Month: July 2016

Jerry Apps To Speak on Wisconsin Ag History

Jerry Apps

The WCHAS has scheduled Wisconsin’s master storyteller and historian Jerry Apps to speak in August. Apps will talk about his latest book, Wisconsin Agriculture: a History. The richly illustrated release from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press chronicles Wisconsin farming and its evolution over time in a way that will appeal to history buffs, devotees of the state’s agricultural heritage, and those who simply appreciate a good story. Join us Tuesday, August 9th at 6:30 pm in the lower level meeting room at the Oshkosh Public Library. Mr. Apps will have autographed copies of books for purchase.

Check out some of Jerry Apps’ other books


August Book Club


Read along with us this month as we explore the final days of the Lusitania. We are reading another exciting book by Erik Larson titled, Dead Wake. We will meet Tuesday, August 30th at 6pm in the Morgan House to discuss the book. Click the “Book Club” link above to learn more about our club. Hope to see you there!

Winnebago County Fair Archway

There is an exciting historic restoration project underway at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds. The county recently obtained the original steel archway that welcomed visitors to the former county fairgrounds on Jackson Street and Murdock Avenue in Oshkosh. The arch was acquired by a private citizen when the old fairgrounds was razed years ago, but was recently donated back to the county.


Archway in the mid 1960s (photo courtesy of Dan Radig)

Plans for building the archway were announced in August 1928, and the archway was officially completed on September 12, 1928, when it was lit up for the first time at dusk.  The new entrance was well received by the public. The Oshkosh Daily Northwestern noted that motorists who normally hurried down Murdock Avenue now passed slowly by to “take a longer look at the brilliantly-lighted archway.”(1)


Architects- Fluor Bros Construction Company
Est. Cost- $1,500 (2)

You can help raise this beautiful archway back over our fairgrounds by purchasing a “Raise the Arch” button at the Winnebago County Fair between August 3-7 at the “Raise the Arch” booth in the Expo Center. All proceeds will help restore and raise it back up on a beautiful brick base. You can also make donations by visiting the Winnebago County Parks and Sunnyview Expo Center office in the James P. Coughlin center. Checks can be made out to the Winnebago County Fair Association.


1 button- $2
3 buttons- $5

Do you remember this old archway when the fairgrounds were still along Jackson Street and Murdock Avenue? Comment below with your story.


(1)Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, September 14, 1928. pg 6.
(2)Oshkosh Daily Northwestern , August 18, 1928. pg 3.

Light Fixture to Return to Courthouse


The Winnebago County Historical & Archaeological Society is excited to announce that the original, bronze light fixture that once hung in the county courthouse lobby will be returned and placed back over the main staircase once again. This massive fixture currently hangs in the lobby of the old Wagner Opera House building—between Skis Meat Market and Winnebago Bicycle. The WCHAS has been working with the building’s owners Sarah and Kris Larson the last couple of months to bring the light home. The Larsons have been very excited about helping us in preserving local history. Jay and Julie Karner of Crescent Moon Antiques and Salvage have been a tremendous help in making the project a success. The Karners helped by assisting the society in finding a suitable replacement light fixture to purchase for the Larsons. The light will come down in early August, at which time it will be turned over to the Winnebago County Facilities and Property Management Department. The department will retrofit the light with updated electrical components and have the light mounted.

Learn more about the history of our county courthouse that will be presented on at the WCHAS annual meeting this October.