Newsletter of the Stahl-Conrad Homestead s1

/ Homestead Happenings
Newsletter of the Stahl-Conrad Homestead


9724 W. Forest Home Ave., Hales Corners, WI 53130 September 2006

Noted archaeologist will present annual meeting program

Robert Birmingham, former Wisconsin State Archaeologist at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, will address members and friends of the Homestead at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 27, at 9724 W. Forest Home Ave. Titled “Fort Blue Mounds and the Black Hawk War,” the presentation is free and open to the public.

The year 2007 marks the 175th anniversary of the Black Hawk War of 1832. Birmingham will describe the tragic conflict from the perspective of a frontier lead mining town, Blue Mounds, where the townspeople built a fort to defend against attack. He will also describe the role the fort played in the war and the fascinating and informative results of archaeological excavations at the fort site.

Birmingham is the co-author of the award-winning books, Indian Mounds of Wisconsin and Aztalan: An Ancient Indian Town. Among his many research projects, he directed archaeological excavations at Fort Blue Mounds. He currently teaches at UW-Waukesha and writes from his home in Madison.

Birmingham’s appearance is sponsored by the Wisconsin Humanities Council with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin organizations and individuals.


Annual meeting will elect board members

The Homestead’s nominating committee has submitted the following names for election to three-year terms as directors: Jim Bruening, Delene Hanson, Ruth Johnston, Kathy Kilps, and Dave Zepecki. Nancy Kochis is retiring from the board but will continue her volunteer service as webmaster. Randee Knapp and John Stewart Laidlaw will continue to host our website.


Farmers’ Markets will bring special events

Four markets remain for this season, and each offers something special. John Munger’s “Little German Band” will perform at 9:30 a.m. on September 2. The Hawthorn Garden Club’s weed sale is scheduled for September 16, and Steve Curran will play his bagpipes at 10:30 a.m. That is also the day Marilyn Jacobsen of Curly Fleece Sheep Farm will return with hand-made woolen items. September 30 will find the Milwaukee Scottish Dancers performing at 10:30 a.m. Scarecrow making will be available on October 14, provided a volunteer coordinator can be found.

National Trust awards grant

The Homestead has received a grant of $5,000 from the Jeffris Family Endowed Preservation Services Fund, which is administered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The grant, which must be matched by local funds, will support a feasibility study for a capital campaign. The study will analyze our fundraising environment, identify prospective donors, and train board members in fundraising techniques.


Between Fences gains momentum

Our work has already begun. Delene and Bette met recently with represent-atives of the Wisconsin Humanities Council to learn more about both the opportunities and responsibilities that go with our hosting the Smithsonian exhibition, Between Fences.

We are pleased that Whitnall Middle School staff are already planning a variety of ways to integrate Between Fences into the curriculum.

More good news is the desire of the Franklin Cultural Center to host an event at the Homestead. This non-profit organization promotes appreci-ation of the arts in Franklin.

One of our challenges is to find a place to store the crates in which the exhibition will be transported. If you have about 100 square feet of space that is cool, dry, and clean, please let us hear from you. We would need to use the space for the six weeks the exhibition is at the Homestead (November 3 to December 15, 2007).

Two historical societies collaborate to save history

Volunteers from the Hales Corners Historical Society and the Stahl-Conrad Homestead worked together this August to salvage memorabilia from the Mary Schmidt home, 10900 W. Janesville Road, which will soon be torn down. This home, built in 1906, was described by historical building consultant, Carol Lohry Cartwright, as a Queen Anne and shingle-style house with clapboard siding, shingled gables, and bracketed eaves.

With permission from the new owner, Jerome Holz, volunteers entered the home, made numerous photographs, and removed a variety of artifacts. Of greatest interest to historians are the faceted windows that once ornamented the foyer and the room that probably was the original parlor. Diamond-shaped panes in the windows of the third floor dormers were also rescued. Thanks to Dave and Kathy O’Brien, Sherman Stock, Bette Arey, Delene Hanson, Tom Ueberroth, Chris Lese, and Ryan Boerst for many hours of labor.

Ryan, who is a student in the UWM School of Architecture and an intern at Hale Park Designs, also took measurements and will produce detailed drawings of the home.

While all this interior work was in progress, Delene conducted a plant rescue, salvaging irises, hydrangeas, sedums, dianthus, hostas, columbines, lilies, and mums.

Thanks to Holz Motors and Doug Nalbert for their cooperation.


October Program Will Feature Crime and Mystery Fiction

Gary Niebuhr, director of Greendale’s public library, will address the Hales Corners Historical Society on Wednesday, October 4, at 7:00 p.m., in the Ben Hunt Room of the Hales Corners Library. The free program will discuss the history of crime and mystery fiction from Edgar Allan Poe to Sue Grafton.


New date for Civil War Dancing at the Homestead

Dance instruction has moved from the fourth to the third Thursday of the month. For information, call Patricia at 427-3776.


The mission of the Stahl-Conrad Homestead is to create a museum focused on transitions in the land in Hales Corners and its environs from presettlement into the future and to preserve the Stahl-Conrad Homestead as a remnant of a bygone


The Homestead’s vision: The land is restored and the buildings are renovated to accommodate changing exhibits and public events.

The Homestead is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization. Your donations and in-kind gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law.

Officers and directors are president, Chris Lese; vice president, Delene Hanson; secretary, Sybil Grandeck; treasurer, Michael Jedrzejewski; directors: Bette Arey, Dara Chappie-Stockinger, Jay Galaska, Ruth Johnston, Nancy Kochis, Linda Quesnell, and Pat Warchol.

New Members

(as of August 25)

Linda Quesnell

Our membership now totals 125.


Goodbye to a charter member

The Homestead lost a friend and charter member when Ethel Keller passed away on June 22 at age 88. Despite failing health, Ethel had supported our events.


Homestead has new board member

Linda Quesnell has been elected to serve the unexpired term of Marjorie Stahl, who resigned due to the press of other responsibilities.


New display in the works

Ryan Boerst and Matt Fochs (staff members at Hale Park Designs), Chris Lese, and Ruth Johnston are preparing a display that will show the evolution of the Homestead farmhouse. The building began as a small, one-room frame structure and, over many years and several additions, eventually reached its current layout.

The display will feature drawings that show the various footprints of the building through the years and text that tells the Hales Corners story.

Written descriptions of the additions, as well as the approximate date of each, will be included in the display. Historical photographs will also be used to show the changing facades.


Exhibit consultation date set

The long-awaited weekend of consul-tation with Debbie Kmetz is coming up November 3-5. The Homestead board and representatives from other historical societies in Milwaukee County will learn how to plan and prepare community history displays. Debbie’s visit is funded by a Wiscon-sin Council for Local History grant.