A Northwoods Moment in History

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In 1923, a fire in Elcho resulted in a dramatic shift for the way the Langlade County town looked.

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

Most Northwoods communities have undergone numerous changes during their existence.  The original wooden buildings of the late nineteenth century gave way to modern brick and mortar buildings as the twentieth century progressed.  It happens everywhere, but in some cases the change is more dramatic than most, and none was more visually dramatic than the change that overtook the town of Elcho in the 1920s.

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Star Lake near Eagle River is a popular summertime destination today.

As Gary Entz tells us for this week's A Northwoods Moment in History though, it used to be considered a wasteland.

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For this week's A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz tells us about something that rarely happens.

Back in 1936, a case of mistaken identity led a family in Tomahawk to discover a loved one was not in fact dead, but very much alive.

Hi, this is Gary Entz for WXPR’s Northwood’s moment in History

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In the early 1900's, Harshaw—like many small communities—had a general store that the community depended on in many ways.

The store closed in 1960, but Gary Entz looks back on its importance for this week's A Northwoods Moment in History.

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This week’s A Northwoods Moment in History is in response to two WXPR listeners who submitted questions to our new Curious North series.

An anonymous listener from Lake Tomahawk asked: Did the French and British occupy Wisconsin? What happened in the war of 1812 in the state?

In addition, Jane Nicholson from Manitowish Waters asked: What were the first initiatives of the US government in our area? Who was sent here and for what purposes/initiatives?

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Throughout the last 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 communities of Gagen, Sugar Camp, Phelps, St. Germain, Sayner, and Rhinelander got their names.

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

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For this week's A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz tells us about the incredible journey of Thomas O’Brien in 1913.

In 1913 Thomas O’Brien was just on ordinary resident of Rhinelander.  While his brother John O’Brien was a respected member of the Rhinelander Police Department and served his community honorably, it was the younger brother Thomas who did something remarkable.  Thomas O’Brien undertook an incredible journey that few people even today would dare attempt.

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For this week's A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz tells us about a cold case that exists in Rhinelander from 1939.

A cold case is a criminal case where probative investigative leads have been exhausted but could be reopened pending the discovery of new evidence.  Such a cold case exists in Rhinelander’s history, and it is a grisly case of alleged murder.

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For this week's A Northwoods Moment in History, Gary Entz tells us about the Soo Line Passenger Trains.

The Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad, more commonly known as the Soo Line, formed in 1884 and became a significant part of Northwoods history.  Although the company was primarily a freight railroad and was never one of the nation’s great passenger railroads. It nonetheless provided passenger service to the Northwoods with a branch of its Laker passenger train.

Carl Friedrich Benz/Wikimedia Commons

It remains uncertain when the first automobile appeared in the Northwoods, but what we know for sure is that they were not welcomed with open arms.

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

WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, IMAGE ID: 5826, WISCONSINHISTORY.ORG

Throughout the last 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 communities of Gagen, Phelps, St. Germain, Sayner, and Rhinelander got their names.

USA NORDIC

Most ski jumping records have been set in Europe… but that wasn’t always the case.

Gary Entz tells us about Ironwood’s Curry Hill Ski Jump for this week's A Northwoods Moment in History.

The Library of Congress

Have you ever wondered how the Upper Peninsula of Michigan came to be… why it's a part of Michigan, and not Wisconsin?

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 tale from Tomahawk in the early 1940's has all the marks of a great story: a small-time group of bandits, a toy gun, and of course, an efficient Oneida County Sheriff.

We'll let Gary Entz take it from here.

Historians encounter lots of interesting stories, but once in a while a tale from the past resurfaces that just makes a person sit back and wonder how such a thing could have been allowed to happen.  The experience of Earl Wing in the Northwoods is just such a story.

WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, IMAGE ID: 5826, WISCONSINHISTORY.ORG

Throughout the last 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 community of Gagen got its name.

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