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  • By Bill Wangemann Sheboygan deserves its reputation as a conservative city, quiet and law abiding. But here are some stories from the past that have been swept under the rug or lost overboard. Venture into the mists of the Lake Michigan Triangle that have swallowed boats, planes and entire tribes. Investigate speakeasy shootings, safes burgled by a flyswatter, poisoned Christmas candy and the hoax that had militiamen firing on their own cattle. Or just sit down with some bizarre anecdotes about a hometown you though you knew, from the town’s first baseball game to the man freed from jail by a jug of whiskey to the deputy sheriff who had to enforce Nicholas Hoffman’s first bath in fifty years.
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    Jacob’s House

    $18.00
    By Fred Zitzer This book documents the Zitzer family's life in Schulz, Russia (also, known as Lugovaya Gryaznukha, Russia). It also details their immigrant trips to the United States. Modern day images of Schulz by Peter and Judy Kaland.
  • Author Rochelle Pennington has written two books detailing one of the most well-known shipwrecks of the Great Lakes. One for adults and one for children documenting Lake Michigan's Christmas Tree Ship, which delivered holiday evergreens to the citizens of Chicago each Christmas season before it was caught in the "Great Storm of 1912" and subsequently went to the bottom of the lake fully loaded with trees. The captain’s wife, Barbara, along with their three daughters, then carried on for over twenty years afterward in honor of “Captain Santa” and in the spirit of everything he believed in. The ship is still loaded with its cargo today and is a popular Great Lakes dive site. "It is a story which exemplifies the best of humanity," said Pennington. "At its heart we find courage, love, generosity, heroism, and the importance of family. The moment I first heard the story of the Christmas Tree Ship, I understood why it had endeared itself to so many people over the years and was still being shared a century later." "The ship's final voyage was not to the bottom of the lake," added Pennington, "but into the pages of history." This true account of Captain Schuenemann and his schooner is considered the “most loved story of the Great Lakes” over the past century. The story has inspired paintings, poems, six different Christmas Tree Ship songs, television programs, a musical performed all over the country titled “The Christmas Schooner,” and a “new” Christmas Tree Ship sailed by the Great Lakes Coast Guard each holiday season as a living memorial.
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    By Jerry Apps Polio was epidemic in the United States in 1916. By the 1930s, quarantines and school closings were becoming common, as isolation was one of the only ways to fight the disease. The Salk vaccine was not available until 1955; in that year, Wisconsin's Fox River valley had more polio cases per capita than anywhere in the United States. In his most personal book, Jerry Apps, who contracted polio at age 12, reveals how the disease affected him physically and emotionally, profoundly influencing his education, military service, and family life and setting him on the path to becoming a professional writer.
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    Wisconsin’s 37

    $15.00
    Wisconsin's 37, The Lives of Those Missing in Action in the Vietnam War. By Erin Miller with John B. Sharpless Foreword by Major General John D. "Don" Logeman (Ret.) The signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973 signified the end of the Vietnam War. American personnel returned home and the 591 Americans held captive in North Vietnam were released. Still, 2,646 individuals did not come home. Thirty-seven of those missing in action were from Wisconsin. Using the recollections of the soldiers' families, friends and fellow servicemen, the author tells the story of each man's life.
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    On a cold, cloudy evening, February 20, 1919, Zion Reformed Church in Sheboygan was reportedly "packed to the doors" to hear a concert. The highlight was to be a cantata performed by the Zion Choir, but the program listed them as "assisted" by a new entity: the Sheboygan Community Orchestra, led by John Schmidt, "who certainly needs no introduction," according to the anonymous review published the next day in the Sheboygan Press. In the months to follow, that body of players would be performing on their own, and by the time of their third concert they would be calling themselves the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra. They are still the SSO, one hundred years after their founding in the fall of 1918: the oldest symphony orchestra still functioning in the state of Wisconsin. They have performed continuously, except for pauses during the Great Depression and in the midst of World War II; and though they were called the Sheboygan Civic (Symphony) Orchestra from 1936 to 1973, there has been a continuity in both personnel and musical vision, linking one generation to the next over a 100-year span.
  • By Oostburg Historical Society Hundreds of photos of the village of Oostburg. Designed as a companion book to Oostburg, Haven of Hope.
  • By Rochelle Pennington and Nicholas Pennington The authors traveled to the countries of England and Scotland to research the epic adventure of Sir Ernest Shackleton's "Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition," a true account of human strife and triumph. The extraordinary events surrounding one of history's greatest shipwrecks are detailed in their book.
  • This is the second volume in a series. It contains more than fifty stories about Sheboygan County citizens and the amazing ways they participated in important history. Topics range from the 1950s bomb shelter scare to the opening of Road America and Clif Tufte to the opening of the Erie Canal in the 1830s.
  • By Bernard Michaels A story of the settlement of the northern Kettle Moraine in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin focusing on the town of Mitchell.
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    Days to Remember

