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Want a picture with Fontana’s frog? Better hop to it

Last week I heard that the village of Fontana declared war on a long-time mascot and village landmark – the 14-foot frog on Highway 67.

Yes, believe it or not, the large concrete green and gold frog near the entrance to the village is now considered an eyesore, and members of the Community Development Authority would like the structure removed.

The frog remains as one of the last features of the old, abandoned Frog Hollow Miniature Golf Course. It is crumbling and is in disrepair, and evidently there is no money to preserve the landmark. And no one is hopping on board to help, nor does it appear that money is available for its demise.

So, the issue is what to do with a large, unwanted frog.

I know that the village of Dousman, some 50 miles to the north, would leap at the chance to own this critter. Once named Bullfrog Station, the village of Dousman calls itself the Frog Jump Capital of the World, and every July the annual frog jump contest draws hundreds from as far away as Fontana and beyond. But, sadly, the frog is a huge hunk of concrete, and would be impossible to move.

Sorry Dousman.

The thought of using the frog as a Packers mascot has run the gamut, and that option is off the table as well.

(Photo courtesy of Falloutgirl42307/Flickr/Walworth County website)

I thought about this lonely, abandoned frog over the weekend, and strangely enough, while visiting my friend Susan on Saturday, we started to look at books in her library cabinet. I came across one called “Oddball Wisconsin, A Guide to Some Really Strange Places” by Jerome Pohlen. I picked the book off the shelf and began to thumb through the many pages of photographs. Much to my surprise, on page 110 of the 2001 First Edition, Fontana’s frog (and nightmare) occupied an entire page. The accompanying article stated that “the structure has not been demolished yet” which indicates that it may have been a focus at some point.

It goes on to describe the frog as once having electricity inside, with the juice used to light up the frog’s eyes. It must have been a grand ole frog in its day. Pohlen also states that it was last used as a fireworks stand. Poor frog.

Who would have thought that the old frog would become fireworks in itself some day?

Well, its still there. So if anyone is interested in taking your family photo with the frog, or to marvel in its history, size and stature, hop in the car and head over to Fontana.

Keith Barber is a data reporter at The Daily Reporter. He will be down-toad-in if the frog is removed.

5 comments

  1. OK your info is incorrect. The frog is apart of my backyard. And me and my boyfriend are cleaning up the property and restoring the frog.yes it was brought up at a meeting but decided that the frog is a landmark. The frog isn’t going anywhere and is going to get a much needed facelift. If you have questions feel free to call me 262-745-3880

  2. After speaking with Ms. Potts this morning, it looks like the frog has gotten a reprieve. She has permission from the property owner to repair the frog, and she and her boyfriend have contacted a concrete contractor for the patch work. I feel much better about the whole thing. There was just something about that frog that haunted me, and I’m glad others have found value in keeping it.
    Good luck Ms. Potts, and thank-you for your response.

  3. The Fontana frog is still very much in danger of being razed. While it’s certainly true the frog has value as a landmark there are people in the community who want it GONE. The iconic frog needs some serious TLC to return it to its former glory.

  4. I’m glad to hear that its being restored. Although I live nowhere near Fontana anymore that frog and golf course are one of the few memories I have of my father who passed away when I was 7. Glad to know there’s people who want to keep hold of the past.

  5. My grandmother used to drop my friends and I off at Frog Hollow to play miniature golf while she went grocery shopping in Walworth and pick us up on the way home. We loved Frog Hollow, the willow trees, the creek, the 19-hole golf course. (yes, 19 holes… if you got a hole-in-one on the 19th hole you got a free game) When we had big thunderstorms the creek would flood and the course could be underwater, and eventually the willow trees disappeared and the course was abandoned. The frog went downhill too. Frog Hollow holds many fond memories of the innocence of childhood, long before the days of technology and instant gratification. Glory to Frog Hollow and the mighty frog!!

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