space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From Our Readers
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Coleman Holds One Game Lead in M&O Play
* Gillett/Peshtigo Hold 2nd Place Conference Spots
* Cougars Top Cutler Field, Crown Five Champions
* DNR Seeking Nominations for Hunter Ethics Award
* Menominee Wins M&M Match Up; Coleman Downs Crivitz

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

From My Window

Issue Date: August 16, 2018

Lightning Rods

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,



**********

Last week I did road trips to Peshtigo and back and also to Oregon, WI. During these drives I was looking at the few remaining old traditional wooden barns like the one that was on my parent's rural property when they bought it around 1956. The barn was in pretty poor condition already then but I remember climbing up on its roof (something that was probably done in stealth, since it was a really high roof.)

One of the old barns I saw on my drive was of very similar design and in rather decrepit condition, but on its roof were three equally spaced lighting rods with glass balls " and I suddenly remembered this feature from my childhood barn and house as well. The question it caused me to ponder was why you no longer see lightning rods on barns or houses.

I was not alone with this question since there were dozens of on-line responses to various people asking why lightning rods are no longer used. It was very interesting to read through them and here is what I learned.

Most tower and "skyscraper" buildings (and churches with steeples) do still have lightning protection although it doesn't look like what I remember. That's because such tall buildings are at much higher risk of getting hit by lightning. But barns, and residences no longer have it for the two factors we weigh all the time around safety " probability (risk of something happening,) and cost. Most experts say that unless your house is high on a hill, the tallest building around, or located in the middle of flat terrain where it is the only structure for a long distance, you just aren't likely to ever experience a lightning strike on your house. If you are still worried, a member of the "Lightning Protection Business Alliance" will sell you a residential system for somewhere between $2500 and $5000; depending on how safe you want to be.

It stands to reason that if lightning strikes were a huge risk our homeowner's insurance would require or strongly incentivize such systems, but most don't. I found on-line estimates of a 3% annual discount for installation of a lighting protection system " and that kind of savings would take a century to "pay for itself."

Another comment led me to a website where old lighting rods and the glass balls on them are for sale for those restoring an old house to "original" condition. The glass balls retail for about $22 on this site and the rods (or "finials") for around $36. The explanation I read for the balls was that if one exploded off the rod that would have been a tipoff that the rod had been hit and safely conducted the strike to ground as designed. One piece also said the color of the balls varied by manufacturers of lighting systems, and was a sort of advertisement for their brand.

I developed a powerful respect for lightning living in Oklahoma, where severe storms are common. One night an unusually bad one rolled over our house, with one particular bolt shaking our house and so close by that it sounded like it had struck in our yard. It was a scary and sleepless night.

The next morning I went outside and slipped through our fence to feed our neighbor's horse, "Lucky" since his family was traveling. He didn't meet me at the fence line as usual, and looking around I saw him lying about 100 feet away in the pasture, not moving. An awful feeling came over me and I was praying that he was okay as I walked toward him. Unfortunately he was dead. I looked him over and couldn't find a mark on him like I'd expect from a lightning strike, so I thought maybe someone had shot him and he'd fallen over on the side with the bullet wound.

I called my horse vet to come and take a look, since I wanted to be sure of my facts when I had to inform his owner that the healthy young horse just back from the trainer she'd left in my care was dead.

The vet lifted the upper hind leg and showed me that the inside of Lucky's rear leg artery was blown wide open and bloodless. It was lightning that had executed poor Lucky, possibly by jumping from the nearby wire fence. The vet's only comfort to me was that the horse had probably died instantly, and that Lucky was the third lightning killed horse he'd had a call about that weekend. Lucky's owner usually left him in a pasture that had no trees or buildings in it, and he was the highest point on that land when the storm rolled over us.

When there is active lightning, I take shelter. I am not tempted to "run out for just a minute" to shut the windows of the car sitting in the driveway, or anything else. Seeing what happened to the horse was enough to put respect for the hazards of lighting in my personal value system.

It makes sense that a century ago people were willing to do almost anything to protect their barns " which were their livelihood; or their homes in a time when modern firefighting systems, structures and equipment were not available. It was also probably a time when homeowner's insurance was not available, much less required. So in the old days you put your faith in a few lightning rods with their glass balls on the roof, and some prayer.

I'm not much of a one for antique shopping, but thinking about those old lightning rods got me thinking that one might make a nice flower garden addition. Next time I'm out "junkin" I might start looking.



