​September 8, 2018  -  Lake Michigan Aircraft Carriers
Ked Fairbank, Executive Director, Chicago Maritime Museum  
In 1942, with the nation engaged in war against Japan, there was an acute need for pilots trained to land on aircraft carriers.  Commander Richard Whitehead argued that the secure waters of the Great Lakes was the best place for training. Training the pilots on either the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean would have exposed the training ships to the danger of submarine attack, while requiring the escort of fighting ships that were needed elsewhere. It would also have involved arming and armoring the ships used for training.

The paddlewheel steamer Seeandbee was hastily converted into the aircraft carrier, USS Wolverine.  A second Great Lakes paddlewheel steamer, the Great Buffalo, was converted in 1943 into the aircraft carrier, USS Sable.  Through the duration of the war, the United States Navy qualified 17,800 pilots for aircraft carrier operation.

Join Ked Fairbank of the Chicago Maritime Museum for a truly amazing morning. Ked is new to Second Saturdays.

October 13, 2018  -  The 1918 Influenza Epidemic
Mike Jacobs, UW–Sauk Center/Baraboo   
The toll of history’s worst epidemic surpasses all the military deaths in World War I and World War II combined. And it may have begun in the United States. Commonly known as the Spanish Flu, the pandemic lasted just 15 months but was the deadliest disease outbreak in human history, killing between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide.  It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. 
The flu was most deadly for people ages 20 to 40. 

Join Mike Jacobs for an informative morning of history that affected all of our ancestors.  MIke has spoken about the KKK in Wisconsin and other WWI topics.

November 10, 2018  -  One Room Schools
Jerry Apps, author, historian 
Jerry will do a tribute to one of our national icons.  Be prepared to bring your memories and relive your days as students. We'll preview Jerry's latest DVD of the one room school experience with great stories from students and teachers.

Apps shares vivid and humorous stories from his time as a student at Chain O’Lake School in Waushara County. Viewers will explore the one-room school experience through Apps’ vibrant storytelling, and travel back to a time when one teacher taught eight grades. Learn about the wide-ranging curriculum, holiday traditions, recess fun and how Apps’ school experience shaped his childhood and inspired his career as an educator. 

​“I have never forgotten the sound of that school bell on my first day of school. You could hear it echoing down the valley …”  -Jerry Apps

December 8, 2018  -  An Old Fashioned Christmas
Rochelle Pennington, author and columnist
Don't miss the launch of Rochelle's new video, taken from the pages of An Old-Fashioned Christmas. Tinsel, Gingerbread Men and Raggedy Ann beckon a remembrance of Christmas past and invite readers to take a nostalgic glance backward to a period of time when rotary-dialed telephones, cloth diapers, and percolating coffee pots were part of daily life. An Old-Fashioned Christmas captures the spirit of the bygone holidays between 1930 and 1960. Hand-written letters addressed to the North Pole were filled with wishes for record players and jack-in-the-boxes.  Details from the Christmases of World War II during 1941, 1942, 1943, and 1944 will also be remembered.

January 12, 2019  -  Victorians Going Over the Top 
John Eastberg, Exec. Dir. Pabst Mansion 
The excesses of the American Gilded Age & Lost and Found: The Best of Milwaukee's Victorian Architectural Past

The Gilded Age was an era of rapid economic growth, especially in the North and West. As American wages were much higher than those in Europe, especially for skilled workers, the period saw an influx of millions of European immigrants. The rapid expansion of industrialization led to real wage growth of 60% between 1860 and 1890, spread across the ever-increasing labor force. The average annual wage per industrial worker (including men, women, and children) rose from $380 in 1880 to $564 in 1890, a gain of 48%. However, the Gilded Age was also an era of abject poverty and inequality as millions of immigrants—many from impoverished regions—poured into the United States, and the high concentration of wealth became more visible and contentious. Part Two will be a our of The Best of Milwaukee's Victorian Architectural Past.

John will take us through some of the over the top events, people and customs centering on Milwaukee.
February 9, 2019  -  Sheboygan Symphony, 100th Anniversary 
Symphony members 

The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra is the oldest continually active orchestra in the State of Wisconsin, performing concerts since 1918. The Stefanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts is home to our Symphony. The day will be about history and music. There should be some surprises for you. This is a great introduction to one of our cultural treasures.

March 9, 2019  -  Grohman Museum at MSOE
James Kieselberg, Director 
Grohmann Museum, the home to the world’s most comprehensive art collection dedicated to the evolution of human work. The museum opened in 2007 and is located on the campus of MSOE in downtown Milwaukee.

The Grohmann Museum Collection contains over 1300 European and American paintings, sculptures and works on paper that depict various forms of work.  Captured on canvas and paper or cast in bronze, the works reflect a variety of artistic styles and subjects that document the evolution of organized work, from manpower and horsepower to water, steam and electric power. The collection spans over 400 years of history (17-21st centuries).

Join James as he introduces us to a little known treasure in our back yard.

April 13, 2019  -  Hope is the Things With Feathers
Joel Greenberg, author and birder extraordinaire
Hope is the Things With Feathers: Americans and Three Birds  - which gives the history and contrasts the fate of three species, with a focus on the demise of passenger pigeons.  Joel has over 30 years of experience working on natural resource related issues in the Midwest. Currently a Research Associate of both the Chicago Academy of Sciences Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Field Museum, he is the author of several books, including the first history of the Passenger Pigeon in over fifty years, A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction. In addition to the book, Greenberg co-produced, along with director David Mrazek, the award winning documentary “From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction.”

May 11, 2019 -  Black Point Estate and Gardens
Dave Desimone , Director  
Black Point Estate & Gardens overlooking Geneva Lake, was the summer home for Chicago business mogul Conrad Seipp and four generations of his descendants.  It is the Wisconsin Historical Society’s newest site.

Step back into the slow-churned, 1900s lakeside lifestyle at one of Wisconsin's newest museums, Black Point Mansion on Geneva Lake.

The Geneva tour boat takes visitors to the well-maintained south shore relic. From there, you climb the steps to the secluded estate built in 1888, insulated by a dense forest. For a moment, the trees silence the lake's melody of wave runners and weekend cruisers, and just the birds and crickets hum at the old Queen Anne style home.

Black Point Mansion was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 for its immaculate preservation over the past 120 years, and just last summer it was made a museum. Inside and outside, the original owner's heirs barely touched it. Finally, after a decade-long legal debate on what to do with this Wisconsin time capsule, owner Bill Petersen was able to fulfill his mother's wishes to have her home transformed into a museum.

Director, Dave Desimone will take us on a virtual tour of this wonderful property. 

Check out this link -- Carriers of the Great Lakes 
Great short movie about the WWII project.

or USS Wolverine, Various images


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 Kohler Foundation.

 (920) 467-4667

Second Saturdays begins its new season in September. 

All presentations begin at 9:30am.