Fox Footprints: local history

The Appleton Public Library is very interested in preserving local history and collecting our shared stories. Here you will find unique photos and stories, updates on our projects and information on our programs in local history and researching your family history. If you have a great photo or story, let us know!   -Diana

Military veterans and ancestors

D-day Landing

Veterans Day is November 11, when we honor military personnel who served the United States in all wars, especially living veterans.  Please stop in the Wisconsin Collection area on the second floor of the Appleton Public Library for veteran-related displays.

Military memorabilia including hats, photos, mess kits and more may be found in the tall cases along with Appleton Public Library books concerning veterans’ service.  These items are courtesy of the Military Veterans Museum in Oshkosh.

The New Books stand includes a shelf of veterans’ stories from different wars.  You are welcome to check these out.

Information on the Find Your Ancestors series on genealogy fills the glass case.  This series will begin Saturday, November 15 at 1:00-2:30 in the Lower Level Meeting Room C, with speaker Russell Horton from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.  He will provide information on what records are available at the museum and how to find information on military service for your ancestors.  The program does not require registration, and is free to the public.  Please join us.

Appleton Then and Now

Have you ever wondered what downtown Appleton looked like in the old days, or fondly remember a favorite store that no longer exists?

Appleton Then and Now, a presentation by Scott Mahnke, will answer some of your questions with photos of original buildings and what has replaced them. Scott is a senior electrical engineer with McMahon Associates Engineers and Architects. He enjoys American history, especially the Civil War era, and is a Licensed Battlefield Guide.

The free program will be held in Lower Level Meeting Room C on Thursday, October 30, from 6:00-7:30. Join us to learn more about Appleton.

Steampunk Saturday

Looking for something unique to do?  Drop by Steampunk Saturday--October 18, 2014 from 12:00 to 4:30 in the Lower Level of the Appleton Public Library.  There will be two different sessions starting at noon and again at 2:30.  Each will feature a presentation in Room A/B/C about Steampunk culture or dress, as well as Steampunk Adventure RPG demos in room D (gaming spaces limited). 

A costume contest with Steampunk prizes will take place from 2:00-2:30, so wear your best Victorian or Steampunk outfit complete with goggles, hat or whatever you can create, but leave your Steampunk six-shooters at home.  Be there by 1:45 to sign up for the contest.  Prizes will be awarded for the best and most inventive costumes.

During the afternoon you will be able to construct a Mustache Monacle, stamp a Steampunk Stone Tile, and create a fascinator for your hair or a medal for your costume.  Door prizes, from Steampunk books to Mustache Mania to a Steampunk Gaming Kit, will be awarded at the end of the day (need not be present to win).

A Stone of Hope

A Stone of Hopeis now at the Appleton Public Library. Created by the History Museum at the Castle, this exhibit illustrates Black history in the Fox Cities from the 1700s to the present using illustrated panels and a kiosk with stories told by local residents.  Visit the main floor of the Appleton Public Library to view until September 14, when this pop-up exhibit moves to the next venue.


If this display inspires you to research your own family history, please continue upstairs to the Wisconsin Collection.  There you will find local histories, city directories and other materials on people who lived in this area.  The Appleton Public Library also has databases and indexes that will help you find information on your old house, newspaper articles from the Appleton Post-Crescent, and much more.


Fireworks, picnics and cookbooks

Independence Day always makes me think of picnics, fireworks and family as we celebrate the beginning of our nation.  One way to combine those is to make a delicious dish to share during these events.

Located on the second floor of the library, The Wisconsin collection provides a variety of materials—everything from local history to local and state documents to cookbooks.  Yes, cookbooks!

Currently some of our older local cookbooks are highlighted in a display behind the antique desk.  Over the years various organizations have published compilations of recipes from their members, for example the Post-Crescent or the Foxy Ladies.

Some of the more unusual or older items need to stay in the library, but we do have a variety of local and regional cookbooks that you can check out.  Browse the ones on the desk or check the shelves at WI 641.5.

 Farm Recipes and Food Secrets from the Norske Nook

Two of my favorites are Farm Recipes and Food Secrets from the Norske Nook by Helen Myhre with Mona Vold, and the award-winning The Flavor of Wisconsin:  An Informal History of Food and Eating in the Badger State by Harva Hachten and Terese Allen.

The Flavor of Wisconsin

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