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PostSubject: Cottage Cafe   Thu Oct 17 2013, 12:10

The following is taken directly from the book Haunted Heartland; I scanned the portion entitled The Teetotaling Polterdeist and ran Adobe's word recognition through the PDF.  I then copy / pasted it in Word, where I tried to fix as many mistakes as I could. I'm merely placing this here as a starting point for this hopeful investigation, with more posts to come shortly.

Scott and Norman wrote:
Tim and Louise Mulderink are an energetic young couple who always dreamed of owning a restaurant.  In November, 1982, they bought a 125-year-old house in Plover, Wisconsin.  As they would discover, not all the former residents of the attractive, two-story clapboard dwelling had moved out. Someone they couldn't see opened the front door, knocked glasses off the bar, tramped the upstairs rooms and turned lights on and off.

At first, Tim and Louise were so busy remodeling that they didn't notice any peculiarities. They put in new wiring and plumbing, installed a new roof and insulated the walls. Tim, who had an extensive background in food management and catering, did much of the planning, including the conversion of the former garage into a kitchen. Louise, a vivacious, willowy blond, supervised the redecorating of the house. The main color scheme of petal pink and burgundy created an elegant ambience for fine dining.

The Mulderinks named their restaurant the Sherman House to identify it with the famous Sherman House restaurant in Chicago, their hometown. They also wanted to honor Eugene A. Sherman, the most historically significant of the home's previous residents. Sherman had
operated a sawmill and general store in Plover, moving into the house in 1891. Now, nearly a century later, the Sherman House restaurant was ready for its first guests. The well-attended grand opening in April, 1983, pleased Tim and Louise.

A month later, Louise was standing behind the bar, facing a glass-shelved, glassware storage cabinet, when a glass exploded.

"It just shattered," Tim remembered. "Louise never touched it. There was glass on the bar, everywhere." The glass had been in the center of a row of glasses. Had a vibration of some sort caused it to break? Tim didn't think so, or other glasses in the cabinet would have broken
also.

Shortly afterward, two women in the bar ordered drinks. No sooner had the bartender set the first drink down, when the glass exploded, showering one of the women with liquid and glass fragments. Fortunately, she wasn't hurt. The bartender, a waitress and Charles
Grachan, Louise's father, witnessing the incident, said no hands had been touching the glass.

On a Friday night, Paul, one of the dishwashers, experienced a similar incident. Five minutes after he pulled a rack of glasses out of the machine to air dry, he heard a loud popping noise. Tim, who was standing nearby, said, "What are you doing, Paul? Breaking glasses?"

"I didn't even touch it," Paul said, holding a stack of plates he had just removed from another machine.

On another day, during the lunch period, a fourth glass exploded, throwing shards into the liquor and ice bins. "The pieces looked like a windshield somebody'd taken a sledge hammer to," said Louise.

By this time, Tim, convinced that the glasses were defective, talked to the company representative. The man could not explain the explosions; he said that an occasional glass shatters, but it is highly improbable for several glasses to do so.

Meanwhile, the heavy front door developed a will of its own. It opened six or eight inches by itself. Tim discounted an air current caused by the kitchen exhaust fan because doors between the kitchen and entrance lobby are always kept closed. There was never any wind on
days the door swung open, and the Mulderinks never found anyone who might have opened it as a prank, or carelessly failed to shut it.

The restaurant opens at four-thirty on Sundays, and one afternoon Louise's father was alone in the house answering the telephone and taking dinner reservations. Suddenly, he heard someone unlock the front door and open it. He called out jokingly, "Come in, Mr. Sherman.
I'll buy you a drink."

No one came in. Thinking it must be a cleanup man, Grachan went to check. The door was open just wide enough for a person to slip through, but no one was in the house.

"Only a few people have a key to that door," Mr. Grachan said. "Whoever opened it had to have a key. I heard it click."

