Historic Waterways

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(4 stars; 10 reviews)

Historic Waterways, Six Hundred Miles of Canoeing down the Rock, Fox and Wisconsin Rivers.
This volume is the record of six hundred miles of canoeing experiences on historic waterways in Wisconsin and Illinois during the summer of 1887. There has been no attempt at exaggeration, to color its homely incidents, or to picture charms where none exist. It is intended to be a simple, truthful narrative of what was seen and done upon a series of novel outings through the heart of the Northwest. If it may induce others to undertake similar excursions, and thus increase the little navy of healthy and self-satisfied canoeists, the object of the publication will have been attained. (Summary from Frontspiece) (6 hr 8 min)


00 - Preface 3:02 Read by Linda Fredericks
01 - Introduction 16:33 Read by Mary Schneider
02 - Table of Distances 4:18 Read by David Lawrence
03 - The Rock River, CHAPTER I. The Winding Yahara 23:25 Read by Pamela Krantz
04 - The Rock River, CHAPTER II. Barbed-Wire Fences 17:24 Read by Pamela Krantz
05 - The Rock River, CHAPTER III. An Illinois Prairie Home 16:39 Read by Pamela Krantz
06 - The Rock River, CHAPTER IV. The Half-Way House 15:11 Read by Pamela Krantz
07 - The Rock River, CHAPTER V. Grand Detour Folks 24:53 Read by Sue Anderson
08 - The Rock River, CHAPTER VI. An Ancient Mariner 18:50 Read by Jonathan Moore
09 - The Rock River, CHAPTER VII. Storm-Bound at Erie 16:25 Read by Jonathan Moore
10 - The Rock River, CHAPTER VIII. The Last Day Out 15:40 Read by Jonathan Moore
11 - The Fox River (of Green Bay), FIRST LETTER. Smith's Island 21:40 Read by Linda Fredericks
12 - The Fox River (of Green Bay), SECOND LETTER. From Packwaukee to Berlin 18:27 Read by Linda Fredericks
13 - The Fox River (of Green Bay), THIRD LETTER. The Mascoutins 15:08 Read by Linda Fredericks
14 - The Fox River (of Green Bay), FOURTH LETTER. The Land of the Winnebagoes 22:18 Read by A. J. Carroll
15 - The Fox River (of Green Bay), FIFTH LETTER. Locked Through 14:34 Read by Becky Cook
16 - The Fox River (of Green Bay), SIXTH LETTER. The Bay Settlement 20:04 Read by Becky Cook
17 - The Wisconsin River, CHAPTER I. Alone in the Wilderness 18:11 Read by Bill Mosley
18 - The Wisconsin River, CHAPTER II. The Last of the Sacs 23:06 Read by Bill Mosley
19 - The Wisconsin River, CHAPTER III. A Panoramic View 21:54 Read by Bill Mosley
20 - The Wisconsin River, CHAPTER IV. Floating Through Fairyland 21:06 Read by Bill Mosley


(3.5 stars)

Interesting stories about the changing histories of riverside hamlets and towns in Wisconsin and northern Illinois. The account took place in the 1890s when traveling by river had been replaced by trains. It was interesting in light of our modern travel in rural areas which is nearly exclusively made by individual cars now. Cars replaced rural bus routes, which replaced inter urban trolleys and trains. Today, the rivers are enjoyed by kayakers, canoeists and people in float tubes. The old rail lines, that killed commercial transport by boat on those rivers, have themselves been torn up for “rails-to-trails” for biking and jogging. The recording uses several different readers -with some readers better than others.

Much Enjoyed

(3 stars)

This was a great book, and the only reason I have given it three stars is because I disliked a few of the narrators. However, the rest of the narrators were terrific, and I appreciated their steady, well paced reading. As for the book itself, the author had a wonderful way of making me feel like I was in the canoe with him, experiencing his journeys as a fellow traveller. It's a very simple book really, but with the exception of a section on a massacre of Indians, it put me to sleep each night with pleasant thoughts.

(3 stars)

Although it's an interesting book I can't say it compares favorably with other canoeing books like, "An Inland Voyage" or, "A Thousand Milies in a Rob Roy Canoe". The style is somewhat plain and the author's habit of belittling many of the people and places he encounters was off putting to me. Still it is an interesting look into this time and place. I thought the narration was pretty good all in all, and I enjoyed the listen.