St. Croix Trail Country: Recollections of Wisconsin

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U of Minnesota Press, Jan 1, 1967 - Biography & Autobiography - 123 pages
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St. Croix Trail Country was first published in 1967. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

This is a delightful, nostalgic recollection of the author's boyhood summers in the beautiful lake country of northern Wisconsin. William Gray Purcell was born in 1880 and grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. During the years from 1887 to 1901 he spent every summer with his grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. William Cunningham Gray, at their Island Lake summer home in the region of the old St. Croix Trail, south of Bayfield, Wisconsin. The country at that time was largely an unsettled wilderness, heavily forested, and inhabited mainly by Indian families, a few hardy woodsmen, and abundant wildlife. Mr. Purcell recalls the joys of summertime living in this unspoiled natural setting and recounts, too, stories he heard around the campfire of the experiences of Indians and pioneer settlers in the West.

An important part of the book is the collection of 32 photographs, each reproduced on a separate page. These pictures, which were taken by young "Willie" Purcell, his father, and his grandfather, portray with photographic skill that is remarkable for its time the scene, the people, and the way of life in those Wisconsin summers long ago. There are maps, also, showing the location of the Island Lake home and the St. Croix Trail country.

 

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Contents

PROLOGUE
3
A FOREST COLONY
10
ISLAND CARETAKERS
22
IRON RIVER
28
MEDICINE TALK
41
IN THE COURT
49
THE WANIGAN
55
TALES BY FIRELIGHT
61
A RIFLE TO CHERISH
71
WEEKLY MUSINGS
79
VISITING WITH THE YOUNGS
89
MORE CAMPFIRE TALES
99
EPILOGUE
114
Copyright

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About the author (1967)

William Gray Purcell was a pioneer of modern architectural design. At the beginning of his career he worked for Louis Sullivan, the noted Chicago architect. His own partnership firm, Purcell and Elmslie of Minneapolis and Chicago, became well known across the country during the first decade of the twentieth century. Later Mr. Purcell practiced in Portland, Oregon, and then moved to Pasadena where he died in 1965 at the age of 84.

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