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Highlights Archives

Magazine Issue Jumps into Winter Fun


View of a ski jump from below, circa 1911-1915

Wisconsinites don't only trudge through the snow; they don't just shovel it. For generations they have jumped over it, slid upon it, and thrown it at their friends. Stories in this winter's issue of the "Wisconsin Magazine of History" feature the history of some of the fun Wisconsinites have found in the cold — and some of the winter sports that Norwegian and Scottish immigrants brought to the state.

How Ski Jumping Came to Wisconsin

The cover of the winter 2013 issue of the "Wisconsin Magazine of History"
Glenn L Borreson's article, 'From Telemark to Tamarack: Ski Jumping in Western Wisconsin,' provides a detailed look at a ski jumping, a sport that originated with the influx of Norwegian immigrants to Wisconsin in the late 1800s. Norwegians brought their passion for the sport to their new country, and it was widely popular in the "Norwegian Corridor" of western Wisconsin.

Norse skiers also brought the values of "Idraet" or the pure love for the sport and appreciation for it as a beneficial outdoor activity. Any Wisconsin town with a sizable Norwegian population soon had a ski jump and a ski jumping club. Wisconsin quickly became the center of ski jumping in the United States. Enthusiasm for the sport spread to the rest of the Midwest as clubs formed in Minnesota and Michigan and, in 1905, the National Ski Association was formed in Ishpeming, Michigan.

The Origins of Curling in Wisconsin

Author Erica Janik tells of another immigrant-inspired winter sport — curling — in 'The Roaring Game.' Curling came to Wisconsin from Canada and Scotland in the mid-19th century. Scottish immigrants began curling in the 1840s on the frozen Milwaukee River. In 1845 they formed the Milwaukee Curling Club, the oldest continuously operating club in the United States. By 1860 curling was a statewide sport. Today Wisconsin has the largest concentration of curlers in the United States, nearly 4,000.

Other Winter Memories

Rural historian Jerry Apps shares other winter memories in a Book Excerpt from his newest Wisconsin Historical Society Press book, 'The Quiet Season: Remembering Country Winters.' He recalls the rhythms of woodstoves, the warmth of milking a dairy cow, the lore and lure of ice fishing, and the fun of a good snowball fight.

Other Stories in the Winter 2013 Issue

This issue also includes articles on "'The Art and Life of Hazel Miller Hannemann," about the Wisconsin artist's prolific career as a china painter, and "Wood vs. Boyton and the Incredible Journey of the Eagle Diamond," about the discovery in Eagle, Wisconsin, and subsequent theft, of a 16-carat yellow diamond.

William Best Hesseltine Award

Author Matthew Prigge wins the William Best Hesseltine Award for Volume 96 of the "Wisconsin Magazine of History" for his Spring 2013 story, 'The 'Girl-Man' of Milwaukee.'

A Benefit of Society Membership

The "Wisconsin Magazine of History" is a benefit of Society membership. Individual issues are available through our online store. Sign up for membership today and start receiving this fine quarterly magazine.

:: Posted December 9, 2013

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