Bill Thompson sits on a vintage farm tractor that will be on display at the 175th anniversary of Linn Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Aug. 11, in the Town of Linn.

Ice cream social, pig roast and vintage car show Aug. 11 in Linn

By Troy Sparks


Some farmers and craftsmen met in the southwest part of Wisconsin in 1844 – four years before it became an official state – to form a worshipping community. And since then, the worshippers from the town of Linn, in Walworth County, about three miles from the Illinois border, have kept the faith community strong over the years.

On Sunday, Aug. 11, there will be three community-wide events hosted by Linn Church and the Town of Linn Fire Department. All events will take place on Lake Geneva’s South Shore near the intersection of Willow and Hillside in Linn.

“The history of our township and congregation are intertwined, and we want to celebrate that rich history as we look forward to many more years of ministry and love for Linn Township,” Pastor Terry Hennesy of Linn Presbyterian Church wrote in an email.

The 175th anniversary celebration will include the 49th annual Town of Linn Fire Department pig roast fundraiser with proceeds benefitting the fire department and there will be a rummage sale inside the church. The popular summer ice cream social fundraiser is back after taking a year off.

“Last year, we took a break from putting together an ice cream social,” Hennesy said. “The feedback was immediate and widespread. The pig roast and ice cream social go hand-in-hand, so we are bringing it back.”

Also making its debut is the vintage vehicles show. It will feature vintage cars, motorcycles and farm tractors.

“We’re looking for older cars, but not anything particularly like sports cars,” said Bill Thompson, who is organizing that part of the event. “What we’re really celebrating is our 175th anniversary of the church. We wanted to tie this car show into that and celebrate our heritage with these old vehicles.”

Spectators will see old tractors, including some from John Deere, International Harvester and Allis-Chalmers, Thompson said. There will also be a 1947 Harley-Davison on display.

“It’s a gentleman in the neighborhood that has some old motorcycles,” Thompson said. “This is kind of the top of his line.”

Hennesy said it took more than three years of planning the landmark celebration. Many of the congregation supported the different events leading up to this important milestone. He said the key figures behind the vintage vehicle show are Thompson and his wife Diane. The Oblaks (Bob and Pat) have been running the ice cream social for a long time and they will have some volunteers who will bake pies and serve ice cream.

“I think there was a matter of (the church) having problems (with getting someone to run the ice cream social last year),” Thompson said. “There were a lot of people that were very upset that we didn’t have it because it had been going on for, oh gosh, I know, more than 30 years.”

The fire department has always had the support of its neighbors from the church to host the pig roast.

“We have always been supportive of the role the fire department plays in our community,” Hennesy said. “And in the past, we have opened up a large portion of our property to the fire department to use for the pork roast. Since our properties are contiguous, we think that sharing a community event is an enjoyable way to greet or neighbors and friends.”

Thompson said that bad weather contributed to the low turnout at the pig roast last year, which resulted in lots of leftover pork. They roasted 28 whole hogs, enough to feed up to 4,000 people.

This year’s event will be held rain or shine and Hennesy said he hopes it will be a success as it was in past years.

“We want to be good neighbors and offer a place to reminisce about how far we as a community and church have come,” he said.

Parking will be available at the church, W3335 Willow Rd., or at the fire department at N1457 Hillside Rd. The event will run from noon to 4 p.m.

For more information on Linn Church’s 175 anniversary events, call the church at 262-248-1588, visit or contact Julie Morse at 847-830-4356 or

For pig roast questions and tickets, call the Linn Fire Department at 262-248-4103.


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