Suzy the Shepherdess
Suzy the Shepherdess

My Book:  Suzy's Musings & More

My newpaper column of fun historical tidbits,"Suzy's Musings," was published in the Freeport iNK newpaper from 2001 to 2005.  In 2005 I switched to the Freeport Focus newspaper and changed the name of my column to "Suzy's Doozies" where it was published weekly from April of 2005 through December of 2007. 


Suzy's Musings & More is a soft-covered book with over 160 pages of short historical tidbits and longer historical articles.  The book contains 130 of my "Musings," plus 23 longer articles on national and Stephenson County history that appeared in the iNK between May 2001and July 2003.  (Scroll down to read a sample Musing).

The longer Historical articles include:

  • How the Freeport Park District was formed due to an untimely death, gambling - and free beer!
  • A primer on the Lincoln-Douglas Debate - just what were those guys talking about, anyway?
  • The Pledge of Allegiance and how it changed.  And changed.  And changed.
  • Moving the Debate Boulder.  Yep, it was moved - and more than once! 
  • A very short history of the very short history of the Stephens Car in Freeport.

Books are just $15 each and can be purchased online, at select locations or at my events.


There are two editions available.  Other than a few spelling corrections in the second edition, the two are the same.  The first edition was printed in 2004 and has a very pale blue cover.  There are only a few first edition copies left, and I will continue to sell them until they are gone.  The second edition was printed in 2023 and has a darker blue cover. 

To purchase a book through Amazon

Through Amazon you can purchase a paperback for $15 or the e-book for $7.50.  Amazon sells the second edition, which is the 2023 printing.  If you are a prime member, you will receive free shipping.


Books purchased through Amazon can be shipped anywhere in the world.


Click here for the Amazon link.  

To purchase a book through this website

Click to use PayPal's secure system to charge the book to your credit card or your PayPal account. 

Books can be shipped anywhere in the U.S.  A shipping charge will automatically be added.  You can combine books with yarn and pattern purchases.


You will receive the first edition book, printed in 2004.


Book:  Suzy's Musings & More, by Suzy Beggin - $15.00

To purchase a book locally

Books can be puchased through the Stephenson County Historical Society Gift Shop, 1440 S. Carroll Avenue, Freeport, Illinois.  A portion of the sales of my book purchased at the Stephenson County Historical Society goes to the Historical Society.  Visit for open hours and additional information.


You will receive the first edition book, printed in 2004.

To purchase a book at an event

Visit my events page to see where I'll be.  Please note that some events require an admission charge, and if I am aware of an admission charge then I have it stated in my event listing.


You will receive the first edition book, printed in 2004.

Free Sample

This one appeared in the Freeport iNK on December 12, 2002:

The first pens used in America were quill pens.  


Quills are the large, stiff feathers from the tail of a goose or swan.  Soft when plucked from the bird, the quills were cured by burying them in hot sand until they dried.  Because the sharpened tips are fragile, they were sold unsharpened.  The new owner prepared his quill by cutting the end to form the nib.

The first steel pen was developed in England in 1803.  In 1825 easier methods of fashioning the steel nibs were invented, and the steel pens started to replace quills.  

Neither quills nor steel pens actually held ink.  The writer sat with an open jar of ink, dipping his pen after every ten words or so.  Practice was required to prevent spilling the inkwell or dribbling the ink, and students spent many hours practicing penmanship (“manning” their pens).

In 1884 the fountain pen was invented, containing a reservoir of ink.  Fountain pens still took practice, as pressing too hard created an ink blot or could break the nib.  They were also very expensive, and children continued to use quills or steel nib pens.  Fountain pens became a popular graduation gift, signifying the writer’s entrance into the adult world and adult responsibilities.

Thank you for your interest, and enjoy!

"Buy your wooolen yarns in quantities from some one in the country, whom you can trust."

Lydia Maria Child
The American Frugal Housewife, 1832

Suzy the Shepherdess knitting a wool sock at the Apple River Fort (1832)

Contact Details

Suzy the Shepherdess

Suzy Beggin Craft

P.O. Box 54

Stockton, IL 61085   U.S.A.


Phone: 815 541-0897

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