Wisconsin Historical Society Author Visit: The Birdman of Koshkonong: The Life of Naturalist Thure Kumlien
Join 1000 Islands Environmental Center and Kaukauna Library for an author event featuring the NEW Wisconsin Historical Society book The Birdman of Koshkonong by Martha Bergland.
Register to receive a Zoom link to join the conversation. Debra Nowak from 1000 Islands will moderate a Q&A session with the author following her presentation. A link to the Zoom event will be emailed to you one day before the event. You can also watch the event streaming on the Library and 1000 Island’s Facebook page.
Thure Kumlien was one of Wisconsin’s earliest Swedish settlers and an accomplished ornithologist, botanist, and naturalist in the mid-1800s, though his name is not well known today. He settled on the shore of Lake Koshkonong in 1843 and soon began sending bird specimens to museums and collectors in Europe and the eastern United States, including the Smithsonian. Later, he prepared natural history exhibits for the newly established University of Wisconsin and became the first curator and third employee of the new Milwaukee Public Museum.
For all of his achievements, Kumlien never gained the widespread notoriety of Wisconsin naturalists John Muir or Aldo Leopold, yet his detailed observations of the Midwest’s natural world were hugely important to the fields of ornithology and botany. As this carefully researched and lovingly rendered biography proves, Thure Kumlien deserves to be remembered as one of Wisconsin’s most influential naturalists.
Martha Bergland is the coauthor, with Paul Hayes, of Studying Wisconsin—a Society Press biography on famed Wisconsin naturalist Increase Lapham, which won the Milwaukee County Historical Society’s Gambrinus Prize. She taught for many years at Milwaukee Area Technical College. She lives in Glendale, Wisconsin.