By Nathan Vine
A new book is giving new life to photos that tell the history of the village of Plover.
“Images of America: Plover,” released June 5, is the newest addition to the series of historical books by Arcadia Publishing. The book gives an overview of the history of the village, and features over 200 photos starting from the early 1900s after the founding of the village through the construction of the Rainbow Falls water park in the 1980s.
The photos included show many parts from the history of village. There are shots of storefronts along a dirt First Street in the early 1900s, some including horses and buggies, that have the feel of a frontier town. There are photos of individuals like Plover native Walt Wilmot, who played professional baseball from 1888 to 1898 and has the distinction of being the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to be walked six times in one game. And there are views of everyday life: people boating and fishing along the Wisconsin River, participating in parades, baseball games and gun clubs.
The book is authored by two locals who say they thought it was time to give the public a little more about the story of Plover. Brad Casselberry and Diane Lang each graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a bachelor’s degree in history. Casselberry, an Amherst native, is now the records manager and assistant archivist at the Nelis R. Kampenga Archives and Area Research Center at UW-Stevens Point, while Lang works in the reference department at the Portage County Public Library and is a member of the Portage County Historical Society.