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States - Wisconsin
 
 
Baraboo,  prepared by Sauk County Historical Society
 

Baraboo, a community as unique as its name, had the same beginnings as many other southern Wisconsin cities—but its development throughout the 19th century set it apart.  Starting in 1839, several dams were built along the Baraboo River rapids and a typical mill town formed.  Baraboo’s population began to rise when it became the county seat in 1846.  With the arrival of the railroad in 1871, the village doubled in size within a decade.  The railroad also brought exposure to the nearby natural beauty of Devil’s Lake, increasing tourism significantly.  Baraboo’s greatest claim to fame began when the Ringling Brothers established a circus there in 1884.  America’s largest circus enterprise, Ringling Brothers made Baraboo their winter home every year until 1918.  Over 200 photographs capture the look and feel of Baraboo during its first 80 years, illustrating its small town charm and its unique natural and historical featuress.

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.    

Price:  $21.00

 

 

Brookfield and Elm Grove,  by Thomas Ramstack 

 

The old town of Brookfield provides an ethnic microcosm of what makes Wisconsin’s settlement story so unique.  As Native Americans, primarily the Potawatomi tribe, were forced out of the region, in came large numbers of Protestant farmers from New York State.  A step and a half behind the New Yorkers came distinct colonies of families from western Europe—Catholics from Bavaria and Ireland, Evangelical Lutherans from Switzerland, Methodists from England, and others.  Thomas Ramstack’s father shared many personal tales from the 1920s and 1930s about various neighbors he encountered as a boy growing up in the then rural communities of Elm Grove and Brookfield.  Drawing upon these, the author seeks to capture for readers something of the town’s early life and its inhabitants.

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.    

Price: $21.00

 

 

Chippewa Falls,  compiled by Inc. Chippewa Falls Main Street

 

Long ago, Native American people hunted, fished, and gathered the abundant food supplies of the Chippewa area.  This book captures the cultural, economic, political, and social history of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, from the mid-1800s to the present day.  Historic photographs bring to life the people, events, and industries which helped to shape and transform Chippewa Falls.  More than 200 vintage images include the largest sawmill in the world under one roof, some of the earliest residents of the community, along with century-old nationally renowned businesses.  There was rarely a dull moment in the development of this community's downtown.  The Chippewa Falls Main Street program, operating since 1989, has created a grass roots volunteer-driven movement of renovation projects to revitalize downtown Chippewa Falls.  Come along on a fascinating visual journey into the history of the city that has been named as one of five Great American Main Street Cities.


Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.    
Price: $21.00

 

Entertainment in Early Milwaukee,  by Larry Widen


What did early Milwaukeeans do to have fun and relax?  The choices were many.  From the mid-1800s up to 1950, this book recalls the city’s pop culture, from the early tavern stages hosting traditional German plays and musicals, to the large traveling circus acts that arrived via the railroad, to the beer gardens, nickelodeons, and old grand cinemas that dominated the city’s landscape during the first half of the 20th century.  In its heyday, Milwaukee had several amusement parks with roller coasters, fun houses, water rides, and more.  The first movie was shown in Milwaukee in 1896, and by 1920, there were nearly 100 buildings dedicated to motion pictures.  And it was two Milwaukee businessmen who discovered the great Charlie Chaplin and also produced the 1915 epic Birth of a Nation.

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.
Price: $21.00

 

Evansville,  by Ruth Ann Montgomery

 

The Evansville area was settled in 1839 and the village platted in 1855 on the hopes that the railroad would come through.  It was named for Evansville’s first physician, Dr. John M. Evans.  When the railroad arrived in 1863, Evansville’s prosperity was assured.  There were many opportunities for growth in agriculture, manufacturing, and commerce.  The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad offered passenger and freight service to major markets in Chicago and the West.  Local farmers found national and international markets for their prizewinning livestock and produce.  The Evansville Seminary and a strong public school system provided educational opportunities.  Literary societies, churches, and veterans groups provided social activities.  Talented 19th- and 20th-century architects and craftsmen were responsible for the fine collection of architectural styles in Evansville.

