Town of Almond

The Town of Almond includes some flat land, outwash plains of the last glaciations and some hills and the end of the Arnott moraine, as well as parts of the Wisconsin terminal and ground moraines. Much of it was a prairie with good soil for agriculture and it became the first area where some pioneer farmers, at first Yankees, followed by Germans and Irish, settled before 1850.

By 1850 there was a village named Almond after a town in Allegany County, state of New York from where some families had come and a post office was opened. The place developed especially after 1901 when the tracks of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad reached the town providing good shipping for potatoes and other agricultural products.

The village was not incorporated until 1905, but it has become the center of southern Portage County with stores, shops, a bank, its own telephone company and taverns. The variety of origin of the inhabitants is seen by its five different churches; Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, and Catholic. Some of the church buildings had been originally built in the country but have been moved to the village.

In the town there are not less than nine cemeteries, one of them is named Spiritland because one of the early settlers Dewit McLaughlin who had lost his wife came to her grave in the cemetery and had there meetings with her spirit.

The town has no stream but has a few lakes; Wolf Lake in a pleasant surrounding has a beach and boat landing, the Twin Lakes (Washburn and Bass Lakes) and Patterson Lake. These last three, clearly indicated on old maps, dried almost completely in the 1950-1960s. About 1965 Patterson Lake seemed to have completely disappeared, replaced by brush, but in the woods near what might have been a shore was an abandoned boat showing that not only had there been a lake but that it had had fish. The condition was blamed on the extensive irrigation of the farming land that had lowered the watertable and dried up the lakes, but in the 1970’s water reappeared and the lakes are present again, the result of a series of years with abundant rainfalls.


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