Historical Recontruction a la 1880s. [Pictures]

I went with some friends to Old World Wisconsin. Why? More research! What’s really fascinating about this time period, is that you see the effects of the age of industrialism just starting to impact businesses. It’s really a “worlds collide” sort of a place, much like what we’re seeing now with digitization versus material goods. The biggest impact besides price? Time. Folks back then were a “bit” busier than we were. Yes, we’re busy because we’re on Facebook and Twitter and whatnot. But are we really? In terms of what we make now compared to what they had to do back then… We’re experts at consumption, but not manufacturing goods for ourselves.

Here’s some pics. (I have a ton. If you’re interested, I may post more.)


I have a fascination with old writing desks. If I could, I’d collect them.

Coffee With The Mostest

For the coffee enthusiast in you… Beans. Beans had to be roasted, then ground, then made into coffee.

Happy Bacon

This is a picture of a pig. She was friendly, and she singled me out. Ergo…

Ye Olde Rose

A very old rose. My hobbitess friend explained to me that older roses curl and that this particular rosebush was very old, indeed.

Mega Loom

The site makes its own towels and fabric. This loom allows them to do so. Takes a couple of months or so to make enough for a handtowel.

Irish House

The Irish washerwoman this house belonged to, worked six days a week and was also active in her church community, plus maintained a garden. Talk about never sleeping in!


In the village, there’s a cobbler/shoe merchant. So, these are handmade shoes in various states of shoeness. The cobbler could make a single pair of custom-fit shoes once every two to three days. These could be repaired and last forever. They were hand-stitched and made with wood pegs. Not like these shoes…

Shoe Store

These are factory-made and were also sold by the cobbler. So customers had their choice of what to buy and could also get their shoes repaired, too.

Guest Blogger: Freelance Reporter Chris Welch on his Coverage of Wisconsin Flooding

Folks, I have a rare treat for you. Today I’d like to give the floor to freelance reporter Chris Welch, who has been covering the flooding in the state of Wisconsin. I had met Chris at a science fiction convention in Madison called OddCon where we were speaking on some of the same panels. Chris is the sort of guy that you’d like to hang around; he’s very personable and loves to write and speak about writing. In his first-ever blog post, Chris speaks from the heart, talking about what it’s like being a freelance reporter when a tragedy like the Wisconsin flooding occurs.

“They’re not talking about us.”

That statement, a frustration voiced by a Fort Atkinson resident about his flooded neighborhood, also provided a concise reason why writers like us write.

I’d like to thank Monica for the opportunity to guest-blog here. “Words on the Water” seems the most fitting place to blog on writing about floods and the stories surrounding those floods.

There’s a 30-county region of Wisconsin affected by various forms of saturation. But, as a freelance reporter for a small-town newspaper, I’m only concerned with one, Jefferson County. The newspaper covers three main cities here: Fort Atkinson, Jefferson and Whitewater (which is divided by Jefferson and Walworth Counties.)

Picture of Wisconsin Flooding in June 2008My usual beat is Whitewater, Wisconsin. It was spared major flooding, so my editors asked me to cover some flood-related stories, which affected the cities of Jefferson and Fort Atkinson most drastically.

Except half the stories I covered this week were other stories — stories that the flood did not have any affect on at all. Despite evacuated homes and businesses, there were other things people wanted to talk about. I’ll get to those in a moment.

The floods had their own tales, which were stories for me to tell.
Read More…

Monica Valentinelli >

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

Subscribe to Monica’s Newsletter

* indicates required


Back to Top