Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Trolls, Cows, and Shake Rag Alley

Posted on: October 14, 2011

Hanging with the trolls in New Glarus

I can’t  find the trolls under the Winona Wagon Bridge, but they were abundant on our road trip to Mt. Horeb in Southeast Wisconsin.  Mt. Horeb was settled by Norwegian immigrants in the 1820’s and proudly celebrates its Norwegian Heritage with trolls along its  Trollway main street, museums, gift shops, and Little Norway, a historic village in Nissedahle, Valley of the Elves.  The village has the Norwegian Stavekirk Pavilion from Chicago’s 1893 World Columbian Exposition.

Spotted Cow, New Glarus

Our next stop was New Glarus, settled by Swiss immigrants in the 1840’s.  New Glarus is home to a heritage village, museums,  state park, restaurants serving ethnic food, shops, Swiss styled architecture,  and cows.

Mineral Point was settled in the 1830’s by miners from Cornwall, England, who were skilled in rock mining and worked in the lead mines. Limestone buildings are a signature feature of the village architecture.  The small village also has examples of Federal, Italian Renaissance and Victorian era architecture.  Shake Rag Alley, a collection of limestone cottages and log cabins in the historic Pendarvis neighborhood, was named for the way the miner’s wives signaled meal time. Shake Rag Alley is now home to an arts school with extensive offerings.   Mineral Point has been on the National Historic Register of Historic Places since 1971 and  the first city in Wisconsin designated with the honor.

Log and limestone cabin, 1828.

In Wisconsin  we expect to find cheese and beer.  These lovely villages all have microbreweries and many opportunities to buy cheese and ethnic food while studying local history, heritage and culture.

Primary sources are right around the corner ready for us to enjoy.  They help us teach local history and help students acquire digital and media literacy.  What’s in your backyard?
Teaching with Primary Sources, Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas


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