Eagle Lake author Kay Oring holds book signing at Margie’s Saturday, May 18

Author Kay Oakes Oring, of Eagle Lake, will sign copies of her family memoir, “We Come from Good Stock,” published by the University of Wisconsin’s Cornerstone Press, from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Margie’s Book Nook.

Eagle Lake author Kay Oakes Oring.Photo by Shannon Ewing

The memoir tells the story of her ancestors’ arrival in the West Central Wisconsin frontier in 1853, including her clan’s stories of prosperity, loss and reclamation.

Levi Jefferson Oakes.

Her great grandfather, Levi Jefferson Oakes, came to Wisconsin to work as a logger about 1853. Her great grandmother, Mary Potter Oakes, arrived there about 1850. She came to Wisconsin before her first husband — waiting for him to arrive after he closed up their house — but he never came. Instead, pregnant and 16, she received divorce papers. She moved in with her sister in Prescott, Wisconsin, and later met Levi, her future husband.

Mary Potter Oakes.

“I’ve heard the family stories forever,” Oring said. “Before television, we had the radio, but mostly I listened to adult conversation. So, I was aware of the family stories when I was quite little.”

Local writer Joelle Frazer (author of “The Territory of Men,”) wrote, “At its heart, these stories are about people dreaming of, searching for and creating new homes in a new land. This moving book inspires us to explore the stories found in our own family trees, wherever we are from.”