 

Softtcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.
Price: $21.00

 

Green County,  by Kim D. Tschudy

 

This book presents a glimpse into Green County's colorful and historic past.  Not only are the communities of present-day Green County included, but also within are the ghost towns Attica, Dayton, Dutch Hollow, Martintown, Postville, and Schultz.  While far from a complete photographic history of Green County, the reader will get a glimpse of many of the lesser-known facets of its history, both physical and personal.  Writer and reporter Kim Tschudy is a native of Green County with family roots going back to 1846.  An adult education instructor at the University of Wisconsin, in his spare time, he restores historic buildings in Wisconsin and Iowa.  It is his hope that this book will serve as a beginning point for the reader to venture deeper into Green County's collective past.


Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.       

Price:  $21.00

 

Janesville (WI),  by Den Adler, Judy Adler

 

In 1837, Henry Janes applied for a post office called Black Hawk for the southern Wisconsin settlement where he ran a ferry across the Rock River.  The postmaster general, however, noticed a town already by that name in the Iowa part of Wisconsin Territory, and he assigned the name Janesville, with Janes as postmaster.  Two years later, Janes moved his family west, but the community grew to become the Rock County seat, and by 1860 it was Wisconsin's second-largest city.  Today more than 62,000 people call the "City of Parks" home.  The authors are longtime residents of Janesville and members of the Rock County Historical Society.


Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.     

Price:  $21.00

 

Lake Lawn,  by Ellen Baker Bell;  Foreword by W. Gordon Yadon 

 

Nestled on 275 shaded acres beside beautiful Delavan Lake, Lake Lawn has been a favorite vacation destination since 1878.  Much of the area’s local history is rooted to this wooded lakeside retreat.  It is the site of the highest concentration of ancient Native American effigy mounds in the area.  Plus, it was the place where the Mabie brothers first brought their circus, leading to Delavan’s designation as 19th-century circus capital of the nation.  It was also home to the Lake Lawn Ballroom, one of the most popular dance halls of its day, where a young Lawrence Welk played annually before achieving national fame.  In addition to its historical significance, Lake Lawn was the beloved vacation spot for generations of families who enjoyed annual trips to its lakeside cottages and rustic timber lodges.  With the help of local historians and former resort employees, the author sought to preserve the town's unique history.  The result is a compilation including not only factual accounts of the resort but also personal stories and rare photographs from the collections of many who have loved Lake Lawn over the years. 

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.    

Price: $21.00

 

 

Milwaukee,  by Richard Prestor 

 

In April 1834, the Green-Bay Intelligencer newspaper reported that a sawmill was being erected in a new settlement on the Milwaukee River.  Less than one year later, the paper reported that “Milwaukey [sic], which 10 months ago, had only a single trading house, has now some 20 or 30 houses, and two or three saw mills.”  Yankee settlers and land speculators contributed to the early growth of Milwaukee, along with a steady flow of Europeans who also made their way here, not just as settlers, but frequently as hard-working business owners, skilled laborers, and artists.  Determined to make Milwaukee their home, they surrounded themselves (and influenced the entire community) with their old traditions and languages.  Thirty years after its first newspaper write-up, Milwaukee was a well-established city brimming with potential.  This tribute to the author’s home town is not meant to be a definitive history of the city, but rather a light-hearted look at the people who made Milwaukee’s history.


Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.   

Price: $21.00

 

Milwaukee's Early Architecture, by Megan E. Daniels 

 

Initially dominated by simple renditions of East Coast architecture, Milwaukee developed from three pioneer settlements, hubs from which three villages radiated outward into one city.  Following the Civil War, Milwaukee's growth at the onset of the Industrial Era afforded the city a fanciful array of Victorian streetscapes.  The 1890s followed with an era of ethnic architecture in which bold interpretations of German Renaissance Revival and Baroque designs paid homage to Milwaukee's overwhelming German population. At the turn of the century, Milwaukee's proximity to Chicago influenced the streetscape with classicized civic structures and skyscrapers designed by Chicago architects.  World War I and the ensuing anti-German sentiment, as well as Prohibition, inevitably had adverse effects on "Brew City."  By the 1920s, Milwaukee's architecture had assimilated to the national aesthetic, suburban development was on the rise, and architectural growth would soon be stunted by the Great Depression. 


Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.      
Price:  $21.00

 

 

Milwaukee's Historic Bowling Alleys,  by Manya Kaczkowski

 

From the U.S. Olympic team, to "Bowling With the Champs," to countless corner bars with a couple of lanes in the basement, Milwaukee has lived and breathed this sport.  In the late 1800s, German brewers like Capt. Frederick Pabst and the Uihleins offered bowling in their Milwaukee beer gardens.  When Abe Langtry brought the American Bowling Congress here in 1905, "Brew City" became bowling central.  Today owning a bowling alley is a labor of love, with good reason.  It's the place where you rolled that 700 series, met your wife, and taught your son how to bowl in the junior league.  Even in this high-tech, immediate-gratification society, bowling still thrives in Milwaukee.  Several old-school lanes still have steady business.  The author has been a league bowler in Greater Milwaukee for 25 years.  This book is a tribute to the people, the places, and the sport that made Milwaukee "America's Bowling Capital."

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.    

Price:  $21.00

 

Port Washington,  by Richard D. Smith, Port Washington Historical Society

 

Port Washington is a picturesque community on the shores of Lake Michigan, just a short drive north of Milwaukee.  It celebrated its 175th birthday in September 2010.  Native Americans lived on these shores when the first voyageurs arrived.  Soon came the birth of a thriving and industrious community of immigrants who settled here after leaving Germany and Luxembourg. This book presents a vivid description of the city's history, touching on the early years of industry and focusing on the maritime heritage of Port Washington.  Some of these photographs have never before been published and some of the buildings no longer exist, which makes this book a treasure trove of historic images and gives the reader a wonderful photographic tour of what Washington was like over 100 years ago.


Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.    

Price:  $21.00

 

 

Prairie du Chien,  by Mary Elise Antoine 

 

Just above the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers lies a 9-mile prairie whose beauty and location made it a favored gathering place of Native Americans.  French explorers and fur traders stored trade goods and celebrated on the prairie, in time building homes at la Prairie des Chiens.  American soldiers constructed a fort here, at the entrance to the upper Mississippi Valley, to secure the region for settlement.  Settlers arrived in Prairie du Chien by steamboat and railroad.  By 1900, a bustling city had spread across the plain, but the majestic beauty of the river endured.  Tourists came to drift along the banks of the Mississippi, climb the steep bluffs surrounding the prairie, and sample the Friday night fish fries.  Today, Wisconsin's second-oldest community retains the attraction that drew the first explorers to its shores.

 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs. 

Price:  $21.00

 

 

Wisconsin Dells,  by Bonnie Jean Alton

 

The native people called this area Nish-ha-ki-sunch-la.  Today it is known as the Wisconsin Dells, a beautiful five-mile gorge along the Wisconsin River.  This book captures all that beauty in vintage postcards.  Included are famous rock formations and towering sandstone cliffs such as Cold Water Canyon, Romance Cliff, Chimney Rock, Witches Glutch, Hawk’s Bill, and Baby Grand Piano, just to name a few.  Readers will view scenes of riverboats, canoeists, native dancers, and even a young man and a dog leaping perilously to Stand Rock.  The Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Indians are featured in the land they call home.  Wisconsin Dells began catering to tourists in the mid-19th century.  The author lives in Lake Geneva and has been collecting Dells postcards and memorabilia her whole life.  Many of the postcards included here are based on the photography of H. H. Bennett, whose work from 1865 to 1907 is credited for turning the Dells into Wisconsin’s top tourist destination. 

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.   

Price: $21.00