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45th Parallel sign is gently repaired

Brian Rosenberger stands by the geographic marker in North Hudson that he recently restored. Photo by Margaret A. Ontl

It was truly a labor of love when Brian Rosenberger decided an icon from his childhood needed a facelift. Rosenberger's dad Richard helped construct and install the geographic marker noting the 45th parallel north location. Recently, he, with the help of his friends, completely restored the historic sign which was installed in 1989.

"I remember when I was in second grade at North Hudson School and we all came down to see the sign," said Rosenberger who noticed the sign was faded. Many driving by had no idea why it was there.

The sign was redwood, a fact revealed when Rosenberger power-washed it. It was washed, stained and the letters highlighted with green paint. The mulch at the base was dug out and replaced and the stone perimeter enhanced.

"In the spring, I will come back and add plants," said Rosenberger.

Al Weitkamp initiated the movement for the sign's installation. Rosenberger is unsure of how his father and Weitkamp became friends, but it made a lasting impression on young Brian. Both Weitkamp and Rosenberger had a sincere interest in woodworking and Brian remembers spending hours in Weitkamp's woodworking shop.

"Al was almost like a grandfather to me," said Rosenberger, who recalled his dad loved to work with wood just like Al did." Rosenberger's father Richard died of ALS when he was still in elementary school but he remembers him well.

"Al had a sign shop at his house, he loved children and he was very spiritual," said Rosenberger. "My dad took a lot of what Al said as gold and he donated money to my education."

"The sign is special because of my father's involvement," said Rosenberger. "It is important to me. It was a part of my childhood I did not want to see go by the wayside," said Rosenberger.

This is the original caption that ran with the photo when it appeared in the Nov. 2, 1989, edition of the Hudson Star-Observer: A sign was recently erected along Hwy. 35 in North Hudson, marking the location where the 45th parallel north crossed through the village. Al Weitkamp, pictured, began the drive to construct a sign last year. The village of North Hudson provided the survey and the city of Hudson provided the sign making equipment. Materials were donated by Hudson Area Recycling and most of the labor was provided by Weitkamp, W.G. Heiting and Richard Rosenberger. Weitkamp said living on the 45th parallel north makes it easy for amateur astronomers to line up their telescopes.