Books chock-full of Northern Wisconsin history, written for
adults but suitable for young readers, too!
(James Brakken now has over 1,000,000 words in print and not ONE of them is any more vulgar than "gol-dang!")
Click on any book to see ILLUSTRATIONS, EXCERPTS, & ordering info.
Award-winning northern Wisconsin books. Great Gifts for all ages. ALL have free Shipping & WI Tax Paid

BREAKING NEWS: "NEW TRUE-CRIME NOVEL, THORNAPPLE GIRL  IS IN STOCK." LEARN MORE BY Scrolling Down.  You'll also see the annotated 1929 Myra Dietz life story!

The old C B books are in!

Order now  by scrolling down and clicking on the 45 Fairly True Corner Bar Tales BUY NOW button.

45 WISCONSIN TALES sure to astonish & entertain.      And all are based on fact!

Myra's memoir, written and lost in 1929 is finally in print, almost a century after it was written!

Learn the truth behind the troubles at Cameron Dam.

Edited for publication by Sybil L. Brakken, Exec VP of Badger Valley Publishing.


Available now! An amazing story of a girl shot down by our local authorities in 1910. An in-depth look at the injustice caused by the lumber syndicate.

(Order below.)

now in stock: click here to see BILLYBOY, THE CORNER BAR BEAR Plus 36 Fairly True Tales from Up North. A companion book to THE MOOSE & WILBUR P. DILBY ... (2015) and to 45 Fairly True Tales from the Old Corner Bar (2021)

Thornapple Girl (Ships Free)

$ 17.99 USD


Step into the life of Myra Dietz, a girl whose voice is as sweet as her determination is strong. Meet Myra’s father, John, a steadfast Winter, Wisconsin, woodsman who confronts the world’s largest lumber syndicate. But rather than pay John his back pay, they respond with government graft and corruption. Warrants are issued for John’s arrest. Shots are fired. Headlines explode coast-to-coast! Get to know this struggling but loving family, regarded nationwide as champions of the working class. Raise your fist with Myra Dietz, perhaps Wisconsin’s bravest heroine of all time. But watch out—the Winchesters are loaded and bullets soon fly!

• Based on news accounts, court records, and Myra’s own personal recollections. 107 images and excerpts from Myra’s 1929 memoir. 228 pages. Written for adults, yet suitable for young readers. • Available October, 2020 along with Sybil Brakken’s complete Myra Dietz memoir, The Heroine of Cameron Dam. (SHIPS FREE, WI Sales Tax Paid!)

45 Fairly True Tales from the Old Corner Bar

$ 17.99 USD


Come on in to the old Corner Bar! Meet the gang. Lift a glass. Join the fun. Laugh at the latest jokes or another late-night prank gone awry. Learn more than you might wish to know about the goings on around town or in the only other tavern in the village. These tales will leave you laughing or shocked or sad or utterly flabbergasted when you learn how clever some patrons of the old Corner Bar can be one minute, yet how dimwitted the next. So what are you waiting for? Grab a copy of this salute to every old Corner Bar and enjoy this journey into days gone by. Step into the past in the old Corner Bar. We’ve been waiting for you!

Note: 6 of these stories are found in James Brakken’s other short story collections, Billyboy, the Corner Bar Bear and The Moose & Wilbur P. Dilby. But the remaining thirty-nine tales are all new. Written for adults but suitable for all ages.

The Heroine of Cameron Dam

$ 17.99 USD

SHIPS FREE, WI Sales Tax Paid!
The perfect companion to Thornapple Girl.

Lost in 1929, Myra’s memoir is finally published—after 9 decades! Her story illuminates both the pleasure and hardship of life on a Northern Wisconsin farm at the turn of the last century. This is the annotated version of Myra's memoir. Annotations were contributed by Sybil and James Brakken.

