Rockwood Lodge

Rockwood Lodge was the training facility of the Green Bay Packers from 1946 through 1949. Originally built in 1937 as a retreat for a local Norbertine Order, the lodge was purchased by Packers coach and general manager Curly Lambeau in 1943 and then heavily renovated to serve as the Packers training facility, making it the first self-contained training facility in pro football history. Although the facility was state-of-the-art at the time, many members of the Packers franchise and local fans complained of its large cost, distance from Green Bay, Wisconsin, and its poor practice field. The lodge burned down in 1950, with the likely cause being faulty electrical wiring. The Packers received $75,000 in insurance money from the fire, which would be used to help reestablish the Packers long term financial security. Lambeau resigned from the Packers just a week after the fire. The Rockwood Lodge site would go on to be purchased by Brown County, Wisconsin and developed into a public park.

Rockwood Lodge
Rockwood Lodge is located in Wisconsin
Rockwood Lodge
Rockwood Lodge
Location in Wisconsin
Rockwood Lodge is located in the United States
Rockwood Lodge
Rockwood Lodge
Location in the United States
Address
Coordinates44°38′9.551″N 87°47′49.913″W / 44.63598639°N 87.79719806°WCoordinates: 44°38′9.551″N 87°47′49.913″W / 44.63598639°N 87.79719806°W
Acreage53
Construction
Opened1947
Demolished1950

History

Rockwood Lodge was built in 1937 as a retreat for the Norbertine Order, whose abbey was located in nearby De Pere. It was located approximately 17 miles (27 km) north of the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin, on 53-acre (210,000 m2) of land sitting on a limestone bluff overlooking the eponymous Green Bay. The lodge itself was a stone and timber, cross-shaped mansion that comprised 40 rooms, including a large lobby and fireplace.[1] The Norbertines built a boat dock, tennis courts, a baseball field, and an amphitheater at the estate. The facility was rented for weddings or other public events.[2]

Packers

Rockwood Lodge Packers
Rockwood Lodge in the late 1940s

Packers head coach Curly Lambeau had been mesmerized by the facility, and bought it for $32,000—an extravagant sum for the time. He then spent $8,000 to heavily renovate it, with a view towards having the entire team and the players' families live at Rockwood throughout the season. After renovations, the complex included player housing and a natural outdoor "amphitheater" in which team meetings were held.

The purchase was not without controversy. Although Lambeau had enjoyed more or less a free hand in the team's day-to-day operations for three decades, several members of the board of directors balked at the purchase price and nearly resigned. Additionally, many Packer fans felt chagrin at having to drive out of town to see team practices.

The facility proved problematic for other reasons as well. Most notably, the brick-hard limestone below the practice fields left the players so battered that Lambeau frequently had to move practices back to City Stadium. The players grew to despise a facility they began calling "the Rock"—a veiled reference to Alcatraz. By some accounts, the fields took so much out of the players that it contributed to the Packers' lackluster 12-10-1 record in the four years after the retirement of star wide receiver Don Hutson—including the team's first losing seasons since 1933. The facility also proved to be a severe drain on the Packers' finances. By the end of the 1949 season, the Packers were gasping, and rumors abounded that the NFL would use the impending merger with the All-America Football Conference as an excuse to contract the team or force it to move. Indeed, Lambeau had found investors willing to pump $50,000 into the team if it changed from public to private ownership—a proposal that many fans felt was a prelude to moving the team to the West Coast.

In 2005, Daniel Flagstad, son of former Rockwood Lodge operators Melvin and Helen Flagstad, donated an authentic Packers #14 jersey worn by Don Hutson to the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. Flagstad had been given the jersey as a boy in 1946 by the team's equipment manager.[3]

1950 fire

Rockwood Lodge Fire
Rockwood Lodge on fire

On January 24, 1950, Rockwood Lodge burned down.[4] One week later, Lambeau resigned his position with the Packers and moved to Chicago to coach the Chicago Cardinals. The team eventually received $75,000 from its insurance company.[2] The cause of the fire remains unknown to this day, although wiring or a lightning strike was suspected.[5] Rumors have long abounded though that someone linked with the team deliberately set the fire in hopes of using the insurance money to relieve the team's dire fiscal situation. As it turned out, that money was more than enough to solve the franchise's financial woes and keep it in Green Bay.[6]

After Rockwood Lodge, the Packers moved their training camp to Grand Rapids, Minnesota, from 1950 through 1953 and then Stevens Point, Wisconsin, from 1954–57 before settling in at St. Norbert College in De Pere, where they train to this day.

