A Settler's Year: Pioneer Life through the Seasons

A Settler's Year: Pioneer Life through the Seasons

Kathleen Ernst

Language: English

Pages: 200

ISBN: 0870207148

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"This is a book with great meaning for those of us who grew up on farms, and a book to be shared with young people eager to know more about pioneer life." --Jerry Apps, author of "Old Farm: A History" and "Whispers and Shadows: A Naturalist's Memoir"

"A Settler's Year" provides a rare glimpse into the lives of early immigrants to the upper Midwest. Evocative photographs taken at Old World Wisconsin, the country's largest outdoor museum of rural life, lushly illustrate stories woven by historian, novelist, and poet Kathleen Ernst and compelling firsthand accounts left by the settlers themselves.

In this beautiful book, readers will discover the challenges and triumphs found in the seasonal rhythms of rural life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As they turn the pages--traveling from sprawling farm to tidy crossroads village, and from cramped and smoky cabins to gracious, well-furnished homes--they'll experience the back-straining chores, cherished folk traditions, annual celebrations, and indomitable spirit that comprised pioneer life.

At its heart "A Settler's Year" is about people dreaming of, searching for, and creating new homes in a new land. This moving book transports us back to the pioneer era and inspires us to explore the stories found on our own family trees.

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experience and wisdom. This was no small feat. One German American man, while encouraging two coachmen to emigrate, put it this way: “I believe it is good for them to come here, but I also believe that they will not appreciate the first year in America. . . . I am promising them no paradise, but if they remain healthy and work hard I believe that they could stand on a different foot.”1 One year, of course, did not a successful farm make. At best, it was achingly difficult to create a new home.

Milwaukeeans Recall Their Old Courtin’ Days.” Milwaukee Journal, December 26, 1920. (WLHBA) Rambler, The. “Intimate Incidents of Pioneer Life in Richland County.” Richland Center Democrat, March 12, March 19, April 2, and April 9, 1924. (WLHBA) “Recall Pioneer Days in County.” Fond du Lac Commonwealth, March 25, 1909. (WLHBA) Rodolf, Theodore. “Pioneering in the Wisconsin Lead Region.” Wisconsin Historical Collections 15 (1900). Schiesser, Elda, and Linda Schiesser. The Swiss Endure:

of State.” Baraboo Repulbic, n.d. (WLHBA) Verwyst, Fr. “Struggles of Religious Pioneer in Norway Wis. Told by Fr. Verwyst.” Superior Telegram, October 20, 1916. (WLHBA) Whitchurch, Anna Kellman. “My Grandparents Came from Sweden.” Wisconsin Magazine of History 35, no. 3 (Spring 1952): 170–176. Whyte, Dr. “Pioneer Tells of Early Struggles with Wilderness.” Milwaukee Sentinel, November 12, 1922. (WLHBA) Winsey, W. F. “Freedom Pioneer Lived on Same Farm All His Lifetime” (re Cornelius De Jong).

population, 3, 4 R Ranney, Orpha, 10 religion, see churches Rodolf, Theodore, 11 S school, 54, 74, 75, 76, 77, 121 Schottler House, 6 Schroeder, Johann, 7, 53, 78 Schuster, Johann, 2 Schwalbach, Margaretha, 23, 61 shrines, 49 Smith, Isaac T., 5 soap-making, 112 socializing, 72–73, 87, 121–122, 133, 135–138 farm work and, 79–82, 87, 104, 105, 106 soil quality, 6, 78 spinning wheels, 44, 119, 130 Stortroen, Anders Jensen, 51 storytelling, 172 T Taylor, Rose

lakes swarming with fish; in addition it is one of the healthiest areas in America. . . . We have taken 160 acres in a section located twenty-nine miles from Milwaukee. We are the first settlers here. We have deliberately chosen this section in the hope that a number of our countrymen will join us. The location is one of the most beautiful imaginable. On the map in the land office it has already been designated “New Upsala.” What dear memories are aroused by this name!24 A decade later Swedish

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