I wrote about in 2010.
reading about the growing network of parks, wetlands, wildlife preserves, and so on in the old industrial district. Some of them seem like not much of anything, just a few acres of marsh and scrubby woods at the end of a broken road that probably once carried workers to some vanished factory. Other places are more developed, or more beautiful. All are full of life. (Consider how this old landfill has become part of the semi-natural landscape.)
grew up in one of those families, and her life was upended in 1980 when Wisconsin Steel shut down and her father lost his job. Now she has written a book about the experience, and what happened to her whole neighborhood:
Of the 3,400 local men and women who once worked for Wisconsin Steel, about one-quarter were dead just eight years later. Many succumbed to alcoholism, drug addiction, and suicide.Factory work was hard and dangerous but men were proud to do it. Their work was real, and it mattered. Most of those laid off from the mills never found any other work that meant as much, except for a few who became interpreters at historical museums. Those men love telling the story of what it was like when they made everything.