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June 2009 Odd Wisconsin

Mrs. Lincoln Grieves in Waukesha

"I am trying as you will perceive, to make the most of this fearfully wearisome summer. . . I live in a retired manner in a private house on the outskirts of the town where there are no other boarders and have all the advantages of the country. . . . I am so miserable over my great sorrows, that...
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Posted in Odd Lives on June 30, 2009

"He Would Have Made Them So"

The religion of white settlers often seemed peculiar to American Indian elders. In 1828, for example, Ho-Chunk Chief Dandy was at Galena with some companions and "while strolling about the town one day, they came upon a Methodist church where a revival service was in progress. They approached the windows and were amazed at the sight within, the house crowded...
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Posted in Curiosities on June 22, 2009

Towns Named for Murderer & Victim

In the 1830s, a giant named Pierre Pauquette traded with the Ho-Chunk at the portage on the Wisconsin River. At six-foot two and 240 pounds, Pauquette was famous for his strength. His thighs were as thick as most men's waists, he could carry an 800-pound barrel of lead, and more than once he lifted a horse clear off the ground....
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Posted in Curiosities on June 18, 2009

Roads Scholars

Are you ready to pack up the car and head out on a summer vacation? Whether it's a grand cross-country journey or just a quick trip up north, this is a good time to reflect on how we got from horse-drawn wagons like this one to comfortable cars like this one. Take a break from packing for a quick look...
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Posted in Curiosities on June 8, 2009

"Don't Inflame Our Youth!"

That's the headline of a Wisconsin State Journal editorial from 1898, when a seemingly noble military intervention spawned a wave of blind, unthinking nationalism, and the U.S. quickly became embroiled in a messy foreign occupation with a Wisconsin soldier in charge. When the Spanish government set up concentration camps in 1896 to suppress a rebellion in Cuba, thousands of the...
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Posted in Bizarre Events on June 1, 2009

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