Mercer residents join to reminisce, catalog memories
February 2, 2019
Life-long Mercer resident Peg Brunner shared stories of her life from growing up there.
From catching her first "legal Musky" at age 15 to throwing rocks off a bridge killing redhorse fish which had invaded her favorite fishing spot, Brunner was determined to show her brothers she could do anything they could do.
"I was really quite the tomboy," Brunner said with a chuckle.
Brunner credits her love of nature to her father, Frank Brunner, who developed the first Smokey the Bear costume and served as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden for the area.
When Brunner finished high school she moved to La Crosse to study education so she could be a teacher. However, when she found out teachers spend the majority of their time indoors, she quit college and moved back to Mercer.
"I really did not know what I was going to do with my life," Brunner said.
Brunner spent the next few years bouncing around the state from job to job, but said her memories of Mercer always had a way of drawing her back to her hometown.
Brunner said she became actively involved with local politics and served on both the school and town boards.
"We know we have a lot of our older residents who have great stories to tell," Schmidt said. "That is why this project is so important because we can learn about what it was like to grow up in Mercer."
Anyone who would like to participate in the Mercer Memory Project can contact the library at 715-476-2366, or Marge Pemble, president of the historical society at 715-476-3875.