The Heroine of Cameron Dam is also Myra’s personal recollection of events leading up to and following the 1910 attack on her family’s farm by scores of armed woodsmen. It exposes the graft and corruption that dominated most lumber company towns in 1910.

Myra's memoir was edited by Sybil L. Brakken and is available Oct, 2020, along with Thornapple Girl, James Brakken’s fact-based novel about Myra Dietz and her father’s stand against the lumber trust.

204 pages, over 80 images.
NOTE: Special 2-book offer saves $4. See below.


$ 17.99 USD

(SHIPS FREE, WI Sales Tax Paid!)

An amazing story of a north woods man who turns to crime during the Great Depression. Connections to Dillinger's gang, MN and WI bank robberies, kidnappings, and worse crimes. Before it ends, J. Edgar Hoover will visit Walker, MN, and Spooner, WI to view the scenes of Seadlund's most atrocious crimes. Hoover will call him "the cruelest criminal" he'd ever encountered.

Suitable for all ages. Illustrated.

Alias Ray Olson

$ 17.99 USD

SHIPS FREE, WI Sales Tax Paid!

A fugitive wanted for a double homicide in Hayward leads a posse of 200 deputies & FBI agents on Wisconsin’s largest manhunt. An eye-opening, fact-based novel. Brakken’s thrilling historical fiction at its best. A thrilling novel that lays out the whole, disturbing truth about the 1939 Chequamegon Forest manhunt!

Both Thornapple Girl & The Heroine of Cameron Dam

$ 34 USD

Special 2-book bargain: Purchase Thornapple Girl and The Heroine of Cameron Dam for only $34. SHIPS FREE with Wisconsin Sales Tax paid by the publisher! Both books signed and shipped to your door! Saves you nearly $4 over store price!


$ 49.99 USD

Save $11, (that's $4 off the reg book price, $3 sales tax, and $4 shipping cost) when you order ANY 3 BOOKS! (Large Print not included.)



ANY 3 James Brakken books, signed and shipped free anywhere in the USA. (Email us for other destinations.) We pay the sales tax, too!


More ordering opportunities are below -OR- Click on any book far above to visit it's page, read excerpts, and order copies.



You may have heard bits and pieces of the tale of murder fugitive, Ray Olson. Now it's time you learned the whole story---the story that the government didn't want folks to know.

OR hear about another NW WI true-crime novel and how Sawyer County officials, in league with Frederick Weyerhaeuser, persecuted John Dietz in the early 1900s, eventually shooting him, his daughter Myra, and her brother, Clarence.

OR maybe you're interested in Johnny Seadlund, who went from good young man to Public Enemy #1 in only 4 years. He spent much time in northwest Wisconsin, bringing J Edgar Hoover here to witness the scene of one of his crimes.

OR, listen to James tell of battles between the Sioux and Ojibwe right in our back yard and other fascinating 1850s tales that you'll find in The Annotated EARLY LIFE AMONG THE INDIANS, the1892 memoir of Benjamin Green Armstrong.

OR how about  the famous John Falcon Tanner who became our own Chief Namakagon?  OR how about Chief Namakagon's secret silver mine? Rumor has it that it may have been found! You'll learn more in Brakken's books!

OR three short story collections containing well over 100 fairly true short stories from long ago up north

OR how to save our lakes and streams.This book is guaranteed to save you a bundle of cash, too!

OR any one of several other subjects James has prepared PowerPoint show for.

More shows coming soon! Join James at one of the upcoming PowerPoint slide discussions and learn the truth!

Contact James at 715-798-3163 to schedule a presentation for your club or organization.


EMAIL TreasureofNamakagon (at) OR CALL 715-798-3163

Special Lake Association price when ordering multiple copies of SAVING OUR LAKES & STREAMS shipped directly to you:

Saving Our Lakes & Streams: 101 Practical Things You Can Do Today. CLICK HERE TO SEE IT!

"A Handbook for all who value clean, safe, healthy waters."

