Much like a traveling tent show, the Wisconsin Historical Society is moving its new exhibition around the state and this month it’s in Milwaukee.
"The Wisconsin History Tour: Sharing Wisconsin’s Stories One Community at a Time" is on view on the first floor of the Central Milwaukee Public Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., through Jan. 29.
The exhibition, on a series of panels, highlights not only some of the countless historical treasures in the collection of the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, but also some of the books published by the WHS Press.
You can see the exhibit for free, Monday from noon to 8 p.m.; Tuesday 9 a.m.-8 p.m.,; Wednesday-Friday, 9-6; Saturday, 9-5 and Sunday, 1-5.
When the exhibition leaves Brew City, it travels to Green Bay, Appleton, Eau Claire and other locations around the state for the remainder of 2014.
Among the topics featured on the panels are the history of the Ho-Chunk – with photographs from "The People of the Big Voice" book – Ferdinand Hotz’s photographs of Door County, the story of Horlick and the invention of malted milk in Racine, shipwrecks at the bottom of Lakes Michigan and Superior, Milwaukee’s brewing past and more.
There are screens showing informative videos and one with a series of quizzes to test your knowledge of Badger State history.
My favorite bit, however, is the binder of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps of Downtown Milwaukee and the East Side and Third Ward. I often use these maps, but always online. So, to see them in their original (albeit color photocopied) state is really a treat.
Though the show has been open since Jan. 3, the programming really heats up this week with appearances and talks and other events with authors, genealogists, architects, musicians and archaeologists.
The first event, on Jan. 20 is a noon event hosted by Wisconsin Historical Society Director of Outreach Jim Draeger. Milwaukee historian John Gurda, president of the Milwaukee Public Library Board of Trustees, will speak an. At 4 p.m., Draeger will lead a Show Us Your Stuff program that invites guests to bring an item (or a photo of it) and share its story.
At 6 p.m., Coast Guard Captain Amy Cocanour, commander of the Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, based in Milwaukee, will launch a discussion of lighthouse history with Milwaukee’s Barb and Ken Wardius, authors of the Society Press book "Wisconsin Lighthouses."
Among the other speakers slated to appear at related events are Terese Allen, author of "The Flavor of Wisconsin," Old World Wisconsin master gardener Marcia Carmichael, author of "Putting Down Roots," Dr. Patty Loew, author of "Indian Nations of Wisconsin" and Wisconsin Historical Society underwater archeologist Tami Thomsen, who will talk about what she's learned from Milwaukee area shipwrecks.
Boswell Book Co. will sell related books at a number of the events.
There will also be genealogy workshops, lunchtime history discussions and a"Speakeasy Happy Hour" on Jan. 23 at Best Place at the former Pabst Brewery site. Complete events details and information on the exhibition can be found at wisconsinhistorytour.org.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.