Winter 2013-2014 Issue
Volume 97, Number 2
View of a Ski Jump From Below, ca. 1911-1915
The featured story from this issue is "From Telemark to Tamarack: Ski Jumping in Western Wisconsin," by Glenn L Borreson. It provides a detailed look at the history of ski jumping in Wisconsin from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries.
Ski jumping originated with the influx of Norwegian immigrants to Wisconsin in the late 1800s. They brought their passion for the sport to their new country, and it was widely popular in the "Norwegian Corridor" of western Wisconsin. In addition to their skill, Norwegian skiers brought with them the values of "Idraet," or the pure love for the sport and appreciation for it as a beneficial outdoor activity.
Any Wisconsin town with a sizable Norwegian population soon had a ski jump and a ski jumping club, and Wisconsin quickly became the center of ski jumping in the United States. Enthusiasm for the sport spread to the rest of the Midwest as clubs formed in Minnesota and Michigan and, in 1905, the National Ski Association (NSA) was formed in Ishpeming, Michigan.
The formation of these new clubs led to sponsored ski jumping tournaments and events where Norwegian immigrants dominated. But American drive for competition and prizes changed the nature of the sport. While it brought more notoriety, it also overshadowed the value of Idraet.
In the end, it was the small-town men and boys who became the true protectors of the old world value. Ski jumping continued as a popular sport into the early 20th century, until it became overshadowed by downhill skiing and the events of World War II.
Table of Contents
Peacock Platter by Hazel Hanneman, 1925
'The Art and Life of Hazel Miller Hannemann'
by Emily Pfotenhauer
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, thousands of American women took up the art of china painting. One of the leading artists and teachers was Hazel Miller Hanneman, who grew up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and was educated at the Art Institute of Chicago. Over the course of her career she garnered dozens of awards, but it was her participation in the inaugural exhibition of the Wisconsin Society of Applied Arts at the Milwaukee Art Institute that was her greatest professional achievement. She eventually moved with her husband, Fred, a musician, to Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, where they established a studio. Hanneman’s work comprises one of the most complete surviving collections of china painting, and many examples of her work have survived in the hands of her family and friends along with her brushes, paints and other tools of her trade.
American Museum of Natural History Mineral and Gem Hall, 1929
'Wood vs. Boyton and the Incredible Journey of the Eagle Diamond'
by Mara Kent
In 1876, a mysterious yellow stone was found in Eagle, Wisconsin. Clarissa Wood held the stone for years until she sold it to the jeweler Samuel Boyton for one dollar. Neither party was aware of its value, but Boyton later discovered that the stone was actually a 16-karat yellow diamond with an estimated value of $700 - $1,000. Wood brought a lawsuit against Boyton and lost. The case is now cited in contract law as a classic example of the doctrine of "conscious uncertainty." J.P. Morgan, a subsequent owner of the Eagle Diamond, eventually donated it to the American Museum of Natural History. It was stolen in one of the greatest jewel heists in history. To this day the fate of the diamond is unknown.
Milwaukee Mixed Curling Tournament, 1971
'Image Essay — The Roaring Game: The History of Curling in Wisconsin'
by Erika Janik
Curling came to Wisconsin from Canada and Scotland in the mid-19th century. Scottish immigrants began curling in the early 1840s on the frozen Milwaukee River. In 1845, they formed the Milwaukee Curling Club, the oldest continuously operating club in the United States; and by 1860, curlers could be found all around Wisconsin.
Curling's nickname, the "roaring game," originated from the practice of the captain, or "skip," to shout instructions to teammates. It also describes the ruckus raised by enthusiasts engaged in the sport. Over the years, curling evolved and moved from frozen lakes and rivers to precise indoor ice sheets, and its popularity continues. Wisconsin has the largest concentration of curlers in the nation, numbering nearly four thousand.
'The Quiet Season: Remembering Wisconsin Winters'
by Jerry Apps
Jerry Apps paints scenes of winters growing up on a farm in central Wisconsin during the latter years of the Great Depression and through World War II. He recalls the times when farmers milked cows by hand, kerosene lanterns lit homes, and woodstoves fought off the cold. Wisconsin winters were a quiet time for reflection on the upcoming year.
Learn More About the Book >>
Award of Merit Winner
The "Wisconsin Magazine of History" is the proud recipient of a prestigious 2010 Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History's Leadership in History Awards. The awards are presented for excellence in history programs, projects and people when compared with similar activities nationwide.
Learn More About the Wisconsin Magazine of History >>
Want a Subscription to the Wisconsin Magazine of History?
Then become a Wisconsin Historical Society member!
Subscribe Today by Becoming a Member