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Sauk Prairie, Wisconsin
By Jody Kapp
Ringed by bluffs, prairie and the wide, flowing Wisconsin River, the two communities of Sauk City and Prairie du Sac have grown up since the first settler staked claim here in 1838, asserting this colorful, natural landscape as a direct extension of their joint identity. From the freewheeling Agoston Haraszthy to the German Freethinkers, farmers, inventors and multiple long-standing family-run businesses, the people of Sauk Prairie work and play with a voracity that can outshine even the coldest of winters. In 1914, the construction of the Prairie du Sac Hydroelectric Dam added another natural jewel when it created Lake Wisconsin. Everyone from summertime jet skiers to the wintering bald eagles had yet another reason to enjoy the region known for its festival of cow chips. Author Jody Kapp brings these memorable Sauk Prairie people and places to life through images shared from private collections and the digital archives of the Sauk City Library, the Badger History Group, and the Sauk Prairie Area Historical Society. Kapp is Director of Development for the Society’s J.S. Tripp Heritage Museum in Prairie du Sac. The book is available at the Tripp Museum, the Tripp's online bookstore at: www.saukprairiehistory.org, and the SCHS. Cost: $21.99
Troy Tales and Trails, 1850s – 1950s
THE Harrisburg Home and Community Education Club, Town of Troy, Sauk County, Wisconsin, has written this book to maintain as accurate a record as possible of the ﬁrst one hundred years of our township. The impetus for this book began in 2000 when the club took on the project of collecting pictures and information for the placement of a historical mural in the town hall which is located in the hamlet of Black Hawk on Sauk County Highway C. The accumulated information including 60 pictures of the towns’ early infrastructure inspired the members to research and expand the materials “in hand.” The task seemed daunting. But retrieving information from the attics, closets and minds of especially senior citizens was a pleasant challenge. The outline for the book began with the nine one room Troy school neighborhoods that had provided elementary education for pupils for the ﬁrst one hundred years. Pioneer and settlers lives began to unfold and the discussions of “then what" led us down information trails we could not have imagined. The news excerpts spin a tale of life as it was, of how neighbors needed neighbors, and the importance of community. It is also interesting to note that the early settlers did travel sometimes great distances to keep in touch with their families for funerals or celebrations. 313 pages, $32.00.
Building Early Wisconsin Community
By Philip Hasheider
The 150-Year Story of Mills on the Honey Creek guides you through the era in which ﬂour and grist mills dotted the countryside. Few histories have so thoroughly told the story of these rural mills, their owners and the local impact they had. Mills helped stabilize early communities and were catalysts for their growth. With the aid of over 150 vintage and rare photographs and extensive documentation, Mills on the Honey Creek provides a window through which to examine the lives of the seventy-five people who owned the twelve mills that existed in the Honey Creek Valley for over 150 years. Relive those days and the human dramas that unfolded with a variety of consequences—some delightful, some devastating, but all exceptionally interesting and forever woven into the local fabric. Soft cover, 216 pages, $45.00.
Devil’s Lake Wisconsin and the
Civilian Conservation Corps
by Robert J. Moore
Thousands of young men embarked on the adventure of a lifetime when they joined the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Service at Wisconsin’s popular state park offered notoriety absent at most camp assignments. While most of the CCC work around the country was in remote forests and farmlands, the Devil’s Lake tourists could view CCC project activity each day, forging that labor into an essential part of the park experience. Historian Robert J. Moore interviews veterans and mines the archives to preserve this legacy so that the gasps of wonder at nature’s marvels remain mixed with respect for the men who helped bring them forth. Soft cover, 157 pages, $20.00.
Song of Place
By Ken Lange
This new book by biologist, Ken Lange, highlights the natural history of the Baraboo Hills and should be a must read for all outdoor enthusiasts who wish to learn more about the 1.8 billion years of history of the area. Ken has had a long career in the Sauk County area as a naturalist and has firsthand knowledge of the plants, birds and animals which inhabit the surrounding hills. The book also highlights the human element in those who have trod the hills and valleys, investigating the biodiversity, glacial and geological history of this unique area. The book contains 663 pages of text and photos, including an extensive bibliography and index. The cost is $35.00. It may be picked up at the History Center, or ordered on line for an extra $4 shipping.
The Boys from Baraboo is written by Michael Lancaster, the great-grandson of Charles Ringling, one of the original ﬁve Ringling Brothers, and illustrated by Barbara Harnack. This unique approach to illustration uses set design, sculpture, painting and photography to tell the story of the Ringling Brothers rise to circus stardom beginning as children. This is a book for children of all ages. The hard cover book contains 34 pages of text and color photos. The cost is $17 and may be picked up at the History Center, or ordered on line for an additional $4 shipping.
