We have had a great start to Pie on the Porch this year! We love our new location and the Karner family from Crescent Moon has been more than welcoming to us. In addition to our move in front of their store at 537 N Main, we have other news as well. Thanks to a grant from 4Imprint we have new aprons with our Morgan House logo on them. Board members also received t-shirts. Come check us out!! Barb Herzog donated a new tent so we can use the other one for shade. Jeanne Tondryk helped us with our first Strawberry Shortcake Day on July 1 in memory of John Allen from Allenville Farm. Thanks to Allenville Farms for those wonderful sweet strawberries and Pick & Save for donating the whipped topping! Allenville Farm has a booth right next to us so it was a great partnership. We sold over 50 delicious strawberry shortcakes in addition to pie! This year we are also offering some new items to our menu such as decaf coffee, sugar-free lemonade, and bottled water. Our Pie on the Porch volunteers have been awesome!! We have had over 20 volunteers this year, many of them volunteering for the first time. They all said they want to come back because it is so much fun! It’s not too late to help out by volunteering or making a pie. Please let Brittany Martinez (email@example.com) know if you would like to volunteer and let Lisa Zwickey (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you can bake a pie. No need to make a long-term commitment. You can volunteer or bake as often as you would like. It is a fun and rewarding atmosphere in which to work! All profits this year will receive matching funds from the Kuenzl foundation and go toward preserving the Morgan House.
Mark your calendars! The Winnebago County Historical & Archaeological Society‘s summer schedule begins this Saturday, June 3. The historic John R. Morgan residence at 234 Church Avenue in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, will be open from 10am to 1pm every Saturday until the end of September. You can also stop by our Pie on the Porch bistro at the Oshkosh Saturday Farmer’s Market on Main Street in Oshkosh to buy a delicious slice of pie. All proceeds go to the society’s operating fund. Your support is appreciated!
If you haven’t been to the Morgan House you are missing out! This beautiful home was owned by one of Oshkosh’s pioneer lumber families. The Morgan family owned a sawmill along the Fox River for over a century. The house was acquired by the WCHAS in 1987 from Miss Constance Misky, who once lived in the home and ran a cosmetology school on the first floor. Since 1987 the society has beautifully maintained the property and furnished the home to reflect the living standards of the Morgan’s stature. When it was built in 1884, the Morgan’s had the most “modern” conveniences a homeowner could have in the city at that time. There was running water, both hot and cold, to several of the rooms in the house. The home was heated by steam heat, and electric bells were installed to summon servants and butlers to the Morgans’ every need.
While none of the furnishings on display are original to the Morgan family, you will see the original handcrafted wood decorations and original wallpapers that have adorned this beautiful Queen Anne style home since the day it was built. It is truly a treasure from Oshkosh’s lumbering heyday.
Tours of the house are always free to the public, but the society welcomes and appreciates donations which help to preserve this beautiful treasure. If you are unable to come see the home during open hours on Saturday, please call or send an email to set up an appointment to get a tour on a day that works for you.
Have you visited the Morgan House before?! Comment below to share your experience!
WCHAS launched a formal fundraiser in December to create a dedicated fund to support the preservation of the historic Morgan House. We are pleased to report that through March 2017 $8,925 in donations have been received. This brings us to 25.5 % of our goal of raising $35,000. Our friends at the Kuenzl Foundation are supporting our efforts with a dollar-for-dollar match. If we fully achieve our goal, WCHAS will have an account with $70,000 dedicated solely to the maintenance and preservation of the Morgan House. Some of the major expenses we will face in the near future include a new roof and driveway. Additionally, as we found out in late 2015-16, unanticipated repairs can be significant. Over $32,000 in unexpected costly repairs were performed during that time. We are working to get ahead of things by thoughtful planning and taking positive preemptive measures with challenges we will certainly face. WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
If you’d like to support our effort, your tax-deductible donation can be sent to the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation by filling out the Donation Form. We cannot do this without your help. As always, your support to preserve local history is greatly appreciated.
Members of the Collections Committee are hard at work cataloging the WCHAS library. Over the years, the society has amassed a collection of books, atlases, directories, and other published works that will soon be available for researchers to use. We have an assortment historical novels on various topics, but our largest collection is of local histories and state histories. We also have a large collection of Morgan Company publications on product lines and company happenings.
Volunteers are welcome to join the committee to help with cataloging work. Once the library is complete we will make the list of books available online, and then the committee will begin work on cataloging the archival material that the society has in its archival storage area (photos, documents, maps, Morgan Company records, etc). Contact us today if you are interested in volunteering!