The University of Wisconsin Press


Tamarack River Ghost
A Novel
Jerry Apps

Will a big corporate hog farm entering a small Wisconsin community change its values and upset its resident ghost?

When journalist Josh Wittmore moves from the Illinois bureau of Farm Country News to the newspaper’s national office in Wisconsin, he encounters the biggest story of his young career—just as the paper’s finances may lead to its closure.

Josh’s big story is that a corporation that plans to establish an enormous hog farm has bought a lot of land along the Tamarack River in bucolic Ames County. Some of the local residents and officials are excited about the jobs and tax revenues that the big farm will bring, while others worry about truck traffic, porcine aromas, and manure runoff polluting the river. And how would the arrival of a large agribusiness affect life and traditions in this tightly knit rural community of family farmers? Josh strives to provide impartial agricultural reporting, even as his newspaper is replaced by a new Internet-only version owned by a former New York investment banker. And it seems that there may be another force in play: the vengeful ghost of a drowned logger who locals say haunts the valley of the Tamarack River.

“Jerry Apps scores another bull’s eye in his Ames County fiction series with Tamarack River Ghost. The book raises the main issues of land stewardship and community development in an interesting story filled with compelling characters.”—Dennis Boyer, author of Listen to the Land: Conservation Conversations

Jerry Apps was born and raised on a Wisconsin farm. A former agricultural extension agent, he is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His other novels in the Ames County series are The Travels of Increase Joseph, In a Pickle, Blue Shadows Farm, and Cranberry Red. His many nonfiction books include Garden Wisdom, Barns of Wisconsin, Breweries of Wisconsin, Every Farm Tells a Story, Old Farm, and One-Room Country Schools. Apps received the 2007 Major Achievement Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers and the 2010 Distinguished Service Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.  

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Jerry Apps' Ames County series, from Terrace Books:

The cover of The Travels of Increase Joseph is a bright landscape, with an oval photo inset of a man riding a horse.The Travels of Increase Joseph
A Historical Novel about a Pioneer Preacher
Jerry Apps

The cover of Apps's book is illustrated with a photo of a log cabin. This is a draft copy, the actual cover will be slightly different.Blue Shadows Farm
A Novel
Jerry Apps

A Farm StoryIn a Pickle
A Family Farm Story
Jerry Apps

Part four in App's Ames County series.Cranberry Red
A Novel
Jerry Apps

November 2012
LC: 2012009944 PS
286 pp.   6 x 9

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Cloth $26.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-28880-8
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A trade imprint of the University of Wisconsin Press

“Contributes to a deeper understanding of midwestern farm life in transition in the twenty-first century.”

—Jerry Minnich, author of The Wisconsin Garden Guide

Tamarack River Ghost is the fifth installment in Jerry Apps’ Ames County fiction series.


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Updated January 13, 2013

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