Pictures of Towns (Germany, Austria, Czech Republic/Bohemia)
by Debbie Blau

Plain, Sauk County, Wisconsin

History of the Naming of Plain: *Updated December 2017*

  • Part 1 - Early History - 1800s
  • Part 2 - 1900 to 1968 (includes Ast)
  • Part 2aMaria Plain pamphlet (2 versions)
  • Part 3 - 1971 to 2000s 
  • Part 4 - Cramer family of Pennsylvania/Ohio - settled in Plain ca 1848
  • Part 5Plain vs Maria Plain Discussion - Was Plain, Wisconsin, named after Basilica Maria Plain in Bergheim bei Salzburg, Austria?

Maria Plain Meditation Garden - Plain, Wisconsin


Plain area residents, naturalization records - a list of names, dates, and places.


Plain, Wisconsin -  Cyclone of 1918 - A hand-carved wooden sheep was saved from the rubble of the cyclone.


Catholic churches in Plain, Wisconsin

History of St. Luke's, Plain, Wisconsin 1907 by Rev. Johann G. Laurer

Mutter Gottes von Ast (Our Lady of Ast)
A story about the Mutter Gottes von Ast (Our Lady of Ast) painting which found its way from the small village of Ast in Bavaria, Germany - across the Atlantic Ocean - to St. Anne's Shrine in the small village of Plain in Sauk County, Wisconsin.


Cemetery restoration project at the old St. Luke's Catholic Cemetery, also known as St. Lucas Cemetery in Plain, Wisconsin. Cemetery location: NE 1/4 SW 1/4, Section 7, T9N, R4E, in Franklin Township, on the southwest side of the village of Plain. The restoration project began about August 2009 by the Tom Kraemer family. The Paul and Walburga (Stangl) Krämer/Kraemer tombstone was expanded to show a genealogy chart and timeline with a map of Germany. This work was done by the families of Tom, Marty and Kevin Kraemer and Kraemer Brothers, LLC. By the end of the year in 2009, several tombstones were restored with new bases, tipping stones were straightened, iron crosses were repainted, and new engravings were added. Work planned to continue in the warmer months of 2010.
More about this project can be read in Gary Haas' newsletter for the Plain History Genealogy Group, Volume 51 October 2009, page 3 (look for the file "phgnl051.pdf")

Plain cemeteries at

Pleasant Hill Cemetery (also known as Town of Franklin Cemetery, and Plain Protestant Cemetery). The land for this cemetery was given by Solomon Cramer. The deed was dated July 4, 1869 and recorded in the Office of Register of Deeds on February 1, 1870. However, three burials are shown for 1857 and a number for the 1860s.

St. Luke's Catholic Old Cemetery (began about 1865)

The cemetery (also known as St. Lucas Cemetery) is located near the southwestern edge of the Village of Plain on Old Highway 23. The plat map location is NE 1/4 SW 1/4 Section 7 T9N R4E in Franklin Township, Sauk County, Wisconsin.

The land for this cemetery was donated by George Neuheisel to Saint Luke's Catholic Church around 1865. A new cemetery (located behind St. Luke's church) was started in April 1918, though some burials were still allowed in the "old" cemetery beyond that date. Beginning in 2009, a restoration project began in which most of the tombstones and markers were repaired with new engravings, iron crosses were repainted, and markers were straightened.

A group of volunteers inscribed all the tombstone inscriptions. These inscriptions can be found in the 1985 book, "Cemetery Inscriptions of Sauk County, Wisconsin - Volume 6" compiled by Myrtle E. Cushing.

Coordinates for the OLD cemetery:
Latitude:N 43° 16' 6.4848"
Longitude:W 90° 3' 14.9054"

St. Luke's Catholic New Cemetery (began in April 1918)

This cemetery is called "new" because it was built after the old 1865 cemetery. The new cemetery was started in April 1918 when land was initially purchased from Casper and Catherine (Betz) Volk. However, when the new site was chosen for the school and church building erected to replace the church destroyed by a "cyclone" on May 21, 1918, it was felt that the site for the new cemetery should also be changed. At a meeting on November 18, the Volk land was exchanged for the present property which was purchased from Frank and Catherine (Zangl) Nachreiner and from John B. (Sr.) and Margaret (Gruber) Brechtl.

