Badger Boneyards: The Eternal Rest of the Story

Badger Boneyards: The Eternal Rest of the Story

by Dennis McCann
     
 

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From the Ornate Tombs of Milwaukee beer baron Frederick Pabst to miniscule ancestral plots, Wisconsin cemeteries house memories of war, families, tragedy, and community. Badger Boneyards: The Eternal Rest of the Story unearths the intriguing and often long-forgotten histories of more than thirty Wisconsinites past, from the hard-scrabble life of an old-time

Overview

From the Ornate Tombs of Milwaukee beer baron Frederick Pabst to miniscule ancestral plots, Wisconsin cemeteries house memories of war, families, tragedy, and community. Badger Boneyards: The Eternal Rest of the Story unearths the intriguing and often long-forgotten histories of more than thirty Wisconsinites past, from the hard-scrabble life of an old-time cemetery man to the many husbands of a nineteenth-century charmer. Football great John Heisman is buried here, as is the state's smallest man, a woman whose tombstone names her murderer, and the boy who would not tell a lie and paid the price. Yet even in a graveyard, peace proves hard to come by: Wisconsin's Native American tribes have fought for undisturbed grounds and proper burial, and the inhabitants of a Bayfield cemetery were unearthed by a raging flood. Longtime Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Dennis McCann seeks out the stories, both tranquil and turbulent, in Wisconsin's cities of the dead.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Dennis McCann, one of Wisconsin’s best storytellers, not only knows where the bodies are buried, he knows that many of them have great tales to tell. McCann’s natural curiosity and affection for cemeteries make Badger Boneyards: The Eternal Rest of the Story a delight that constantly informs and surprises. I can only hope he’ll do a sequel and track down a stone with an epitaph that’s long rumored to exist in Dane County: 'She finally sleeps alone.'" (Doug Moe, daily columnist, the Wisconsin State Journal, author of The World of Mike Royko and Lords of the Ring)

"Nobody tells a story quite like Dennis McCann. In Badger Boneyards he weaves the same blend of humor and humanity that made him one of the most widely read newspaper columnists in the state. This is a thoroughly entertaining collection of true stories written by one of Wisconsin’s favorite writers." (Michael Bie, ClassicWisconsin.com)

"Dennis McCann's latest book is the last word on Wisconsin's cemeteries. From Bayfield to Prairie du Chien to Milwaukee, he describes the final homes of our former residents with the warmth, humor, and fundamental compassion of a born storyteller." (John Gurda, Milwaukee historian)

"The past is never dead, as McCann vividly recounts in these sometimes funny, often sober, but always enlightening tales of Wisconsin’s disrupted spirits, famous sons and daughters, and unknown citizens. Badger Boneyards is an entertaining and insightful look at Wisconsin’s history through its past lives." (Erika Janik, author of A Short History of Wisconsin and Odd Wisconsin: Amusing, Perplexing and Unlikely Stories from Wisconsin’s Past)

"Longtime travel columnist Dennis McCann has turned his distinctive blend of storytelling and humor to the sites where most of our human journeys end. McCann recounts 30 tales of Wisconsin cemeteries (plus one each over the borders in Michigan and Iowa). . . . [landing] on boneyards big and little, with a special preference for the small and striking." (Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

"If there's a journalistic 'Dr. Frankenstein Award,' McCann would be an odds-on favorite to win. He proves convincingly that the dead can be brought back to life. It's a fascinating book that’s hard to put down." (Gary Knowles,  Dane County Lifestyles)

"There is the sensitivity to small-town life that is the hallmark of McCann's writing, along with his playful use of language. . . . He never makes fun of his subjects, but revels in telling their stories. His cemetery stories are far more about life than they are about death." (Tim Cuprisin, OnMilwaukee.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780870204517
Publisher:
Wisconsin Historical Society
Publication date:
09/28/2010
Edition description:
1
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,190,539
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Dennis McCann is a Wisconsin native and longtime explorer of the state’s nooks, crannies, and, yes, its burial grounds. A University of Wisconsin-Madison journalism graduate, he joined the Milwaukee Journal (later the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) in 1983 as farm writer and state rover. His previous books include The Wisconsin Story: 150 Stories/150 Years, Dennis McCann Takes You for a Ride, and Rough Stuff, a collection of his columns from Wisconsin Golfer magazine. Now a freelance writer, he spends most of his time with his wife, Barb, a retired teacher, at their home on Lake Superior in Bayfield.

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