December 2009 Odd Wisconsin
As 2009 comes to its close, Odd Wisconsin's staff are hunkering down far from the office on the annual mid-winter break. It's time for reruns. Because we know there are loyal readers who can't do without a weekly dose of historical distraction, we offer this selection of strange stories from the previous 12 months: So Cold Their Noses Fell Off...
Posted in on December 28, 2009
We may never know exactly what Americans understood by the refrain "and a partridge in a pear tree" since the word partridge was used for an amazingly wide variety of birds in America. Here in Wisconsin it was haphazardly applied to any small game bird, but especially to the spruce grouse and the ruffed grouse. Two unusual gifts of partridges...
Posted in Animals on December 21, 2009
As you celebrate your family's traditions this week, consider how the people who lived here before you celebrated theirs. This memoir of pioneer Green Bay recalls how bear, sturgeon, and venision were on the dining room table for Christmas dinner in 1836, with the faces of Indians dressed in their finery pressed to the window. While staid Yankees from New...
Posted in Curiosities on December 17, 2009
By the summer of 1827, Ho-Chunk leaders had become alarmed at the number of white squatters on their lands. An 1825 treaty had drawn boundaries to keep settlers and native peoples apart, but for two years lead miners had ignored it and streamed into territory reserved for the tribe. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs estimated that by 1827 2,000 whites...
Posted in Children on December 14, 2009
Each winter people across the state zip-up their Ski-doo jackets, strap on their helmets, and rev up for a season of snowmobiling. We wonder how many of them know that the snowmobile was invented here in Wisconsin in 1924. Slowed by an injured foot, Carl Eliason sought an alternative way to get around during the harsh winters up north....
Posted in Curiosities on December 10, 2009