EVERY AREA HAS A SECRET: EVEN CICERO
Every Area Has a Secret…Even Cicero!
By Lynn E. Koenigs
I wonder how many people have been curious about where this sign on County Highway VV leads. Some leisurely driver on a Sunday afternoon might say, “Let’s check out Cicero.” Imagine their surprise when they drive and drive and drive… perhaps even forgetting why they turned onto County X. Nothing remains of Cicero to indicate that anything of importance ever happened there. Younger people might be surprised to learn that Cicero was at one time a busy little place. Springtime meant muddied, wagon-wheel rutted roads used by local farmers making their way to Cicero bringing cans of milk to the cheese factory,
or perhaps stopping for groceries at the general store where they would find the latest information posted notifying the inhabitants of elections, school information, dances and anything else that was of importance for the well-being of the people living near. The store had a pot-bellied stove with benches on each side where customers could sit down and warm up on a chilly day. Imagine the interesting discussions held around that old stove! If further “news” was needed, there was a tavern across the road. Today, we see only the Town Hall, which was once Sunny Nook School…the starting point of Cicero. Further on down the road, Immanuel Lutheran Church is the end of Cicero. Houses still remain however, most of the businesses have been torn down or repurposed.
There is one area secret though…one that has remained hidden for years and was only recently uncovered.
Each morning as I rode the bus to Seymour High we passed by the secret hidden within the walls of the Tubbs home on Highway X. No one conversed about the secret on the way to school. It was hush-hush…never discussed…even by those who knew!
One day, on my way home from Seymour, I decided to turn on X because I was interested in the progress of the David and Tina Wichman home being built along side of the old Tubbs home. The new house was finished and the family had recently moved in.
The old Tubbs farmhouse which stood for so many years, on the outskirts of Cicero, was finally being torn down. The slate siding was removed revealing the secret known by the families that had once lived there. Underneath the siding stood a two-story log house! The uncovered structure stood proudly and beautiful in all its glory as it had more than a hundred years before.
Was this the final death and destruction of a home that had housed the first settlers in the area? No, it was not! Fortunately for history, the Wichman family had contacted the company Beam and Board from Green Bay that would take the house down for free if they could have the logs. The house will be sold as a kit to a prospective buyer. Because of building codes and restrictions a new house will first be built and then the log kit will surround the structure making it appear old. Clever! We won’t know where or when the old Cicero farmhouse will reappear….but, the old log home will live on.