You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: Janiethibmartin@gmail.com.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
01-17-2020Front Page
Robert Chaltry Named New Grover-Porterfield Fire Chief

01-17-2020Front Page
County Board Approves $180,000 Armed Rescue Vehicle Purchase

01-17-2020Front Page
Pound Terminates Public Works Director Kevin Schutte As Village Employee

01-17-2020Front Page
LaVigne Sentenced To 5-Year Prison Term For Sex Assault

01-17-2020Front Page
Peshtigo's Gail Bantes is Assembly Hometown Hero

01-17-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee School Reps at Wagner Town Meeting

01-17-2020Community - Wausaukee
6 WHS Students Enrolled in NWTC EMT Class

01-17-2020Community - Wausaukee
AARP Tax Aid Session Dates

01-17-2020Community - Wausaukee
Auxiliary Offers $1000 Scholarship

01-17-2020Community - Crivitz
Roots Salon & Spa New Name for Crivitz Business

01-17-2020Community - Crivitz
Stephenson Board Approves Permits

01-17-2020Community - Crivitz
Annual Young Trappers Workshop

01-17-2020Community - Crivitz
GFWC Honors Carol Jeske

01-17-2020Community - Coleman
Suring School Board Sets Open Enrollment Limits

01-17-2020Community - Coleman
Honor Verduzco as the January Student of the Month

01-17-2020Community - Coleman
Candidates For Suring Board

01-17-2020Community - Coleman
Packers Fan Hall of Fame Finalist

01-17-2020Sports
Coleman Holds One Game Lead in M&O Play

01-17-2020Sports
Gillett/Peshtigo Hold 2nd Place Conference Spots

01-17-2020Sports
Cougars Top Cutler Field, Crown Five Champions

01-17-2020Sports
DNR Seeking Nominations for Hunter Ethics Award

01-17-2020Perspectives
From Our Readers

01-17-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

01-17-2020Perspectives
From My Window

01-17-2020Obituaries
David C. Brandt

01-17-2020Obituaries
Paul C. Boucher

01-17-2020Obituaries
Carl D. Durocher

01-17-2020Obituaries
Bryan L. Evitts

01-17-2020Obituaries
Keith J. Evrard

01-17-2020Obituaries
Fr. Lawrence Gerend

01-17-2020Obituaries
Sheila R. Hamann

01-17-2020Obituaries
Susan Hittman

01-17-2020Obituaries
Ruth A. LaPerriere

01-17-2020Obituaries
Judy K. Larson

01-17-2020Obituaries
Diane T. Rehberg

01-17-2020Obituaries
John H. Rogers

01-17-2020Obituaries
William T. Schmuhl

01-17-2020Obituaries
Janice A. Vanitvelt

01-09-2020Front Page
Sentinel Structures Timber In Award Winning Building

01-09-2020Front Page
Little Competition for Offices To Be Filled In Spring Elections

01-09-2020Front Page
Peshtigo Will Look Again At BPM Inc. Sewer Rates

01-09-2020Front Page
Second Suspect Charged February 2019 Drug Death

01-09-2020Front Page
Marinette Council Votes To Keep Ella Court Open

01-09-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee House Destroyed by Fire

01-09-2020Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Blood Drive Nets 31 Units

01-09-2020Community - Crivitz
Return to Nam Program at Crivitz VFW Post

01-09-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Board Okays Calendar For 2020 - 2021

01-09-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Elementary/Middle School Student of December

01-09-2020Community - Crivitz
Felting Class at Crivitz Jan. 25th

01-09-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz VFW Post Hold Christmas Party

01-09-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Gives 2 Mobile Grants

01-09-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Water, Sewer to Meet

01-09-2020Community - Coleman
Where Does The County Property Tax Money Go?

01-09-2020Community - Coleman
Vote for Jeff Gasser for Packers Fan Hall of Fame

01-09-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board Met Monday, Jan. 6th

01-09-2020Sports
Menominee Wins M&M Match Up; Coleman Downs Crivitz

01-09-2020Sports
Wausaukee Takes Down Florence; Peshtigo Beats Gibraltar

01-09-2020Sports
Coleman, Lena & Crivitz Lead Area Teams on the Mats

01-09-2020Sports
Bald Eagle Events Take Off In January

01-09-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

01-09-2020Perspectives
From My Window

01-09-2020Perspectives
From Our Readers

01-09-2020Obituaries
Marie C. Blahnik

01-09-2020Obituaries
David J. Carlson

01-09-2020Obituaries
Virginia A. DeDamos

01-09-2020Obituaries
Judith A. Dohl

01-09-2020Obituaries
Trever M. Francour

01-09-2020Obituaries
Robert D. Hanson

01-09-2020Obituaries
John P. Hartz

01-09-2020Obituaries
Larry Hoppa

01-09-2020Obituaries
Frank W Jackson, Jr.