But that was not the end of Mr. Grachan's experiences. Late one evening, he, Tim and a friend named Rick were lounging after hours in the bar. At midnight, the mantel clock in the center of the top shelf behind the bar began striking the hour. The men looked up at
the clock and counted. It struck thirteen!
"I've had enough for tonight," Mr. Grachan said. He had bought the clock new in April of 1983, and this was the third time it had struck an extra hour. He had examined the battery-operated device carefully, but could find nothing wrong with it. "I'm not scared of anything,"
Mr. Grachan explained, "except anything I can't see. I have trouble with that."

Corinne, the cleaning lady, felt the same way. A religious woman who always carried her Bible with her, she reported to work early each morning . . . until she quit. "Whatever is in there," she told Tim, "I can't work there any more."

"She ,was scared out of her wits," Tim said, shaking his head. She would constantly talk about kitchen pots clanging or shadows in the bar; when she was near the entrances she could see shadows going by."

Tim thought it was probably the wind and the old house creaking, although he admits that the structure is quite solid.

Even though other employees besides Corinne were nervous about working in the house, Tim and Louise were not inclined to accept a supernatural basis for the incidents. Tim, especially, sought logical explanations for everything-but never found them. Louise, however, soon experienced an incident that changed her mind. It frightened her so badly that she refused, afterwards, to stay alone in the house.
That night, while John, another dishwasher, finished up in the kitchen, Louise emptied the cash register and went upstairs to the office to count the money and put it in the safe. She kept the office door open. Suddenly, it closed. She got up to open it. Returning to her task, she
heard footsteps cross the hall. Then she noticed that the door to the banquet room opposite-which was always kept closed-was open.

Louise raced downstairs to ask John if he had come up. No, he said, he had not left the kitchen. Louise went back upstairs, turned on the banquet room lights and
checked the room. Nothing was disturbed. By the time she returned to counting the money, John was ready to leave.

"I counted very fast," Louise remembered, "put everything in the safe, made sure the back (fire escape) door was locked, turned off the light in the office, and made sure all the upstairs lights were off. John and I walked out the door together and he got in his car and
left. My car was parked in the back so I had to walk around the building and ... I heard this tapping on the upstairs window.

"I got in my car, locked all the doors and backed the car up to see if the branches of any trees were scraping the window. No, the branches can't hit the window. I looked up and the office light was on. I knew I'd turned all the lights off and I wasn't about to go back in. So I
went home and woke Tim up. I had to tell him what happened."

In the morning, the office light was off!

Louise said her father had a similar experience while managing the restaurant when she and Tim were out of town. Mr. Grachan finished counting the money, put it in the safe and turned off all the lights. While walking to his car, he looked up and saw the office light burning.
He went back inside and the light was off.

Louise was not the only one who heard footsteps. One Friday night Tim and Louise and four of the employees were gathered in the kitchen when they heard distinct thumping noises overhead.

"Stop talking for a minute!" someone shouted. Heavy footsteps crossed the upstairs hall as if to enter the banquet room. Tim searched the entire upstairs. He found nothing.

On a fall night in 1983, Louise witnessed a second disturbing incident. She was upstairs when the fluorescent lights in the office flickered, but did not go out. Then Louise heard a tinkling noise. On the back of the office door is a rack holding lightweight metal clothes hangers.
As Louise turned from the safe, she noticed the hangers swinging back and forth, including one that held a shirt of Tim's.

"It was as if somebody had brushed past them," she said. But she was alone. No air was moving, nor was the air conditioner running. Louise could find no explanation
for the movement of the hangers.

"I went home and told Tim that the ghost was here again," she said.

But who is the ghost?

The Mulderinks still hope to find out. Wendell Nelson, a Portage County historian, provided the couple with much background information on the house and its residents. And Louise also gathered information from customers familiar with the place. The only person known
to have died in the house was a two-day-old infant.

However, all of the families who had lived in the house were Methodists and teetotalers. Especially the Pierces who owned the house from 1903 until1945. James W. Pierce was a grocer in Plover. The deacons and the mens' club met in his house, and Mrs. Pierce regularly entertained the ladies' sewing circle. Louise thought the Pierces were probably offended by the transformation of their homestead into a restaurant. Especially after she and Tim unwittingly convened Mr. Pierce's old bedroom into a bar!

