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