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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Wisconsin State Parks: Extraordinary Stories of Geology and Natural History

By Scott Spoolman

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Released: 2018-04-27
Paperback (228 pages)

Wisconsin State Parks: Extraordinary Stories of Geology and Natural History
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Hit the trail for a dramatic look at Wisconsin’s geologic past.

The impressive bluffs, valleys, waterfalls, and lakes of Wisconsin’s state parks provide more than beautiful scenery and recreational opportunities. They are windows into the distant past, offering clues to the dramatic events that have shaped the land over billions of years. 

Author and former DNR journalist Scott Spoolman takes readers with him to twenty-eight parks, forests, and natural areas where evidence of the state’s striking geologic and natural history are on display. In an accessible storytelling style, Spoolman sheds light on the volcanoes that poured deep layers of lava rock over a vast area in the northwest, the glacial masses that flattened and molded the landscape of northern and eastern Wisconsin, mountain ranges that rose up and wore away over hundreds of millions of years, and many other bedrock-shaping phenomena. These stories connect geologic processes to the current landscape, as well as to the evolution of flora and fauna and development of human settlement and activities, for a deeper understanding of our state’s natural history.

The book includes a selection of detailed trail guides for each park, which hikers can take with them on the trail to view evidence of Wisconsin’s geologic and natural history for themselves.

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.

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.

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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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.

History Of Wisconsin: Volume I: From Exploration To Statehood

By Alice E. Smith

Brand: Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Hardcover (753 pages)

History Of Wisconsin: Volume I: From Exploration To Statehood
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Published in 1973, this first volume in the History of Wisconsin series remains the definitive work on Wisconsin's beginnings, from the arrival of the French explorer Jean Nicolet in 1634, to the attainment of statehood in 1848. This volume explores how Wisconsin's Native American inhabitants, early trappers, traders, explorers, and many immigrant groups paved the way for the territory to become a more permanent society. Including nearly two dozen maps as well as illustrations of territorial Wisconsin and portraits of early residents, this volume provides an in-depth history of the beginnings of the state.

Wisconsin Agriculture: A History

By Jerry Apps

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
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.

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."

When Horses Pulled the Plow: Life of a Wisconsin Farm Boy, 1910–1929 (Wisconsin Land and Life)

By Olaf F. Larson

University of Wisconsin Press
Released: 2011-06-01
Paperback (202 pages)

When Horses Pulled the Plow: Life of a Wisconsin Farm Boy, 1910–1929 (Wisconsin Land and Life)
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In 1910, when Olaf F. Larson was born to tenant livestock and tobacco farmers in Rock County, Wisconsin, the original barn still stood on the property. It was filled with artifacts of an earlier time—an ox yoke, a grain cradle, a scythe used to cut hay by hand. But Larson came of age in a brave new world of modern inventions—tractors, trucks, combines, airplanes—that would change farming and rural life forever.
            When Horses Pulled the Plow is Larson’s account of that rural life in the early twentieth century. He weaves invaluable historical details—including descriptions of farm equipment, crops, and livestock—with wry tales about his family, neighbors, and the one-room schoolhouse he attended, revealing the texture of everyday life in the rural Midwest almost a century ago. This memoir, written by Larson in his ninth decade, provides a wealth of details recalled from an earlier era and an illuminating read for anyone with their own memories of growing up on a farm.
 

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.

Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal, 2 Edition

By Patty Loew

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Paperback (240 pages)

Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal, 2 Edition
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  • Wisconsin Historical Society Press
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From origin stories to contemporary struggles over treaty rights and sovereignty issues, Indian Nations of Wisconsin explores Wisconsin's rich Native tradition. This unique volume—based on the historical perspectives of the state’s Native peoples—includes compact tribal histories of the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Oneida, Menominee, Mohican, Ho-Chunk, and Brothertown Indians. Author Patty Loew focuses on oral tradition—stories, songs, the recorded words of Indian treaty negotiators, and interviews—along with other untapped Native sources, such as tribal newspapers, to present a distinctly different view of history. Lavishly illustrated with maps and photographs, Indian Nations of Wisconsin is indispensable to anyone interested in the region's history and its Native peoples.

The first edition of Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal, won the Wisconsin Library Association's 2002 Outstanding Book Award.



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