Our Artifacts - "What We Own"
Since 1923 the Green Bay & De Pere Antiquarian Society has acquired national and regional artifacts and antiquities that have a historic provenance to this area as well as those that reflect the time period of historic buildings. The Society currently owns over 260 material assets that are placed in historic buildings in this area. Here are some examples.
Living Room of the Tank Cottage. Rosewood Early Victorian Furniture owned by the Tank family. The 1923 purchase (horsehair couch, 4 side chairs, marble top table and ladies chair) was the first acquisition by the Society and initiated the Green Bay & De Pere Antiquarian Society. Circa 1840-60.
Zachary Taylor Dining Table. Cherrywood. Circa 1st qtr.19th century. Table belonged to Zachary Taylor while he served as commander of Fort Howard 1818-1819. His possessions were all sold locally when he was transferred to the Fort in Praire du Chien. Zachary Taylor(1784-1850) subsequently became the 12th President of the United States 1849-1850. Secured by the society in 1924.
Duncan Phyfe Settee Circa 1830-1840. Claw feet with cornucopia brackets and lyre-shaped armrests. Back rail sculpted in serpentine design.Secured in 1948.
Desk. Family ties to President John Quincy Adams. The desk, according to family legend came to the area with Col. George Boyd (1779-1846) and his wife, Harriet Johnson Boyd (1775-1850).Harriet’s sister was Louisa (Johnson) Adams, wife of President John Quincy Adams. George Boyd served as the Indian Agent in Green Bay from 1832 to 1845. The couple had six sons and one daughter. Family legend states that the desk originally belonged to President John Quincy Adams. However it is believed that it probably was gifted by the President and his sister-in-law, Louisa and not personally owned by them.
After Harriet Boyd died, the will filed in the Brown County Courthouse, stated that the household inventory was to be sold at auction with the exception of one secretary desk. It remained here until recent years when family members decided to sell it.It was displayed at the White House from 1973-1980, the desk also was part of “The White House—Treasury of Our Heritage” displayed at Macy’s Department Store in San Francisco in 1980.The State Historical Society was gifted the large collection of Col. Boyd’s letters and documents during his years here pertaining to Wisconsin history by one of his sons, James Madison Boyd. The Antiquarian Society acquired the desk in 1994.
Partners Samuel M. Brookes & Thomas H. Stevenson, two English born painters came to Green Bay in 1856 at the request of Lyman C. Draper, then Secretary of the State Historical Society to paint seven portraits of subjects who were instrumental in the settlement of Wisconsin. Several of these portraits are in Green Bay at Hazelwood and Heritage Hill State Historical Park.
While they were in Green Bay, Morgan L. Martin commissioned them to paint his children.Owned by the Green Bay & De Pere Antiquarian Society, The Morgan L. Martin children pictured, are daughters Annie (in white), Sarah (in blue), Deborah (in pink). The son Leonard.Morgan L. Martin Jr., was at school back East when this painting was done.
Grand Chute Lower Locks
Samuel M. Brookes & Thomas H. Stevenson were the first official painters for the new state of Wisconsin. In 1857, Morgan L Martin commissioned the partners to paint a series of sketches for the Fox and Wisconsin Improvement Company, which built a series of locks and dams on the Fox River. The artists painted twelve landscapes. In 1909, Deborah Martin sold eleven paintings to the State Historical Society. This twelfth painting of Grand Chute lower locks remained in Green Bay where it was discovered in a Green Bay attic in 1965 and gifted to the Green Bay & De Pere Antiquarian Society.
Corner Wash Stand, Circa 1770's. Hepplewhite. Mahogany.
Acquired in 1966.
Lowestoft Plate: Early Export China. Open lattice with armorial crest. Acquired in 1971.