More than a century after it blossomed into a circus headquarters and hosted dozens of acts, including P.T. Barnum's legendary Greatest Show on Earth, the town of Delavan proudly exhibits its distinctive past. Big-top tributes can be seen at Tower Park, where statues of circus animals such as a giraffe and an elephant savor their amnesty from mini-golf courses. Delavan's early days live on through Greek Revival architecture that dates back to the mid-1800s, including the Allyn Mansion and the Israel Stowell Temperance House, originally an alcohol-free safe haven that eventually served as a government meeting center.Delavan's quaint downtown district, lined with old-fashioned lampposts and brick-paved walkways, boasts an assortment of antique stores and small cafés. Throughout the rest of the town, well-manicured parks and 13 miles of forested shoreline along Delavan Lake create a scenic backdrop for horseback rides, hiking, water recreation, and composing haikus on the ground with leaves.
Founded in 1929 with the hope of promoting the palatable prowess of the pheasant, MacFarlane Pheasants remains in familial hands while doling out fresh, high-quality meats alongside condiments, sides, cookbooks, and other gifts. Avian eats revolve around the illustrious pheasant, with choices including boneless breasts ($19.95/package), strips ($19.95/package), sausage, and a hickory-smoked bird ($26.95/package). Game meats round out the shop’s protein-centric chops and include cuts of everything from alligator, elk, and ostrich to venison, bison, and bigfoot. Dress carnivorous slices with a selection of savory sauces, including the cranberry chutney ($6.25/10 oz.), or dazzle dinner guests with meat-enhancing sides, such as hot olives ($8.99/16 oz.) and wild rice ($6.95/8.75 oz.).
In 1952, after years of experience in the nursery industry, Urban Reckamp planted the first seeds of his own horticultural business, Harvard Nursery. Twenty years later, the next generation of Reckamps, Tim and Pam, took over, letting the nursery's success grow through word of mouth, an established reputation in the community, and a stockpile of magic beans. Bringing a bachelor's in horticulture and an education background in design, the third generation, Kevin and Nina Reckamp, sprouted their roots as the new management of the nursery in 2010.
Today, with 60 years of experience under its belt, the nursery offers visitors a plethora of greenery. Its retail garden center blooms with locally grown verdant saplings and effulgent perennials guaranteed to appease the pickiest of garden gnomes. In addition to onsite dealings, its experienced crew can also travel to nearby locations to perform landscape design, enhancement, and maintenance.
The bond between John and Lisa Jo White was built around a mutual love of horses. The pair met in 1990 at the National Show Horse Finals in Louisville, while Lisa Jo was coaching an equitation rider. Over the course of the next decade, they would get married, start their own stable, and garner national recognition showing arabian performance horses. Sadly, John passed away in 2009, but Lisa Jo carries on his legacy as the head trainer and operator of the year-round facility. Within her expansive indoor riding arena—outfitted with a heated wash rack, quarter-mile track, and viewing area—she trains all ages to become capable riders, knowledgeable with horsemanship, and confident enough to take their horse to the prom. In recognition of her success with students, the Arabian Horse Times has awarded Lisa Jo with its Reader’s Choice Instructor of the Year Award three years running.
Since 1989, the dependable crew at Busy Beaver Tree Care & Lawn Maintenance has kept outdoor spaces neat and symmetrical through a range of tree and lawn services. The tree surgeons foster arboreal attractiveness by cropping boughs to a respectable length or removing trees altogether, which is necessary when they interfere with construction projects or grow into power lines in an effort to steal free cable. Clients who have been affected by storms or fire can call on Busy Beaver to help with controlling damage and clearing the debris.
The grassplot professionals at Green Machine Landscaping prep lawns to grow their greenest come springtime. During the aeration process, landscapers loosen tightly compacted soil and thatch in order to allow better permeation by water, oxygen, and magic beans. Newly decompressed soil extends an invitation for grass to grow healthier and for nutrients to transfer more effectively, which can help curb future infestations of crabgrass and weeds. Because no two yards are exactly alike, Green Machine's timely lawn tenders apply custom treatment to each tract to best serve its individual needs, whether it requires more water, has sandy soil, or just needs constant reassurance that its haircut looks good.