    $15.00
    Arved Ojamaa Ashby was born in Estonia on the Finnish Sea on August 8, 1922. Soviet armed forces brutally occupied his home country in 1940, and a carefree and idyllic life gave way to a time of uncertainty, fear, and death. He evaded the Russian draft in 1941 before he joined the military forces that liberated his home country. In 1943, he started his medical studies at the University of Tartu in Estonia. He fled to Finland to escape the German military draft, and fought the Russians as part of the Finnish army. Ashby moved with his young family to Wisconsin, where he opened his medical practice in 1960, at the Sheboygan Clinic. He retired in December 1989, having delivered thousands of babies.This book, a reprint of the two memoirs Capful of Wind and The Wind at my Back, tells Ashby’s traumatic but ultimately successful story – a coming of age story, and a story of emigration and survival. It is an immigrant story like no other.
  • This is a compilation of articles run in the Sheboygan Press during late 2016 and early 2017. Story titles include: What we used to do at Sheboygan's zoo Remembering Sheboygan County’s forgotten places Interurbans’ meteoric rise, then fall Remembering American wars from the Home Front Memories from a town of Mitchell farm Recalling Sheboygan's unsavory 1920s, 1930s Quirky forgotten laws abound in Sheboygan When bootleggers smuggled margarine Pinehurst Farms boasts rich history Letters to Santa offer look into kids' lives Discovering stories of lost places in Sheboygan County Remembering the architectural trend of octagon houses Appreciation of Grassroots art emerges in recent decades Advertisements reflect culture, paint picture of past Passengers on Orphan Train found home in Sheboygan Dozens of brothels housed in county in early 1900s How Sheboygan cleaned up after hosting brothels
  • By Robert Spatt On the Home Front is a chronological account of daily life for Sheboygan residents and how it changed dramatically during WWII. The story is told by way of actual headlines, story excerpts, photographs, editorials and advertisements as published in Sheboygan County newspapers at that time.
  • By James E. Schultz.     More than a history about Schultz's great grandparents, this book features:

    • threads of our German heritage, including food, wine and beer, language, religion, music, dance, and customs woven into the family history and indexed;
    • sections devoted to “Why they came”, “Today’s German Attitudes”, and “People and Places”;
    • a “Special Find” for each of the eight featured ancestors, a genealogical gem that I uncovered;
    • a wide variety of church, government, military, personal, and other resources, with a list of 40 resources cataloged as an appendix; and,
    • a section called “Challenges, Tips, and Surprises” that provides helpful pointers for finding information.
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    Sheboygan County has a rich and varied Native America past.  When the first Europeans arrived, there were probably only about a thousand Indians permanently residing in Sheboygan County, perhaps another thousand during the fishing season on Lake Michigan.

    These Indians had relinquished their title to the land by various treaties made with the United States, from 1831 to 1833, but remained here for a number of years until they gradually moved to other locales, as their former hunting and fishing territories disappeared.

    What is known of the Indians of Sheboygan County comes mostly from the perspective of white settlers. The Native Americans neither kept nor left any written records; they had no written language forms. What is known of their manner of life, their history and traditions, has come down to us in their myths and legends, through archeological remains, and in the accounts of explorers, missionaries, traders and early settlers. The records of even their white observers are scattered and scanty. They are mainly recitals of their own activities, their references to the Indians usually being only incidental. Much valuable information concerning the life and characteristics of the Indians has been obliterated, although some remains.

    This book will share a sampling of the written information gleaned from the archives of the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.

  • by Peter Fetterer

    The railroads of Sheboygan County have left behind a legacy of stories … some tragic, some humorous, and some almost unbelievable.  The stories bear testimony to the men and women who worked on the early rail lines that served the county … the engineers, firemen, brakemen and conductors who ran the trains … the shop men and track gangs who kept them running … the station agents, freight handlers and railroad officials supporting the operations, and the passengers and hobos who rode the rails.

