Many people might not know about “The Maple Drive Dairy,” a little farmhouse that has sat for decades on the corner of Nine Mound Road and Aspen Avenue; now enveloped by a typical Verona neighborhood.
Just a generation ago that house, now surrounded closely by neighboring homes, stood alone on that spot surrounded by nothing but farm fields, trees and a few farm buildings. At 10 a.m. Saturday, April 13, at the Verona Senior Center, people can learn all about its history at the Verona Area Historical Society’s April meeting.
Their guests will be Lorlene (Kahl) Pulver and Lynn (Kahl) Elver, who both grew up in that house and helped with the operations of their father Vernon’s dairy farm, bottling milk as children.
The farm was originally bought by their grandfather Chris Kahl around 1900, and was renamed to the “Maple Drive Dairy” by Vernon in the 1940s. Cows were milked, and that milk was delivered by truck to homes in Verona. Lorlene and Lynn will talk about their experiences growing up on the farm and what the milk business meant for their family and Verona.
High school hockey beginnings
The February VAHS meeting featured guest Mary Feldt, who along with her husband, Gary and son, Rich, helped high school hockey get its start in Verona in the late 1970s.
Rich played on youth hockey teams around the area, but when he was about to be a sophomore in high school, if he wanted to continue playing hockey, he would have to attend Edgewood in Madison, as Verona didn’t have a team. Mary said when he asked why, they didn’t have a good answer for him. After initially receiving resistance from the school against adding another official sport, they took the matter to the school board, and after considerable debate, the motion passed by a single vote to allow hockey, but not as an official sport. The spent the next few years finding kids who wanted to play and parents who wanted to volunteer to help out, and within four years, had enough players to have a varsity and JV team.
The club did not become an official high school sport until 1991 when a teacher liaison position was created and a coach hired. Mary recalled one contest in Marinette where it was so cold that the players would come over to the sidelines to have their feet warmed up with hair dryers.
From these humble beginnings, the hockey enthusiasts went on to create the Eagle’s Nest Ice Rink (now known as the Verona Ice Arena). “With such support it is no wonder that the Verona hockey has impressive record of nine conference and seven sectional championships, many appearances at state along with a state title in 2014,” wrote Charles.