Thursday, October 28, 2010


Dennis McCann, author of Badger at Boswell!

The bodies are buried, but the stories are not. From the ornate tombs of Milwaukee’s beer barons to displaced Chippewa graves and miniscule family plots, “Badger Boneyards: The Eternal Rest of the Story” unearths the stories of Wisconsin. Football great John Heisman is buried here, as is the state’s smallest man, a woman whose tombstone names her murderer, and the boy who would not tell a lie and paid the price. 
Even in a graveyard, peace proves hard to come by: Wisconsin’s Native American tribes have fought for undisturbed grounds and proper burial. A patch of Belgian graves now resides beneath a parking lot while the headstones cluster nearby, and the inhabitants of a Bayfield cemetery were unearthed by a raging flood. Sometimes the dead are recalled with only a first name, and sometimes no name at all. Following the clues in tips from readers, unusual epitaphs, and well-worn stones, Dennis McCann finds the melancholy, the humorous, the tragic, and the universal in Wisconsin’s cities of the dead.
Dennis McCannAuthor bio: Dennis McCann is a Wisconsin native and longtime explorer of the state’s nooks, crannies, and, yes, its burial grounds. A University of Wisconsin–Madison journalism graduate, he joined the Milwaukee Journal (later the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) in 1983 as a farm writer and state rover. His previous books include The Wisconsin Story: 150 Stories/150 Years, Dennis McCann Takes You for a Ride, and Rough Stuff, a collection of his columns from Wisconsin Golfer magazine. Now a freelance writer, he spends most of his time with his wife, Barb, a retired teacher, at their home on Lake Superior in Bayfield.

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