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Apostle Islands Historic Preservation Conservancy

Established in 2006, the AIHPC is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the many historic properties and cultural landscapes in the Apostle Islands region on northern Wisconsin.  Beginning with a core group of families who hold longstanding property interests in historically-significant buildings on Sand and Rocky Islands, in some cases dating from the late 1800′s, the Conservancy represents a wide range of interests throughout the Chequamegon Peninsula.

 

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Today in Chequamegon history: more on those "foreigners" among us.

Ashland Daily Press, February 28, 1920: "First drunk in Ashland for three months"

"For the first time in the history of Chief Blair's service on the Ashland police force in Ashland, no drunken man was arrested in three months. Last night the spell was broken when Gus Hasenbo, a lumberjack floater, was discovered on the street drunk, from drinking "Jamaica Ginger."

"Gus has been in this country for six years and had made no attempt to become an American citizen. He has worked in lumber camps getting $60 a month with his board and room. He refuses to work when it is cold, preferring to hang around the camp paying a dollar a day for board until the weather warms up, when he could be persuaded to do a day's work. He has worked in seven different camps this winter.

"He is an example of the type of foreigner who should be dealt with by some definite system by our government the moment he reaches this country. He is the kind that wanders from one place to another; he has no home ties to bind him; he takes no pride in civic advancement or in any particular community. His wife and family live in Russia and he ought to be shipped back there too."

Immigration seems to have been much on the Daily Press editor's mind around this time: the topic is often introduced into reports on seemingly-unrelated incidents. The article, which began as a simple news item about a routine arrest for public intoxication, then veers off into a lengthy digression about the danger to democracy posed "foreigners" in the U.S. and their vulnerability to the blandishments of "radical politicians." Then, after excoriating Mr. Hasenbo at length for a variety of perceived moral failings, the writer makes a sharp turn and appears to blame not him, but American society, for his problems in becoming a productive citizen:

"If the American people had taken an interest in him, given him instructions in the ideals of our government, made him take out citizenship papers, instructed him in the English language and given him six months probation, had him save his money to send for his wife and children, he would probably be a stable member of society today and not have wasted six years of his life."

Editor's note: when I posted this item on this day last year, I wrote, "Very interesting to read in 2016." It still is.

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Collected and edited by Bob Mackreth for the Apostle Islands Historic Preservation Conservancy, a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the historic heritage of the Apostle Islands region of northern Wisconsin.

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