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Lakeland Union students and alumni celebrate homecoming of the "T-Bird Country" bridge

Erin Gottsacker

When Minocqua’s iconic “T-Bird Country” bridge was torn down, a community-wide effort fought to preserve it. It has now been resurrected at the entrance of Lakeland Union High School.

The old railroad bridge was constructed over Highway 51 in 1937, but it become iconic when students from Lakeland Union spray painted the words “T-Bird Country” on the bridge in white letters.

“Students figured out a way to get up there and tag it. Then over the years, it was tagged and retagged and retagged,” explained John Glomski, one of the people on the fundraising committee to preserve the bridge.

“A lot of people would come up here, either coming home or vacationing, and they would pass under this bridge,” he said.

It was a literal sign of welcome to the Northwoods.

The T-Bird Country bridge was replaced six years ago, but community members were sad to see the original landmark go. So, they spent the last six years raising $30,000 to save the bridge.

Bob Metropulos led the campaign.

“I saw how much this meant to the community,” he said, “and I just wanted to do something right.”

His efforts have finally come to fruition.

The bridge was installed at the entrance to Lakeland Union High School last week.

It was dedicated during a ceremony Friday.

Metropulos says his team still needs to raise $5,000 more for the bridge’s restoration. His fundraising committee is selling personalized bricks to be placed at the bridge’s base.

Any additional funds raised will be given as scholarships to students with learning disabilities.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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