CLICK HERE to see the Trilogy web page!  All 3 Chief Namakagon novels at one great price! Free Shipping! 


Inexpensive, top quality books. Fast, dependable service. Order 50 or 500 for the same, low, per-book price. Contact James today at 715 798 3163 OR TreasureofNamakagon (at)

CLICK HERE to see the Trilogy web page!  All 3 Chief Namakagon novels

at one great price! Free Shipping! (Scroll down for single book orders)

Secure ONLINE ordering w/ credit card or PayPal OR download an order form below.
All books from this site are top quality autographed, 6 by 9, trade softcovers.
More at Online Store page.

3 REASONS TO PURCHASE HERE & NOT AT AMAZON: 1, BVP ships free to lower US and pays all sales tax. 2, Every book is inspected and signed by the author. Hassel-free returns, too. 3, Amazon has undercut America's small, indy bookstores to the point where many have closed. We need our Indy bookstores. Please help.  4, Amazon takes a big cut. Although you might save a bit more than a dollar, you will also be denying the author about five. Independent authors depend on internet sales. Thanks for supporting indy authors by ordering from our websites. JB

All BVP books are made in USA and make great gifts! 0RDER FORM BELOW. Click, print, fill out , and mail with your check of money order.

Half page ORDER FORM 2024.pdf Half page ORDER FORM 2024.pdf
Size : 132.049 Kb
Type : pdf

Saving Our Lakes & Streams

$ 14.99 USD

(SHIPS FREE, WI Sales Tax Paid!)

Protect your lake & waterfront property value.

At the Lakes & Streams page you'll find DEEP discounts on multiple copy orders.

A "user's manual" for all who love our lakes. Many tips and tricks to improve water quality, protect the fishery and other recreational uses, and even protect property values. A "must-have" for cabins, resorts, short-term rentals, and campsites. Sales tax & shippng paid by BVP!

For LAKE ASSN & CONSERVATION CLUB DISCOUNTS, contact the author at treasureofnamakagon (at) (Bulk orders of 20 or more are $5 less per book!)

DARK: A Campfire Companion (Ships Free!)

$ 17.99 USD

A must-have for all who enjoy a spooky tale or macabre poem! Contains DARK, DARKER, & DARKEST (17 very short but very scary stories plus 52 delightfully frightening poems. See some samples on our DARK page on this website.)

Contains 53 macabre illustratons by long-deceased artists! With DARK'S title changed and new stories added, it's perfect reading for dark and strormy nights or under the covers with a flashlight.
Signed and shipped free anywhere in the lower 48 states. (Email us for other destinations.) We pay the sales tax, too.

Moose & W P Dilby +36 - Ships FREE

$ 17.99 USD

The Moose and Wilbur P. Dilby
Plus Thirty-six Fairly True Tales from Up North

Stories from the good old days, straight from the heart and the heart of the north. Some are sad, some are shocking. Some are simply hilarious, but they’re all fairly true, more or less.
Signed and shipped free anywhere in the USA. (Email us for other destinations.) We pay the WI sales tax, too.


The Secret Life of Chief Namakagon

$ 17.99 USD

Who was Namakagon BEFORE he came

to remote NW Wisconsin in 1846? Was

he a fugitve wanted for murder? The

answer and his early life will amaze

you!    Signed and SHIPPED FREE anywhere in the USA and to servicemen and women overseas. (Email us for other destinations.) We pay the WI sales tax, too.

Click Here for LARGE PRINT versions.
16 point font. Easier on the eyes. Illustrated.

Tor Loken & the Death of Chief Namakagon

$ 17.99 USD


A fast-paced, fact-based 1886 murder mystery. Illustrated. 236 pages. Includes maps to the Marengo silver diggings. Signed.

Learn the facts behind Chief Namakagon's suspicious death as, with Tor Loken, you solve the mystery. Join Tor and Rosie as they save the tribal silver.

