Awards 2014

Posted on: June 15th, 2016 by

Oconto County Historical Society Awards

Annual Meeting of the Society

Recipient Information

November 13, 2014


The Duane Ebert Award – for lifetime achievement in history


The Bartels family owns and operates McCauslin Brook Golf Course and Country Club on land which surrounds the Holt & Balcom Logging Camp Museum in Lakewood.  The property, known as Brook Farm when Holt Lumber owned it, was acquired by Don Bartels Sr.  He designed and built the golf course which was opened to the public in 1964.

Everyone at Holt & Balcom agrees that MBGCCC has been a very good neighbor for the past 50 years.  Family members, especially Ted and Peggy who live nearby, patiently endured both the first major restoration done by the McCaslin Lions Club (1975-1982) as well as the more recent OCHS renovation (2007-2013).  For decades, the Bartels have generously supplied electrical power to the camp, given us use of their restrooms and kitchen, done the grounds-keeping and occasional maintenance, and allowed us to use their parking lot for tours and special events.

Don Jr, known to everyone as Don D, has been nothing short of amazing.  A former member of the OCHS Board and currently MBGCCC manager, Don’s help was critical during the recent restoration.  It is no exaggeration to say that we absolutely could not have done the project without his support.  A key contribution was his allowing our restoration crew to use the golf course’s skidsteer free of charge over what turned out to be a two year period.  In addition, Don and his wife Adrienne helped us organize and promote our three fundraiser Golf Outings which were very successful.

While the camp was closed for renovation, MBGCCC gave us free use of the Clubhouse dining room for programs so that we could continue our mission.  When hundreds of school children come to tour the camp each spring, they are allowed to use the Clubhouse facilities, no small favor when a fourth grader absolutely needs to go.  Don and Ted also helped with that all-important final task of the project:  site cleanup and landscaping.

By now it must be obvious that we could never have completed the restoration of the logging camp without the Bartels family and McCauslin Brook Golf Course and Country Club.  For their five decades of support and generosity, we wish to recognize them with the OCHS Duane Ebert Award for lifetime achievement in history.


Volunteer of the Year Award


Ashwaubenon High School history and geography teacher Bernard “Bernie” VanDreel and his wife Mary Lou purchased a snug cabin on beautiful wooded acreage in Mountain in 1972.  As weekenders and summer residents, the couple began to assimilate into the northwoods community long before retiring there in 1996.

Always active in both church and civic groups, Bernie had been a charter member of the Ashwaubenon Lions Club.  Within a year after moving “up north”, he transferred his Lions membership to the McCaslin (Lakewood) chapter.  It was at a McCaslin Lions meeting in 1997 that Bernie met Holt & Balcom Logging Camp Manager Norbert Langer.  “The Lions owned the logging camp at that time,” Norb says.  “My wife Vivian and I had gradually taken on the responsibility for managing it.  We were looking for good people to help us, and I zeroed in on Bernie right away.  I asked him to volunteer as a tour guide for area fourth graders studying Wisconsin history.  Thankfully, it didn’t take too much persuading to recruit him.”

Over the past 16 years, Bernie has done more than just serve as tour guide.  When the Lions decided in 2000 to fill in the root cellar beneath the bunk house, Bernie got down and dirty to get the job done.  Over the years, he has become an expert in the logging tools and farming implements that are part of the Museum’s collection.  He continues to help with the school tours and also serves as a docent during the Summer Saturday open hours.

Bernie really seems to enjoy his volunteer work at the Logging Camp. “It’s been a perfect fit; I can combine my love for history with my love for children while also fulfilling my mission as a Lion to serve the local community,” he says.

Bernie and his wife Mary Lou have three children, 12 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren.  They spend their winters in Lake Havasu, Arizona, which is why he is not here tonight.  Accepting his Volunteer of the Year Award is Holt & Balcom Camp Manager Robert Brown.