We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

A Thousand Pieces of Paradise

Landscape and Property in the Kickapoo Valley

Lynne Heasley

Publication Year: 2012

A Thousand Pieces of Paradise is an ecological history of property and a cultural history of rural ecosystems set in one of the Midwest’s most historically significant regions, the Kickapoo River Valley. Whether examining the national war on soil erosion, Amish migration, a Corps of Engineers dam project, or Native American land claims, Lynne Heasley traces the history of modern American property debates. Her book holds powerful lessons for rural communities seeking to reconcile competing values about land and their place in it.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (39.7 KB)
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.2 KB)
pp. v-vi

Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF (35.0 KB)
pp. vii-viii

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF (41.4 KB)
pp. ix-2

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF (75.6 KB)
pp. 3-15

I began this study with the ambition of bridging two areas of inquiry, one national in scope and public attention, the other decidedly local (and locally idiosyncratic). I planned to examine the historical roots of modern property debates in the United States. The prism of property has become a powerful lens in the American political consciousness. It...

read more

Prologue: Weekend Drive, Summer 2002

pdf iconDownload PDF (42.2 KB)
pp. 16-18

Driving due west of Madison, Wisconsin, on U.S. Route 14, you soon leave behind a glaciated landscape of lakes and rolling terrain. You enter a different kind of land, hillier and surely more dramatic if you prefer topographic relief. Unbroken acres of corn and soybeans give way to small fields or pasture on ridges and valley bottoms...

Part I: Landscape Succession

read more

1. Intended Consequences: Soil Conservation

pdf iconDownload PDF (188.6 KB)
pp. 21-46

Sometimes research data confirm a story that many people know well. The GIS maps in figures 2 and 3 look like just such a case. The maps themselves come out of a quantitative study of the Kickapoo Valley’s history, which my colleagues and I carried out in the late 1990s. Based on data for six dates at intervals of roughly ten to fifteen years, they show...

read more

2. A Midwestern Ranch

pdf iconDownload PDF (122.3 KB)
pp. 47-60

In their 1961 study of the Soil Bank, economists R. C. Buse and R. N. Brown Jr. did not foresee that absentee ownership would accompany land concentration. They saw probable patterns emerging when the Soil Bank ended, but not particular kinds of new owners from particular places. In Liberty, the pattern assumed the form of out-of-state family corporations that specialized in beef production. In other places the details...

read more

3. What the Real Estate Ads Don’t Tell You

pdf iconDownload PDF (168.5 KB)
pp. 61-82

Turn the kaleidoscope of Liberty once more and its historical mosaic changes completely. Onto this new stage two entirely different characters move forward. For them, neither Hugh Bennett, Aldo Leopold, farmers, ranchers, foresters, nor the Soil Bank would hold any meaning; their concerns were far too different. These two were intensely...

Part 2: A Community on the Land

read more

4. Outsiders

pdf iconDownload PDF (137.7 KB)
pp. 85-103

In 1965, when ranchers began buying land in the township of Liberty, another group of people had its eyes on the Kickapoo Valley. On first arriving in the Vernon County seat of Viroqua, Gideon Miller remembered making quite a stir as he and his colleagues descended the steps of their Greyhound bus. Two ladies saw them, he recalled. “They asked the driver to inquire where we were to perform that evening.” One of the...

read more

5. An Amish Environment

pdf iconDownload PDF (191.3 KB)
pp. 104-126

Cultural conflict and accommodation were two dimensions of Amish land ownership, yet culture was by no means the whole story. The land itself had an intimate place in the history of twentieth-century Amish settlements. The Amish never settled a new area by chance. They called themselves plain people, but before making a move they would perform spatial analyses so sophisticated that any geographer would be...

Part 3: Negotiating the Past and Future Landscape

read more

6. A Dam for New Times

pdf iconDownload PDF (196.2 KB)
pp. 129-153

Throughout the twentieth century, farmers along the Kickapoo River found their situation both a blessing and a curse. Catastrophic floods marked the years 1907, 1912, and 1917.1 In 1935, after a respite of nearly twenty years, one of the most destructive floods on record raged the length of the Kickapoo Valley.2 At that time, stretches of riparian forest ran sporadically along the river’s edge, but for most of the way...

read more

7. Deer Unlimited

pdf iconDownload PDF (181.1 KB)
pp. 154-172

In 1979, an editor for the La Farge Epitaph made verbal war on deer hunters. “The deer season has come and gone,” he stated flatly. “The red shirts, the four wheel drives, the vans, no longer creep by my farm with rifles ready and eyeballs staring at the hillsides. Strangers, people from God knows where, keeping me pinned down beneath my rock as the boom-boom-boom of high powered rifles blast all around for nine tedious...

read more

8. (Re)Enter the Ho-Chunk

pdf iconDownload PDF (114.4 KB)
pp. 173-194

The reserve languished in administrative limbo throughout the 1980s. No one could agree on its purpose, its management, or its future. Many people continued to deplore the passing of the La Farge dam. At times their rhetoric sounded like a midwestern replay of old western land wars between the federal government and local people...

read more

Conclusion: Claims on Paradise

pdf iconDownload PDF (66.1 KB)
pp. 195-206

In writing this book my hope is that people concerned with rural places—especially those who live in them—will be empowered by their own complicated histories. The historical tension between individual and community prerogatives on the land is the central problem this book has explored. Making sense of this tension is crucial to understanding rural transformation in the twentieth century...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF (175.4 KB)
pp. 207-246

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF (103.7 KB)
pp. 247-266

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF (85.8 KB)
pp. 267-280

Further Reading, Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (120.2 KB)
 


E-ISBN-13: 9780299213930
E-ISBN-10: 0299213935
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299213947
Print-ISBN-10: 0299213900

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1st paperback
Series Title: Wisconsin Land and Life
Series Editor Byline: Arnold Alanen, Series Editor

Research Areas

Recommend

Subject Headings

  • Kickapoo River Valley (Wis.) -- History.
  • Kickapoo River Valley (Wis.) -- Geography.
  • Kickapoo River Valley (Wis.) -- Environmental conditions.
  • Landscapes -- Wisconsin -- Kickapoo River Valley -- History.
  • Property -- Wisconsin -- Kickapoo River Valley -- History.
  • Land tenure -- Wisconsin -- Kickapoo River Valley -- History.
  • Land use -- Political aspects -- Wisconsin -- Kickapoo River Valley -- History.
  • Landscape protection -- Wisconsin -- Kickapoo River Valley -- History.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access