01-09-2020Obituaries
Dalton A. Kaster

01-09-2020Obituaries
Caroline E. Korpi

01-09-2020Obituaries
Elizabeth J. Kozlovsky

01-09-2020Obituaries
Lyle O. Lange

01-09-2020Obituaries
Edwin C. Luczak

01-09-2020Obituaries
Kenneth P. Marineau

01-09-2020Obituaries
Dale L. Nichols

01-09-2020Obituaries
Gabrielann Okins

01-09-2020Obituaries
Kenneth J. Polasky

01-09-2020Obituaries
Francis Shampine

01-09-2020Obituaries
Jessie L. Shampo

01-09-2020Obituaries
Ronald J. Storrm

01-09-2020Obituaries
James A. Weaver

01-02-2020Front Page


01-02-2020Front Page
Storms, Murders, Heroism, Fires Make 2019 Headlines

01-02-2020Front Page
Nieminski Sentenced To 9 Years, 9 Months In Prison

01-02-2020Front Page
Peshtigo Discusses ATV/UTV Routes Near School and Park

01-02-2020Front Page
Porterfield Board To Swear In Chaltry As New Fire Chief

01-02-2020Front Page
School Board Candidates Must File Papers By Jan. 7

01-02-2020Sports
Peshtigo Nips Crivitz at Kress

01-02-2020Community - Wausaukee
Housing Development Meetings in Wausaukee

01-02-2020Community - Wausaukee
Football Hall Fame Tickets on Sale

01-02-2020Community - Wausaukee
Revisions to Broad Incidental Take Permits and Authorizations

01-02-2020Community - Wausaukee
Winter Card Series For Silver Cliff Rescue

01-02-2020Community - Crivitz
Smiley Family Hosted Christmas Party Dec. 21

01-02-2020Community - Crivitz
Machickanee Players Annual Meeting Jan. 19

01-02-2020Community - Crivitz
CPR Class Offered at Bellin, Crivitz

01-02-2020Community - Coleman
Baenen Memorial Ice Fishing Banquet Jan. 24

01-02-2020Community - Coleman
Softball on Ice Tournament Feb. 1

01-02-2020Community - Coleman
Bond Offers New Family Memberships

01-02-2020Community - Coleman
Toss for Charity at Lena Jan. 16

01-02-2020Sports
Lindgren Inducted to NIAAA Hall of Fame

01-02-2020Sports
Gillett Hosts Third Annual Holiday Tournament

01-02-2020Sports
Cougars Repeat as On the Water Champions

01-02-2020Perspectives
From Our Readers

01-02-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

01-02-2020Perspectives
From My Window

01-02-2020Obituaries
Catherine M. Anderson

01-02-2020Obituaries
Betty M. Brien

01-02-2020Obituaries
Douglas A. Brophy

01-02-2020Obituaries
Richard M. Brown

01-02-2020Obituaries
Mary Lou Bunker

01-02-2020Obituaries
Donald G. Chevalier

01-02-2020Obituaries
Laurene Davidson

01-02-2020Obituaries
Gene W. Dressel

01-02-2020Obituaries
Sister Margaret M. Halbach

01-02-2020Obituaries
Vollie A. Hayward-Good

01-02-2020Obituaries
John V. Henderson

01-02-2020Obituaries
Rick Kahn

01-02-2020Obituaries
Amanda Jo Kesti

01-02-2020Obituaries
Gerry J. Lemsky

01-02-2020Obituaries
Warden E. Lindstrom 

01-02-2020Obituaries
Miles Anthony Mankusky

01-02-2020Obituaries
Soledad Moreno

01-02-2020Obituaries
Francis J. Nemetz Jr.

01-02-2020Obituaries
Lloyd J. Pecore Jr.

01-02-2020Obituaries
Steven W. Philipps

01-02-2020Obituaries
Betty J. Salewsky

01-02-2020Obituaries
Rose M. Schingick

01-02-2020Obituaries
Nancy L. Schroedle

01-02-2020Obituaries
Lynn A. Schwittay

01-02-2020Obituaries
Leroy J. Swenty

01-02-2020Obituaries
Phillip Wenger

01-02-2020Obituaries
Marjorie A. Wickman

12-24-2019Sports
DNR Confirms PFAS-Containing Foam at the Mouth of Starkweather Creek

12-24-2019Sports
Coleman Claims West Allis E. H. Stech Tourney Title

12-24-2019Sports
Crivitz Holds Off Wausaukee; Stops Late Game Comeback

12-24-2019Sports
Wolverines Defeat Rangers

12-24-2019Obituaries
Patricia M. Andersen

12-24-2019Obituaries
Donald Joseph Barker

12-24-2019Obituaries
John B. Barker

12-24-2019Obituaries
Leona F. Belongia

12-24-2019Obituaries
Leo J. Bialkowski

12-24-2019Obituaries
Don G. Chevalier

12-24-2019Obituaries
Jane J. Delveaux

12-24-2019Obituaries
Joseph H. Eastman

12-24-2019Obituaries
Martin E. Fabiszak

12-24-2019Obituaries
Gerald F. Menard

12-24-2019Obituaries
Edna Miller


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think the Green Bay Packers will make it to the Super Bowl?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2020
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites