History Day 2017 Theme: Taking a Stand in History
Welcome to the National
History Day resource page brought to you by the La Crosse Public Library
and UW-La Crosse Murphy Library. We developed this guide to introduce
students and teachers to local topics for use in the National
History Day competition. This list is not exhaustive but gives the
reader an idea of local topics and basic resources for a subject.
materials held in the special collections or archives area of either
library do NOT check-out; the items must be used at those libraries.
By the middle of
the 1800s the lumber industry in Wisconsin had become the backbone
of the state’s economy. Due to the need for transporting the
harvested timber, most of the major cities in central and northern
Wisconsin were built near rivers. With the advent of railroads the
lumber industry changed with loggers able to work year-around and with
camps being set further inland. The lumber industry had a permanent
effect on Wisconsin’s economy, but its fate was in question by
the start of the 1900s due to the heavy harvesting of trees with little
regard for the future of the forests or the productivity of the land,
when forests were completely cleared of nearly all useable trees. La
Crosse followed this pattern.
- Photographs of
the lumber industry and pineries can be found at UW-L Murphy Library
Special Collections and La Crosse Public Library Archives.
of La Crosse, Wis., (1888) chapter about logs and lumber:
- Follow the rise
and fall of industries, such as the lumber industry, with statistics
from the Annual
Report of Board of Trade of the City of La Crosse, Wisconsin available
online for 1879-1905; use the “jump to a section” drop
down menu to select which year to browse
Lumber Company Records, 1856-1928. Find out what’s
available in this collection by reading the finding aid available
Records of the lumber business and other investments of lumber barons Gideon
C. Hixon and his son Frank P. Hixon of La Crosse. Correspondence, letter
books, journals, ledgers, and other financial and legal papers document the
extensive business enterprises of the Hixon family in Wisconsin and other
states as well as Canada. Various lumber company records contain information
on many facets of the industry, including transportation and freight rates,
lumber grading and pricing, the use of water and water rights, and taxation.
Lumber industry labor relations, union activity, and the influence of the
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is documented in letters written from
1917 to 1920.
Find at: UW-L
Murphy Library, Special Collections Dept.
- Oral history
interview with Fanny Edgar Sill
Fanny Edgar Sill was an unmarried daughter of William R. and Mary (Edgar)
Sill, and was a resident of La Crosse all of her 104 years when she died
in 1967. From 1856-1880, her father had an interest in owning a sawmill,
although he was involved in developing railroads and had other interests
the UW-L Murphy Library, Special Collections Dept.
of La Crosse County, Wisconsin… by Consul Willshire
Butterfield (1881) This link will get you right to the section
on the lumber industry. This book was written in 1881 which was
the height of the lumber harvest in Wisconsin.
- La Crosse
County Historical Sketches, 1931-1955
- Black River Boom: Onalaska Fifty Years Ago by Hannibal Plain
- Life in a Lumber Camp by Frank Hartman who was a clerk for the N. B. Holway Lumber Co. during the winters of 1887-1890
- "Looking Pine" in Wisconsin taken from the 1874 Wisconsin Lumberman about "land lookers" and surveying methods
- Lumber Jack Poems
- Memories of Lumbering on Black River by Charles P. Crosby, a lumber company owner
- Reminiscences of a Lumber Camp Teamster reported by M. Desmond
- "Smell of the Sawdust" (poem) by Douglas Malloch
Also check out other sources at : La
Crosse History Unbound
sources are noted for each topic, remember to use some other online
sources and catalogs such as:
of Congress’ American Memory