The plat map location is NW 1/4 NW 1/4 Section 8 T9N R4E, south of County Highway B, Franklin Township, Sauk County, Wisconsin. The cemetery is on the side of a hill behind St. Luke's Catholic Church. Driveways divide this cemetery into four quarters. Beyond the cemetery, the hill continues to St. Anne's Hill where St. Anne's Shrine was built in 1928. Stations of the Cross monuments lead from the church, through the cemetery, and end at the shrine and grotto.

A group of volunteers inscribed all the tombstone inscriptions. These inscriptions can be found in the 1985 book, "Cemetery Inscriptions of Sauk County, Wisconsin - Volume 6" compiled by Myrtle E. Cushing.

Coordinates for the NEW cemetery:
Latitude:N 43° 16' 38.6422"
Longitude:W 90° 3' 10.9175"

Pictures of tombstones at St. Luke's OLD cemetery, Plain, Sauk County, Wisconsin (aka St. Lucas).

Pictures of tombstones at St. Luke's NEW cemetery, Plain, Sauk County, Wisconsin.

Plain History Genealogy Group (PHGG) - Research about the Plain, Wisconsin, area and Plain History Genealogy Group newsletters

More about the Plain History Genealogy Group. The group meets every other month. Membership is free. 

History of Franklin Township
from the Old Franklin Township Historical Society of Plain, Sauk County, Wisconsin.

Plain history from the Sauk County Historical Society

Distance from 
Plain, Wisconsin to Waldmünchen, Kreis Cham, Bavaria, Germany: 7,641 kilometers.

Plain, Wisconsin - Village of Plain homepage

Book: A History of Plain, Wisconsin by Hildegarde Thering, 1982. 230 pages with photos. Available for purchase at the Kraemer Library in Plain; price $15.00. A 58-page index of the Thering book was compiled by Sandy Stiemke and Karen Beth and published in 2004; available through the Old Franklin Township Historical Society, Plain, Wisconsin, $10 plus $3 shipping. 

Waterloo, Jefferson County, Wisconsin

Bloggity Blog Blog Blog - Some old-timey pictures and stuff about Waterloo, Wisconsin.


Includes Altglashuetten (Bruecke, Harfenmuehle, Wiesenhaus, Haus Franken), Bernhof (now Grafenwöhr area), Doerrenberg, Dorfganlas (now Grafenwöhr area), Eixendorf (village now under water in the Eixendorfer Staussee), Herrenbreitungen (now Breitungen), Hopfenohe (now Grafenwöhr area), Neuglashuetten, Reussendorf (Adamshof, Sarahof, Heinrichshof, Fuchsenmuehle), Rothenrain (Disbachhof, Disbachmuehle, Ebertshof), Silberhof, Werberg (Auersberg). The webpage at the link is by Joanne Parmley of Bavaria Gen Web. 

Eixendorf, today a lost town, was the home town of the Alt family (before 1839). The descendants of this Alt family lived in the Plain, Wisconsin area.

Waldmuenchen - travel info and sights to see.

Meyers Gazetteer, searchable online. Includes historical maps of Germany and much more!


Amtliches Deutsches Ortsbuch für das Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren A list of the German villages within the "Czech lands." At the top right corner of that page is this map of Sudentenland:

Sudetenland If you don't know the name of your ancestor town in Czech language but do know the German name, this alphabetical list of towns will help find the parish in which the German records can be found: Ortsbeschreibungen, alphabetisch. Click the letter of the alphabet in which the German town name begins. Following the German town name is the Czech town name. Included in the paragraph for each town is a link for the "Kirchenbuchverzeichnis" - click that link to see the town names that are included in that parish. There will be a list of parish church books showing the years that records are available.

Grafenried (Lučina) parish

Bohemians in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Böhmerwaldmuseum Wien (Bohemian Forest museum at Ungargasse 3 in Vienna). It is open on Sundays from 9 am to noon or by appointment.  

Interview with Dr. Gernot Peter, curator of the Böhmerwaldmuseum.

Spring Green, Sauk County, Wisconsin

The naming of Spring Green

East Bristol, Dane County, Wisconsin

Roxbury, Dane County, Wisconsin


Sauk County, Wisconsin

William Canfield's 1859 Sauk County, Wisconsin, map - lecture by Paul Wolter in 2014

William Canfield's 1861, "Outline Sketches of Sauk County" - Available online here.

Baraboo and Other Place Names in Sauk County, Wisconsin. By H. E. Cole, 1912. Available online here