By: Jerry Apps
"The frost-covered windows in my bedroom, the frigid walks to the country school, the excitement of a blizzard. …”
Jerry Apps recalls winters growing up on a farm in central Wisconsin during the latter years of the Depression and through World War II. Before electricity came to this part of Waushara County, farmers milked cows by hand with the light of a kerosene lantern, woodstoves heated the drafty farm homes, and "making wood” was a major part of every winter’s work.
The children in Jerry’s rural community walked to a country school that was heated with a woodstove and had no indoor plumbing. Wisconsin winters then were a time of reflection, of planning for next year, and of families drawing together. Jerry describes how winter influenced farm families and suggests that those of us who grow up with harsh northern winters are profoundly affected in ways we don’t often realize.
was born and raised on a central Wisconsin farm before electricity, indoor plumbing, and central heating came to the country. He has been a rural historian and environmental writer for more than forty years and has published fiction and nonfiction books on many rural topics, including Limping through Life
, Old Farm
, Garden Wisdom
, Ringlingville USA
, Casper Jaggi: Master Swiss Cheese Maker
and Horse-Drawn Days
for the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. He is a former county extension agent and professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Jerry and his wife, Ruth, divide their time between their home in Madison and their farm, Roshara, west of Wild Rose.
Published by Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Orders for Trade, Library or Wholesale