Return to FDL's 'Grand Manner' days Feb 19

Years ago, attorney Terry Gaffney came across souvenir guide books from the late 1890s and early 1900s that promoted Fond du Lac to visitors and conventioneers. Both books included pages of photos of “representative” homes, featuring the abodes of the city’s most-comfortable citizens.

Intrigued, Gaffney tracked down the houses. Some were in disrepair and some beautifully restored.

Using photos and research painstakingly collected by Gaffney, librarian Mary Leb will present Fond du Lac’s Grand Manner, at 6 p.m. Thursday February 19, as part of the Fond du Lac Public Library’s History at Home series. The program is free; no registration required.

Beginning at the train station – just like most bygone visitors – Leb will take a virtual walking tour, visiting the homes as they may have looked 100 years ago. She’ll reveal, with Gaffney’s research, how some of the homes look today, even peeking inside a few.

History at Home programs take place at 6 p.m. the third Thursday of the month highlighting interesting stories and aspects of local and state history. Upcoming programs include:

  • March 19: Fond du Lac Children’s Home, presented by Sally Albertz
  • April 16: History of Wisconsin Supper Clubs, presented by Ron Faiola
  • May 21: Fond du Lac and the Alaska Gold Rush, presented by Theresa Mayer, the Rev. Edward Sippel, John Bruscoe and Tracy Reinhardt
  • June 18: History of The Little Farmer, presented by Theresa Mayer
  • July 16: Following in their Footsteps: Local WWI Soldiers in Europe, presented by Wayne King and Maureen Betz
  • August 20: Moonshining and Bootlegging in the Holy Land, presented by John Jenkins
  • September 17: Railroading in Early Fond du Lac, presented by Tracy Reinhardt
  • October 15: Harry Houdini, presented by Emily Rock


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