Bay Shore Park

Trail to Green Bay, Bayshore County Park, Door Peninsula, Wisconsin (9181875208)
A trail in the Bay Shore Park, former site of Rockwood Lodge.

After sitting dormant for a number of years, the area comprising Rockwood Lodge was purchased from the Packers by Brown County, Wisconsin. The county had been awarded $33,500 in 1968 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to help develop a new county park.[7] Bay Shore Park opened in 1974,[8] although some boating facilities and parking would go on to be developed later in the mid-1970s.[9] The park includes campgrounds, picnic areas, a playground, trails, and parking. The park's boat facilities include a ramp, a breakwater, and docks.[10] Although little remains from the Packer years, the park is still a stop on the Packers Heritage Trail.[11]

References

  1. ^ Fleming, David (September 19, 2013). "Blaze of Glory". ESPN Internet Ventures. Archived from the original on September 26, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Hendricks, Martin (August 18, 2016). "Rockwood Lodge had turbulent history". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Archived from the original on August 24, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  3. ^ Fleming, David (September 19, 2013). "Director's cut: 1950 Packers blaze". ESPN Internet Ventures. Archived from the original on March 8, 2019. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  4. ^ "Rockwood Lodge Burns to Ground". Marshfield News-Herald. Associated Press. January 25, 1950. p. 12. Archived from the original on March 7, 2019. Retrieved March 7, 2019 – via Newspapers.com open access.
  5. ^ Christl, Cliff (November 17, 2017). "Wiring, weather suspected causes of Rockwood Lodge blaze". Green Bay Packers, Inc. Archived from the original on March 8, 2019. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  6. ^ Hornacek, Robert (January 30, 2014). "FOX 11 Investigates: The fire at Rockwood Lodge". Sinclair Broadcast Group. Archived from the original on September 26, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  7. ^ "Funds for Rockwood Area Park Approved". Green Bay Press-Gazette. November 8, 1968. p. 3. Archived from the original on March 8, 2019. Retrieved March 8, 2019 – via Newspapers.com open access.
  8. ^ McGinn, Bob (September 6, 1981). "Packers training camp history colorful". Green Bay Press-Gazette. p. 105. Archived from the original on March 7, 2019. Retrieved March 7, 2019 – via Newspapers.com open access.
  9. ^ Ruebel, Kathleen (October 9, 1975). "Bay Shore Park Ramp, Parking Are Planned". Green Bay Press-Gazette. p. 9. Archived from the original on March 9, 2019. Retrieved March 9, 2019 – via Newspapers.com open access.
  10. ^ "Bay Shore Park". Brown County Government - Wisconsin. 2019. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  11. ^ "Packers Heritage Trail Sites". packersheritagetrail.com. Archived from the original on August 18, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
Curly Lambeau

Earl Louis "Curly" Lambeau (April 9, 1898 – June 1, 1965) was a professional American football player and coach in the National Football League (NFL). Lambeau, along with his friend and fellow Green Bay, Wisconsin native George Whitney Calhoun, founded the Green Bay Packers in 1919. From 1919 to 1929, Lambeau served as a player-coach and maintained de facto control on the day-to-day operations of the team. As a player, Lambeau lined up as a halfback, which in the early years of the NFL was the premier position. He was the team's primary runner and passer, accounting for 35 touchdowns (eight as a rusher, three as a receiver, and 24 as a passer) in 77 games. He won his only NFL championship as a player in 1929.

From 1919 to 1949, Lambeau was the head coach and general manager of the Packers. He led his team to over 200 wins and six NFL championships, including three straight from 1929 to 1931. He shares the distinction with rival George Halas of the Chicago Bears and later, Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots of coaching his team to the most NFL championships. Lambeau also coached eight players who went on to be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With players such as quarterback Arnie Herber and split end Don Hutson, his teams revolutionized the use of the passing game in football. After a falling out with the Packers Board of Directors, Lambeau left the Packers to coach the Chicago Cardinals for two seasons and then Washington Redskins for two more. He retired from the NFL in 1953.

For his accomplishments, Lambeau has been widely recognized and honored. He was named to the NFL 1920s All-Decade Team as one of the top halfbacks in the league's first decade of existence. He was an inaugural inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963 and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1970 in recognition for his role as founder, player, and coach of the Packers. Shortly after his death in 1965, the Packers home stadium, which is still in use today, was renamed to Lambeau Field in his honor.

Don Hutson

Donald Montgomery Hutson (January 31, 1913 – June 26, 1997) was a professional American football player and assistant coach in the National Football League (NFL). He played as a split end and spent his entire eleven-year professional career with the Green Bay Packers. Under head coach Curly Lambeau, Hutson led the Packers to four NFL Championship Games, winning three: 1936, 1939, and 1944.

