Wisconsin History - the history of Wisconsin
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Wisconsin   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Wisconsin History

   
 

Wisconsin History



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Odd Wisconsin: Amusing, Perplexing, and Unlikely Stories from Wisconsin's Past

By Erika Janik

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Paperback (208 pages)

Odd Wisconsin: Amusing, Perplexing, and Unlikely Stories from Wisconsin s Past
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  • Used Wisconsin History Book
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While Bob La Follette's exploits as leader of progressive politics are legendary, his early morning exertions to save valuable government documents and executive department paintings during the disastrous 1904 capitol fire are largely unknown - until now. Odd Wisconsin captures the Wisconsin people, places, and events that didn't make it into conventional state histories, lowering a bucket into the depths of Wisconsin history and bringing to light curious fragments of forgotten lives.

This unique book unearths the stories that got lost to history even though they may have made local headlines at the time. No mythical hodags or eight-legged horses here! Odd Wisconsin features strange but true stories from Wisconsin's past, every one of which was documented (albeit by the standards of the day). These brief glimpses into Wisconsin's past will surprise, perplex, astonish, and otherwise connect readers with the state's fascinating history. From "the voyageur with a hole in his side" to "pigs beneath the legislature," Odd Wisconsin gathers 300 years of curiosities, all under the radar of traditional stories.

Wisconsin's Lost Towns

By Rhonda Fochs

Fochs Rhonda
Paperback (320 pages)

Wisconsin s Lost Towns
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  • Wisconsin s Lost Towns
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Wisconsin has over 200 lost, long ago, and nearly gone places. Why they began, why they faded or died encompasses many issues, many reasons. For Rhonda, her love of lost towns and long ago places began in northern Wisconsin, and in this book, she explores the stories and tales of Wisconsin’s places of the past.

Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, Its People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History

By Denise Gess

Holt Paperbacks
Released: 2003-06-01
Paperback (320 pages)

Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, Its People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History
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"Novelist Denise Gess and historian William Lutz brilliantly restore the event to its rightful place in the forefront of American historical imagination." ―Chicago Sun-Times

On October 8, 1871―the same night as the Great Chicago Fire―the lumber town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, was struck with a five-mile-wide wall of flames, borne on tornado-force winds of one hundred miles per hour that tore across more than 2,400 square miles of land, obliterating the town in less than one hour and killing more than two thousand people.

At the center of the blowout were politically driven newsmen Luther Noyes and Franklin Tilton, money-seeking lumber baron Isaac Stephenson, parish priest Father Peter Pernin, and meteorologist Increase Lapham. In Firestorm at Peshtigo, Denise Gess and William Lutz vividly re-create the personal and political battles leading to this monumental natural disaster, and deliver it from the lost annals of American history.

Wisconsin Agriculture: A History

By Jerry Apps

Apps Jerry
Hardcover (336 pages)

Wisconsin Agriculture: A History
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"I'm embarrassed to say I thought I knew anything substantial about Wisconsin agriculture or its history before I read this book. 'Wisconsin Agriculture' should be required reading in history classes from high school to the collegiate level. It makes me thankful that Jerry Apps has such a sense of commitment to Wisconsin's agricultural heritage--and to getting the story right." --Pam Jahnke, Farm Director, Wisconsin Farm Report Radio

Wisconsin has been a farming state from its very beginnings. And though it's long been known as "the Dairy State," it produces much more than cows, milk, and cheese. In fact, Wisconsin is one of the most diverse agricultural states in the nation.

The story of farming in Wisconsin is rich and diverse as well, and the threads of that story are related and intertwined. In this long-awaited volume, celebrated rural historian Jerry Apps examines everything from the fundamental influences of landscape and weather to complex matters of ethnic and pioneer settlement patterns, changing technology, agricultural research and education, and government regulations and policies. Along with expected topics, such as the cranberry industry and artisan cheesemaking, "Wisconsin Agriculture" delves into beef cattle and dairy goats, fur farming and Christmas trees, maple syrup and honey, and other specialty crops, including ginseng, hemp, cherries, sugar beets, mint, sphagnum moss, flax, and hops. Apps also explores new and rediscovered farming endeavors, from aquaculture to urban farming to beekeeping, and discusses recent political developments, such as the 2014 Farm Bill and its ramifications. And he looks to the future of farming, contemplating questions of ethical growing practices, food safety, sustainability, and the potential effects of climate change.

Featuring first-person accounts from the settlement era to today, along with more than 200 captivating photographs, "Wisconsin Agriculture" breathes life into the facts and figures of 150 years of farming history and provides compelling insights into the state's agricultural past, present, and future.

A Short History of Wisconsin

By Erika Janik

Brand: Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Paperback (264 pages)

A Short History of Wisconsin
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Rediscover Wisconsin history from the very beginning. A Short History of Wisconsin recounts the landscapes, people, and traditions that have made the state the multifaceted place it is today. With an approach both comprehensive and accessible, historian Erika Janik covers several centuries of Wisconsin's remarkable past, showing how the state was shaped by the same world wars, waves of new inhabitants, and upheavals in society and politics that shaped the nation.

Swift, authoritative, and compulsively readable, A Short History of Wisconsin commences with the glaciers that hewed the region's breathtaking terrain, the Native American cultures who first called it home, and French explorers and traders who mapped what was once called "Mescousing." Janik moves through the Civil War and two world wars, covers advances in the rights of women, workers, African Americans, and Indians, and recent shifts involving the environmental movement and the conservative revolution of the late 20th century. Wisconsin has hosted industries from fur-trapping to mining to dairying, and its political landscape sprouted figures both renowned and reviled, from Fighting Bob La Follette to Joseph McCarthy. Janik finds the story of a state not only in the broad strokes of immigration and politics, but also in the daily lives shaped by work, leisure, sports, and culture. A Short History of Wisconsin offers a fresh understanding of how Wisconsin came into being and how Wisconsinites past and present share a deep connection to the land itself.

