A telling skyline

As I chugged along the MyPulaskiK9 FundRun route Sunday morning, I thought about how skylines define a town.

They give us insight into the values and industry upon which people build a community. Some skylines, like Chicago, New York and Singapore, offer the gorgeous glow of innovation as they rise in mighty triumph over cities that hum with business and noise.

Others, like Pulaski, send deep roots into fertile soil and stretch more solidly through spheres of faith and honest labor.

For instance, in Pulaski, gold-capped pinnacles from the impressive Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church provide a focal point for residents, visitors and passers-through. Constructed in 1892, six years after a devastating fire destroyed most of the town and all the lumber the young town had saved to build it, the church is said to be the largest rural Catholic church in the United States.

Granaries, feed mills and seed warehouses both compliment and offset the steeples’ grandeur in practical and Biblical ways. Steel beams stretch skyward as sturdy reminders of the area’s agricultural history. This is a proud farming community that relies on its deep faith, rich earth and generational expertise.

John J. Hoff founded Pulaski intentionally on the cusp of three counties in 1883 and the town still straddles Brown, Oconto and Shawano counties. That kind of foresight remains in residents that share a cheerful work-hard-play-hard exuberance. The town of just under 3,500 boasts its own newspaper, police department, fire department, public school system and the best Polish bakery this side of Warsaw.

I’ve always known Pulaski for it polkas and pierogies, but on my chilly morning charity run, I enjoyed thinking about its deep roots and telling skyline.

Pulaski is a thriving little slice of America, unassuming but rich in faith and fertile soil.
Our running path took us through a portion of the Mountain Bay Trail, an 83-mile route between Wausau and Green Bay.
The red car provided some perspective for how tall the Pulaski sky scrapers can stretch.
Grain elevators and their implements added a little color to the landscape on a chilly spring morning.
The Olds Farm Seed Company, founded in 1888, provides a nice contrast here to the spanking new semi for Nutrition Services Company. This speaks to both the rich history and the bright future of agriculture in the area.
So big it’s hard to get in one frame without becoming roadkill on the street that runs in front of it, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary church is said (by the Pulaski Chamber of Commerce) to be the largest rural Catholic church in the United States.
Its steeples provide some majesty to the Pulaski skyline.
Skylines like Singapore offer their own sense of majesty, but the steeples and silos of rural America are beautiful too.

5 thoughts on “A telling skyline

  1. Your pictures are absolutely beautiful and really inspire me to take a more careful look at things. Thank you for sharing this perspective.

  2. Laura, your cousin’s husband here. This one, skylines, touches 20-30 years of interest in vernacular architecture and landscape. I love this kind of close-looking and “reading” of the everyday look of what has been built. Many thanks. Clay

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