"Border Country" Author Visit

Nov 13, 2017

Author Martha Phillips shares a unique account of her father's early twentieth-century canoe trips into the north woods. 

Kathryn A. Martin Library hosts a brown-bag reading and presentation by author Martha Greene Phillips on Tuesday, November 14, from noon to 1 p.m. in the library rotunda. 

Martha spent several years researching her father’s canoeing and camping adventures and editing and annotating his notes. The result is Border Country: The Northwoods Canoe Journals of Howard Greene, 1906-1916, published by the University of Minnesota Press.

In the summer of 1906, a Milwaukee businessman set out with his young sons and some friends to canoe and camp in the north woods of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Canada. It was the first of several month-long journeys Howard Greene and “The Gang” would make over the years, each detailed in remarkable, handmade journals and documented in hundreds of large-format photographs.

Through it all runs the story of family and friendship forged over campfires in the north woods, reported with dry wit, a keen eye for detail, and an abiding interest in the natural world.

Howard Greene’s narratives are not only a grand adventure but a rare glimpse of life along northern waterways during the early 1900s. His superb photographs have a haunting quality that betrays the radical environmental and social change that was to come. You can almost hear Kent Ryden’s ‘quiet human voices whispering in the landscape.’

— Mary Graves, chief of Cultural and Natural Resources, Voyageurs National Park

Bring your lunch and join us for a journey into the north country taken a century ago.