In his senior season at the University of Alabama in 1934, Hutson was recognized as a consensus All-American and won a national championship with the Alabama Crimson Tide football team. After his career at Alabama, he joined the Packers in 1935 and played eleven seasons before he retired in 1945. He led the league in receiving yards in seven separate seasons and in receiving touchdowns in nine. A talented safety on defense, he also led the NFL in interceptions in 1940. Hutson was an eight-time All-Pro selection, a four-time All-Star, and was twice awarded the Joe F. Carr Trophy as the NFL Most Valuable Player.

Hutson is considered to have been the first modern receiver, and is credited with creating many of the modern pass routes used in the NFL today. He was the dominant receiver of his day, during which he was widely considered one of the greatest receivers in NFL history. He held almost all major receiving records at the time of his retirement, including career receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He was inducted as a charter member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hutson's number 14 was the first jersey retired by the Packers, and he is a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. In 1994, Hutson was selected for the National Football League 75th Anniversary All-Time Team as one of the greatest players of the NFL's first 75 years.

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Green Bay is a city in and the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, at the head of Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River. It is 581 feet (177 m) above sea level and 112 miles (180 km) north of Milwaukee. The population was 104,057 at the 2010 census. Green Bay is the third-largest city in the state of Wisconsin, after Milwaukee and Madison, and the third-largest city on Lake Michigan's west shore, after Chicago and Milwaukee. Green Bay is home to the National Football League's Green Bay Packers.

Green Bay is the principal city of the Green Bay Metropolitan Statistical Area, which covers Brown, Kewaunee, and Oconto counties; the MSA had a combined population of 306,241 at the 2010 census.Green Bay is an industrial city with several meatpacking plants, paper mills, and a port on Green Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan known locally as "the Bay of Green Bay". Green Bay hosts the Neville Public Museum, with exhibitions of art, history, and science; the Children's Museum; and the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay.

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North division. It is the third-oldest franchise in the NFL, dating back to 1919, and is the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team based in the United States. Home games have been played at Lambeau Field since 1957.

The Packers are the last of the "small town teams" which were common in the NFL during the league's early days of the 1920s and '30s. Founded in 1919 by Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, the franchise traces its lineage to other semi-professional teams in Green Bay dating back to 1896. Between 1919 and 1920, the Packers competed against other semi-pro clubs from around Wisconsin and the Midwest, before joining the American Professional Football Association (APFA), the forerunner of today's NFL, in 1921. Although Green Bay is by far the smallest major league professional sports market in North America, Forbes ranked the Packers as the world's 26th most valuable sports franchise in 2016, with a value of $2.35 billion.The Packers have won 13 league championships, the most in NFL history, with nine pre–Super Bowl NFL titles and four Super Bowl victories. The Packers won the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968 and were the only NFL team to defeat the American Football League (AFL) prior to the AFL–NFL merger. The Vince Lombardi Trophy is named after the Packers' coach of the same name, who guided them to their first two Super Bowls. Their two subsequent Super Bowl wins came in 1996 and 2010.The Packers are long-standing adversaries of the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions, who today comprise the NFL's NFC North division, and were formerly members of the NFC Central Division. They have played over 100 games against each of those teams through history, and have a winning overall record against all of them, a distinction only shared with the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys. The Bears–Packers rivalry is one of the oldest in NFL history, dating back to 1921.

Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame

The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame was the first hall of fame built to honor a single professional American football team. William L. Brault, a Green Bay restaurateur and Packers fan, founded the Hall of Fame in 1966. According to Brault, he got the idea after visitors to Green Bay would repeatedly ask about the Packers' storied history. Sensing opportunity, Brault went to Packers head coach Vince Lombardi, suggesting a "Hall of Fame" should be made to educate tourists about the Packers and their history. Lombardi gave Brault his approval, and according to Brault, as he left, Lombardi called out to him, "Don't screw it up!"

The "Hall" started off as a series of exhibits displayed in the concourse of the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena, although it was not a permanent residence, as the exhibits had to be removed each autumn to make room for the Green Bay Bobcats hockey team, which played its home games at the Arena. In 1967, the Packer Hall of Fame Association, a separate corporate entity from the team, was founded and annual induction banquets were subsequently launched in 1970. The Hall did not become a permanent site until 1976 when its new home, an addition to the Brown County Veterans Arena, was formally dedicated on April 3, 1976, by President Gerald R. Ford. Outside of the Hall of Fame was a 'Receiver Statue' that was dedicated to the invention of the Forward Pass.

