One journalist curious about life in the taverns along the stagecoach lines in Wisconsin and northern Illinois from the early 1800s until the 1880s was Harry Ellsworth Cole. While he could not sample strong ales at all of the taverns he wrote about, Cole did study newspaper accounts, wrote hundreds of letters to families of tavern owners, read widely in regional history, and traveled extensively throughout the territory. The result, according to Brunet, is a "nostalgic, sometimes romantic, well-written, and easily digested ...