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August 2007 Odd Wisconsin

Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer on the Lam

This brief note dated June 2, 1904, from the New North, Rhinelander's newspaper, speaks for itself: "During the warehouse fire last Friday, all classes took advantage of the fact that beer in kegs and bottles was within easy reach of all. The fierce wind fanned the blaze down from the warehouses to the Schlitz Beer Depot and the danger of...
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Posted in Curiosities on August 29, 2007

Amusing Grace

When Rev. Alfred Brunson (1793-1882) retired in 1873, his colleagues celebrated his career at their annual conference in Eau Claire. Brunson was a pioneer missionary who had spent several decades serving his faith. In 1837 he travelled 1,500 miles through the upper Mississippi Valley trying to prevent war between the Ojibwe and the Sioux. His account of the trip, including...
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Posted in Bizarre Events on August 27, 2007

Belittling the Beancounters

Once in a while a real jewel sparkles out from the great ash heap of musty historical documents. Here's editor Frank Flower (1854-1910), writing in the introduction to the Second Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics, 1885-1886. He was chafing at instructions to print quantitative data for Washington officials: "To the people of Wisconsin I hope...
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Posted in Curiosities on August 23, 2007

A Little Bit of Family History History

Yesterday's New York Times ran a story about the difference online resources have made to genealogists. Called "Latest Genealogy Tools Create a Need to Know," it contains several first-hand reports of how people investigate their pasts using Ancestry.com and other Web sources. It's interesting, therefore, to look at how family history research used to be done. "In a modest...
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Posted in Odd Lives on August 19, 2007

Odd Vacation

We're away this week, beyond the reach of the Web, email, and even cell phones. If you're having a craving for the weird and wonderful, duck into your local bookstore and grab the book version. Copies have been shipping from our warehouse for several days, but if you can't find one locally, you can always order it here....
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Posted in Curiosities on August 9, 2007

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