In the early hours of Tuesday, June 17, 2014, an EF-3 level tornado tore through northwestern Verona, touching down on Epic’s Farm Campus and skipping north before heading east through the Cross County Road neighborhoods, ending at Country View Elementary School.
The anniversary of the tornado will be the topic of this month’s Verona Area Historical Society meeting, held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at the school, 710 Lone Pine Way. Verona Area School District superintendent Dean Gorrell will be the guest speaker.
Gorrell, who toured the school after the tornado, will show his video walk-through of the destruction of several classrooms and discuss the effort to rebuild and be open in time for fall classes less than three months later. Gorrell will take people on a tour of the rebuilt classrooms.
The society invites anyone to share their memories or photographs of the event, the community’s response and the months or years of rebuilding that followed. People with photographs or short written memories can send them to SaveVeronaHistory@gmail.com.
Maple Drive Dairy
At the April VAHS meeting, Lyn (Kahl) Elver and Lorlene (Kahl) Pulver talked about their family’s farm, named for its location on Maple Drive, a road lined with long rows of maple trees. Maple Drive later was renamed North Nine Mound Road. The family farm of 160 acres encompassed the area now known as Cross Country Heights.
Chris Kahl and his wife bought the property in 1908 and lived in the original house there for six years. Only the very large house built by Chris in 1914 remains at the corner of Nine Mound and Aspen Drive. Chris Kahl’s son Vernon and his wife, Vera, joined in the farming operation in the mid-1930s. Their children, Lyn and Lorlene and siblings Maynard, twins Verna and Vera and Ken, grew up in that farmhouse.
The dairy was formed around 1937 to deliver milk to residents in Verona, Madison and Middleton. The raw milk produced was still bottled by hand, capped with a small cardboard, tabbed disc, placed in crates and cooled before it was delivered.
As the business grew, the family acquired a milk delivery truck and expanded to five hired hands. The dairy business was sold to Bowman Dairy in 1943, but the family continued to farm the land.
Lorlene was married at the house, and she and husband raised their six children there. By 1953, some of the land was sold, but Vernon retained 40 acres and Chris kept 80 acres. Later the land became a housing subdivision.