    The railroaders working these lines for nearly 150 years and the passengers riding their trains have been an integral part of our history. These are some of their stories … tales from the rails of Sheboygan County.

  • Sheboygan County Connection III is the continuing record of the lives of Sheboygan County residents and their adventures in history. Read about dozens of historic happenings experienced by residents from the death and autopsy of victims of Ed Gein to the mysteries of Sheboygan's Rancho de las Flores, refugees of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the architect for the construction of the first Mormon Temple at Nauvoo, Illinois and history of outhouses. These stories ran in the Sheboygan Press from November 2015 to October 2016.
  • Days Gone By The Falls - Growing up in small town Wisconsin is John Wirth's poignant, colorful account of growing up in Sheboygan Falls in the 1950s and 1960s. The book features a collection of 39 newspaper columns, which have appeared on a regular basis in The Sheboygan Falls News since 2007. The book takes readers back to a time when imagination, creativity and the pursuit of good, clean fun ruled the lives of youngsters long before the clutches of modern technology swooped in to stifle such endeavors. Wirth paints a vivid portrait of an era in time when people worked hard without question and played hard without considering the possible dangers of youthful exuberance. Readers will meet several colorful characters who inhabited many memorable locales in the quant, picturesque, Midwestern city of Sheboygan Falls. Whether you have your own memories of the 1950s and 1960s or are looking to find out what all the fuss was about, buckle in and enjoy the twists and turns of a real-life, small-town adventure ride going on 60 years in the making.
  • The Sheboygan County Connection is a collection of forty-one stories about the way folks from Sheboygan County are connected to the greater world. Most were seen as Sheboygan County History columns in the Sheboygan Press from February to October 2014. Extra information and photos have been added. Topics range from ice fishing and the brutal winter of 1936 to the advent of Rocky Knoll and citizens’ participation in the Manhattan Project.
  • By Mary Risseeuw

    These letters, memoirs and travel journals span a hundred year period (1847-1959) and offer a fascinating view into the lives of the immigrants and their families.  Some provide remarkable detail about their journey to America and their struggles to establish a new life.  Others offer little beyond the basics: weather, health, crops, births and deaths. Most are grateful for the blessings of God and the fact that they are still ‘fresh and healthy’ (alive and well, in more modern terms!).  The criterion for selecting the contents of this book was to present an overview of different settlements in Wisconsin and to provide a glimpse into the differences and similarities between the various immigration waves.   There are vivid tales of crossing the Atlantic Ocean and personal glimpses into the Civil War, World War I and World War

  • Across time, cemeteries have acted as places of burial and remembrance, but they also provide vivid records of community history. Whether large or small, well maintained or neglected, historic cemeteries are an important part of our cultural landscape. The vast richness of expression through form, decoration and materials inform our understanding of the individuals buried in historic cemeteries and their cultural significance. The very stones that mark the graves form a museum of their own.

    A church’s stained glass windows, to some degree, play much the same role to a community. They tell the story of some element important to the life of parishioners. They uplift, beautify and instruct.

    This volume will introduce readers to some of the most interesting and beautiful stained glass windows and cemetery monuments in the county. We’ll discuss the background and history of each form of expression and much more. Consider this a primer to Sheboygan County’s treasures.

