AS I HEARD IT  (Kegonsa Tuna)

When I first arrived the in the Stoughton area, I lived with my Dad on Lake Kegonsa and frequented Sunnyside Beach Resort tavern.  Ansel Severson the proprietor was always good for a story or two.

I watched the DNR Carp seiners work the lake with their nets and transport their catch to the “carp pens” up the river.  Once there, they were netted and put into aerated trucks and transported to final destinations, possibly mink farmers (had quite a few back then) or shipped live to Chicago or New York.

Ansel once told me they called our carp Kegonsa Tuna (ha ha ha), then he showed me, on the shelf of his store, several “tuna type” cans and, really, the label said “Kegonsa Tuna, caught in Lake Kegonsa, Stoughton, WI.”  I guess I should believe it when I see it.

AS I HEARD IT   (maybe)

Lesh swimmimn to shoore (hic!)!

Something like this might have been heard years ago on the mid lake platform during prohibition.

I was told that, at one time, a platform was built on stilts in the middle of Lake Kegonsa.  I understood that pilings were sunk into the “island” hump off Colliday Point.  The purpose?  To legally sell alcoholic beverages.  As the story was told to me, the illegal whiskey came from Canada or parts east, down waterways for the most part.  

During prohibition, it was illegal to transport alcoholic beverages “on the land”.  The bootleggers took advantage of a loophole in the law.  You were not supposed to transport on land, so, let’s transport by water.  Alcoholic beverages were shipped down the Yahara River to the platform, thus bypassing land passage.

I wonder how long the “platform” operated and how many people took advantage of it.  Walking out into the lake as far as you could, then, swimming a short distance must have been fun to them or by boat.  How many might have said the opening remarks above?  I guess we will never know, but it makes a good story.

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