Over the next 26 years, the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame encountered many expansions and renovations. In 2003, renovations to Lambeau Field provided a new home within the new Lambeau Field Atrium for the Hall. Packers legends Bart Starr and Ron Wolf rededicated the Hall on September 4, 2003. The Hall contains a vast array of Packers memorabilia, a re-creation of Vince Lombardi's office, plaques representing each of the inductees and the Lombardi trophies from Green Bay's four Super Bowl wins. As of 2017, the Packers Hall of Fame has inducted 159 people, 24 of whom have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 2018 inductees were offensive tackle Mark Tauscher and kicker Ryan Longwell.

Green Bay Packers cheerleaders

Several Green Bay Packers cheerleading squads have performed in Green Bay Packers' history. The Packers became one of the first professional football teams to have a cheerleading squad, having first used cheerleaders in 1931. The squad performed for 57 years under three separate names. In 1988, it was decided that the team would cease having a professional squad cheer for them. Since 1988, the team uses collegiate squads in a limited role to cheer during home games.

Green Bay Packers records

This article details statistics relating to the Green Bay Packers.

List of Green Bay Packers stadiums

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Since their establishment as a professional football team in 1919, the Packers have played home games in eight stadiums. Their first home was Hagemeister Park, where they played from 1919 to 1922, including their first two seasons in the National Football League (NFL). Hagemeister Park was a park owned by the Hagemeister Brewery. During games ropes were set-up around the field and attendees either walked up or parked their cars nearby. After the first season, a small grandstand was built and the field was fenced off. Green Bay East High School was built at the location of Hagemeister Park in 1922, which forced the Packers to move to Bellevue Park, a small minor league baseball stadium that seated about 5,000. They only played for two seasons at Bellevue Park before moving to City Stadium in 1925. Although City Stadium was the Packers' official home field, in 1933 they began to play some of their home games in Milwaukee to attract more fans and revenue. After hosting one game at Borchert Field in 1933, the Packers played two or three home games each year in Milwaukee, at Wisconsin State Fair Park from 1934 to 1951 and at Marquette Stadium in 1952. The games were moved to Milwaukee County Stadium after it opened in 1953 and continued through 1994, after which the Packers moved back to Green Bay permanently.As of 2018, the current home of the Green Bay Packers is Lambeau Field, an 81,435 seating capacity stadium in Green Bay, Wisconsin. By the 1950s, City Stadium was seen by the NFL as too small and outdated to host an NFL team. After threats of forcing the team to move to Milwaukee, the City of Green Bay built New City Stadium, which was funded by a voter-approved bond issue, in 1957. In April 1956, Green Bay voters overwhelmingly approved the bond issue to finance the new stadium. After the Packers founder Curly Lambeau died in 1965, the stadium was renamed to Lambeau Field in his honor. Its original capacity was 32,500 seats, although it was continually expanded from 1961 to 1995 to a capacity of 60,890 seats. The stadium was farther renovated from 2001 to 2003 to increase capacity to 72,515, while also updating various aspects of the stadium. Over 7,000 more seats were added to the south endzone in 2013 and the Lambeau Field Atrium was expanded in 2015. These renovations increased the stadium's capacity to 81,435, making it the third largest football stadium in America. Lambeau Field has been continuously ranked as one of the best stadiums in the NFL NFL. As of 2018, it is also the oldest continually operating NFL stadium, with the Packers having completed their 61st season. Only the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field have longer active home-field tenures in American professional sports.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Brown County, Wisconsin

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Brown County, Wisconsin. It is intended to provide a comprehensive listing of entries in the National Register of Historic Places that are located in Brown County, Wisconsin. The locations of National Register properties for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below may be seen in a map.There are 54 properties and districts listed on the National Register in the county. Another two properties were once listed but have been removed.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted March 7, 2019.

Packers sweep

The Packers sweep, also known as the Lombardi sweep, is an American football play popularized by Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. The Packers sweep is based on the sweep, a football play that involves a back taking a handoff and running parallel to the line of scrimmage before turning upfield behind lead blockers. The play became noteworthy due to its extensive use by the Packers in the 1960s, when the team won five National Football League (NFL) Championships, as well as the first two Super Bowls. Lombardi used the play as the foundation on which the rest of the team's offensive game plan was built. The dominance of the play, as well as the sustained success of Lombardi's teams in the 1960s, solidified the Packers sweep's reputation as one of the most famous football plays in history.

Rockwood Lodge Barn and Pigsty

The Rockwood Lodge Barn and Pigsty is located in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In 2004, the site was added to the State and the National Register of Historic Places.

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