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Spruce tree memories

Marysville man’s childhood purchase becomes Depot Park art


Katie Perttunen/Daily Globe

Bill Bier, of Marysville, poses with a bench at Depot Park in Ironwood carved from his family’s tree that once grew on Douglas Boulevard in Ironwood.

IRONWOOD — Bill Bier remembers when his family went to Hazelhurst, Wis., to buy trees from a nursery to plant in their yard on Douglas Boulevard in Ironwood. They bought two trees, and one lived, Bier said.

That was 75 years ago. Bier, now 85, moved to the Marysville area after graduating from Michigan Technological University, but still comes to Ironwood to visit every year.

On a visit to Ironwood last fall, his daughter, Joanne Wesh, also of Marysville, was surprised that the the blue spruce was gone from the front lawn of her father’s boyhood home at 323 Douglas Blvd.

She learned that it had come down during a storm over the Fourth of July weekend.

Wesh also noticed a unique bench at the Depot Park and snapped a picture of it. She emailed the carver, Nathan Nuszkiewicz of Pot Licker Chain Saw Sculptures of Rhinelander, Wis., and was amazed to discover that the bench had been carved from her father’s tree.

Nuszkiewicz had done the work as part of a public demonstration during Festival Ironwood in late July.

Bier and Wesh visited the Depot Park Sunday where they surveyed the bench. “It’s just beautiful,” said Wesh.

Nuszkiewicz also carved a large statue of a miner, railroad worker and lumberjack out of a stump of a 115-year-old maple tree that fell on Norrie Street during the same July 2 storm.

Nuszkiewicz had hoped carve more benches for the newly renovated Depot Park. The work was to be supported by private donations, but the project stalled because the fallen trees gathered for the work were removed as part of the park renovations, he said.


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