Wisconsin Waters: The Ancient History of Lakes, Rivers, and Waterfalls by Scott Spoolman
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
"Tucked into a corner of the upper Midwest formed by two of the Great Lakes and bordered on the west by North America's largest river, Wisconsin is framed by water and rich in waterways. In its interior lie 15,000 lakes, most of them formed by the glacier around 10,000 years ago. The state is laced with more than 12,600 rivers and streams, including 2,700 trout streams and three designated as National Wild and Scenic Rivers. These streams and rivers trickle or surge over several dozen waterfalls that mesmerize thousands of visitors every year. Wisconsin's economy largely depends on its waters, which support most of the state's major industries, including manufacturing, dairy farming, paper production, commercial fishing, cranberry production, and tourism. Each of Wisconsin's waterscapes has a story to tell. Some stories begin hundreds of millions of years ago with the early formation of the state's landscapes. Others begin thousands of years ago with the advance and retreat of the glaciers. Still others are human stories of exploration and settlement of the land and the development of societies and economies. These stories add up to many thousands, all woven together in time and space by the flow of Wisconsin's waters. In fact, water has done much to shape the history of the state. This book looks back through the distant past to the ancient origins of Wisconsin's waterways, beginning with geology-how the bedrock of the state was formed. This view of the past also takes in the natural history that has shaped, and been shaped by, water and waterways since the geologic stage for that story was built. And it includes early stories of how humans lived along Wisconsin's waterways before people began to engineer and dramatically change the waterways for their own uses"--
Scott Spoolman is the author of Wisconsin State Parks: Extraordinary Stories of Geology and Natural History. As a science writer, he has focused on environmental science and natural history stories of Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest.