Wisconsin Nostalgia Preserved on National Recording Registry

A little bit of Wisconsin history has made its way on to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry. As one of only 200 recordings to make the list, the old foghorn of Kewaunee, Wis. joins some elite company including JFK’s “ask not what your country can do for you” speech and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream.”

From the registry (#48):

In the late 19th century, Kewaunee, Wis., one of the great maritime ports of the northern Great Lakes, sought to challenge Chicago as Lake Michigan’s supreme port city. Its car ferry and rail loading tracks were constructed in 1891 within a vast program of harbor improvements toward this goal. The port’s original fog signal was removed in 1981 when an automated signal was installed. Improved rail connections to other cities led to the ultimate decline of the port; Kewaunee’s aspirations were short lived. This recording preserves lost sounds of the once bustling northern lake port.

An article about the recording appears in the JS Online, along with a clip of the recording (in a box on the right). The full recording, it seems, is available at the Coho Motel and Lighthouse Gift Shop in Kewaunee.