local features

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A logical result of the pandemic and a weakened economy would be a sluggish real estate market in the Northwoods and elsewhere. Instead, real estate purchases are booming in many parts of the country including the Northwoods. Ironically, the pandemic and stay at home orders may be behind a recent surge in local real estate purchases.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Cindy Hoffman is a grandmother.

She doesn’t have a job, but she’s not retired.

Instead, for eight hours a day, she’s a student.

“Yes. It is my job until I get my degree,” she said, sitting on her back porch in St. Germain.

Using her laptop, Hoffman showed off her Nicolet College learning portal.

“I’ve been on the Dean’s List now a couple of times,” Hoffman said. “If I do anything, I want to do it well.”

Now in her late 50s, Hoffman was named the college’s Academic Success Student of the Year last year.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Many young people today cannot name a Supreme Court Justice or identify their own Congressional Representative. Voter participation is lower in the U.S. than in any other Western Democracy. It was not always this way, and in the past Rhinelander made certain its young people were aware of their civic responsibilities. Historian Gary Entz has the story.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Pete McGeshick II looked out upon Spur Lake and thought about what used to be.

“The lake was full,” he said. “The rice bed was full all the way around.”

Wild rice used to grow thick on the 113-acre undeveloped lake in eastern Oneida County.

It grew tall, too.  

“You could come out here and you could see people harvesting wild rice,” McGeshick said. “A lot of them, you couldn’t even see because the wild rice was so high.”

Pioneer Edward Walsh

Sep 2, 2020
wisconsin historical society

There are many stories of early Northwoods Pioneers. Most of us recall the lumbermen as being the first, but the tourist industry developed simultaneous to the logging industry, and early resort builders like Edward Walsh were key in the economic development of the Northwoods. Historian Gary Entz has the story.

image by ylem, public domain

Perhaps you have heard of foxfire, an ethereal glow that appears in the deep dark woods late at night. The Masked Biologist casts some light on the subject in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

wisconsin historical society

The Lac du Flambeau band of Lake Superior Chippewa have been an important part of Northwoods cultural history since the early eighteenth century. However, the tribe has not always been treated with the respect it has earned, and the era of allotment is a particularly painful memory. Historian Gary Entz has the story.

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Are you somewhat of a locavore? Many Northwoods residents are. In this episode of Wildlife Matters the Masked Biologist points out the benefits of hunting and gathering locally.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Most Rhinelander citizens take the Davenport Street Bridge for granted. It is simply something we pass over on our way into town. But the current bridge is not the first structure to span the river, and the first bridge in that location met with a tragic end. Historian Gary Entz has the story.

Jim Skibo

When the Wolf River reached record levels late in July, the raft and tube rental concessions closed because of concerns for rider safety. But for experienced canoe and kayak paddlers, like Brian Heikenen and Martin Dawson, this was, perhaps, a once in a lifetime experience. Heikenen checks the USGS gauge in Langlade almost daily.

“Early on Monday morning this was the highest flow that gauge had ever recorded. It topped out at about 2950 CFS.”

Ed Lombard

We all have cause to celebrate, thanks to our elected officials in Washington. The Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law, and the Masked Biologist takes a first glimpse at it in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Bruce Greenhill

The 1920s were known as the golden age for the construction of grand, opulent theaters, called “movie palaces.” While most of these epically built theaters have been either shuttered, repurposed, or demolished, one “palace,” the Historic Ironwood Theatre, has not only persevered but still retains its vibrant and elegant charm.

wisconisn historical society

World heavyweight boxing is not a sport often associated with the Northwoods. In the earliest years, a few lumberjacks participated in boxing. Some went on to become professionals, but to have the World Heavyweight Champion put on an exhibition bout in Rhinelander would be unheard of. Or would it? Historian Gary Entz has the story.

Scott Bowe

In this month's installment of Field Notes, Scott Bowe of Kemp Station discusses bees in Wisconsin’s Northwoods.

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Are you seeing more chipmunks than usual this year? Apparently there have been enough chipmunks to make the news, which caught the attention of the Masked Biologist. It is also the focus of this week’s wildlife matters.