Love Wisconsin? You'll love Wisconsin Life.
It's your place for engaging stories of the people that make Wisconsin feel like home.

Amphicar

Russ Cihlar’s pet project is part car, part boat… 50-50 surf and turf.  He discovered his first Amphicar as a teenager and 10 years later had a dream about it. So Russ purchased the car from a Door County farmer and for 14 years tore it apart and rebuilt it.  He’s been cruising the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal and turning heads ever since.

Russ has a fascination with military vehicles. In addition to his interest in rebuilding his Amphicar, Russ has rebuild nearly a dozen military vehicles across several military encounters and time periods. Join Russ on a tour of his storage garage where his military vehicles are displayed.

Comments

Brass Rooster Hats

In this story by Litmus Pictures, meet John & Kate McLaughlin.  The Milwaukee couple runs the Brass Rooster Hat Company; and in addition to handcrafting hats, they offer full cleaning and repair services, custom fittings and customer service as traditional as the 100 year old equipment they use to make their hats.

Comments

State-in-law

Many of us come to love Wisconsin by birth. But for others, it comes through marriage. Writer Benjamin Percy tells us how Wisconsin became his state-in-law.

Design & Animation: Michaela Vatcheva and Scott Stetson

Sound Design: Joe Hardtke

Comments
Download

Running Wisconsin’s Tallest Building

13,000 volts of electricity flow into Wisconsin’s tallest building every day, and for the last 22 years, one man has been in charge of making sure the lights stay on. 

Learn more about Wisconsin’s working people on The Working Lives Project from the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

Comments

Eagle Bander

Mike Meyer is a state Department of Natural Resources researcher who works with bald eagles.  Each year, in early summer, his job is to band the state’s newest eaglets.  With the help of a tree climber, the eaglets are brought to the ground, examined, tested, banded and returned to their nest.  Mike’s work ensures Wisconsin has a healthy eagle population.

Find out more about the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ annual bald eagle survey and banding project and the National Park Service’s monitoring program.

Did you know the DNR also has an "Adopt an eagle nest" program?

And be sure to check out the Wisconsin Veterans Museum’s "Old Abe the War Eagle" online exhibit to learn more about this famous Wisconsin bald eagle’s Civil War service.

Comments

Whipcracker

When young Adam Winrich first saw the movie Indiana Jones, he was inspired, not to seek adventure or treasure, but to learn how to crack a whip. Now all grown up, Adam has traveled the world and whipped up his share of world records.

Want a closer look? Watch Adam involve reporter Joe Astrouski in a demo of his whip cracking prowess.

Comments

Marine Archaeologist

Whether as a boy snorkeling in the waters off Door County or as a researcher diving to the bottom of Lake Superior, David Cooper has spent most of his life on the Great Lakes. For the past few years, he’s worked to preserve one famous piece of maritime history: the light stations of the Apostle Islands.

Take a tour of the Apostle Islands with David as your guide!

Watch another story here to see how the National Park Service restored the Raspberry Island Lighthouse in 2005-2007.

Comments
Download

Keeping Calm in the ER

Amid the hustle of the state’s busiest emergency room, nurses have to keep a cool head. Rebecca Ramizini takes us inside a hospital on Milwaukee’s northwest side.

Learn more about Wisconsin’s working people - and hear more from Rebecca Ramizini - on The Working Lives Project from the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

Photo: Seth Jovaag

Comments
Download

Working Trapper

Fur trapping drove Wisconsin’s economy for more than 200 years. Trapping remains a way of life for some Wisconsinites, including one man who runs a trapping store and teaches others how it’s done. 

Learn more about Wisconsin’s working people - and hear more on trapping - on The Working Lives Project from the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

Photo: Seth Jovaag

Comments
Download

Rice Harvest

Wild rice isn’t actually a rice at all. It’s an aquatic grass that has been an important food for native people for centuries. Fred Ackley, Jr., from the Mole Lake Reservation learned to harvest rice from his grandmother, and he continues to harvest and process it to this day. 

This story was produced by Finn Ryan for The Ways. 

Comments
Download

Migrant Worker

Wisconsin’s reputation as the dairy state relies on labor from countries like Mexico. In today’s Wisconsin Life, we meet one of those workers in Buffalo County.

Learn more about Wisconsin’s working people - and hear more from Alejandro Tepole - on The Working Lives Project from the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

Photo: Seth Jovaag

Comments
Download

Restoring the World’s Cars

On a dead end street in the tiny village of Brooklyn, a former windmill factory now houses some of the most beautiful cars in the world. Albrecht Stachel is the man behind the wrench.

Learn more about Wisconsin’s working people - and hear more from Albrecht Stachel - on The Working Lives Project from the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

Photo: Seth Jovaag

Comments
Download

Guitar Maker

Ten years ago, Todd Cambio quit his job as a carpenter to become a luthier, specializing in guitars from the early 20th century that he now sells to musicians worldwide. Seth Jovaag introduces us to the Madison craftsman.

Learn more about Wisconsin’s working people - and hear more from Todd Cambio - on The Working Lives Project from the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

Comments
Download

Wisconsin’s Fishing Champ

For many Wisconsinites, fishing is more than just a pastime. One Shawano angler is making waves in a male-dominated sport.

Learn more about Wisconsin’s working people - and hear more from Marianne Huskey - on The Working Lives Project from the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

Photo: Marianne Huskey

Comments
Download

The Wondrous World of Dr. Evermor

Dr. Evermor has been turning bits of metal and other salvaged parts into fantastical sculpture since 1983. Behind Delaney’s Surplus near Baraboo, he’s created a whole world of mechanical creatures, insects, birds, and other contraptions.

Photo: Ross Grady

Comments