Recently in Historic Photo Collection Category

Wisconsin State Fair

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Fest.Statefair.Post1960.003.jpgIt's that time again! The annual Wisconsin State Fair begins August 1st and runs through August 11th. Go ahead and grab a cream puff while you read a little about the history of the Wisconsin State Fair.

The very first State Fair was held in Janesville in 1851. During the mid to late 1800's, the fair was hosted at numerous different locations, including Madison, Fond du Lac, Watertown and Milwaukee. It's been held at the current site in West Allis since 1892.

Since it's foundation, the Fair has only been canceled five times. It was not held in 1861 through 1863 because of the Civil War. It was next canceled in 1893 due to anticipated loss of attendance because the World Fair was being held in Chicago that year. The last cancellation came in 1945, when the Office of War Transportation requested it due to events occurring in World War II.

The photo above is a picture of the pig and cow fair mascots from the 1982 Wisconsin State Fair. To see more historic photos, visit the Milwaukee Public Library's Historic Photo Collection.

FairviewMausoleum.jpgFairview Mausoleum was constructed by George L. Thomas in 1912 and existed until 1996. Located at 6316 Fairview Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Fairview served as a community mausoleum. In 1952, the owners filed for bankruptcy and the mausoleum fell into disrepair. The photograph above shows the main entrance in 1984.

The mausoleum, originally constructed of black granite, was neglected for years and continued to deteriorate until it was finally condemned in 1996, shortly after the City of Milwaukee took over grounds operations. All 1,000 human remains were transferred from Fairview Mausoleum to the Brett Funeral Home and re-interred in the Graceland Cemetery between December 1996 and May 1997. Although Fairview Mausoleum no longer exists, a pair of large stone pillars placed in Section 11 of the Graceland Cemetery mark the new resting place of those formerly interred at "Fairview Mausoleum".

The City of Milwaukee Archives, located at Milwaukee Public Library, hold the records from the Department of City Development's work related to the Fairview Mausoleum in 1996-1997. These alphabetically arranged folders include photographs of caskets or urns along with paperwork listing the name of the deceased, a description of the coffin or urn and its condition, and notes relating to items of clothing or jewelry exposed by the exhumation process. Genealogists and local historians may be interested in viewing the list of the names included in the Fairview Mausoleum finding aid, which has recently been published online in MPL's Special Collections Finder digital collection.

Holiday Closings at Milwaukee Public Library

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Fireworks Milwaukee.jpg

Photo by Dori, available through Wikimedia Commons.

All Milwaukee Public Libraries will be closed Thursday, July 4, for the observance of Independence Day. In addition, all Milwaukee Public Libraries will be closed Friday, July 5, a designated furlough day for City of Milwaukee Employees.

While we are closed, please check out some of our many digital collections, available online 24/7! We have photographs of past Milwaukee fireworks displays in our Historic Photo Collection, and even some Independence Day themed recipes available through our Historic Recipe Collection.

Normal library hours will resume Saturday, July 6.

Photo of the Week

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getimage.jpgMilwaukee has always known how to celebrate the holiday season in style.This photo comes to us from the Milwaukee Public Library's Historic Photo Collection. It depicts a Christmas celebration in front of the Milwaukee County Courthouse in 1982 complete with fireworks, news vans and a gigantic tree. Want to see more holiday photos? Check out the Historic Photo Collection today!

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Historic Photo Collection category.

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