History can really be a lot of fun. Especially when Author Patricia Lacey combines both her love of history with her love of muskie fishing. The book contains sketches about wardens, gangsters, and muskie fishermen coupled with a chronology of the historic eras that effect the way we live in Sawyer County today. The sketches found in this book touch upon impactful events, from the arrival of the Ojibwe Indians, the logging era and how the landscape was drastically changed, the building of the Chippewa Flowage and how Resort Era tourism saved the day.
The sketches on gangsters demonstrates how Chicago’s gangsters loved to come to Sawyer County to rest, recreate and fish, taking a break from bootlegging, prostitution and gambling. However, they still broke the law, fishing and hunting illegally which required game wardens to protect both fish and game. Even a legendary crime that was brutally carried out in Chicago, was hatched right here in Sawyer County.
Finally, the muskie fishing angle, after all Hayward, Wisconsin is the muskie capital of the world. More world record muskies have been caught here in our lakes than anywhere else in North America. Through her sketches, Patricia introduces us to three muskie legends, highlighting their lives, exploits and catches.
The closing chapter is a sketch about the Mighty Muskie. The fish of 10,000 casts! The story of this behemoth lurking beneath the water will leave you with a greater understanding about why a 143 foot long muskie monument was built in Hayward. The book is a fun read and may lead you to discover something new about the history of Hayward and Sawyer County.