A Northwoods Moment in History

Wisconsin Historical Society

In the early twentieth century, it was a risky undertaking to dream of a greenhouse and flower business in a northern logging and lumbering town like Rhinelander. Peter Philipp not only dreamed about it, he successfully built one of Rhinelander’s oldest downtown businesses.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Another gun deer season has come and gone, and hunters are talking about the fall harvest. Harvest is a pastoral term that sounds odd when used in reference to hunting, so in this week’s Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz explores usage of the term and where it comes from.

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One of the nicknames given to soldiers in the First World War was “Sammy.”  During the holiday season of 1917, people in the Northwoods were encouraged to support the troops by becoming a “Sammy Backer.”  What was a Sammy Backer?

Wisconsin Historical Society

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders was one of the most famous touring shows in American history.  When Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show toured the Northwoods in 1900, one of his performers fell in love with the area and decided he wanted to call it home. 

Library of Congress

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders was one of the most famous touring shows in American history.  What few people today remember is that Buffalo Bill Cody brought his show to the Northwoods and thrilled the local area with feats of skill and daring.

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.

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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.

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