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  • 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.
  • “Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, 150 Years of Dutch-American Tradition,” has been updated and reprinted. Three new chapters entitled, “Historical Update, Old News and The Royal Visit” have been added. The new publication will be available for sale at a discounted price during the festival at the following locations: Holland Festival Souvenir Stand, Het Museum, Te Ronde House Museum, Oma’s on Main Restaurant, Cedar Grove Library and the Union Dollar General Store.
  • By Denny Moyer

    This short book outlines the 100 year history of Baseball in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Sheboygan's colorful history began with the Elwell Boys sponsored by Elwell Flour Mill and chronicles the many teams up to the present Sheboygan A's.

  • By Bernard Michaels

    The poignant story of immigration and settlement of the Irish in Sheboygan County, this book gives an account of the Byron-Lima Settlement, a span of some thirty miles in which over 600 Irish families settled.  The community's irregular borders ran from Kennedy's Corners in Lima to the frame church of Byron's St. John.  The town of Mitchell, Sheboygan County is at the heart of this story.

  • 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.
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    By Scott Knickelbine On the night of October 8, 1871, a whirlwind of fire swept through northeastern Wisconsin, destroying the bustling frontier town of Peshtigo. Trees, buildings, and people burst into flames. Metal melted. Sand turned into glass. People thought the end of the world had come. When the "tornado of fire" was over, 2,500 people were dead, and Peshtigo was nothing but a smoking ruin. It was the deadliest wildfire in U.S. history. Kids’ book.
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    By Reverend Peter Pernin Rev. Pernin was the parish priest for Peshtigo and nearby Marinette, whose churches burned to the ground. He published his ac-count of the fire in 1874. The late William Converse Haygood served as editor of the Wisconsin Magazine of History from 1957 to 1975. He prepared this version of Father Pernin's account on the occasion of the Peshtigo Fire's centennial in 1971.
  • Annual directory of the inhabitants, institutions, incorporated companies, manufacturing establishments, businesses, business firms, etc. in the City of Sheboygan. Published by Richard Edwards and company.
  • 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.
  • A Time for Reflection 1892-1992 This booklet was prepared for a centennial celebration of the arrival of the first Volga Germans in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. That small group of seven, unsure of their destination or what they would do when they arrived, was followed by many other relatives and friends. Today, thousands of people who live in Sheboygan - or who lived there at one time - are descendants of German Russian immigrants. “A Time for Reflection” is our anniversary theme, for now is an appropriate time to reflect on our ancestors’ lives and to count the many blessings we have received as a result of their courage and sacrifice. With a new government in power, many Russian people of German descent will be searching for relatives and acquaintances in the West. Many Americans, too, want to be reunited with lost kin. We want to be ready to help each other. The history, chronology, and maps in this booklet represent only a small part of our unique heritage. Here is a brief look at the Volga Deitsch, how they got to Russia and why they came to America, and then to Sheboygan. It is a tale of more than 200 years of travel, hardship and joy endured by our ancestors. Older generations might recall the good times as well as the not-so-good when they read about old customs and practices. Younger people may learn a history they did not know existed. This 2016 update adds extra photos and more history.
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    The Random Local History Reader is filled with odd and interesting history. What is the real story of the Dead Horse? Who was the Black Terror of Sheboygan? Have you ever read an obituary for an outhouse? Learn the meaning of the term, Yeggman. Find out why Cupid was baffled. And read the full story behind the murder of revered, early teacher, John Sexton. Great reading for quiet time, you’ll enjoy every story and photo included in this random collection of historical gems.
  • 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.
  • By Bernard Michaels A story of the settlement of the northern Kettle Moraine in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin focusing on the town of Mitchell.
  • In 1866, Cascade suffered serious setback when a fire wiped out practically the entire main drag including most of its businesses. By 1872, two flour mills, a saw mill, a bank, four grocery stores, a hardware store, three shoe stores, two blacksmiths, a wagon shop, a hotel and two churches had all rebuilt making the “newer’ wider main street. By the 1900 Cascade boosted a healthy business district that included wool carding, two cheese factories, two feed mills, three hotels, a post office, a physician’s office and a dentist office. In 1906 a group of business men held a meeting to discuss the future of Cascade. They came up with a list of things that they thought Cascade needed to continue growing: A fire company. A good library. A good policeman. A few more houses to rent. A number of good sidewalks. A parsonage for the United Brethren Church. Home protection from so many useless peddlers. A few more sheds to keep horses under in wet weather. More people to do less trading with the large firms in Chicago. A few more men to take the ladies out riding.
  • By Mary E. Meyer

    This book is a concise history of the port of Sheboygan, complete with photos of the harbor and the ships that plied its waters.  Histories of harbor industries included.

  • By Gustave Buchen

    Considered the quintessential book on Sheboygan County history, this volume by Gustave Buchen, was written in 1944, when many of the original settlers were still alive. The information is well documented and tells the story of Sheboygan County's first years. The book includes an index, maps of early Sheboygan County and drawings. 2015 Reprint.

