Clark House News: March, 2023

I’m finishing up a few longer posts focused on new discoveries about the Bonniwells and other Mequon-area families and the 1850 federal census. More on that shortly.

Save the dates!

Meanwhile, I’ve received some news about upcoming Jonathan Clark House Museum activities for spring and summer, 2023:

And that’s not all!

After the April 22 Arbor Day celebrations are finished at River Barn Park, why not hop in the car and head north on Cedarburg Road (Hwy. 57) to the Cedarburg History Museum? I’m giving a talk there at 3:00 p.m.

I’ll be speaking about Fred Beckmann, a man whose life story connects the hardscrabble early days of the area’s Yankee, Irish and German pioneers with the later generation of established and settled German-American farmers, business owners and civic leaders.

Yes, this is the same Fred Beckmann that lived in the Clark House from 1868-1873. I originally wrote about Fred’s life in this post from July, 2020. Since then, I’ve learned much more about Fred, his extended German immigrant family, and his life as a teamster for Boedendorfer’s Hamilton Mill, a farmer on the former Jonathan Clark farm, and his long and successful career as the proprietor of Cedarburg’s popular Wisconsin House hotel.

We’ll talk about German immigration, the grist mill business, farming, local hotels, and the role of family in building and maintaining financial security in the latter half of the 19th-century. There may be brief, but pertinent, mentions of a local photography studio, an early Cedarburg bowling alley, and the local company of firefighters. And, as always, I’ll have some unique documents, graphics and maps to illustrate the discussion. I hope you’ll join me in Cedarburg on April 22.

Our Young Historians

One of the Jonathan Clark House Museum’s signature activities is our Young Historian project. Clark House executive director Nina J. Look has put together a poster highlighting the work of some of our recent participants. Check it out:

Sound interesting? For more information about becoming a Young Historian, contact Nina Look at

That’s the Clark House news for now. See you soon with more history.

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