Clark House News: Summer Hours & more!

More Clark House news has arrived from our executive director, Dana Hansen. Starting this month—May, 2022—the Jonathan Clark House Museum, at the corner of Bonniwell and Cedarburg Roads in Mequon, Wisconsin, will be open for tours on the first Friday and second Saturday of each month, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

If I read my calendar correctly, that means you can just drop in this Friday, May 6, or next Saturday, May 14, between 11 and 2, and enjoy a tour of the historic home of Mequon’s pioneer Clark family. Other open days will follow on first Fridays and second Saturdays throughout the summer. If you have a group of 6 or more, please call ahead. More info on Clark House tours can be found at this link. Questions? Give us a call at 262-618-2051 or send us an e-mail at

History Mystery! update…

Did you see our CHH History Mystery! post on Monday? Have you been working on your transcription of our early English manuscript text? Are you stumped? Do you still want to win eternal fame and glory throughout the Clark House Historian readership? Here’s an update to that initial post, with two more clues to help you solve our handwriting puzzle:

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JCH News: Play Ball!

I just got some fun news from Jonathan Clark House executive director Dana Hansen:

While the weather doesn’t feel like it at the moment, our fundraiser game with the Chinooks is coming up very soon! Make sure to purchase your packages asap for the game on June 3rd as they will be opening up general ticket sales May 2nd, and expect to sell out. See the poster below for more information, and hope to see you out at the ball game!


Click to open larger image in a new window.

Batter up! for history.

So if you’d like to support the Clark House—and enjoy an fun evening at the ballpark—call and reserve your game package for Friday, June 3rd, 2022, and don’t forget promo code JCH.

And even though the Chinooks and the Rafters will play by modern rules, I’m sure Old Abe would approve…

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Monday: Map Day – Ukraine

UPDATED, April 9, 2022 to fix a minor typo and two unclear phrases.

I haven’t published much here in the last month or so. My apologies. There were some unavoidable but relatively harmless distractions involved, the sort of things that we all deal with from time to time. But the ongoing slaughter in Ukraine, unprovoked, inhuman and inexcusable, made writing and blogging…impossible.

But now it seems even more impossible to not write about the largest conflict in Europe since the end of the Second World War. So today’s “Monday: Map Day” will be devoted to some basic information about Ukraine: its location in Europe, its main cities and geographic features, and a few facts about the country, at least as it was prior to the Russian invasion.1


This map2 was downloaded on April 3, 2022, and shows the borders of Ukraine as understood by the United States and most of nations of the world, and includes all the portions of Crimea, Donbass and Luhansk that Russia seized at the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War in 2014.

Not quite sure where we are? Here’s a map showing Ukraine’s location in eastern Europe:

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What did you do on Sunday?

Updated Feb. 14, 2022 to add the qualifier “English-speaking” to the second paragraph.

Did you watch the Big Game? Go out to eat? Maybe you had to put in a shift at work? Or did you just take a break and relax at home, gearing up for another week on the job? Perhaps you went to church on Sunday.

In Jonathan and Mary Clark’s era, many of their Mequon neighbors would honor the Sabbath by refraining from all work and worshiping privately at home with their families, or gathering with small groups of neighbors to pray and hear the Word. Beginning in the early-1840s, the English-speaking Protestant Christians living near the Clark House—including many members of the Clark, Bonniwell and Turck families—gathered at the new, one-room, Bonniwell School to worship together at Sunday services; these were often led by their neighbor, the farmer and evangelical Methodist preacher Rev. James W. Woodworth.

Rev. Woodworth has concerns…

We have talked about Rev. Woodworth previously and, as we have seen before, he was constantly concerned about the state of his neighbors’ souls. It seems that even though the nation was still riding the wave of several decades of the religious revival now known as the Second Great Awakening, the settlers of the young Wisconsin territory and state were not always very good at “keeping the Sabbath holy.” In his diary entry for August 10, 1855, the reverend lamented:

Aug. 10. The holy Sabbath in this place is most shamefully dese­crated. Hunting, fishing, playing at nine-pins, gambling and other guilty pleasures on this holy day of the Lord. I hope in God that­ he will overturn the kingdom of darkness, and leave them so comfort­less that they may gnaw their tongues for pain, till they return from- their evil ways to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Woodworth, James W., My path and the way the Lord led me, Milwaukee, 1878, p. 79.

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2021 Blog Roundup

It’s a New Year (yikes!—we’re already three weeks into the New Year!), and I thought I’d take a break from researching and note-taking for quick look back at our 2021 year of blogging at Clark House Historian. The blog is about to celebrate its seventh anniversary (on March 29), and 2021 was our most productive year so far, sharing more posts, documents, and historic maps and images with our readers than ever before.

The author, hard at work. For full photo credits, see below. Click to open larger image in new window.

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Hail, Smiling morn! – 2022 edition

Happy New Year to all, and best wishes that 2022 will be an improvement on the past year. (A low bar, I know.) Anyway, when I first published this post, on January 1, 2021, I wrote: I’m almost done with my research on the second half of the 1843 concert by the Milwaukie Beethoven Society. (If you missed our earlier posts on that concert, links are here and here.) But it’s New Year’s Day, and I’m not quite done writing about “Part Second.”

Well, it turns out that “not quite done” was an optimistic estimate, as I became distracted by so many other research topics and posts and never got around to discussing the second part of the Milwaukee Beethoven Society’s concert. New Year’s Day is here again, and I’m still not done, alas, but I have not forgotten and—with luck—I will finish that post some time this winter.

A spot of Spofforth to ring in the New Year…

Meanwhile, let’s start the New Year on a cheerful note by reprising last year’s festive musical selection, drawn from that second part of the Milwaukee Beethoven Society’s 1843 premiere concert:

Milwaukee Weekly Sentinel March 15 1843, page 2. Click to open larger image in new window.

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Stuff happens

Time flies. After over a year of regular, thrice-weekly blog entries, it’s been a month since I’ve posted anything new here. So let’s catch up a bit…

Bad driving: not just a modern invention

If you recall, our previous post began with “I’m still preoccupied with non-Clark House matters, and new posts continue to be delayed.” The reason for the delay? Two words: bad driving.

Unidentified artist, A Crack Team at a Smashing Gait, hand-colored lithograph, 1869, Smithsonian American Art Museum, transfer from the National Museum of American History, Division of Graphic Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Public domain, CC0 license. Click to open larger image in a new window.

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