We Live Up Here

WXPR's We Live Up Here series is a home for stories that focus on the people, history, and culture that make the Northwoods of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan such a unique place to live.

You can keep track of We Live Up Here and all of WXPR's local features on the WXPR Local Features podcast, wherever you get your podcasts.

Curious About Beekeeping? Talk to Chris Hansen

Jun 14, 2019
Nate Sheppard. All rights reserved.

As people take up hobby beekeeping and bees continue to succumb to diseases, one Northwoods beekeeper has made it a goal over the years to help educate people about the process.

Nate Sheppard continues our We Live Up Here series with the story.

A bright yellow sign hangs in front of Hansen Honey Farm’s main shop. It shows a cartoon bee with two words written across it: Bee Crossing.

Contributed Photograph

In March, Misty Jackson from the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians participated in a fashion show with the goal of highlighting the problem of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Beth Tornes continues our We Live Up Here series with the story.

Jim Skibo

We continue our We Live Up Here series this week with a story about an ambitious DIY project that has been 30 years in the making.

The story comes in response to a listener question to our Curious North series. Dennis Marquardt from Tomahawk asks: What is up with the castle on Killarney Lake?

Jim Skibo has the story.


Since March, we've been collecting your questions for a new series at WXPR called Curious North. Today we're answering one of those questions as part of our We Live Up Here series.

Melissa Nieman in Tomahawk recently asked: Can we agree on a pronunciation of the word sauna?!

Mackenzie Martin talked to two linguistic researchers to try and figure out the answer.

Courtesty of Grandview Orchard

There is a growing market for locally grown food produced without the use of synthetic chemicals.

In Antigo, the 100-year-old Grandview Orchard in Antigo is slowly being transformed to organic production.

Jim Skibo continues our We Live Up Here series with the story.

Have you ever dreamed of quitting your job and buying a farm? Lisa Rettinger has done just that. Four years ago, she quit her job in the Twin Cities and purchased a 110-year-old apple orchard just a few miles east of Antigo.


Trees For Tomorrow in Eagle River is celebrating their 75th anniversary this year.

As part of our We Live Up Here series, Mackenzie Martin talked to their executive director about the importance of teaching children about conservation in our forests.

Trees For Tomorrow in Eagle River celebrated their 75th anniversary of operation as a nonprofit natural resource specialty school in February.

Courtesy of the SISU Endurance Team

The Ironwood/Hurley area can get up to 200 inches of annual snowfall, in part due to their close proximity to Lake Superior.

This makes for great skiing, but it was only recently that a youth-based cross country ski program began in the area, named for the Finnish concept Sisu, that has to do with resilience.

Last week, they wrapped up the season with 25 youth participants. Larry Lapachin continues our We Live Up Here series with the story.

Copper Peak Inc.

Thanks to recent funding from the Michigan legislature, there is a lot in store for the future of Copper Peak - the ski flying hill in Ironwood, Michigan.

As part of our We Live Up Here series, Monie Shackleford tells us about Copper Peak’s backstory, as well as what we can expect for its future.

In late December of 2018, the Michigan legislature funded 10 million dollars to two ski jumps of the western upper peninsula: Copper Peak, near Ironwood and Pine Ski Jump in Iron Mountain. 


For literate adults, it might be hard to remember what the process of learning to read felt like. For kids with dyslexia in Wisconsin though, learning how to read can be maddening. Help might be on the way though as two dyslexia bills circulate in Madison.


As part of our We Live Up Here series, Mackenzie Martin talks to a local reading specialist and a Rhinelander High School student with dyslexia.





Archaeology in the Northwoods is different than it is downstate, and it can serve as a window into the everyday lives of former Northwoods residents.

As part of WXPR's We Live Up Here series, Ardis Berghoff has the story.

When most people think of archaeology, the discovery of ancient civilizations in places like Egypt, Greece or Peru come to mind. But archaeologists work in the Northwoods, too.

Courtesy of Kelly Jackson

Musician Kelly Jackson lives in Madison right now, but she's originally from Lac du Flambeau.

As part of WXPR's We Live Up Here series, Beth Tornes talked to Jackson about her musical influences and how she uses music as medicine.

For Lac du Flambeau musician Kelly Jackson, music is medicine, and has the power to heal. Music has always been part of her life, ever since she was a child and grew up listening to country music.

Mackenzie Martin / WXPR

When was the last time you intentionally took a break during the day? Fika Bakery & Coffee in Three Lakes gets its name from the traditional Swedish coffee break known as fika and the woman behind it thinks you should take more of them.

Mackenzie Martin continues our We Live Up Here series this week with the story.

Coffee breaks are and have always been an important part of life in many countries. In the U.S., we often use coffee as a stimulant to get us going in the morning or to refuel us midday.

Discover Wisconsin

Wisconsin ginseng producers have been experiencing adverse impacts due to the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute. These tariffs are especially hitting Marathon County, since that's where a majority of ginseng in the United States comes from.

As part of our We Live Up Here series, WXPR's Joshua Junig tells us the story of Hsu's Ginseng in Wausau... how they came to be in the first place and what they're expecting in the years to come.

Nate Sheppard (natesheppard.com)

During the Great Depression, there was what was known as a hobo jungle in Rhinelander.

This Saturday, January 12th, ArtStart Rhinelander is holding a community event to remember it. The event ties in nicely with Dark Airing, an art exhibit on display at ArtStart through January 12th that features symbols hobos used back in the day to communicate with one another.

Silus Grok / Wikimedia Commons

During early December of 2018, Wisconsin legislators passed a bill restricting the period for early voting.

This measure has been controversial and has garnered national spotlight, but how does it impact the Northwoods? WXPR’s Joshua Junig has the story.

On December 14, then-Governor Scott Walker signed three pieces of Republican-sponsored legislation as his administration prepared to leave office. Among those measures is a bill mandating the early voting period to open two weeks prior to election day.