘Big Creek Rising’ documentary airs at Reedsburg Public Library

Reedsburg Public Library staff

(Submitted photo)

Next Monday, May 6 at 5 pm, Reedsburg Public Library will host a presentation of the documentary, “Big Creek Rising,” in the Library’s Community Room. Local videographer Mike Marquardt’s film tells the story of the dream that would become Lake Redstone. There is no cost or registration required to attend this program.

Many will remember the 2016 book, “Building Lake Redstone: An Illustrated History,” written by Don Grossnickle, Steve Blakeslee and lake builder Ike Isaacson. In the years following the book’s publication, Grossnickle sought a production company to develop a documentary on the subject, and eventually contacted Mike Marquardt of Video Scrapbook Productions, who had done a video presentation on Lake Redstone County Park.

According to Marquardt, the resulting film, “Big Creek Rising,” “focuses on the farming community that lived in the area for generations before the building of Lake Redstone.” It tells the residents’ story, alongside the efforts of Isaacson to win community approval of his vision to build a lake. Marquardt adds that he felt it was important to “tell the story of the people who sacrificed for the coming lake.” A follow up documentary about the actual construction of Lake Redstone is in the works.

Though Isaacson passed away in 2018, after completing six lake projects, Marquardt was able to gather much information about Lake Redstone from Grossnickle’s years of research, Blakeslee’s extensive collection of documents and photos and his own more recent inquiries. The film is 75 minutes long.

After the presentation, Marquardt, Grossnickle and Blakeslee will take questions from the audience.

Those interested may also view the film on the VideoScrapbookProductions website. DVDs will be available to purchase for $20.

Your own local history project may not include a book or film, nonetheless, new resources available through Reedsburg Public Library may help you in your research. Over the past year the library has added several collections to the “RecollectionWisconsin” website. Among these are photos of the beginnings of Lake Redstone, utilized by Marquardt in his project, and donated to the library by the daughter of the late Mildred Hinrichs. Several hundred photographs of “Old Settlers” association members, antique postcards, and Reedsburg High School Yearbooks can also be found on the website (www.recollectionwisconsin.org).

On May 9, at 6 p.m. library staff will do a short presentation on RPL’s collections on the Recollection Wisconsin website at the Friends of the Reedsburg Library’s Spring Membership Meeting. This meeting is a great opportunity to join the Friends or learn more about their efforts to support the Library.

For questions about any library program or service, call the library at 608-768-READ (7323) or email info@reedsburglibrary.org.