Oconto County Historical Society
The Oconto County Historical Society (OCHS), which was founded in 1940, is based in Oconto, the county seat. It maintains three buildings: the historic Beyer Home Museum, a restored and completely refurnished 1890s northern mansion; the George E Hall Annex which contains permanent exhibits on Old Main Street-Oconto, "County Waterways", and temporary exhibits, research files, photos, and artifacts in storage; and an urban barn. A gazebo was moved onto the property in 1998 and an 1870s log house has been moved to the site and restored. OCHS is an affiliate of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
The buildings and grounds are open daily for guided tours daily, noon to 4 pm, June 1 through Labor Day, then weekends through October 15. Group tours are available by appointment. Research by appointment only May 1 through October 15.
- Adults: $4
- Students (6 to 18 years): $1
- Family (maximum 2 adults): $10
- Under 6: free
Discounted prices available for adult groups of ten or more and AAA members at $3.
A self-guided auto tour may be made of the city of Oconto using a free booklet available at the museum and the Oconto Visitors Center (Z's Cheese, 110 Brazeau Avenue/Highway 41). Booklets are also available for a self-guided walking tour of Oconto's Historic West Main Street District. Tours of the First Church of Christ Scientist can be arranged by contacting the Oconto Visitors Center by calling 920-834-2255.
Publications for Sale
To buy any of these publications, make checks out to the Oconto County Historical Society and send to:
917 Park Avenue
Oconto WI 54153
Park Avenue Circus
Did you know Oconto had its own circus? Do you remember Oconto's Park Avenue Circus? Well, Oconto did, from 1947 to 1957. The Oconto County Historical Society has published a booklet documenting this unique time in Oconto's history, commemorating (in 2007) the 50th anniversary of the last performance of the Park Avenue Circus. The booklet contains history, pictures and memories from some of the performers, parents and spectators. It offers the reader a glimpse into this post-war, small-town USA neighborhood emotion… and its impact on the community and surrounding area. It can be purchased for $7 per copy plus $2 postage ( if needed) by contacting Rosemary Rice, 129 Washington Street, Oconto, WI 54153 (Phone: 920-834-2437). These are being sold on a pre-paid order basis.
John & Almira Volk: Pioneers of Northeast Wisconsin
$10 plus $3 shipping and handling
From the McCauslin to Jabswitch: A History of Oconto County Logging
$24.95 plus $5 shipping and handling
Peek at the Past: The Writings of Junice Peek and a Glimpse at the Early Years of Lakewood, Wisconsin
$16 plus $3 shipping and handling
John Nelligan was a logger in the late 1800s in present-day Oconto County. Bill Kamke has assumed his persona and gives an hour presentation in period costume using tools of the trade, suitable for adults or youth.
Membership is available to all according to the following schedule:
- Individual: $10
- Senior Citizen: $5
- Family: $15
Members receive a quarterly newsletter. In addition, they are invited to attend the May and November program meetings, the November Annual Meeting, and to help out with our special events.
If you are interested in membership and/or helping us as a volunteer, please call the museum for the present contact name or drop us a line at our Park Avenue address.
As with any non-profit group, donations are always welcome. Our growing Endowment Fund is used to pay some of the maintenance costs on our buildings and always welcomes contributions. We also are interested in old items that have an Oconto County historical connection. We can't accept everything because of space limitations but we are interested in seeing and hearing what you may have for us.