Wisconsin: A History

By Richard Nelson Current

W. W. Norton & Company
Paperback (264 pages)

Wisconsin: A History
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A haven for summer tourists and winter sport enthusiasts, Wisconsin is famed for its physical beauty and its prodigious production of cheese and dairy products. Richard Nelson Current's compact history reveals the colorful past of America's Dairyland, from early explorers and gangsters to latter-day sports heroes and cheeseheads.Both the Ringling Brothers' World's Greatest Shows and Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth originated in Wisconsin, along with the typewriter, Johnson's Wax, and the first automatic assembly line. Wisconsin inventors contributed to the mechanization of American farms by developing harvesters, reapers, and other machinery. Sen. Robert M. (Fighting Bob) La Follette brought progressive reform to the state; a few decades later another Wisconsin native, Joseph McCarthy, revealed his agenda as a U.S. senator.To football fans, the capital of Wisconsin is Green Bay, where in 1919 Earl Louis Lambeau organized the Packers. Even during its fifteen-year losing streak, Green Bay fans sustained their fanatical devotion to the team.Fast-paced and entertaining, Current's history chronicles how Wisconsin's homegrown ideas, from the Wisconsin Idea of efficient state government to ski-tows and speedometers, made their way into the broader marketplace of American culture.

Hidden History of the Wisconsin Dells Area

By Ross M. Curry

The History Press
Released: 2010-12-03
Paperback (136 pages)

Hidden History of the Wisconsin Dells Area
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The history of the Wisconsin Dells area is as unique as its glacier-sculpted landscape. It has been a gathering place for tribal councils, a vacation spot for enthralled tourists and a stopping point for the raftsmen who might have had a little too much of the Devil's Eyewater" brewed by pioneer Robert Allen. Local expert Ross M. Curry has been chronicling the region, from Baraboo to Lyndon, for almost sixty years. Join him for those chapters of the area's story that he himself has witnessed, and then follow him as he hikes back to a time before the Kilbourn Dam, when towns were lit by gaslight, justice might be enforced by duels or "necktie parties" and hardships had to be outlasted by tightknit families with unshakable faith and their own butter churns."

Murder In Wisconsin: Most Evil Serial Killers In Wisconsin History

By Jack Rosewood

Rosewood Jack
Paperback (164 pages)

Murder In Wisconsin: Most Evil Serial Killers In Wisconsin History
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  • Murder in Wisconsin Most Evil Serial Killers in Wisconsin History
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While Wisconsin is now perhaps best known for its die-hard love of both the Green Bay Packers and its cheese, deep beneath the surface of Wisconsin history simmers a cesspool of nightmares that began before the term serial killer had been coined. The horror started when Ed Gein tried desperately to bring back his dead mother by first exhuming bodies, then by killing in order to harvest female body parts that he himself would wear. His story sparked a nation’s macabre fascination with American serial killers, though its bizarre tale of grave robbing and decorating with the dead meant that when other true crime stories surfaced from the state, no one was terribly surprised. Ed Gein was among the first to undergo criminal profiling – was he transgender, a woman trapped in a man’s body, or did he really just miss his mother? – but he would not be the last. Wisconsin’s infamous list of true crime serial killers includes the lonely Jeffrey Dahmer, who attempted science experiments in hopes of creating a sex slave to call his own, sex criminal David Spanbauer, who preferred raping little girls when he got the chance, and Walter Ellis, who preyed on prostitutes because he thought he would be able to get away with it. Turns out, he could, for more than a decade. Wisconsin is full of secrets, and very bad men. This biography of four prolific serial killers steps into the heart of the state’s madness, and is likely to make their nightmares yours, at least for a spine-tingling night or two, especially when you realize that what happens in the movies is sometimes horrifyingly real.

Wisconsin: A History

By Robert C. Nesbit

University of Wisconsin Press
Paperback (630 pages)

Wisconsin: A History
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Robert Nesbit’s classic single-volume history of Wisconsin was expanded by Wisconsin State Historian William F. Thompson to include the period from 1940 to the late 1980s, along with updated bibliographies and appendices.

First paperback edition.

Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old-Fashioned Experience

By Ron Faiola

Brand: Agate Midway
Hardcover (224 pages)

Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old-Fashioned Experience
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Wisconsin Supper Clubs is a resource for and about supper clubs throughout Wisconsin that includes beautiful photographs of the unique supper club interiors, proprietors, and customers, as well as fascinating archival materials. Also recorded in this book are the regional specialties served at these clubs, ranging from popovers and fried pickles in the northern part of the state to Shrimp de Jonghe in the south. One Northwoods supper club even features fry bread, a traditional Native American dish uncommon to most any restaurant.

The "supper club experience" is a tradition embodied by many long-standing restaurants scattered throughout the small towns of Wisconsin. It is based around a bygone idea that going out to dinner is an experience that lasts an entire evening. The clubs emphasizing food made from scratch, slow-paced dining, and family-run businesses. Combine this with stately dark-panel decor, complimentary relish trays, and the best brandy Old Fashioned sweet you'll ever have, and you have barely scratched the surface of the Wisconsin supper club's appeal.

Author Ron Faiola is the critically acclaimed director and producer of the documentary by the same name. Supper clubs are hugely popular with Wisconsin locals and regularly frequented by all Midwestern foodies "in the know." With Wisconsin Supper Clubs as a guide, these establishments are primed to be choice summer road trip destinations for anyone looking for low-cost vacations this summer. After the successful debut of Faiola's documentary, this book is sure to be a hit throughout the region and beyond.


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