Books on Wisconsin history are good read for wintertime

Jerry Apps
Snow time is the right time to sit back and read a bit...and books about Wisconsin make a perfect selection.

On these snowy, often dark and dreary days of mid-winter, it’s a good time to catch up on your reading.  How about digging a bit more into the history of Wisconsin? I pulled a few books off my shelf as a representative group.  Your librarian can help you with more.

I start with "The Shadow in the Glass", a historical novel by August Derleth which is a story about Wisconsin’s first Governor, Nelson Dewey. Written in 1963. I was privileged to know Derleth, and took a novel writing class from him at one time.

"Wisconsin Lore" by Robert Gard and L. G. Sorden. Early Wisconsin stories, Gard wrote several books about Wisconsin History, and I’m pleased to say, he was my writing mentor who started me writing books back in the late 1960s.

"A Memory of Muskets" by Kathleen Ernst, an excellent contemporary writer, tells a tale centered at Old World Wisconsin. Kathleen has written several books—including a mystery series—all wrapped up in Wisconsin history.

"Wisconsin Agriculture: A History" by Jerry Apps. The title says it all.

"The Land Remembers" by Ben Logan.  A classic story of growing up on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin when small dairy farms dotted much of Wisconsin.

"Farm Girl" by Beuna Coburn Carlson.  A true tale of a farm girl’s growing up experiences.

"Memories of Marshall" by Greg Peck.  Small town life at an earlier time. A long-time newspaper writer, in his retirement Greg, has turned to writing books.

"Cheese: The Making of a Wisconsin Tradition" by Jerry Apps. How Wisconsin found itself the leading cheese-making state in the nation.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Snow time is the right time to sit back and read a bit.

Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. For further information about Jerry's writing and TV work, go to