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Highlights Archives

Award for 'Magazine of History' Author


Charles E. Brown (center) with Ho-Chunk chiefs at the Blackhawk Centennial Celebration held during a University of Wisconsin-Madison summer session excursion to West Point on Lake Mendota

"Wisconsin Magazine of History" contributor, Mary Ellen Gabriel, will receive an award for her work on the magazine from the Council for Wisconsin Writers. Gabriel will receive the 2011 Kay Levin Award for Short Nonfiction for her winning article entry, "Ne-rucha-ja: The Forgotten Tale of Frost's Woods and Charles E. Brown's Fight to Save It for the Ho-Chunk," which appeared in the Autumn 2011 issue of the magazine. She will receive a $500 prize at the Council for Wisconsin Writers Awards ceremony at the Wisconsin Club in Milwaukee on Saturday, May 12.

Documenting a Noble But Failed Campaign

Gabriel's article documents a campaign led by archaeologist and former Wisconsin Historical Museum director Charles E. Brown in 1927 to restore land around Madison to the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) nation. This campaign, which he launched with the Lake Monona Wildlife Sanctuary Association, included creation of an "outdoor museum" where visitors could study the plants and wildlife, hike and learn "woodcraft." But most importantly, the site would serve as a "perpetual campground for groups of traveling Winnebago Indians." Frost's Woods included ancient relics and Indian mounds that Brown and others wanted to save, however the fight to save Frost's Woods from land developers failed, and the area is now a neighborhood rather than a sanctuary.

About the Author

Mary Ellen Gabriel lives in Madison with her husband and sons. She began freelancing for local magazines and newspapers in 2006, and has written feature articles for "Midwest Living," "Horticulture," the "Wisconsin Magazine of History," "Madison Magazine," Wisconsin Trails" and "The Capital Times." She is currently a contributing writer for "Isthmus." Madison's award-winning alternative weekly newspaper, and is the marketing and outreach manager for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for the Humanities.

Also Honored

Marcia Carmichael will also receive an award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers for her historical gardening book, Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin's Early Settlers. She received an Honorable Mention in the Ellis/Henderson Outdoor Writing category and will also accept her award at the awards ceremony on May 12.

:: Posted April 5, 2012

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