The Great Wisconsin Manhunt of 1961 by Marshall Cook
When three Chicago men came to the tourist area of Wisconsin Dells in the summer of 1961, they had more than just a vacation on their minds. When police tried to question them, a shootout ensued and a police officer was killed. The men fled and one of the most memorable manhunts in state history ensued. Author Marshall Cook, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, retraces the steps of the fugitives in this compelling true crime account with many historical photos. May be picked up at the History Center. Soft cover, 163 pages, $16.00. Add $4 is shipped.
A Man Called Baraboo The Life and Travels of an 18th-Century Voyageur
From about 1600 through 1850, determined men in fragile bark canoes paddled up the rivers and streams of the Great Lakes watershed. These men, known as Voyageurs or "travelers," set out in the late fall hoping to trade a few simple trinkets and tools for thick, valuable beaver skins. Their quest took them deeper and deeper into the wilderness, and their adventures and explorations shaped the history of the North American continent. This is the true story of one of these men. By M. Richard Tully. 193 pages with photographs, soft cover. $15.00. Add $4 if shipped.
Life in the Slow Track 3 bicycles - 1300 miles 1 incredible journey
An amazing true story of Depression-era determination as three boys ride their bicycles from Baraboo to New York City to see the 1939 World's Fair.In the spring of 1939 the Baraboo High School was abuzz with the rumor that Earl Wichern, Ken Harvey and Bob Shult were about to do something kind of crazy. They were going to ride bicycles from Baraboo to New York City to see the World’s Fair. But it wasn’t a rumor. The funny thing however was that the boys didn’t even own bikes. But they soon did and set out on the adventure of a lifetime. You will be transported to a simpler time that would soon vanish with the onset of World War II. Three boys became men and a nation soon became a war machine, but for a few brief weeks during the summer of 1939 a crazy dream was realized. More than fifty years later the story is recounted by Earl Wichern in his book, “Life in the Slow Track.” $12.00 (add $4 if mailed) May also be picked up at the museum.
The Best of Baraboo Coloring Book by Joan McArthur
This is the back and front cover of the color book.
"Inside are black/white sketches of the photos for colorers and doodlers to fill
in. I created the book because there is so much about beautiful Baraboo that we
take for granted, and I wanted to call people's attention to the area. I chose
site and objects from the many stunning sights that are overlooked but likely
seen every day. The sketches vary from the simple to the more complex, such as
the Al Ringling Theatre marquee."
color book can be purchased in Baraboo, WI. at the: Cornerstone Gallery, Village
Booksmith, Corner Drugstore, Al Ringling Theatre gift shop, Circus World Museum
gift shop, and Ski-Hi Fruit Farm. The price is $13.00 per copy.
Joan McArthur is a resident artist at the Artists Guild Anna Marla Island
Gallery, Holmes Beach, Fl. This book follows her publications, Marine Abstract
Images of Anna Marla Island, and The Best of Baraboo - a color book of images
and sketches. The Cornerstone Gallery, Baraboo, WI. carries these books in
addition to her flat work, greeting cards, bookmarks, and pocket journals, all
featuring original photo images.
Sauk County Reflections
"Sauk County is a land of unmatched beauty. I wanted to capture that
beauty for you through these 40 images. For many this photo art book is a trip
of nostalgia,for others it will be simply a trip of uncommon delight.
These images, inspired by fond memories of a life in Sauk County, are an
attempt to share my love of the area. When a photo is finished I feel I have put
my perception in place for all to enjoy. Then too, as you view these scenes you
will be sharing this artist's journey home."
Joan McArthur, Photographer.
This photo book is available at the Cornerstone Gallery, Baraboo, WI. The
price is $49.00 each.
These are book marks I created, to bring attention to
a couple of the highlights in the area that we take for granted; the striped
water tower and Devil's Lake shoreline; the coordinated color backs are blank.
These are only available at the Cornerstone Gallery which sells them for $5.00
each. They are laminated. By Joan McArthur
ENCORE The Renaissance of Wisconsin Opera Houses by Brian Leahy Doyle
"Opera houses capture the history of their localities but also connect those stories to other places, times, and events that shaped the broader patterns of our experience. The buildings presented in this book collectively tell the stories of our entertainment heritage."—from the foreword to Encore!
