Welcome to Wewoka Oklahoma! Wisconsin Mounds and Monsters?

my three little brooms window display

My first attempt at a logo

By Trace L Hentz

Happy Summer (almost).  I FINALLY made a trip to Oklahoma in May to meet Jack Evans, aka author J Glenn Evans as you know him from my wordpress blog Lara. (HERE)  (We both lived in Seattle but never met in person there. He's the founder of Poets West and radio show host.)

Wewoka is his childhood home so I got to visit the farm and land he bought and see the former drug store he owns in downtown Wewoka.  So far he has quite a nice collection of books, a wide variety and I delivered 200 books, some DVDs and music cds about Native Americans, and of course books by Natives. But he needs more! 

LOOK AT HIS WEBSITE

We swept, cleaned and organized and Jack (now 91 years old) will be using this space as his office and hopefully draw lots of lookers and readers.  The Seminole Reservation is in Wewoka and I got to meet Attorney Glen Hughes (Seminole) - and Seminole Museum Director Richard Ellwanger -  truly friendly nice men.  Everyone I met was so friendly!

Wewoka is a town with a population of 3,430 (in 2019), located south of I-40 between Shawnee and McAlester and the county seat of Seminole County.

After this first visit, I really want to spend more time in Wewoka!  I was invited to the famous SORGHUM FESTIVAL in October when the town is packed with people and events!

Wewoka in the early 20th century | Oklahoma Historical Society

 




you might recognize a few of my book titles

click to enlarge via

About The Seminole Nation

With a tribal enrollment of 18,681, the Seminole Tribal Jurisdiction Area is located in south-central Oklahoma, approximately 45 miles east of Oklahoma City, and it includes most of Seminole County. The Seminole Nation Tribal Complex is located in the town of Wewoka, Oklahoma. For more information about the Seminole Nation, visit https://www.sno-nsn.gov.

After seeing Jack and working four days in really HOT weather, I had planned to drive north to Wisconsin but didn't because the 2009 Toyota Camry was acting up.

Many of you know I am from Wisconsin, raised up north in Superior.  When I was growing up, no one ever told me: 

More mounds were built by Ancients in Wisconsin than in any other region of North America—between 15,000 and 20,000 but many were destroyed only 4,000 are known today.   Most impressive are the effigy mounds, huge earthworks sculpted in the shapes of thunderbirds, water panthers, and other forms, not found anywhere else in the world in such concentrations.  
Wisconsin Ancient History? Yes indeed.

I love this book

And we have other interesting "history" besides ancient mounds:


Wisconsin, America’s Dairyland, is a state in the Upper Midwest bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and two of the Great Lakes, Superior and Michigan. It’s called America’s Dairyland for a reason. The state of Wisconsin produces more than 13.5 billion kilograms of milk per year, which is equivalent to the milk production of the United Kingdom. 

It also produces cheese, lots and lots of cheese; more than 1 billion kilograms per year.  Fans of Wisconsin’s National Football League team the Green Bay Packers are affectionately called “cheeseheads.” In terms of size and population, Wisconsin hovers around the middle of the United States for both. 

It’s the 23rd largest state with the 20th largest population.  The state is composed of plains, and hills covered with farms.  There are forests, though, a lot of them; roughly 16 million acres that cover 46 percent of the state. 

Famous people from Wisconsin include inventor John Bardeen, the only person to win the Nobel Prize in Physics twice, magician Harry Houdini, pianist Liberace, musician Les Paul, who invented the solid body electric guitar, producer/actor/director Orson Welles, painter Georgia O’Keeffe, circus owners Charles and John Ringling, authors Laura Ingalls Wilder and Thornton Wilder, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and actors William Defoe, Chris Farley, and Spencer Tracy.  (And of course... me... but I am not famous)

And monsters?  Lots and lots of monsters.  Actually, probably more than its fair share.

