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Glad You Asked: What were Sanders Tourist Cabins?

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I have a postcard from the late 1950s. It says, "Sanders Tourist Cabins, located 5 miles north of Racine on Highway 42."

I think it's before the days of motels, because there's a picture of 10-by-12 cabins. Do you have any information on this, like what happened to them or where they were?

First, a little geography: Highway 42 was renamed Highway 32, in honor of the 32nd Red Arrow Division of the Wisconsin National Guard, at some point in the 1950s. With this in mind, it's easier to see that the cabins in question are located in

Caledonia.

Edward and Verna Sanders opened the Sanders Tourist Cabins in the early 1940s, according to Bill Sanders, their son. The cabins were across from the what is now Mulligan's Mini Golf on Highway 32.

Bill has run Sanders Paint & Wallpaper Co. since the early 1960s.

"The time it was used most, when they were the busiest, was in World War II," Sanders said.

Bill said Edward painted the 13 cabins, which he built himself, in varying pastel colors. The cabins were arranged in a horseshoe around a park in the center.

"He was a pretty handy guy," Bill said of Edward.

Edward and Verna tired of running the cabins and sold the business to another son, also named Edward, and his wife, Rosiland.

"I think my mother got tired of doing laundry," Bill said.

Edward and Rosiland took over the business in the early 1960s, according to daughter Rita (Sanders) Weber.

"I have a painting in my living room that was given to my parents," Rita said. Edward and Rosiland took the painting in lieu of payment from some cash-strapped guests.

Jim Woolrage, Town of Caledonia treasurer and president of the Caledonia Historical Society, lives in one of the cabins in the 6700 block of Douglas Avenue.

"I have the house that used to be the office for the cabins," Woolrage said. "There's still a few in the neighborhood."

Cabin No. 7 is in Rita's back yard and is now used as a storage shed. Rita said her parents closed shop for good about 20 or 25 years ago. There are listings for Sanders Tourist Cabins in Racine phone books as late as 1970.

The response and help from readers is appreciated. The Racine Public Library, Oak Clearing Archives and local history aficionados Roger Fink and Clarence Voll were especially helpful.

Where did the custom of serving a death row prisoner a final meal originate?

First of all, check out: http: / /www.deadmaneating.com, a site dedicated to the last meal requests of death row inmates from across the country. They even sell thong underwear to promote their site.

I'm not endorsing capital punishment by answering this question - my views on the prison system and the execution of miscreants make contemporary capital punishment look tame.

A search online reveals two gentlemen who studied the concept of a last meal.

James Marsh and Mats Bigert thoroughly researched the issue of last meals and published an article in a Norwegian journal in 1999. Both men made short documentary films dealing with the ritual.

Marsh points out that America and Japan are the only post-industrial nations that impose the death penalty and relates the tradition of a last meal to Christ's Last Supper.

Bigert traces the roots of the last meal even further, to the Greeks. The Greeks didn't want a condemned person to be hungry on the journey to the kingdom of death, lest an executed soul be stuck in purgatory with a case of the grumbles.

Think of that the next time your tummy rumbles for a cheeseburger.

Wisconsin doesn't use the death penalty, but Journal Times reporter Janine Anderson takes a look at incarceration in Racine County in a special story on Page 1A of your Journal Times today.

Why is it spelled "catsup" on some bottles and "ketchup" on others?

No one really knows.

The best I can offer is spelling preferences, a pureed version of you saying tomato with a short "a" and me saying tomato with a long "a."

I say we call the whole thing off.

Heinz makes ketchup, Hunts make catsup and, a few years ago, Brooks changed from ketchup to catsup. Ketchup is far and away the more popular of the two.

Incidentally, the world's largest ketchup /catsup bottle is in Collinsville, Ill. Check it out at:

http: / /www.catsupbottle.com

Glad You Asked finds answers to questions. Selected questions and the answers will be published in this column.

Call (262) 631-1758 to submit a question, or do so by e-mail: ask@journaltimes.com

You may also submit questions online at www.journaltimes.com

The Journal Times and the Racine Public Library are partners on research. Call the Reference Desk at (262) 636-9217 or query their Web site at http: / /www.racinelib.lib.wi.us /emailr.htm for more information.

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