East Central Wisconsin from Fond du Lac

August 30, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

We decided to take a little down time and catch up on business in Fond du Lac.  Well, to be honest, we were worried that we couldn't find a campground for Labor Day Weekend, so we hunkered down at the Fond du Lac County Fairground for a week and toured the area. There is some great history all around this area of Wisconsin, many towns built on the riches of the lumber industry.  Fond du Lac is not that far west of Lake Michigan, so we hit Sheboygan, Manitowoc, then over to Lake Winnebago and more.  Hover over the photos for more information, or click to go to the gallery for purchase and downloads. 

Hayton, WI - Barn Near HaytonHayton, WI - Barn Near HaytonA barn near Hayton, Wisconsin. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Fond Du Lac, WI - Architecture - 2Fond Du Lac, WI - Architecture - 2Fond du Lac was a trading post in it's earliest days before the city was formed, serving the Winnebago tribe and other Native American's from around the area. It was once considered as a State Capital, but Madison was chosen instead. Photo and enhancement by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Fond Du Lac, WI - Architecture - EnhancedFond Du Lac, WI - Architecture - EnhancedDowntown Fond du Lac has a lot of great architecture of days past and seemed vibrant during our visit.

Photo and enhancement by
Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Fond Du Lac, WI - ArchitectureFond Du Lac, WI - ArchitectureFond du Lac has 20 listings on the National Register of Historic Places, including four historic districts: the South Main Street Historic District, the North Main Street Historic District, the Linden Street Historic District, and the East Division Street-Sheboygan Street Historic District.

Photo by
Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Fond Du Lac, WI - Gilles Drive-InFond Du Lac, WI - Gilles Drive-InGilles Drive-In has been serving up their famous Gilliesburger (Sloppy Joe) and more for over 60 years. Good stop for great service and tasty treats. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Fond Du Lac, WI - Octogon HouseFond Du Lac, WI - Octogon HouseMost of the buildings in Fond du Lac listed in the National Register of Historic Places were built after the lumber industry boom in the Fox Valley created wealth, including this Octagon House. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Fond Du Lac, WI - Main StreetFond Du Lac, WI - Main StreetAlthough the population of Fond du Lac County was only about 140 white settlers in 1840, growth came quickly after as expansion from the East brought settlers by the thousands. By 1870, Fond du Lac was the state's second largest city, a major railroad hub, and second only to Dane county in wheat production. Today the city has a population over 43,000. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Fond Du Lac, WI - ColiseumFond Du Lac, WI - ColiseumThe Coliseum in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Fond Du Lac, WI - LighthouseFond Du Lac, WI - LighthouseLighthouse on the Winnebago Lake Harbor in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Fond Du Lac, WI - Winnebago Lake HarborFond Du Lac, WI - Winnebago Lake HarborThe county of Fond du Lac was created in 1836, and the city laid out shortly after. Originally founded on speculative purposes, James Duane Doty had the idea to construct a canal from the adjacent Lake Winnebago to Rock River, and another to Sheboygan on Lake Michigan, for transportation of goods.

Photo of Winnebago Lake Harbor from the top of the Lighthouse by
Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Brothertown, WI - Farm Near BrothertownBrothertown, WI - Farm Near BrothertownFarm near Brothertown, Wisconsin. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Manitowoc, WI - Budweiser ElevatorsManitowoc, WI - Budweiser ElevatorsKathy seemed surprised to find Budweiser Elevators in Manitowoc. The city does have a history in beer, with the Oshkosh Brewing Company around 1900 and its slogan "By Gosh It's Good". Its Chief Oshkosh became distributed nationwide.

Photo by
Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Manitowoc, WI - Church Clock SteepleManitowoc, WI - Church Clock SteepleThe First German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Manitowoc was built in 1873.

The area of Manitowoc was first settled in 1820, with land sales opening around 1835. Today the city has over 50,000 residents. Photo by
Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Manitowoc, WI - County CourthouseManitowoc, WI - County CourthouseManitowoc County derives its name from the Annishinaabe language and either the word manidoowaak(wag) (meaning spirit-spawns), or manidoowaak(oog) (meaning spirit-woods). Manitowoc, WI - Lake MichiganManitowoc, WI - Lake MichiganManitowoc, on Lake Michigan, is home to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, and is an endpoint of the ferry route of the SS Badger, connecting U.S. Route 10 to Ludington, Michigan.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Manitowoc, WI - Yacht ClubManitowoc, WI - Yacht ClubPhoto by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Oshkosh, WI - DowntownOshkosh, WI - DowntownThe city of Oshkosh, current population around 66,000, is named after Menominee Chief Oshkosh (meaning claw). It was incorporated as a city in 1853, although European settlers were in the area as early as 1818. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Oshkosh, WI - Fahrnwald Farm BarnOshkosh, WI - Fahrnwald Farm BarnThis area near Oshkosh has history dating back to the mid 1800's, including the short lived town of Perryville, which was gone by the Civil War.

