The Legend of Ablemanís Mice
Animal Stories from

The Legend of Ablemanís Mice



My name is Samuel, and I am one of Ablemanís mice, and I have a story to tell you.

My story began in 1851 when Col. Stephen Van Rensselaer Ableman, who came from Albany, New York, settled in what has become known as the Village of Rock Springs, Wisconsin.

The village and surrounding area were originally known as Excelsior, which is the motto on the official New York seal. Excelsior was also known as Ableman Mill, for the Saw Mill which was later converted to a Grist Mill.

Col. Ableman was a land speculator and was instrumental in getting the railroad through the area. The original Railroad Depot was named Ableman by the railroad to honor the Colonel, while the first Post Office had the name Rock Springs on it for a short time.

The village, when formally platted, was named Ableman. The name lasted until 1948 when it was changed to Rock Springs.

Well, so much for the history of the area, most of which I borrowed from the Village of Rock Springsí web site.

My great, great, greatÖgreat grandfather, and I canít remember which great-grandfather it was, for as you know we mice donít have much of a written record of our ancestry, and we multiply so fast, itís hard to keep track of anything, so my grandfather passed down this story of how he met Stephen.

Stephen was seated at his desk and writing something and at the same time he was snacking on something that looked good to my grandfather, so he climbed up on his desk and sat looking at Stephen. When Stephen looked up from his work, he saw my grandfather sitting up on his hind legs looking at him, so Stephen offered him some of his snack; thus began a friendship that lasted for years.

And since, as I mentioned, there is no written record of this friendship and the other events over the years it is probably best to refer to this story as a legend, the legend of Ablemanís mice.

My grandfather and Stephen would visit whenever Stephen was at his desk, and he always made sure that he had some food to share with my grandfather and his family who would also visit with him from time to time.

In a short time they came to a mutual agreement whereby the mice agreed not to eat any of Stephenís food or otherwise mess up his home, and Stephen agreed to always have food and shelter for the mice mostly in the stable with the horses, and Stephen promised to protect the mice from any human harm, but my ancestors still had to fend for themselves against the other animals who preyed on them, as we still need to do today.

One day when my grandfather went for a ride with Stephen, he showed him the gorge where the Baraboo river flowed and showed him all the rocky areas where the mice could live and have shelter, and Stephen told my grandfather that if any of his family or friends wanted to live there, he would also protect them from human harm.

Stephen also showed my grandfather the springs of water that flowed out of the rock and that it was always fresh and clean unlike the Baraboo river that quite often was muddy.

Shortly after this, other people stopped killing mice and instead they would bring them to the gorge area and release them to live there as God intended them to live.

And to this day Ablemanís mice multiply according to the blessing of God in Genesis 1:22, and live in Ablemanís Gorge along the railroad tracks and along the banks of the Baraboo River.

Return to: Animal Stories