Artifacts and several photos from James A. Larsenís time in the Canadian Arctic, including his beloved freighter canoes, have been donated to the Pioneer Park Historical Museum in Rhinelander. Pictured are Kerry P. Bloedorn, PPHC Director; Marlette Larsen and Lisa Larsen Carey.
8/3/2019 7:30:00 AM Family donates famous botanist's artifacts to PPHC
Artifacts that belonged to famed UW-Madison botanist, and Rhinelander native, James A. Larsen have been donated to Pioneer Park Historical Complex for display in Duke's Outboard Motor and Boating Museum within the Complex.
The artifacts were donated by Marlette Larsen, wife of the late James A. Larsen
As science editor at UW-Madison, James Larsen developed a well known science writing program to train future science writers for newspapers and magazines, according to a press release announcing the donation.
While at UW, Larsen obtained a Ph.D. in botany and meteorology, combining the two for bioclimotolgy research in the Canadian Arctic, the release states.
Two of Mr. Larsen's freighter canoes that he used in the Canadian Arctic during scientific exploration trips are the anchor of the new exhibit, along with a wonderful photo display.
"These two beautiful and well-traveled vessels allowed Mr. Larsen to ply the waters of the Canadian Arctic during research trips where he made new and exciting discovers in the world of botany," the release states.
Brought into the Canadian wilderness by floatplane, Larsen used these two canoes for 14 summers in the Arctic, traveling along the lakes and rivers from the Yukon to northern Quebec and Newfoundland. His plant studies focused on vegetation of the tree line area and today are valued as baseline studies of climate change, the release states.
James A. Larsen is the grandson of Lewis Larsen, early Rhinelander pioneer who settled along the banks of the Wisconsin River on what is now Larsen Drive. The fifth generation of Larsens still occupy the property.
"Pioneer Park Historical Complex is proud to display these treasures of the community, fitting right in at Duke's Outboard Motor and Boat Museum within the Complex," the release states. "These wonderful artifacts remind us of the amazing people that have hailed from our community, to be remembered and honored for their contributions to our planet, and to future generations. Special thanks to Marlette Larson for her wonderful donation."
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