(For LARGE PRINT EDITIONS see the "ONLINE STORE" page in this website. Signed and shipped free anywhere in the USA. (Email us for other destinations.) We pay the sales tax, too.


Click on the images to see the DARK or the BVP pages


$ 17.99 USD

This is the 2013 ABNA 2nd PLACE WINNER OUT OF 10,000 ENTRIES.   $17.99. Shipping & Tax included. Signed by the author. 247 pages, 62 illustrations, 43 exciting chapters.

Find the LARGE PRINT EDITION in our ONLINE STORE page. Signed and shipped free anywhere in the USA. (Email us for other destinations.) We pay the WI sales tax, too.

UPDATE: All 11 James Brakken books are now available at Redbery Books and the Loon Saloon in Cable, Nordic Northwoods & Marketplace Foods in Hayward.   In Bayfield, find the trilogy at Apostle Island Books. Chequamegon Books in Washburn carries it as do many "up north" historical museums. Spirt Bay in Canal Park is the only place you'll find it in Duluth. The Little Gift Shop in Solon Springs and The Grand View Store each carry all 11 books. Northwind Books in Spooner carries some.

Watch for the SUMMER 2021 official 45 Fairly True Tales from the Old Corner Bar collection book launch details at this website and on facebook at


An 1883 lost treasure and lumberjack adventure. 26 stories woven into a great lumberjack tale. Set in Bayfield and Sawyer Counties in northern Wisconsin and in Chicago. Fiction based on fact. Text and 63 illustrations by James A. Brakken.


"Weaving mystery into history, "The Treasure of Namakagon" vivifies the tumultuous nature of 19th-century life in the legendary northwoods." Michael Perry, bestselling Wisconsin author.

"Great story. I liked it!."  Larry Meiller, Wisconsin Public Radio host.

... a very talented writer. Consider me fan!" Jeff Rivera, Media personality, bestselling author.

"Open with caution. You won't want to put this one down."  LaMoine MacLaughlin, Author, President, Wisconsin Writers Association.

Brakken’s new book animates the long history of conflicts over Wisconsin’s water and mineral resources. Eric Olson, UWEX-Lakes Director.

"A twisting, thrilling mix of mystery, adventure and legendary treasure, still waiting to be found. .... ...a great fund raising idea for our lake associations. ... Wisconsin history buffs will find this book a treasure in itself. exciting adventure for all ages. Waldo Asp, Northwest Waters President and AARP County Chairman

"Like a live history lesson, Brakken takes his readers on a ride down Northern Wisconsin’s untamed Namakagon River, back when giant virgin forests lured heroic lumberjacks to seek their fortune. In scene after scene, the reader is surrounded by the beauty of pristine woods and lakes, rooting for the good guys to beat out the greedy ones, even learning step by step how to place the giant saw so the magnificent tree falls in just the right place." A. Y. Stratton, author of Buried Heart

Namakagon stood to meet them. He was broad-shouldered and a half-foot taller than anyone in the room. He had black hair and a full beard. His buckskin clothes were clean and neat. A diamond-shaped silver medallion was neatly stitched onto his shirt. A dark belt around his waist supported a sheathed knife and two buckskin pouches. 


 I want to see a FREE SAMPLE of this ebook on: (Click one)

My Kindle / My Nook reader / My IPad/ My Desktop PC / My Laptop PC / My Notebook PC / My Cell Phone / My I-Pad / My Blackberry /  / Kindle for PC / Kindle for Mac / Adobe Digital Reader / .PDF / Barnes & Noble / HTML / Amazon Reader / Sony LRF / Palm / .RTF / EPUB / .TXT / JavaScript /  Other


BEST DEAL: ORDER IT NOW AT SMASHWORDS.COM for $.99 for the entire book, all illustrations, maps, and all future additions are automatically yours free. The SmashWords price is a steal! LIMITED TIME OFFER.

