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Book review: ‘The Wisconsin Story’

April 19, 2020 by Emily Koester

Who knew Wisconsin could boast having the first cow to be milked on an airplane in flight? Or the first kindergarten in the United States was in Wisconsin? Or the Badger State is known in the medical world to have the first ever recorded open heart surgery?

I do now, after reading “The Wisconsin Story: 150 People, Places, and Turning Points that Shaped the Badger State” by Dennis McCann.

Each story is short, only two or three pages long and many accompanied by a photo. This book would be perfect at the cabin for visitors and full time residents of Wisconsin alike to enjoy and learn the basics of some cool stories. Out of the 150 stories in this book, I was only familiar with eight beforehand, including Woodruff’s very own Dr. Kate, the first snowmobile built by Carl Eliason in Sayner, John Dillinger and Little Bohemia, and Rhinelander’s hodag. I also learned a little more scandalous history on Hurley’s Silver Street, among other things I was only faintly familiar with.

Don’t look here for too many details on any of these bits of history, but this book is a nice, quick guide to some interesting and lesser-known history of the state of Wisconsin.

Emily Koester may be reached at [email protected]


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