2023 Senate Joint Resolution 48
Relating to: honoring 2023 as the 100th anniversary of the Green Bay & De Pere Antiquarian Society.
Whereas, the Green Bay & De Pere Antiquarian Society was founded in 1923 by Jessie Hurlbut Buchanan and a small group of women from Green Bay and De Pere dedicated to retaining the early history of Brown County; and
Whereas, these women, concerned about the auctioning and loss of provincial artifacts and heirlooms from inside one of Wisconsin's earliest French fur trader homes, the “Roi-Porlier” Tank Cottage, united to preserve the site for public viewing to the present day, including acquiring a table owned by President Zachary Taylor; and
Whereas, for their efforts and the preservation of Tank Cottage, the Green Bay Press-Gazette celebrated the Antiquarians as “the group of remarkable women who dedicated themselves many years ago to the protection and restoration in Green Bay of some of the most important historical buildings in the Middle West”; and
Whereas, following their preservation of Tank Cottage, the Antiquarians were instrumental in furnishing and decorating the Cotton House, the Baird Law Office, the Hazelwood Historic House, and the Fort Howard Hospital Museum; and
Whereas, the group was legally incorporated on May 15, 1934, with the purpose “to hold, to purchase, and acquire real estate and antiquities; and to perpetuate the history of the locality surrounding Green Bay, and the State of Wisconsin”; and
Whereas, in 1957, members of the society created the first annual Green Bay & De Pere Antique Show and Sale, which raised funds for the society's local grant program, which continues each year to this day; and
Whereas, to date, the grant program has gifted nearly $800,000 to many local historical museums and societies for the preservation and restoration of historic artifacts and sites, including Heritage Hill State Historical Park and Green Bay's Old City Stadium, the first home of the Green Bay Packers; and
Whereas, in December 2006, the Antiquarians initiated a one-year, $1.3 million community-wide fundraising campaign to protect 69 appraised items from an out-of-state auction house, including rare artworks and a photograph of President Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad, personally signed “A. Lincoln and son,” one of two known to exist; and
Whereas, the group has continued as one of the nation's oldest member-based philanthropic historical preservation organizations; and
Whereas, 2023 will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Green Bay & De Pere Antiquarian Society, continuing in their mission to retain and safeguard artifacts with national and regional historical importance to Wisconsin's first European settlement through its local support; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the Wisconsin Legislature declares October 4, 2023, as Green Bay & De Pere Antiquarian Society Day, honoring their outstanding service and generous role in the preservation, restoration, and perpetuation of the history of Brown County and the State of Wisconsin for 100 years.