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New Book Documents a Historic Wisconsin River

Historic Hawk's Mill on the Bark River

The Bark River valley in southeastern Wisconsin is a microcosm of the state's and the Great Lakes region's natural and human history. 'The Bark River Chronicles: Stories from a Wisconsin Watershed' recounts one couple's journey by canoe from the river's headwaters to its confluence with the Rock River and downstream to Lake Koshkonong.

The cover of "The Bark River Chronicles"
Author Milton Bates tells the stories of Ice Age glaciation, the Black Hawk War, early settlement, a scheme to link the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River by canal, the murder of a Chicago mobster, controversies over race and social class in Waukesha County's lake country, the recent efforts to remove old dams, and mitigate water pollution and invasive species. These and many other stories belong to "The Bark River Chronicles."

Bates, who has lived most of his life in Wisconsin and has held a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and Fulbright lectureships, as well as teaching positions at Williams College and Marquette University, uses poetic recollections and meticulous research — as well as maps and historical photographs — to take readers on their own journey of rediscovery and exploration along this historic and still significant Wisconsin river.

Learn More About the Book

Learn more about "The Bark River Chronicles" by attending events featuring author Milton Bates, and visit a special Wisconsin Historical Society Press Tumblr page about the book.

:: Posted October 11, 2012

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