In the late 1800's with the death of both of his parents, two year old William R Norris, was placed on a train in Pennsylvania, bound for Chicago. There he was picked up by an older sister and taken to a log cabin in Wisconsin, currently the location of Prarie Flower Farms. Raised in the cabin and in Palmyra, he spent much of his life in the outdoors
An avid collector and hunter of native american artifacts, primarily POTAWATOMI, by the end of his life he had extensive collections of ARROWHEADS, BOWS, ARROWS, RUGS, STUFFED ANIMALS of all kinds, and a RATTLE made from human SCALPS, guns and helmets from multiple wars and wondrous artifacts and books of all kinds some of which were donated to museums.
The Second William, also became an avid sportsman, and the inspiration for CHEEGWA. It was in conversation with his son, William N that the idea of a game farm was first discussed.
“Bill” was raised in the Kettle Moraine and lived a rich creative fantasy life. He was a master pupeteer, carver, dreamer and developer. Together with his father, they built the Boy Scout log cabin in Palmyra, and owned several businesses. It was his work in college that led to the Palmyra sewer system.
A frequent, traveller to the Dakotas, for pheasant, to Rainbow Springs for trap shooting with Francis Schroedel, the developer, and Koshkonnong for ducks, he loved “the hunt” mostly for its social nature.
Will lived part of his early years in Palmyra with his grandparents. There he would carve IVORY soap all day, play with his slingshot and walk around town, as a free range Tom Sawyer like kid. He is one of the only children to have played with real INDIAN bows, arrows and SCALP rattles that he would run around rattling. Even better, were the many guns going back a century of his grandfathers and the many stuffed animals in the attic, which his grandmother would not allow in the house proper. Few children have ever had the opportunity to play with the real instruments of Indians, Warriors, Soldiers and Hunters in their fantasy role playing. It produced, like his father a rich creative impulse.
Next door across a field, was the open air pickle factory where one could climb the steps to the second floor, pull back the top of giant fifteen feet high vats and reach into the dark black still water and grab a pickle!
Well known sailor, skier, and traveller, Will, learned to hunt with his father, the Retzlaffs, and various family friends. A terrible shot, but in love with the hunt, Will spent much of his early birthdays at Rainbow Springs with Francis Schroedel and his friends. Cheegwa's building plans are a partial homage to Francis Schroedel who saw the dreams of Rainbow Springs taken from him.
Liam AN became an adventurer at an early age and has been in love with the Kettle Moraine since his first visits as a child. Conversant from his travels and studies in Deutsch, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, some Hungarian, in his early years Francais, and English Liam AN's story is a desire to build on the legacy of family experiences and to add to the family farm both land and a place that serves the family and hopefully the community.