The Vernon County Historical Society’s second annual pork chop dinner will be held Friday, Aug. 10, beginning at 4 p.m., on the lawn of the Sherry-Butt House. This historic home is located at 795 N. Main St. in Viroqua. Tables and chairs will be set up on the lawn for diners, or you can carry out. Dinner will be served until 7 p.m. or until the food runs out, whichever comes first.
The meal includes pork chop, baked potato, baked beans, coleslaw, fruit salad, rolls and dessert, plus a beverage, for $10. Last year we had good weather, but if it rains, the event will be held next door at the Vernon County Fairgrounds.
Local people have been eating out on the green, gracious lawn of this old house for decades. The home was built by Cyrus M. Butt in 1870, just a few years after he returned from the Civil War. Cyrus and wife Margaret and their five children lived in and no doubt entertained from the home and grounds for many years.
In 1947, daughter Jane Butt sold the house to Orbec and Hilda Sherry. Hilda was a well-known hostess, entertaining family and friends and her husband’s business associates (Orbec was an international cattle trader). The Sherrys are even said to have hosted the Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista in their home.
As you can see in the photo, even a class reunion was held at the house, out on the lawn. In 1961, the Viroqua High School Class of 1911 enjoyed its 50th reunion there, with refreshments at picnic tables just outside the kitchen. It was the first time that the class had met together since their graduation day of June 1, 1911. The graduation ceremony had been held at the Methodist Episcopal Tabernacle, a large open-sided building located where the main park shelter is today at Eckhart Park.
Hilda Caroline Loverud, later Sherry, graduated with the class of 1911. She was one of two students in the Modern Classical Course, and another eight students were in the English Course. Interestingly, the majority of the class of 1911, 18 other students, was in the German Course. This course was probably discontinued a few years later during World War I, when the U.S. was fighting against Germany.
The house looks much the same today, more than 50 years later, as it does in the photo. Come join us for dinner on the lawn on Aug. 10.