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A Northwoods Moment In History

We turn back the clock with local historians to find out what life in the Northwoods used to be like. This is part of an initiative by WXPR to tell the history and culture of northern Wisconsin.

You can receive a book of A Northwoods Moment in History stories as a thank you gift for your donation to WXPR.

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Latest Episodes
  • With the return of school comes the return of Friday Night Football.One of the biggest rivalries in the Northwoods is between Rhinelander and Antigo.Local historian and director of the Pioneer Park Historical Complex Kerry Bloedorn shares the story of the Bell Game in this episode of A Northwoods Moment in History.
  • Today, Rhinelander seems like an unlikely place for a presidential hopeful to campaign, but at one time, it was a must stop on the road to the Whitehouse. So it was during a campaign tour in 1959 for a young Senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy. Learn about his visit on A Northwoods Moment in History
  • As the famous dairy state of the U.S., cheese is no doubt a staple in Wisconsin. As such it seems only fit that we have an official state cheese. Efforts by law makers in recent years have pushed to make Colby cheese the official state cheese.
  • The Northwoods has seen its fair share of extreme weather, from blizzards to tornados, but one storm on Independence Day in 1977 swept across the region with such ferocity, it is still remembered vividly today.
  • The Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport has been fielding planes at its current location just west of Rhinelander since the early 40s. But Rhinelander’s aeronautical history goes all the way back to a flight that occurred in 1912.
  • One day in 1986, dubbed Black Tuesday, went down in History as the most wildland fires fought in a single day in Northern Wisconsin. By the end of that Tuesday, 64 fires would burn hundreds of acres.
  • Rivers and Lakes are beginning to open up in the Northwoods. During the logging boom in Northern Wisconsin, that meant it was time to start the river drive. Moving tens of thousands of logs by water to sawmill towns was a deadly business. And so it was on the first log drive north of Grandfather Falls on the Wisconsin River, 165 years ago.
  • Contentious elections have been going on since the time of Ancient Greece. One election in the Northwoods in 1912 saw lumberjack votes tossed out, but too late. Hear the story on A Northwoods Moment in History.
  • What started out as a small race on Eagle River’s Dollar Lake in 1964, quickly turned into the world Championship of Snowmobile racing. Much has been written about the history of the famous derby, but several visits from notable Green Bay Packers helped give it even more traction in the early days.
  • During the first cross-country endurance race in Wisconsin, the Hodag International Cross-Country Marathon, racers came from all over, including Canada. However, there were few women among the entrants. MaryAnn Montgomery was one.