A remarkable number of Wisconsin towns and cities were home to an opera house in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some were opulent, lavishly appointed theaters with Tiffany windows, Turkish rugs, silk draperies, Italian Carrara marble staircases, and gilded Corinthian columns. Others—especially those in smaller, rural towns—also served as "a public space for town meetings, lectures, political speeches and rallies, proms, high school graduations, church bazaars, and even basketball games," notes author Brian Leahy Doyle. "The Copelond," the opera house in Shullsburg, his hometown, "occasionally doubled as a roller-skating rink."
Encore/ focuses on the histories of ten Wisconsin opera houses and theaters, but also offers a broader look at the evolution of American theater. Mark Fay's photographs make it clear that these stages—from Independence to Oshkosh and from Green Lake to Milwaukee—are ready for their encores. Excerpted from book jacket description….
Baraboo's own Al. Ringling Theatre is represented in 23 pages with beautiful color photos of the theatre. Available only at the Al. Ringling Theatre & The Village Booksmith, 526 Oak, Baraboo Cost: $29.99
A Sauk County Railtown Tour Along the Chicago & North Western Railroad right of way By Dean Cullison
Take a journey through Sauk County along the Chicago & North Western Railroad, the county’s only rail line. The photos, maps, and descriptions will take you back through history to the beginnings of the villages and towns and into the present for a tour of what remains of that history. See how that rail line came to be in Sauk County. Look into the C&NWRR history and follow along its course to see what became of the railroad and where it leads today. 90 pages, color photographs, 2008, soft cover. Available at the museum or by mail. $14.00. Add $4.00 if mailed.
Reedsburg - Images of America
Initially a milling village on the banks of the Baraboo River, Reedsburg has experienced growth and change. It was established in the pioneer era of the 1850s and is home to nearly 10,000 residents and various thriving industries. Throughout history, the people of Reedsburg have created conditions for economic success and overcoming setbacks. Today, visitors are drawn to the city’s historic downtown, with its specialty shops and restaurants, as it has adapted to changing times. Once a railroad stop on the Chicago and Northwestern line, Reedsburg is now the trailhead for the 400 State Trail Bike Trail. Despite fires and floods, the community has always shown an ability to adapt for success. The book contains 127 pages of photos and descriptive text. The cost is $22 and may be picked up at the History Center, or ordered on line for an extra $4 shipping.
North Freedom, The First 100 Years
By Joe Ward
This site contains excerpts from a written narrative that chronicles the growth of the retail and commercial district of North Freedom. The book also has a section on notable people of North Freedom, history of the schools, railroad and many other subjects. The 230 page hard-covered book is titled “North Freedom, The First 100 Years”. The book has been printed in small quantities and is priced at $40.00 plus $7.50 shipping. If you wish to purchase a copy, please contact the author at: 354 Inverness Ct., Baraboo, WI 53913 or E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many A Fine Harvest by Michael J. Goc
Published by the society for the Sesquicentennial of Sauk County in 1990, this history book covers many topics from Native Americans and white settlement to modern day. Also included is a brief history and description of each Sauk County township and community. Hard cover, 192 pages, illustrated. $20.00 (plus $5 shipping)
A County Called Sauk by Kenneth Lange
The book is based upon extensive library research, including a review of all the county newspapers, and personal contacts and interviews with residents throughout Sauk County. Unique to this county history are a map of the Indian mounds and a map of pre-settlement vegetation. The book also covers the geological and prehistoric history of the county in a concise and easily-readable format. 166 pages, 109 illustrations. $12.00 (plus $4 shipping)
The Ochsner Story
The pictured coat of arms is the Ochsner armorial of original grant, dating from the first crusade A. D. 1096, in which it was first borne by a Knight of that name. This is the story of the Ochsner Family through the ages. $8.00. Add $4.00 if mailed.
The History of Stone’s Pocket
by Erhart Mueller
Located on the NW side of Sumpter Township in a valley surrounded by bluffs, Stone’s Pocket was named for early settlers by the name of Stone. The booklet chronicles the history of the area, the families, school, social life, and how the hollow evolved with time. $5.00. Add $4.00 if mailed.
1886 Bird's-Eye drawing of Baraboo
Full size reproduction of a hand drawn perspective of the city showing buildings,houses, streets etc. This is a small portion of the original map which covers the entire city of Baraboo as it was in 1886. Map is 20" X 24". $5.00 (plus $4 shipping)
Sauk County Cemetery Inscriptions
Prairie du Sac (city), Sauk City, Aloysius
$9.00 Each ($4 Shipping)
Walnut Hill in Baraboo (part 2). Also includes corrections and additions to previous volumes.
