“I wish that I could find some clothes to wear for the play. Mother said they’d be different from mine. She said that Sophia wore frontier clothing, whatever that is.” –Aubrey’s Attic
In Aubrey’s Attic, nine-year-old Aubrey lands the role of Sophia Grignon in a local history play. In real life, Sophia Grignon had a mixed heritage (heritage: traditions and culture passed down from generation to generation). Sophia was the daughter of a Menominee Indian woman and a French-Canadian fur trader.
Beginning in the 1800s, many different groups of people from all over the world settled in Wisconsin. Immigrants (immigrant: someone who settles permanently in a country after leaving another country) joined Indian tribes like the Menominees, who had already lived here for a long time.
Do you know what part of the world your ancestors came from? Do you know if some of your ancestors (ancestor: a family member from long ago) were Wisconsin Indians?
Interview your parents, grandparents and if they are still living, your great-grandparents! Ask to see old family pictures. Then find out more about why your family members came here and what Wisconsin was like when they arrived.
Check out the book They Came to Wisconsin, by Julia Pferdehirt (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, $15.95). It tells the story of the immigrants who chose Wisconsin to be their new home. It’s written for kids in the fourth-grade and up. Your local library and bookstores will have other, similar books, too.