Bob Willging

History Afield
4:00 am
Thu May 1, 2014

One Morning in March, 1933

Vern Frechette (left) grew up in Chequamegon Bay.
Credit Wisconsin Historical Society

It’s May and we’re still waiting for the ice to melt on most lakes in the Northwoods.  Lake Superior is still about halfway iced over.  But even when it’s thoroughly covered with ice, conditions can be treacherous.

In today’s History Afield essay, we hear the story of Vern Frechette’s memorable trip out on the ice…one morning in March 1933.

    

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History Afield
4:00 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Trapping in the Blood: the Carl Schels Story

Young Carl Schels in the wilderness.
Credit Wisconsin Historical Society

When the stock market crashed in late 1929, ushering in the Great Depression, the prosperity of the 1920’s screeched to a halt.  As factories and mills closed their doors, millions of Americans found themselves unemployed.  

In today’s History Afield, WXPR Contributor Bob Willging tells the story of one man who left Chicago during the Depression to make his mark in the Northwoods.

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A Resort Like No Other
9:18 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Northernaire: Waldorf of the Wilderness

Carl Marty was famous for befriending wild animals at the Northernaire.
Credit Wendy Robinson

The resort industry in Northern Wisconsin goes back over 100 years to when tourists were first lured to the lake country on the heels of the lumberjacks.  Small family owned resorts with cottages lining lake shores catered to fisherman in the early days. 

 In the midst of Mom and Pop operations one man had a vision to build a Northwoods resort like no other.  In today’s History Afield Bob Willging tells the story of the rise and fall of the Northernaire, the Waldorf of the Wilderness.

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History Afield
10:08 am
Thu December 26, 2013

The Mysterious Death of Edward Keeler

Edward Keeler and his renowned boat, the Pelican.

Hunters and trappers spend a great deal of time alone in the woods, and outdoor activities in remote areas have their share of inherent dangers.  

Those dangers were even more apparent in the 1930s, a time of limited communication, large tracts of remote country, few heavily traveled roads, and the occasional gangster, moonshiner or poacher.

In today’s History Afield, Bob Willging tells the story of one man’s mysterious death in the woods in 1931.

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