 
(here is just a few)
Werewolves
Although werewolves in Wisconsin may seem out of place, or even a bit silly (go ahead. Say it three times and see if you don’t giggle), looking at it from a historical perspective it begins to make sense.
Some of the first Europeans to settle this lush state in the mid-1800s were Germans, and Germany has a long and deep tradition of these manlike wolfish beasts. Quick to follow the Germans to Wisconsin were Scandinavians, Belgians, the Dutch, Swiss and the Irish – most of these cultures tell tales of werewolves. When people settle in different parts of the world, they bring with them their language, traditions, stories, and their monsters. Of course, the American Indians of the area had similar monsters.
Werewolf sightings in Wisconsin were first catalogued in print in the 1930s.
A man driving in Jefferson County saw a man was digging in a field. The driver slowed to watch the man when the figure stood to its full height, and stared at him. It was not a man. The driver claimed the man-like creature was covered in hair, and looked like a cross between a dog and an ape. The driver got a good enough look at the monster to see that its hands were shaped like human hands.
Similar stories of a man-wolf dot Wisconsin’s history. In 1964, another driver, Dennis Fewless, saw the same monster run across the road in front of his car. The encounter was in the same county. The creature was tall, covered in brown hair, and ran like a man, but its head looked like a dog’s. The wolfman sprinted in front of Fewless’ car, leapt a fence, and vanished into a field.
The monster continued to stalk rural Wisconsin throughout the 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1989 that the sightings escalated, this time near the town of Elkhorn, just south of Jefferson County.
Much like the previous encounters, Lorianne Endrizzi saw a dark figure on the side of the road she mistook for a person. When she drove closer she saw it was a tall, hairy monster with the face of a dog, with prominent fangs and glowing yellow eyes. A local dairy farmer also saw the creature on his property that year, as did another driver on nearby Bray Road, and an 11-year-old girl who saw a dog walking on two legs across her family’s property near that road.
Similar sightings continued through the 1990s, but it wasn’t until 1999 that the beast made national news.
On Halloween night when Doristine Gipson, 18, drove down Bray Road when she hit something with her car. When she got out to check, she saw that she’d hit a werewolf – and it was not happy. The huge, shaggy creature bolted toward her. She dove back into her car, and sped away. The werewolf jumped onto the vehicle, but could not hold on. Gipson reported the incident to the police, who then told local reporter Linda Godfrey who covered the incident. Godfrey has gone on to write books about the werewolves of the Upper Midwest, including “The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin’s Werewolf.”

 
Lake Koshkonong Monster
Jefferson County is apparently a monstrous place. It’s not only home to numerous werewolf sightings, it’s also home to the Lake Koshkonong monster.
Although this 10,595-acre lake is a natural body of water, the Indianford Dam on Rock River turned it into one of the state’s larger lakes. Even so, it’s only seven feet deep at its deepest. Fishermen come to the lake for bass, northern pike, catfish and walleye, but sometimes they come for the monster.
According to a November 1887 article in the Watertown Republican, duck hunters A. I. Sherman, of Fort Atkinson, and Charles Bartlett of Milwaukee, rowed in a bay in the northeastern part of the lake when they saw an enormous serpent swimming about 150 feet from their boat. The creature stuck its head above water on a neck at least ten feet long and eight inches thick. The two estimated the beast to be at least forty feet long.
This is where the story gets weird.  The duck hunters, instead of rowing as fast as they could away from a large, unknown animal, they rowed forward trying to kill it.  Before they could reach it, the Lake Koshkonong Monster slipped under the water and disappeared.

 
Jenny
Geneva Lake, a 7.5-mile long, 144-feet deep body of water in southeastern Wisconsin, is home to a monster similar to the Lake Koshkonong Monster.  Locals call her Jenny.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the first recorded sighting of Jenny was in July 1892, when two boys fishing saw an enormous snake.  It was 100 feet long, and three-feet thick.  The creature burst from the water thirty yards away from the boys, and started swimming toward them. The creature then turned back toward the deeper parts of the lake, and dove under.
People from the town of Lake Geneva, which is on the shores of Geneva Lake, reported seeing Jenny numerous times by 1902, although sightings are now rare.
Creatures similar to Jenny and the Lake Koshkonong Monster have been reported in Devil’s Lake, Pewaukee Lake, Lake Mendota, and Rock Lake.  (It's reported Rock Lake has an ancient pyramid and a monster creature under its water.)




 
Bigfoot
With forty-six per cent of the state covered in forestland, Wisconsin is a perfect home for Bigfoot.  
Here’s one encounter from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
James Hughes, a newspaper delivery driver in Clark County, Wisconsin, encountered an eight-foot-tall human-like creature covered in dark gray hair. The monster stepped across the road in front of Hughes. Oddly, it was carrying a goat.
“It was walking on two legs, and it was mighty, mighty big,” Hughes told the Journal-Sentinel. “You better believe I was scared.”
But he still got a good look at the goat-carrying creature. It was at least 500 pounds, had an ape-like face, and honey-colored spots on its fur. One look was all he needed. Hughes sped away from the scene, and reported his sighting to the Clark County Sheriff’s Department.
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Comments

Willow Croft said…
Interesting! I've never heard of those cryptozoological creatures! Thanks!

click on older posts (it's a time machine)

click on older posts (it's a time machine)
be brave and go way back

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