Second Saturdays is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports and creates programs that use history, culture and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.
Second Saturdays- Journeys Into Local History is made possible by a donation from the John and Hilda Holden Memorial Fund.
Second Saturdays began its new season in September.
All presentations begin at 9:30am.
In the 1920s and early '30s, the Holyland east of Fond du Lac was a bootlegger’s paradise. The Depression made it hard for the German-Catholic immigrants who settled in the area to make a living, but Prohibition created a market for illegal booze, and some of these pious churchgoers jumped at the chance.
As stills fired up and the moonshine flowed out of barns and faux cheese factories, family secrets, attacks by federal agents, Al Capone sightings and even murder were the result.
John Jenkins, who researched the subject for his thesis at Marian University in Fond du Lac, said residents from these sleepy farm communities were lured to the lucrative brewing, distilling and selling of illegal moonshine to make ends meet during difficult times. Jenkins will analyze why this area was such a center of moonshine production.