Sunday, November 24, 2013

Moving Day

With more probate records on their way to the library, I had to redo the furniture arrangement in the library, to make room for at least 8 more filing cabinets.  Oh goodness, we were already pretty full, and now I have to squeeze in even more records!

I redesigned the room layout, putting all shelving and files in the back of the library,  and moving the work tables to the front of the room.  Then, those wonderful baseball players from Marian University came over, and suddenly, a dream that was only on paper, became a reality!  In one hour, all 41 cabinets are in their new location!

Cabinets and bookcases getting moved

Moving books with an assembly line!

New line of cabinets.

New photo area

There is still a lot to be done, but now its looking good, and the library should be opening soon.

Thanks to those hard-working players on the Marian University baseball team!

tracy reinhardt

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

JFK in Fond du Lac

Presidential Candidate John F Kennedy made a stop in Fond du Lac, Feb. 17, 1960 while campaigning for the Democratic nomination for President.  Found one really good photo of him, taken at the Retlaw Hotel. (from the photo collection of the Fond du Lac Co. Historical Society)

Monday, November 18, 2013

German Newspaper

When digging in the archives, I came across "Nordwestlicher Courier", a German language newspaper from Fond du Lac.  It appears to be a special edition, dated 8 April 1896.  There are 12 pages to this issue, and the first column, written in English, gives a summary of the past 60 years of Fond du Lac history.  The balance of the paper contains photos and biographies of city officials,including P. J. Van Blarcom, 'Urkundenreg', A. E. Richter, 'Countyrichter', Owen Ferguson, 'Countyclerk' and Simon Schafer, 'Unterscheriff', among other.

There are also pictures of various buildings in the county, and one of them caught my eye.

Even though I thought this looked like the Church of Peace on Military Rd., the steeple looks a little different.  And since I can't read German, the text that accompanied the picture was of no help to me. It seems to me that I remember my cousin, who still attends this church, mentioning a re-build of the steeple, so I will have to check with her to confirm.

Since this is an early commemorative history of the early days in Fond du Lac, I truly hope that I can find someone willing to undertake a translation of all these wonderful articles.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

more digging in the archives

For the past several weeks, MaryBeth Hayes and I have been digging in the archives of the Adams House, opening boxes, moving boxes of books, creating pathways into all the archive rooms on the second floor of the Adams House.  And thank goodness for MaryBeth, since she could do all the heavy lifting that I am unable to do, until my back heals.

Every day was like Christmas for us, since we never knew just what treasure we would find when we opened a box.

In the newspaper room, we made a startling discovery.  We found a bound newspaper book, which contained the very first issues of the The Daily Union newspaper, starting with Vol. 1, No. 1 dated March 8, 1856 and continuing through Nov. 7, 1856.   Astonishing.

But right under that book we found another.

This was the first issues of the Fond du Lac Journal, starting with Vol. 1 No. 1 dated Feb. 21, 1857 and continuing through April 17, 1858.(Vol II, No. 61).

It was totally enlightening to carefully glance through these early issues.  There was very little, if any local news in that era.  The issues contained national news, and local advertising, on four pages.
What a wonderful glimpse into the past.

Another treasure that we found at the bottom of the pile, was a box that contained the actual hand-written WWI veterans census, taken in Fond du Lac county.  The entire state of Wisconsin conducted this census, and these are the actual forms that were filled out by the veterans, listing their unit, the names of their parents, any wounds or illnesses incurred during service, dates and places of enlistment and discharge, etc.  What is wonderful about this census, is that Fond du Lac county made a concerted effort for each veteran to include a photo of himself with his form.  Those WWI veteran pictures are all cataloged in the society's photo collection!  Now here were the original forms!

Needless to say, it feels like Christmas every time we open a box!
Next step is to inventory all these boxes, and assign them a permanent shelf location.