Wisconsin Historical Society

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Current Issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History

Spring 2018, Volume 101, Number 3

Current Issue of the Wisconsin Magazine of History | Wisconsin Historical Society

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Amateur photographer Daniel Bastian Nelson meticulously posed this hand-holding couple in the framework of a railroad bridge in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. DANIEL BASTIAN NELSON COLLECTION, 1898–1919, UNIVERSITY HISTORICAL COLLECTION 356, MCINTYRE LIBRARY, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN–EAU CLAIRE, EAU CLAIRE, WI

The Amateur's Eye: Daniel Bastion Nelson in Eau Claire

By Gregory Kocken

As the camera's popularity grew in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, amateur photographers increasingly reached for the camera to capture and share daily life. One of these was Daniel Bastian Nelson, an immigrant who settled in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Not bound by the Victorian-era values that dominated the work of studio photographers, Nelson captured more casual scenes, providing us with an intimate look at life in the Chippewa Valley. This perspective allows us to view images that are instantly relatable to our lives in the twenty-first century, even though the images were captured over one hundred years ago.



In this 1925 photo, Tuareg chiefs and members of the Beloit expedition to the Tamanrasset area of Algeria pay homage at the gravesite of Père Charles de Foucauld, a French Catholic missionary who lived with the Tuareg for ten years before he was martyred in 1916. Among the Westerners are Count Byron Khun de Prorok, right, Bradley Tyrrell, center with blonde hair, and next to him with a red tie, their driver, Martini. View the original source document: WHI 135311

A Dash through the Sahara: Alonzo Pond's First Algerian Expedition

By Judith Siers-Poisson

On October 12, 1925, an unlikely group of men set out on a "1,500-mile dash through the Sahara" in search of knowledge, adventure, and treasure. Two members of the group were representatives of Beloit College in Wisconsin, Alonzo Pond and Bradley Tyrrell. Unbeknownst to them, another adventurer was eying an excursion into the same area. Count Byron Kuhn de Prorok was a flamboyant American showman with a genuine enthusiasm for discovery and adventure, although perhaps not the diligence or ethics of a true scientist. A rivalry was born, and the expedition became a now-legendary race across the desert to claim the spoils of antiquity, including the tomb of Tin Hinan, ancestral queen of the Tuareg people.



The first engine bought by the Cazenovia and Sauk City Railroad, ca. 1910. The picture was taken outside Ironton by Francis “Frank” Byrne, one of the original founders of the railroad. SAUK COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Puckety Chute: The Hard Luck Story of the Cazenovia and Southern Railroad

By Peter Shrake

Early in the twentieth century, community leaders in the small towns along the border between Sauk and Richland Counties banded together to build a railroad that would connect them with the outside world. Little did they know that it would be plagued by bankruptcies, accidents, and natural disasters. Despite near-constant challenges over its thirty-two-year existence, the hard-luck railroad - known at different times as the Lone Rock and La Valle, the Cazenovia and Sauk City, and finally the Cazenovia and Southern Railroad - became the pride of the region, celebrated for its endurance and survival.



Clifford Lee Lord (1912–1980) in a classic pose at work in the director’s office at the Wisconsin Historical Society. View the original source document: WHI 136277

The Inimitable Clifford Lord

By Helmut Knies

In June 1946, thirty-four-year-old Clifford Lee Lord entered the State Historical Society of Wisconsin headquarters building to become the century-old institution's sixth director. He was a scholar, author, editor, and administrator, and, for the next twelve momentous years, he would be the head of the Society. As William B. Hesseltine remembered, he was a "genial zealot, bringing with him an enthusiastic welcome for new ideas and a drive for putting them into operation." This article focuses on those years during which he enacted a series of reforms that dramatically changed the Society and created a structure that, in many ways, still defines it today. It is not too much of an exaggeration to state that Lord's dynamic leadership gave birth to the modern incarnation of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

A subscription to the Wisconsin Magazine of History is a benefit of membership to the Wisconsin Historical Society. The current issue, described above, will become available in the online archives as soon the next issue is published.

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