"He's probably just having kittens over that!'' exclaimed Louise.

Does the ghost of James Pierce haunt the house? If so, he was there long before the Sherman House began operations. The Mulderinks believe the house has been haunted for at least twenty-five years. The last residents, the William Sowiaks, who owned it from 1957 to 1982, also witnessed strange phenomena. When the Mulderinks bought it, Tim and Louise became acquainted with Mike Sowiak, son of the owners, who had grown up in the
house. Mike told them this story:

The rear portion of the upstairs banquet room was once Mike's bedroom. (Tim and Louise had removed the wall between two bedrooms to create the private dining area.) The Sowiaks had a friendly dog who was also fearless ... except at certain times when it refused to go upstairs. It would stand at the foot of the stairway and bark and howl. Once, Mike pushed the dog up a couple of steps, but it came right back down.

In the 1970s, Mike married and moved to Chicago. Each time he and his wife, Sue, returned to visit Mike's parents, they slept in Mike's bedroom. But they got little rest. The couple would hear someone enter the room and approach the bed. It was as if a parent were coming
in late at night to check on a sleeping child. But no one was ever there.

After a few such nocturnal checks, Sue refused to sleep in the room anymore. Mike stuck it out until one night when something awoke him. He refused to say what had frightened him.

A few sensitive patrons of the Sherman House may suspect that someone invisible may be watching them in the oak-trimmed bar or in one of the comfortable dining rooms. But luckily, since the bar glasses shattered, there have been no further incidents involving customers.

They also know that the front door, secure as it seems, may open mysteriously at any time . . . that someone prowls the banquet room upstairs ... that the mantel clock in the bar can't be depended upon to chime the correct hour. And that the woman who lives next door may greet Tim and Louise in the morning by asking, "Did you know your office light was on all night?"

Meanwhile, the Mulderinks are working hard to complete the restoration of this lovely vintage home. Eager to forge a link with the past, they've named the various dining rooms in honor of previous residents and they are collecting pictures of the families. They have little time to ponder what their resident ghost might do next.

Louise's father, who believes in ghosts, offers the last word. "He's just a nice, friendly guy."

And hopefully an asset to the restaurant business.
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PostSubject: Re: Cottage Cafe   Sun Oct 20 2013, 22:35

As you can see within our Events thread, the Cottage Cafe (formerly the Sherman House) is holding an open house followed by a Stevens Point Paranormal Investigators sponsored investigative session on Saturday October 26.  So far, it looks like we'll be attending this event; the reason that this is gaining its own Investigations thread is because, for us, this will also be treated as a preliminary investigation.  Over the past few days, I've been exchanging emails with the Cafe's owners (and, I believe, also members of SPPI), and I am hoping that they will like us enough to allow us a private session, to conduct our own investigation either by ourselve or in conjection with their team.

As of this moment, Steven and I will be leaving Crivitz around 10a - 11a Saturday morning.  We were originally going to meet up and carpool with Wendy, but that was before our session time was finalized; I was hoping for the 9:30p to 11:30p time frame, but it turns out that those were all booked... we'll have the midnight to 2a session.  Because this would have us arriving back home at about 5a, it was reasoned that an overnight stay would be in order.  The Point Motel in Stevens Point will be our berth for that night; it's the cheapest at $49 for a two bed, and only about 10 miles away from the Cafe.  Anyway, check-in is at 2p; with our departure time, we should be there at about that time, giving us a chance to unpack and set things up.

