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The light source in the upper right is from a police light.
Shortly after moving to Viroqua, while encased in minor pensive solitude, I cycled past the old Vernon County courthouse around midnight. I felt something brush me as I rode by an old tree in the courtyard. I paused there and looked down.
"JUNE 1, 1888", the small, distressed stone marker at the base of the tree declared enigmatically.
I looked at my Handheld. As I lit the screen it turned... the first seconds of June 1st, 2006.
I racked my brain attempting to recall the stories I'd heard about the market. What did it commemorate? Ah, just couldn't recall. I went home to bed.
Then, a couple of days ago in the ED. I was chatting to a nurse about our documentary, Viroqua... the ED clerk overheard and asked, "have you shot anything about the Grandstaff Massacre?". Grandstaff Massacre? What?
She continued... in May of 1888 her great-great grand parents and two of their grand-kids were murdered by Mr. Grandstaff in their Viroqua home. apparently he was trying to steal a rifle. The scene was grizzly.
The perpetrator was quickly caught and brought to the very courthouse jail I st oped at on June 1. As the days past and the news spread, a sulfurous crowd milled about in the courtyard. They were impatient. As the heat rose, and the hours ticked by, they increasingly demanded blood for this heinous massacre.
Suddenly, the crowd boiled over and they rushed the jail, seizing Mr. Grandstaff. He was promptly strung up and hanged from the courtyard Oak, were he died. It was June 1, 1888.
Needless to say, we now plan on a documentary segment related to the infamous Grandstaff Murder of 1888.
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