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Does Packers’ proud history include arson? Voyageur helps address mystery

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Voyageur magazine, the Northeast Wisconsin historical review, was co-founded on campus, has offices here and relies greatly on UW-Green Bay talent. (Editor Victoria Goff and art directors Jeff Benzow and Toni Damkoehler are faculty members, and numerous student interns contribute to the publication, as well.) That’s why it’s especially exciting that ESPN The Magazine has picked up on a Voyageur story involving a key turning point in Green Bay Packers history. The local story by Cliff Christl and Ellyn Katch Kehoe revisited the 1950 fire that destroyed Rockwood Lodge — the team’s former training site and headquarters overlooking the bay near Dyckesville —and greased the skids for Curly Lambeau’s departure as head coach. The ESPN story, headlined “Blaze of Glory,” revisits the mystery but comes down firmly on the side of those who suspect the fire was intentional, meant to collect $50,000 in insurance money, cover the team’s debt and keep its place in the NFL. Kent Crain, manager of Voyageur, was the liaison to ESPN reporter Dave Fleming, who did additional research and interviewed subjects suggested by Crain. “It was exciting for Voyageur,” Crain says, “to the extent that we had helped him in a small manner and that the magazine was mentioned in a national publication.” You can read more in the ESPN The Magazine piece. An additional piece on Rockwood is here.

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