We've already got permission to bring our own equipment to the evening session.  As this is a preliminary, cameras and or camcorders are definitely in order.  Digital Voice Recorder might be a plus.  I wouldn't worry about to much beyond that, as the goal is to get the layout of the structure and to talk / get to know the owners so we can get a future visit.  And, it must be stressed, that this will make for an other chance to network with a fellow team.
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PostSubject: Re: Cottage Cafe   Mon Oct 21 2013, 10:24

HISTORY
For the investigative portion of things, I am including some websites that detail the activities associated with the Sherman House / Cottage Cafe.  Most of the sites do tend to give the same information; I am trying to find various accounts.

http://www.prairieghosts.com/oldsherm.html
Quote :
Plover, Wisconsin is located in the central region of the state and is historical town with many connections to the past. There is one house that ma have more of a connection to history than any other.... it seems that residents from the past are still living there.

The William Sowiak family lived in a small clapboard house in Plover from 1957 to 1982 and although they did experience some odd things during their residency, according to their son Mike, they were very reluctant to talk about it. It wasn't until the family moved out that the ghostly activity became public knowledge...and much more frightening.

In 1982, Tim and Louise Mulderink bought the 125-year old house and decided to turn it into a restaurant. They called it the Old Sherman House after one of Plover's early and influential residents, Eugene Sherman. Initially, the young couple was too busy with their extensive renovations to notice that anything odd was going on but once the bar opened for business, they realized they were not alone in the house.

Glass windows had a habit of shattering, glasses and plates would fly off bars and counters and explode in front of customers. Doors opened and closed by themselves and lights in the offices and the restaurant refused to behave normally. At one point, employees even complained that invisible forms brushed past them in some of the rooms.

Tim and Louise realized that they had a ghost. They decided to do some research into the history of the place and try to figure out why. They gathered information about the place and discovered that, although the only person to die in the house was an infant, they believed they had found the identity of the ghost. Most of the families who had lived in the house had been strict Methodists and very against the "evils" of alcohol. This was especially true of the Pierce family, who had lived in the house from 1903 to 1945. James Pierce had been a church deacon and an influential member of the local church. The Mulderink's believed that they may have offended James Pierce with the idea that they had turned his former home into a restaurant... and unwittingly turned his former bedroom into a bar!

The strange phenomena in the house continued and finally drove the Mulderink's out of the house.... they closed the restaurant after only a few years in business. Later on, the restaurant opened again, this time with the name "The Cottage House Restaurant". At this time, the status of the haunting is unknown.
http://www.unsolvedmysteries.com/usm415054.html
Quote :
OLD SHERMAN HOUSE RESTAURANT Plover, Wisconsin

Plover, Wisconsin is located in the central region of the state and is historical town with many connections to the past. There is one house that may have more of a connection to history than any other.... it seems that residents from the past are still living there.

The William Sowiak family lived in a small clapboard house in Plover from 1957 to 1982 and although they did experience some odd things during their residency, according to their son Mike, they were very reluctant to talk about it. It wasn't until the family moved out that the ghostly activity became public knowledge...and much more frightening.

In 1982, Tim and Louise Mulderink bought the 125-year old house and decided to turn it into a restaurant. They called it the Old Sherman House after one of Plover's early and influential residents, Eugene Sherman. Initially, the young couple was too busy with their extensive renovations to notice that anything odd was going on but once the bar opened for business, they realized they were not alone in the house.

Glass windows had a habit of shattering, glasses and plates would fly off bars and counters and explode in front of customers. Doors opened and closed by themselves and lights in the offices and the restaurant refused to behave normally. At one point, employees even complained that invisible forms brushed past them in some of the rooms.

Tim and Louise realized that they had a ghost. They decided to do some research into the history of the place and try to figure out why. They gathered information about the place and discovered that, although the only person to die in the house was an infant, they believed they had found the identity of the ghost. Most of the families who had lived in the house had been strict Methodists and very against the "evils" of alcohol. This was especially true of the Pierce family, who had lived in the house from 1903 to 1945.

James Pierce had been a church deacon and an influential member of the local church. The Mulderink's believed that they may have offended James Pierce with the idea that they had turned his former home into a restaurant... and unwittingly turned his former bedroom into a bar!

