Hedgerow Press

A Wisconsin Town and Country Christmas: Traditions, Memories, & Irresistible Recipes!

What was Christmas like when western Wisconsin was still largely covered with pine forests, and towns like Menomonie had only a few hundred souls? When a few hardy farmers were clearing the cutover land stump by stump, acre by acre, a little at a time. When there was no electricity, little money, few places to buy goods. Before Wisconsin was a dairy state, when each farm had only a few cows and raised wheat and oats and barley. When lumber barons built mansions in town and entertained such high society as was to be found on the frontier.   A Wisconsin Town and Country Christmas explores Christmas traditions brought by early settlers to the area from the old country—Slovaks, Scandinavians, Irish, English, Swiss, Germans—through interviews with their descendants still living on farms, in the towns, in old cheese factories. Beautifully illustrated with 19th century etchings and lithographs, together with specially commissioned drawings of local Wisconsin farms in the snow, this little book evokes Christmases past and present and may even inspire you to try the cornucopia of recipes collected from those interviewed.   As James Eggert notes in his foreword to this 30th anniversary edition, "To me, it’s a classic book to be read today, tomorrow, or ten or twenty years from now while being aware that much of the cultural ecology and practices of the different groups may well have been lost or forgotten—if they had not been written down here." Enjoy!