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Busy Week at the Historical Society! List of Events, April 15th-21st

Milwaukee County Historical Center plaque.

Milwaukee County Historical Center plaque.

It’s going to be a busy week here at MCHS! We’ve got several lectures planned throughout the week. You can find a full list of events below. All events are free and open to the public. So if you happen to find yourself in downtown Milwaukee, be sure to stop by for any or all of these great events!

Milwaukee: A World Class City
Presented by: The Water CouncilBadger Meter & Rexnord
Date: Tuesday, April 16th
Time: 7:30-9 a.m.

As part of Milwaukee’s Young Professionals Week, MCHS will kick off Tuesday’s events with a focus on the City’s waterways. Water Day begins with members of the Water Council and Milwaukee’s mayor Tom Barrett as they discuss why Milwaukee is positioned as a World-Class City.  Efforts of the Milwaukee Water Council, partnered with a vibrant Milwaukee culture help create an exhilarating community for Young Professionals to work and live.

German Immigrants and the Reconstruction of American Citizenship, 1848-1877
Presented by: Alison Efford, Assistant Professor of History, Marquette University
Presented in partnership with the Marquette Univeristy Department of History
Date: Thursday, April 18th
Time: 7:00 p.m. reception, 7:30 p.m. lecture

In this lecture, Dr. Efford will explore the influence of German immigrants on the reshaping of American citizenship following the Civil War and emancipation. Germans played an important role in Reconstruction, not only as members of the Republican Party, but also as new American citizens. This topic is acutely related to Milwaukee’s early history, as its German immigrants became a powerful force within the city, and, in time, gained a national reputation in both the Civil War and the years to follow.

Frank J. Hess and Sons Cooperage: A History
Presented by: Jim and Gary Hess, grandsons of Frank J. Hess
Location: Grohmann Museum, Milwaukee School of Engineering, 1000 N. Broadway, Milwaukee
Date: Saturday, April 20th
Time: 2:00 p.m.

At the age of 14, Frank J. Hess wanted to learn the cooperage trade, so he started and completed a four year cooperage apprenticeship in Pilsen, Bohemia. At 19, he traveled to America by ship and then by train to Chicago, where he built white oak barrels for the Westside Brewery. In 1904, the Frank J. Hess and Sons Cooperage factory opened in Madison. They manufactured and repaired beer kegs for breweries throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest, and also wine and whiskey barrels. In 1966 the factory closed, signaling the end of the American beer barrel industry. Join the grandsons of Frank J. Hess as their share not only the story of their grandfather’s business, but also the lost art of barrelmaking, once a thriving business here in Milwaukee.


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