  • The story of the Milwaukee Northern . . . Sheboygan's interurban link to the rest of the world by Peter Fetterer. Available by about November 30, 2018.
  • Since 1953, August brings Bratwurst Day, a celebration of sausage and of our collective German heritage. The brat is a social food in Wisconsin where Germans first introduced it to the New World. We have brat fries on weekends like folks have BBQs in the south and Chicago has its deep dish pizza. It is part of a deep food tradition. Few things identify one’s German heritage more than making sausage. Sausage was a means of survival for our German ancestors during the winter months, as well as a way to use precious meat scraps and pay homage to their porcine good luck charm. This book documents the long and varied history of some of Sheboygan's nearly forty meat markets and sausage producers. We’ll revisit sausage-making in the county and remember the heyday of 1950s Bratwurst Days.
  • Rebuilding a Railroad in the 21st Century: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, documents the rebuilding of an 11-mile rail line in Sheboygan County, after being dormant for nearly 30 years.  This was more than just a fix-it-up job, but the replacement of the entire line from the ground up with new track built to modern standards to handle heavy loads.  It also required one trestle to be completely replaced and others reinforced.  Adding to the generous amount of photos, there are “before” and “after” photos taken at dozens of locations, and it won’t seem possible that these photos were taken at the same location. Also included is the history of this line from the pre-civil war era to current times.  Old rail dating back over 150 years was found and included is the story that these old rails tell.
  • This collection of stories, images, ads, news articles and factoids  is designed to give you an introductory look at the local history of the 1920s and 1930s in Sheboygan County. It deals with vice- Prohibition, prostitution, gambling, raids on stills and crime over two decades.  It is by no means comprehensive and much of what has been collected is story. This is meant to be fun and informative  --  a great conversation starter.
  • Mention the name Prange’s and no matter your age from 40 to 90 you probably have personal memories of the legendary Sheboygan department store. Whether those memories are of the annual animated Christmas window displays and caramel corn, the use of due bills, charge-a-plates, layaways, will-call, the x-ray machine in the shoe department or the escalators, they are shared by many and are part of the cherished collective history of the H.C. Prange Company. This publication is by no means a comprehensive history of the H.C. Prange Company. It is more a trip down memory lane, filled with images, stories and recipes submitted by former employees and loyal shoppers.
  • By Richard A. Dykstra Thirty-five heartwarming stories about growing up in rural Wisconsin during the 1950s and 1960s.
  • By Henry Dykstra This wonderful volume includes recollections of the author's childhood in Wood County, Wisconsin during the 1920s and 1930s. While the title sounds like a very long number from an old crank-style telephone, it actually refers to the two parents and ten children in the author's family. Henry Dykstra moved to Sheboygan County in 1941, and farmed there for over fifty years.
  • By Rich Dykstra Rich is back with another series of short stories about life in the 1950s and 1960s. Life in the Slow Lane deals with seemingly mundane but very memorable activities that Dykstra participated in as a child – shopping trips to Sheboygan when it took a week or more of planning, going to the outhouse, Friday nights in Sheboygan Falls capped off with a stop at Bob’s Lunch, a one-room school fair, Sundays at Grandma’s, the anxious anticipation of a first Milwaukee Braves game, life in the era of polio and something called Sunday Rules.
  • By Millersville Historical Research Group

    The history of the area dates back to 1846 when the first immigrants found their way along the Pigeon River and settled in the area. At first the two settlements were known as Howards and Mueller Villa, later becoming Howards Grove and Millersville.

    But in 1967, the two communities incorporated as Howards Grove-Millersville, becoming Sheboygan County’s 10th village, the fourth largest. It also brought the village fame with its cumbersome 24-letter title, the longest in the state. Eventually, the city dropped Millersville and took Howards Grove as its proper name. This book follows the history of just the Millersville portion of the area.

  • By Edgar Harvey Jr.

    This book deals with many of Ed Harvey’s predecessors as Sheboygan County Surveyors. Harvey, after years of research, found that they included men of great character, and others whom we could term “shysters”.  They included some pretty unremarkable individuals and others of great genius.  Although they were humble surveyors while they worked in Sheboygan County, some of these men invented great things, or were otherwise involved in major events which changed the history of the entire nation or the world.  One man worked on the Brooklyn Bridge project.  Another worked on the Panama Canal.  At least two of these men prepared maps which shaped the boundaries of nations.  With all the same care, the same men prepared surveys which depicted the boundaries of comparatively small, private properties in Sheboygan County; An interesting and fresh way of analyzing Sheboygan County History.

  • By Howards Grove Historical Research Group, Doris Henschel.

    Ada was one of four small trading places (Howard, Franklin, Edwards and Ada) in the township in 1912. Ada consisted of a hotel, cheese factory, store and blacksmith. The population of town Herman in 1910 was 1,913, the majority of whom were Germans. This hamlet, located on the old Calumet-Sheboygan Plank Road twelve miles northwest of Sheboygan has a name of unknown origin. The post office was established on January 13, 1868, with Anton Goepfert acting as the first postmaster. Operations were discontinued on November 18, 1873. It was re-established on August 31, 1877, and once again discontinued permanently on April 30, 1909. William Maurer was the last postmaster. The book is full of history and wonderful memories.

  • By Richard Zeitlin Between 1820 and 1910 nearly five and a half million German immigrants came to the United States. Most settled in the Midwest and many came to Wisconsin. Learn about the values and the Germans brought with them from the Old Country.

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