Gary Entz

Commentator - Northwoods Moment in History

In addition to being a historian and educator, Gary R. Entz serves on WXPR's Board of Directors and writes WXPR's A Northwoods Moment in History which is heard Wednesdays on WXPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

After serving six years in the US Navy, he returned to college and earned a B.A. in history from Bethel College, Kansas.  He earned an M.A. in history from James Madison University, Virginia, and a Ph.D. ftom the University of Utah.   He is the author of "Llewellyn Castle: A Worker's Cooperative on the Great Plains," University of Nebraska Press, 2013. He and his wife Ocie Kilgus have made the Rhinelander area their home since 2009.

Rhinelander's Playwright

Nov 6, 2019
United Press International

Many notable people have lived in the Northwoods at one time or another in their lives. Sometimes some very accomplished people that listeners may not have known about started out right here in the Northwoods. Dale Wasserman was one such person.

Wisconsin Historical Society

In the early morning gloom, it is easy to imagine what might the thing be that goes bump in the night.  Sometimes the thing that is really there turns out to be so unusual that it is hard to believe.  Such an event happened at Rhinelander’s Paper Mill in 1935.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Vigilantes are part of the lore of the Old West, but they were also in the Northwoods.  During the worst years of the Great Depression many Northwoods residents started to take the law into their own hands.

Ebay

For over a year, our local historian Gary Entz has uncovered why many towns in the Northwoods are named what they are.

Some previous installments of A Northwoods Moment in History have included how the towns of Phelps, St. Germain, Sayner, and Rhinelander got their names.

In this week’s installment, we hear how the town of Lake Tomahawk got its name.

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For this week's A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz remembers the late Klondike Theater in Hurley and the horrific fire in 1901 that resulted in its tragic end.

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Sometimes things that didn't happen in the past can have a profound impact on the future. Such was the case with the dam that never was on the Wolf River.

Gary Entz explains for this week's A Northwoods Moment in History.

Langlate County Historical Society Newsletter, 2013

Rhinelander and Antigo football teams have always had a strong rivalry. In 1930 though, the annual Bell Game between the two teams got particularly competitive.

Gary Entz has the story for this week's A Northwoods Moment in History.

Courtesy of Gary Entz

Back in the 1950's, career criminal John Halasz didn't really like spending time in the Oneida County jail... so he escaped.

Gary Entz has the story for this week's A Northwoods Moment in History.

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This week's A Northwoods Moment in History feature is in response to a recent Curious North question WXPR received.

LJ Sommers asked: There have been rumors for years about tunnels underneath the streets of downtown Rhinelander used during prohibition. Is this a fact or simply a fictional take?

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Wartime was a difficult time for everyone, including the labor force here in the Northwoods.

For this week's Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz tells us about the workers that came to fill the void in 1944.

G. R. Brown Post Card Co./Amazon

In anticipation of the upcoming Labor Day weekend, we’re remembering a Labor Day celebration that took place in Rhinelander in the early 1900’s today.

Gary Entz has the story for this week’s A Northwoods Moment in History.

Courtesy of Kerry Bloedorn/Pioneer Park Historical Complex

There is a lot of choice when it comes to refrigerators today... Back in the day, though, the popular brand to buy was Rhinelander. And it was less of a refrigerator and more of an icebox.

Gary Entz tells us the story for this week's A Northwoods Moment in History.

When shopping for a new refrigerator there are many popular brands that people may choose from today.  But one hundred years ago, one of the leading names in food refrigeration was Rhinelander, and the Rhinelander Refrigerator had a national reputation for quality.

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The Northwoods had quite the reputation as a “gangster haven” back in the Prohibition era of the 1920’s and early 1930’s.

Gary Entz tells us about one particular incident that took place in Eagle River back in 1931 for this week’s A Northwoods Moment in History.

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Professional football teams like the Green Bay Packers are training in anticipation of the 2019 football season right now.

This week for A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz looks back on a Green Bay Packers training camp held in 1935 in Rhinelander.

Wikimedia Commons/Billboard

With the Oneida County Fair kicking off tomorrow, we thought we’d remember a special moment at the Oneida County Fair back in 1938.

Gary Entz continues our series A Northwoods Moment in History with the story, starting with the history of the National Barn Dance radio program.

In the 1930s The National Barn Dance was one of the most popular programs on broadcast radio, and it was a great favorite in the Northwoods.  Two stars in particular were beloved in the Northwoods, and that was the singing duo of Lulu Belle and Skyland Scottie.

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