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Highlights Archives

Fill Your Summer Days with a Good Book

A quintessential summer image of a swimmer taking a dive into a Wisconsin lake taken David Mamminga

Take a little history with you this summer by packing a Wisconsin Historical Society Press book in your beach bag. With many titles now available in e-book formats, Society Press books pack light to any destination, even if the destination is no further than a backyard hammock. The following are a few newer titles that make great summertime reads.

  • 'The Bark River Chronicles: Stories from a Wisconsin Watershed' by Milton Bates. Canoe through time, and down Southeastern Wisconsin's Bark River, with a seasoned paddler and storyteller. Journey from the river's headwaters north of Milwaukee through Hartford to just beyond the river's confluence with the Rock River near Fort Atkinson. Along the way, you'll hear stories of Ice Age glaciation and effigy mound builders, of the Black Hawk War and early settlements, of a small-town circus and the murder of Chicago mobster, and of the birth of waterpower and the more recent removal of old dams. Maps and historical photographs help the reader share their experience.
  • 'Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts' by Marnie Mamminga. Relive favorite summer cabin memories by sharing in the five-generations-strong story of one family's cabin — Wake Robin — near Hayward. This series of evocative remembrances recounts the golden age of Northwoods camps and cabins, describing a familiar cadre of fishing guides casting their charm, the camaraderie and friendships among resort workers and vacationers, the call of the weekly square dance, and the splash announcing a perfectly executed cannonball. By tracing the history of one resort and cabin, Mamminga recalls a time and experience that will resonate with anyone who spent their summers "Up North" — or wishes they had. If you can't take the book along, tune in the last week of July when Wisconsin Public Radio will feature the book on its Chapter A Day program.
  • 'This Superior Place: Stories of Bayfield and the Apostle Islands' will take you to picturesque Bayfield on Lake Superior, one of the state's most popular visitor destinations. Author Dennis McCann captures those unique qualities that keep tourists coming back year after year and offers a historically reliable look at the community and surrounding area as it is today and how it came to be. Abundantly illustrated with both historical and contemporary images, this book showcases, "a community where the past was layered with good times and down times, where natural beauty was the one resource that could not be exhausted by the hand of man, and where history is ever present."

For more summer packing ideas, visit the Wisconsin Historical Society Press website to see our newest titles.

:: Posted June 20, 2013

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