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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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  • In 1947, the Henkelmann family moved to Arbor Vitae. Henry and Mary built Henkelmann's Museum, opening around 1950.
  • The Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, is one of the most storied and well thought of government programs in United States History. The CCC left a legacy that has withstood the tests of time, and evidence of it can be seen in parks, landscapes, and communities across America, including the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
    A Northwoods Case for the X-Files
    This an archived episode of A Northwoods Moment in History. It originally aired July 24,2019.During WXPR's Curious North road trip in June, Shane B. asked…
  • Before the days of ground penetrating technology and advancements in geological study, people presumed oil could be found almost anywhere as long as a drill could reach deep enough into the earth.
  • In 1925 steel was being rolled for a new train engine at the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Pennsylvania. A logging engine had been commissioned by the Thunder Lake Lumber Company located in the northern Wisconsin city of Rhinelander.
  • After four years of sharing special moments of history from all across the Northwoods, Gary Entz is putting down the microphone and picking back up his pen.
  • Cross country skiing, ice hockey, dog sledding, tobogganing, and snow shoeing all have devotees in the Northwoods. At one time, enthusiasts from across several states would come to Rhinelander to compete in organized winter athletic events.
  • There have been several NFL players who have gone on to earn a law degree after their time playing football ended, but very few have earned a law degree before playing. Perhaps the first to do so was a player from the Northwoods. He played center, but his life was so much more than NFL football.
  • Snowmobiling is as popular today as it has ever been. Snowmobiles are used for work, recreation, and sport. While Eagle River is known for its championship snowmobile derby, it was not so long ago that Rhinelander hosted on of the nation’s premier snowmobile races too.
  • Today when people want dairy products they go to a supermarket or convenience store. But in the past dairy products were either delivered directly to an individual home or a shopper went to a creamery store. One of the largest creameries, serving both the Northwoods and the U.P., was in Rhinelander.