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    By Mary Jane Gruett Twelve year old Derk Van Vliet began the adventure of a lifetime in Holland in 1847. He left his home, his friends and his faithful dog, Bello, to begin a new life in America. But, disaster struck as his ship came within sight of its destination, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The Phoenix, a Great Lakes steamer, normally delivered immigrants to their new homes. But, on Derk’s voyage, the doomed Phoenix, was part of an historic disaster which would cause Derk to question everything about life. He would have to forge ahead to find a new life and search to find courage deep within himself.
  • By David Holmes The Irish have a rich and long history in Wisconsin, dating back to the 19th century. Immigrants quickly formed communities in Beloit, Fond du Lac, and Sturgeon Bay, as well as in rural Trempeauleau County. They worked at day labor, railroad construction, lumbering, fishing, and of course farming. Some of those early Irish communities have disappeared; others have experienced succeeding generations of Irish Americans settling in these Wisconsin cities and small towns and influencing them with their old country charm.
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    This book takes us back through the history of education in the northwest corner of Sheboygan County. Starting both sections with a history of the named township, this team of writers takes us from the early settling of the area to the recent consolidations. Each school is looked at in detail and the many pictures of facilities, classes and notable events take the reader on an enjoyable journey through the past. Also included are a comprehensive index, 1889 plat map, master plan for education in Sheboygan County and biographies of Ray B. Lightfoot, Violet R. Littlefield and Doris G. Phipps. Schools covered: Russell, Taft, Garfield, Little Elkhart Lake, Joliet, Elkhart Lake, Harrison, Dewey, Lime Ridge, Rhine Center and Victory. Originally published in 1997, this reprint contains updates and improved imaging.
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    By Earl and Charmaine Kneevers During the late 19th and early 20th century, there was a relatively strong Socialist movement in the United States. Sheboygan, Wisconsin was one of those cities that had an active Socialist Party. The movement believed in public ownership and democratic management of the basic means of production and distribution. It had strong ties to the organized labor movement of the time. A strong leader of the Sheboygan movement was Fred Kneevers, whose history as a struggling worker with a family to support and with Socialist beliefs, brought him into the hotel and restaurant business to support his family when known Socialists were not welcomed in privately run businesses. The Kneevers' Hotel was a successful meeting place of the Socialists.
  • 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 Plymouth Historical Society and SCHRC

    Plymouth, originally considered a “hub” city because of the hub and wheel factory located there, it has also earned that moniker because of its central location between Milwaukee and Green Bay. Tourists flock to Plymouth year round to visit the variety of shops, to golf, swim and ski, or explore the beautiful Kettle Moraine State Forest. Residents are proud of their heritage, which can be seen at sites throughout the city. Visit Plymouth through this wonderful tribute using historic photographs.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • An entertaining compilation of great newspaper articles following the history of the railroad in Sheboygan County.  Some are humorous, some are serious, and some are downright shocking.  Great reading for the railroad enthusiast and amateur alike. 2016 Reprint.
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    This publication is a chronological account of the sister city relationship between Sheboygan, a city in the state of Wisconsin, and Esslingen am Neckar of Germany. These articles span the years 1967 to 2017. The stories are told by actual headlines, story excerpts, photographs, and informational pieces gathered through articles in the Sheboygan Press, publications in the archives of the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center and Mead Public Library. The articles selected are meant to include a brief history and highlights of special visits and envoys. It is impossible to include everything. Many photos were available, but individuals and dates were not identified so they were not chosen. In a world that began with cablegrams, western union, letters, then phone and fax, communication evolved with the technology of cell phones, emails, the internet and FaceTime. In the beginning, travelers’ postcards and letters often arrived after they returned home. The bulk of the written material was found before all of this new technology replaced the newspaper stories. Some years there was more material than others. During the 1990s and beyond information was in the hands of individuals, not printed publications.
  • By Jerry Apps The barns of Wisconsin are history books in red paint, sociology with gabled roofs, theology with lightning rods. In many ways barns are Wisconsin agriculture nailed together in buildings with cupolas on top. This revised edition was printed in 2010 and filled with beautiful images.
  • By Emma Hermann Thieme   NO LONGER AVAILABLE -- OUT OF PRINT   Sophie Hermann Knop was born and raised in Schaefer, Russia, a German-Russian community along the Volga River. In 1923, when she was 18 years old, Sophie traveled to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where Gottlieb Hermann, had been living since 1912. During their long separation, Sophie endured great difficulties, including the Russian Revolution and the upheavals and famine that followed in its wake. Sophie willingly shared detailed descriptions of her life in Russia. Those “bits and pieces” follow a brief history of German migration to the Volga River area of Russia.
  • By Janice Hildebrand This book is a tribute to the City of Sheboygan in its sesquicentennial year 2003. The area that is now the city was settled years before 1853, but the city was not chartered until then. This book documents 45 men and women who were important in Sheboygan's early years. Each bio contains one or more photos. 2016 reprint.
  • By Edmund Schulz Spring Corners is located at the intersection of County Trunk M and the Manitowoc-Sheboygan County Line, now known as County Line Road in the Township of Meeme in Manitowoc County and the Township of Herman in Sheboygan County. A spring flows continuously at Spring Corners, a place where people have come from far and near for a cool drink and to fill their water jugs for home use. This spring is part of a line of springs that form the Spring Valley
  • 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.
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    By Jim Draeger and Mark Speltz The authors visit 60 Wisconsin gas stations that are still standing today and chronicles the history of these humble yet ubiquitous buildings. The book tells the larger story of the gas station's place in automobile culture and its evolution in tandem with American history, as well as the stories of the individuals influenced by the gas stations in their lives.
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    By Pieter J. Risseeuw

    A historical novel, originally published as a trilogy, of Dutch immigration of the mid-nineteenth century. This English translation is made available for the first time by permission of the original publisher and supported by Netherland-America Foundation of New York. Originally published in Dutch in 1947, the novel discusses the trials and tribulations of immigration and the establishment of the Dutch churches and colonies in Iowa and Michigan.

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    By Bill Wangemann

    This second book of Bill’s is a compilation of articles that appeared in the Sheboygan Press during 2004. Many are based on activities of the 1950s

  • 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.
  • 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.

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