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.

Do you want to report a story for this series or have an idea of a story WXPR should report? Email WXPR Features Editor Mackenzie Martin at mackenzie@wxpr.org.

The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a national effort from StoryCorps that aims to help young people—and people of all ages—to create an oral history of the United States by recording an interview with an elder.

This year, as part of a partnership with WXPR, classes of freshmen at Rhinelander High School participated in the national effort for the first time.

Suzanne Flory

The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a national effort from StoryCorps that aims to help young people—and people of all ages—to create an oral history of the United States by recording an interview with an elder.

This year, as part of a partnership with WXPR, classes of freshmen at Rhinelander High School participated in the national effort for the first time.

Mackenzie Martin/WXPR

On Thursday, December 6th, Finns around the world celebrated Finland’s Independence Day. The day marks Finland’s declaration of independence from Russia in 1917. It’s a holiday that we also celebrate here in the Northwoods, because of how much Finnish heritage we have.

At Ponsse North America in Rhinelander they celebrated the day as well, since Ponsse was started in Finland. Mackenzie Martin has the story.

Wisc. Dept. of Natural Resources

Homesteading is a way of living your life with the goal of being more self-sufficient. In Rhinelander, there is a Homesteading Club that meets at least once a month.

Mackenzie Martin has the story.

The origin of homesteading comes from the Homestead Act of 1862 where land was given to families in an effort to encourage western migration, but some say it stands in for more of a mindset today.

 

Peg Sandin

Many artists have a muse, something that is a huge source of creative inspiration for them. Peg Sandin is an artist based in Ironwood, MI, and her muse is Lake Superior.

WXPR's Larry Lapachin has the story.

A Nod to the Field Crew

Nov 16, 2018
Matthew Rethaber

The cranberry harvest in northern Wisconsin is typically six weeks long starting at the beginning of October and it can be grueling work.

Last year, Matthew Rethaber worked on the field crew for a cranberry harvest at James Lake Farms, an organic cranberry marsh in Three Lakes. As part of our series We Live Up Here, he shares memories of last year's harvest.

I am walking down the James Lake road path.  I stayed at the farmhouse last night.  I am still feeling really tired.

Last fall I got a job working on a cranberry marsh called James Lake Farms.

Left: WXPR Public Radio Right: Greenmars/Wikimedia Commons

In July of 1975, Bruce Kotila was on the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald and one of the crew members gave him a life jacket. Four months later on November 10th, the Fitzgerald sank in a Lake Superior storm. No one survived. Kotila, who lives in Rhinelander, says the gift is immensely meaningful to him 43 years later.

Mackenzie Martin talked to Kotila and the author of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald about what still resonates with us about the Edmund Fitzgerald today.

Mackenzie Martin / WXPR

Around this time of year, attendance at farmers markets wind down. Yet some family farms in the Northwoods produce all year round, and they have a hard time reaching their customers.

Last year, a group of five women farmers found a creative way to fix that problem. Mackenzie Martin has the story.

Jasmyn Schmidt spends about 100 hours a week talking about or doing something related to local food.

Baseball Digest / Wikimedia Commons

For baseball fans, the World Series represents the best of times. 

For one Milwaukee native and longtime Northwoods summer resident, the championship baseball series represents something much more… the memories of having played in the World Series.

Meet number 10, Tony Kubek, of the New York Yankees. WXPR’s Dave Daniels has the story.

Circle of Life Studio

Mottainai is a Japanese term that conveys a sense of regret over waste. It translates roughly to “what a waste.”

It’s also the theme of local artist Debra Ketchum Jircik’s artist residency at the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River, where she’s been holding workshops since the end of August.

Ahead of her talk at the library on Friday, October 19th, Mackenzie Martin talked to her about her work during the residency and how it was inspired by a trip she took to Japan.

Kate Zambon

Summer tourism in the Northwoods is ending and some of our seasonal residents are leaving the Northwoods for their permanent homes elsewhere.

At Holiday Acres Resort in Rhinelander, a dedicated group of family and friends have been coming up the last week of July every year for over 60 years. Holiday Acres recently asked some of them to interview each other about what that tradition and the Northwoods as a whole means to them.

Kate Zambon

Summer tourism in the Northwoods is ending and some of our seasonal residents are leaving the Northwoods for their permanent homes elsewhere.

At Holiday Acres Resort in Rhinelander, a dedicated group of family and friends have been coming up the last week of July every year for over 60 years. Holiday Acres recently asked some of them to interview each other about what that tradition and the Northwoods as a whole means to them.

Mackenzie Martin

Northern Wisconsin is full of many different types of wild mushrooms in September. Some edible, some poisonous, and everything in between. How to tell the differences between them is in the details.

Mackenzie Martin went into the woods to learn more.

We’re looking for mushrooms in the forest at Kemp Natural Resources Station in Woodruff and someone just found chaga. It’s a type of mushroom that you can make tea out of. It typically grows on birch trees.

The Poet of the Pines

Aug 31, 2018
Mackenzie Martin / WXPR

As part of our We Live Up Here series, we're telling stories about the people and culture of northern Wisconsin. 

Today, Northwoods resident Kathryn Luttkus Craffey has a story about the relationship between her grandfather and the Northwoods Poet Enos Hayward, also known as the "Poet of the Pines."

Creating an Oasis for Pollinators

Aug 24, 2018
Nora Eckert / WXPR

Pollinators have come under threat in recent years and many people in the Northwoods are responding by creating pollinator gardens.

WXPR’s Nora Eckert has the story of one Minocqua family who has gone to especially great lengths to help pollinators thrive.

Valerie Burns’ house is overflowing with life.

Pages