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Odd Wisconsin Archive

Groundhogs, Badgers, and Suckers

Today is Groundhog Day. Do you think anyone ever really believed that a furry little mammal could predict the weather? Of course, who would have predicted that a furry little mammal would give its name to our state? As you may know, we became The Badger State because the first hardy lead miners wintered over in hillside caves they dug, as explained here. But did you also know that the less hardy ones were called "suckers," because they disappeared every fall and reappeared in the spring like the fish of that name? Read more about life on Wisconsin's mining frontier in this memoir from our collection of Turning Points in Wisconsin History. And be glad we didn't end up as The Groundhog State or, worse, The Sucker State.
:: Posted in Animals on February 2, 2005
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