The strange phenomena in the house continued and finally drove the Mulderink's out of the house.... they closed the restaurant after only a few years in business. Later on, the restaurant opened again, this time with the name "The Cottage House Restaurant". At this time, the status of the haunting is unknown.
http://www.wisconsinosity.com/Portage/ghosts_of_portage_county.htm
Quote :
In the mid-1980s, occupants of a Plover restaurant reported unexplained events in the establishment. The tale was even included in the book "Haunted Heartland" by Beth Scott and Michael Norman in a story entitled "Teetotaling Poltergeist."

The occupants reported glasses mysteriously breaking, the front door unlocked after being locked earlier and lights being on in the morning after being turned off at night.

The "spirit" was dubbed "Shermie," after a long-ago occupant of the house, although the restaurant occupants felt the spirit might be due to a family of devout Methodists who were reportedly teetotalers and used to hold catechism classes, choir practice and other church meetings in the house.

But the spirit may have been exorcised from the building. Succeeding occupants haven't reported similar incidents.
Then there's the above post's quote from Haunted Heartland.
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PostSubject: Re: Cottage Cafe   Thu Oct 31 2013, 12:53

Saturday October 26, Steven, Wendy and I traveled to the Stevens Point area to participate in the Cottage Cafe's Ghostly Get-Together, sponsored by the Stevens Point Paranormal Investigators group.

We arrived at our motel (Point Motel) at around 2:15p, and enjoyed a late lunch at Rocky Rococo's.  At 5p, we set out for the Cafe, arriving no more than 20 minutes later.  Would have been sooner, but the roads there aren't marked; although the cafe is on Post Road, it is actually highway 51!

Between 5p and 7p, we conversed with different members of SPPI, eavesdropped on some readings and other conversations, and exchanged information.  We also checked out the building, or the areas of the building we were allowed to check out.  Due to the fact that their bakery was operating, we couldn't enter the kitchen, nor could we venture into the room in which the tattoos were being given.  There was a basement, but that too was closed.

From 7p to 9p, members of SPPI were holding a Question and Answer session along with Central Wisconsin Paranormal Research (originally a part of SPPI, they broke off into their own group) and a dream interpreter / spiritualist whose name I cannot recall.  The room in which this was held was rather crowded, sitting at least 35 people (panel not included), but began to filter out at around 8p.  Questions ranged from type of equipment used to ghostly animals to paranormal activity.

From there we returned to the motel, as the first scheduled investigative session was preparing to go.  Since our session was the midnight showing, we journeyed back to the Cafe and arrived around 11:40p.

From about 11:50p onward, I had our digital voice record on, though I doubt anything unusual was picked up due to the fact that there was a conversation going on, whether it was us talking to SPPI, SPPI talking about the house and other investigations, or other people talking to SPPI.  Likewise, we really didn't do to much with regards to an investigation; Steven ran the standard camcorder for about an hour and I had the night vision camera operating, but we really didn't go about.  This wasn't because we didn't want to, oh no, but rather because we had set out to just check things out and to meet a fellow group, for them to get to know us, in the hopes of maybe being able to go back to conduct a thorough investigation.  In fact, during our session, we pretty much just talked and chatted with one of the members; her name also escapes me at the moment...  I think her name was Trisha, but I can't be certain.  Rough week.

When out given time was done, I turned off the night vision camcorder and the digital voice recorder.  Upon exiting the Cafe, I took a series of photos of the building's exterior.  There is one photo that has something unusual about it (posting it below), and I've emailed SPPI about it in order to have someone just go there and see if there was anything that could have caused this; right now it is believed that the reflection seen between the garbage cans and the NO PARKING mark on the parking lot could be due to the light reflecting off of tar used to fill a crack.  This cannot be confirmed until SPPI responds (as of this writing, they have not).

Because this past week has been a busy one, I have been unable to go through any of the recordings.  I hope to do so this weekend, but cannot make any promises.

The first photo is merely a base image, to show the area from a different perspective.


This second photo shows the reflection as mentioned above.
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