The land wound up in the hands of brothers Ezra and Homer Fahrney around the turn of the 20th Century. Heirs to Chicago Patent Medicine entrepreneur Dr. Peter Fahrney, the brothers established adjoining summer estates on Lake Winnebago, planting thousands of trees. By 1910 the property was referred to by locals as "Fahrnwald", or "Fahrney's Woods".

Nearby this barn you'll find the Jesuit Treat House, which is in part made up by a 30 room mansion originally built by Ezra Fahrney in 1918. The Jesuit Retreat was established in the early 1960s.

Photo by
Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Oshkosh, WI - ArchitectureOshkosh, WI - ArchitectureThe city of Oshkosh, on the western shore of Lake Winnebago, has 33 listings on the National Register of Historic Places. Like Fond du Lac and many other cities in this area, fortunes were made in the Lumber industry in the 1800's. The city also has six historic districts and 27 historic buildings.

Photo by
Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Oshkosh, WI - Blue Bulding - enhancedOshkosh, WI - Blue Bulding - enhancedPhoto and enhancement by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Oshkosh, WI - Downtown BuildingOshkosh, WI - Downtown BuildingPhoto by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Oshkosh, WI - Buildings (Enhanced)Oshkosh, WI - Buildings (Enhanced)Downtown buildings in Oshkosh, photo and enhancement by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Oshkosh, WI - South Main Street BuildingOshkosh, WI - South Main Street BuildingPhoto by Kathy Weiser-Alexander Oshkosh, WI - Street PubOshkosh, WI - Street PubBarley & Hops Street Pub in Oshkosh, photo and enhancement by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

Sheboygan Falls, WI - StreetSheboygan Falls, WI - StreetWith its grassroots dating back to 1835, Sheboygan Falls grew into a city in 1913 and today has a population of 7,500. Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. Sheboygan Falls, WI - 2Sheboygan Falls, WI - 2Several Mills and other industries helped Sheboygan Falls grow throughout the years.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Sheboygan Falls, WI - Rochester InnSheboygan Falls, WI - Rochester InnThe Rochester Inn is housed in a restored 1848 Greek revival building. Sheboygan Falls, WISheboygan Falls, WIFalls in Sheboygan Falls.

Photo by Dave Alexander.
Sheboygan Falls, WI - Brickner Mill Apts-2Sheboygan Falls, WI - Brickner Mill Apts-2Built in 1879, Brickner Woolen Mill produced woolen shawls, coatings, suiting, dress goods and blankets, using an average of 250,000 pounds of wool annually. Brickner Woolen Mills was renovated in 1992 into 34 affordable apartments.


Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
Sheboygan Falls, WI - Brickner Mill AptsSheboygan Falls, WI - Brickner Mill AptsBuilt in 1879, Brickner Woolen Mill produced woolen shawls, coatings, suiting, dress goods and blankets, using an average of 250,000 pounds of wool annually. Brickner Woolen Mills was renovated in 1992 into 34 affordable apartments.


Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Sheboygan, WI - Blue Harbor ResortSheboygan, WI - Blue Harbor ResortSituated on Lake Michigan, Sheboygan is a favorite get away for many throughout the region.

With a population of over 49,000 today, Sheboygan's history dates back to the 1830's and was officially founded in 1846.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Sheboygan, WI - Bar Restaurant Near Harbor CentreSheboygan, WI - Bar Restaurant Near Harbor CentreThe area of Harbor Centre in Sheboygan has everything from Ice Cream to Bars.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Sheboygan, WI - Harbor Centre BeachSheboygan, WI - Harbor Centre BeachPeople enjoy the swimming beach at Harbor Centre, in Sheboygan on Lake Michigan.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Sheboygan, WI - Harbor Centre Beach PierSheboygan, WI - Harbor Centre Beach PierThis old beach pier has seen its better days.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Sheboygan, WI - Harbor Centre Boats-2Sheboygan, WI - Harbor Centre Boats-2Boats dock at Harbor Centre in Sheboygan, on Lake Michigan.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Sheboygan, WI - Breakwater LighthouseSheboygan, WI - Breakwater LighthouseThe Breakwater Lighthouse in Sheboygan stands 55 feet tall and was built in 1915. Shebogan, WI - Dairy Farm to the NorthShebogan, WI - Dairy Farm to the NorthDairy Farm north of Shebogan, Wisconsin. Photo by David Alexander. Winnebago Lake, WI - Friendship AreaWinnebago Lake, WI - Friendship AreaThe largest lake that is 'entirely' in the state of Wisconsin, Lake Winnebago covers an area about 30 by 10 miles. It's known for having "ice shoves" on windy days in March, with residents describing it as sounding like a freight train. The ice shoves can reach 25 feet high and have been known to destroy buildings along the shoreline.

Photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
Winnebago Lake, WI - South of OshkoshWinnebago Lake, WI - South of OshkoshThe average depth of Lake Winnebago is 15 feet, with it's maximum only 21 feet. It is part of a larger system of lakes known as the Winnebago Pool.

We'll set out Sunday to tour Milwaukee and Beer!  Stay tuned for some history on suds :)


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