$9.00 Each ($4 Shipping)
Sauk County Cemetery Inscriptions
Honey Creek, Prairie du Sac (partial), Sumpter, Troy Townships (Sold Out)
Washington, Westfield Townships (Sold Out)
Volume 3 See above to order
Townships of Delton, Fairfield, Greenfield, Merrrimac, including the villages of Lk Delton, Merrivac (Sold Out)
Townships of Ironton, Lavalle, Woodland, including Calvary Catholic at Ironton & villages of Ironton, Lime Ridge, LaValle, Valton (Sold Out)
Townships of Bear Creek, Franklin, Spring Green, and villages of Spring Green, Plain (Sold Out)
Townships of Excelsior, Freedom, parts of Dellona, Baraboo, Reedsburg, including villages of Rock Springs, North Freedom (Sold Out)
Walnut Hill in Baraboo (part 1 of 2 books showing largest cemetery in Sauk County
Reedsburg’s Greenwood Cemetery & St. Peter’s Lutheran (Sold Out)
Catholic Cemeteries of St. Joseph’s, Baraboo; St. Michael’s, Baraboo Township; All Saints, Dellona Township; Calvary & St. John’s Cemeteries, Reedsburg; St. Patrick’s, Winfield Township (Sold Out)
Volume 11 See above to order
Volumes which are out of print, may be Xeroxed for an additional charge. Selected pages may also be Xeroxed. Email us at: email@example.com.
Badger Village: Our Prairie Home
Is a fun, informative documentary about the community adjacent to the Badger Ordnance Works, which was the world's largest ammunition plant when it was built on 10,000 acres of Sauk County, Wisconsin land in 1943. This 69-minute DVD details the different eras of the colorful village, including the World War II, Korea and Vietnam production years, the post-war GI student housing era, and the creation of the Bluffview retirement village. Also featured is the rural Sauk County farm community that, with a skeptical yet helpful attitude, has watched the ammunition plant come and go. Stories by village residents are brought to life by entertaining, sometimes humorous re-enactment scenes that give viewers a feel for a time when local history mingled with international headlines. DVD $25.00 Add $4.00 if shipped.
"Powder On The Prairie" "Erhart Remembered"
In 1942, seventy Wisconsin farm families were evicted from their land by the U.S. government with barely three months notice then they weren't paid for two years. The reason? Construction of the world's largest ammunition plant. The video revisits the 7,000-acre plant as it is today, with some of the farmers who were displaced and hear from them what this idyllic rural area was like before the plant changed it forever.This view of World War II from the home front is brought to life by rare 16 mm color film footage shot by local farmer, Harlan Stone. The video also includes "Erhart Remembered," a character sketch of farmer-turned local historian, who documented the building of the Badger Ordnance Works on the Sauk Prairie near Baraboo, Wisconsin. Erhart captured in rich detail the impact of the plant on his home, a rural township in Wisconsin called Sumpter. DVD, Cost: $20, plus $4 shipping & handling.
"Powder To The People" Stories from the Badger Army Ammunition Plant.
It was a shock to rural Sauk county, Wisconsin when the U.S. government announced they were building the world's largest ammunition plant there in 1942. The tens of thousands of rural Wisconsin people who worked at the 7000-acre plant played a big role in the outcomes of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. This video focuses on their stories, full of emotion and humor. Some remember when their farms were taken for construction of the plant. Others who were WOWS (women ordnance workers) recall the patriotic esprit de corps of the World War II years. Still others describe explosions that took away loved ones and coworkers. Vietnam era workers recall the protestors who marched to the gates of the plant from Madison. Anti-war activist Karl Armstrong remembers the New Year's Eve he and his brother dropped "bombs" on it. Workers reflect on the plant's role in the peaceful years since Vietnam and express the hope that its deadly products will never be needed again. Many others comment on possible future uses for the decommissioned plant. The video is narrated by Tom Wopat, a nationally known actor who grew up near the plant. DVD, Cost: $20, plus $4 shipping & handling.
Guided Tour of the Al. Ringling Theatre
The Al. Ringling Theatre, which opened in 1915, has been described as "America’s Prettiest Playhouse.”A comprehensive tour is conducted and narrated by Dr. Robert Dewel who has been introducing visitors and tourists to the wonders of the Al. Ringling Theatre for over 17 years. Along with views of the magnificent auditorium the 48-minute video includes a peek into areas of the theatre normally off limits to the public. The theatre has many secrets, and they are revealed by Dr. Dewel as he guides the viewer through what was described as one of the finest movie palaces of its era. DVD $15. Add $4. if shipped.