These tales cover the early days of Southern Wisconsin, (part of the Old Northwest Territory). Some of the history dates back to the 1830's when first the Indian title to this land was extinguished. Ranging through time from the tragic story of Demun's Trading Post near present day Brodhead to the inexplicable Dr. Dodge who cured his patients by going into a trance, these tales impart the history of these borderlands in the long ago nineteenth century
February 3, 2016 Winter in southern Wisconsin is commencing to wear thin. No ice on the rivers yet but lots of dreary sunless days. Am running the Fireside Bookstore in Monroe for a friend while she enjoys warmer climes. A good place to write while waiting for the not so numerous customers.
January 4, 2016 A new year and new historical projects in the works. Three miles south of Monroe is an old stage stop house from the 1850's. It has a five foot wide fireplace in the basement with two iron cranes swinging out from the bricks inside the fireplace. In the early spring I plan to go out there with the owners permission to look around the grounds with a metal detector and see if and old artifacts are hidden beneath the surface of the surrounding area. The owner can have any of the artifacts . I just am curious about what's out there
September 8, 2015 A hot period in southern Wisconsin- Returned all the artifacts to the Brodhead Museum, which has the entire Demunn collection. I used these artifacts when giving several talks on the Demunn trading post.
August 3, 2015 Saw former State Archeologist, Bob Birmingham's presentation about Fort Blue Mounds, an important fort near present day Madison during the Black Hawk War. I worked on the Blue Mounds excavation in the years 1994 and 1995.
July 1, 2015 Rainy most days for the past month or two. I'm not complaining though it's nice and cool. With all the rain I decided yesterday to drive up to Fort Hamilton and walk down in the field where the fort was built in 1832.
I found a purple cut glass bead near the site and suppose it was an Indian bead. Found it where the cows had trod on the hillside leaving a bare spot. Last fall I found an 1848 large cent on the same grass-less hillside. Don't like to metal detect. It scars the site and confuses the archeological value.
There is a small crick running from a spring near the fort site. This spring was used by the militia during the 1832 time of troubles and I still drink it's pure water today. On the banks of the crick (Furnace Branch) still lie the ash piles from the primitive lead smelters of 1828.
June 1, 2015 June has come and it still seems like early spring. Sheila Berry and I explored the old lead mining site of Willow Springs (circa 1830) last week in Lafayette County. This is a little south of Mineral Point near King road where Sheila has family. We did not find any spectacular artifacts but had a good time in the fields and found various abandoned limestone foundations on the side hills.
May 1, 2005 My apologies to the fans who couldn't receive Territorial Tales for the past few weeks. Something went wrong with Weebly. Now everything seems to be back to normal. ----- So now it is the first of May and I will get busy writing new Tales. I have been in Nebraska visiting my Dad and trying to sell a one of our houses for ten thousand dollars. No takers though, it is a depressed market. Spring is finally coming to Wisconsin.---- I am starting Behind the Tales: "The Demunn back story.