29th Annual Local History Series

Brown County Central Library Auditorium
Thursdays, September 21 & October 5-26, 2017
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

515 Pine Street, Downtown Green Bay
Free parking after 6 p.m.


Hearing Loop Logo

The Central Library’s lower level auditorium and meeting rooms are now equipped with a hearing loop.  When a hearing aid user selects the “T-coil” setting, the listener receives a clear signal without any background noise resulting in improved speech understanding.



Floyd Lounsbury doing fieldwork with a native speaker.

Thursday, September 21

Oneida Language Preservation
with Professor Clifford Abbott


The Oneida language is a rich and complex carrier of the Oneida culture.  This talk will survey how the language became endangered, what the motivations are to preserve it, and what efforts have been made in the last 80 years to keep it alive.


Clifford Abbott (Yale, PhD) is trained as a linguist. He is recently retired after more than four decades on the UW-Green Bay faculty in the communication, information  sciences, and first nations studies programs. His major research focus has been the Oneida language and he has consulted and collaborated with the Oneida people in their efforts to preserve their language.





Thursday, September 28

No program scheduled due to the Packer game in Green Bay against the Chicago Bears.  








Thursday, October 5

“Baptism by Football: the Year Green Bay and the Packers Forged Their Futures.”
with Tony Walter

The year was 1922, and residents of Green Bay were navigating through a quickly changing post-war world that included automobiles, Prohibition, and a fledgling professional football team.  Struggling to merely survive, the Packers took a back seat in the public consciousness to other major happenings in what would turn out to be a pivotal year in the city’s history.


Tony Walter is a retired Green Bay Press-Gazette reporter and editor. 


Copies of Baptism by Football will be available for purchase and signing.








Thursday, October 12

Beyond the Trenches: The Legacy of Wisconsin in World War I
with Kevin Hampton

As we begin commemorating the centennial of World War I, the nation reflects on the role we played in the events that shaped the modern world.  Join us as we dig deeper and explore the personal side of the “War to End All Wars” through the stories of Wisconsinites that served “over there”.


Kevin Hampton is the Curator of History at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.  He has been involved with living-history programs and local historical society work since 2000.  He has been on staff of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum since 2013.





Headline from the Sept. 21, 1880 Daily Star Gazette, a Green Bay newspaper.

Thursday, October 19

“Green Bay’s Great Fire of 1880”
with David Siegel
This fire cut a swath of destruction through Green Bay. It began at Chicago Street and the Fox River and the flames moved from building to building, block to block until the destruction reached Webster Street and the East River. The fire destroyed about 60 homes, one church, a few businesses and many outbuildings for a total of 100 structures, making this the most disastrous fire ever in Green Bay in terms of number of buildings lost.


David Siegel is a Green Bay Firefighter and author of “Forces of Change: Events that led to the development of the Green Bay Fire Department”


Copies of Green Bay’s Great Fire of 1880 will be available for purchase and signing.






Thursday, October 29


“The Silver Man: the Life and Times of Indian Agent John Kinzie”

With Peter Shrake

Witness the dramatic changes that swept the Wisconsin frontier in the early to mid-1800s, through the life of Indian Agent John Harris Kinzie, “The Silver Man.”  From the War of 1812 and the monopoly of the American Fur Company to the Black Hawk War and the focused removal of thousands of Ho-Chunk people from their native lands, John Kinzie’s life story gives us a front-row seat to a pivotal time in the history of the American Midwest.


Peter Shrake is a lifelong resident of Wisconsin.  He holds two master’s degrees.  Shrake has served as executive director of the Sauk County Historical Society and is currently the Reference Archivist at Circus World Museum, in Baraboo, WI.



Copies of The Silver Man will be available for purchase and signing.





The Local History Series is supported by the Friends of the Brown County Library.