 NOW AVAILABLE AT  For a limited time, the first 18 of the 43 chapters are yours to read free. I urge you and your contacts to take advantage of this offer NOW, as it is likely to change SOON.

 Above: "One pouch held tobacco. In the other was a map and an old pocketknife with one broken blade, a battered silver pocket watch, an old gold medal, and a very old tintype photograph.  Scratched into the back of the photo was ‘1868'."                                                          

Below: Charlie Martin on a star load of twenty-footers.

This is a thrilling north woods adventure, based very closely on historical facts from the 1880s logging days near Cable and Hayward, Wisconsin.

Join with 16 year-old Tor Loken as he and his mentor, Chief Namakagon, work to outwit the big timber tycoons and protect the secret of the silver mine. (This mine truly existed and has not been found since the chief's death in 1886.)

Entire book available NOW for Kindle and all other readers! See the first 10% free before deciding to purchase. [Purchase price is just $.99 for a limited time]

Click on this link:

Chapters available here & now. (Go to 'CLIPS' page at top.)

 Kindle software for your PC is FREE!

Kindle for personal computers is free at


See free excerpts and chapters  on 'CLIPS from the book' page now. [see top of page]. 

The novel:

This north woods adventure is written and illustrated by Wisconsin conservationist James A. Brakken.  See more on the 'About Us' page, above.

This is historical fiction based closely on many facts surrounding the Great Lakes states' timber boom of the 1880s and the legendary lost silver mine near Lake Namakagon in northwestern Wisconsin.

 Themes and concepts in this story are rich and varied. See the 'Themes and Concepts' page for more. 

Author readings available at your community club, library or school. Contact the author today.

The ebook is now available at, Amazon and B&N. They can be read on your personal computer, Nook, smart phone, blackberry, I-pad, or on any of a number of other e-readers, including the Kindle. Click on the box link at top of page.

Questions??? Contact James Brakken: 715 798 3163

The Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Omaha and Northwestern train was known by most as the 'Omaha'. 

See free excerpts and chapters RIGHT NOW! Just go to the top of this page and click on

'CLIPS from the book'

See 18 FREE SAMPLE CHAPTERS prior to purchasing. No obligation.

Click Here:


Imagine . . . you find a box containing items from years past, including a decaying map and a journal written about one year in an 1880s lumber camp. The journal tells the story:

After a daring 1883 rescue, Ingman Loken frees his 16 year old nephew, Tor, from a child labor scheme in a Chicago coal plant. Ingman brings him to the Loken' s lumber camp in far northwestern Wisconsin. There, Tor meets Namakagon, an Ojibwe Chief who knows of a secret silver mine. They soon learn that a sinister lumber baron intends to stop the Lokens from driving their timber down the river. Only a confrontation between the lumberjacks from the two lumber camps will decide who rules the river . . . the industrialists or the people. 

This book will give you a glimpse into Wisconsin’s single greatest economic event: The harvest of the largest stand of white pine in the world, a timber cache that was estimated to take 1,000 years to cut but was gone in just fifty. Tens of thousands of lumberjacks descended on the north hoping to harvest the ‘green gold’. Many northern Wisconsin towns sprang up and then boomed into bustling cities, full of life, fast money, loose women, ne'r-do-wells, businessmen and lumberjacks. Most of those boom towns failed soon after the pine was cut, shrinking to impoverished settlements and, in some cases, vacant ghost towns. Wasteful practices, poor management and outright greed prevailed. The great Wisconsin pinery, as it was called then, will never return. What remains today are the descendants of the lumberjacks and others who followed them along with the rich, rich history they contributed. 

 .  the legendary lost silver mine .

What also remains is the quest to find the Namakagon mine. 1880s newspaper accounts prove it existed. It's location is still a mystery and many still search for the Treasure of Namakagon today. Your search for the treasure begins with the map below and the above links to other pages in this website. Good luck!

Below: "There, on the back, was what looked like a map."

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