Awards 2007

Posted on: July 27th, 2014 by

Oconto County Historical Society Awards

Annual Meeting of the Society

Recipient Information

November 1, 2007


The President’s Award – for preservation of Oconto County buildings, constructions, or sites

The Chase Barn, as it has come to be known, was built in 1903 by Daniel Krause.  It has been passed through several owners who thankfully never tore it down.  It is a rare example of a fieldstone barn.  There are very few such barns still in existence.  In 2000 the Pulaski Area Historical Society successfully had the barn placed on the State and National Registry of Historic Places.  In 2006 the new owners approached Chase Township about selling the barn.  Led by Kris Kolkowski, the town found a way to buy the barn and put it under the Township park system.  The process was long and involved but the committee persevered until it finally became a reality in 2007.  Accepting the President’s Award for the Chase Township is town treasurer, Kris Kolkowski.


The George E. Hall Award – for documentation of Oconto County history

Kathleen Marsh and her husband retired in 2003 and moved from the Fox River Valley to Townsend.  Then she began a second career of writing.  She has chosen diverse genres.  First she wrote a modern fairy tale.  Then she coauthored a novel about Alzheimer’s.  The same year she helped bring to print the true story of a World War II prisoner of war.  Last year she was researching material for a mystery set in Townsend and became very interested in the history of the area.  Instead of a mystery she wrote a history.  She interviewed many people to compile all the stories that make the facts come alive.  She got so much information that she is already working on Volume II.  We are very pleased to present the George E. Hall Award to Kathleen Marsh for documentation of Oconto County history.


The Kay Stewart Award – for lifetime achievement in family history

John Kasten has spent roughly 25 years exploring his mother’s family.  He traced the Bahrke family from Germany in 1708 through Canada to Milwaukee then Gillett.  His grandmother told stories about the family getting ready to sail to Canada and having a child die on the way to the ship.  They continued on the trip with their other child and eventually had a total of 10 children.  Among those that followed were families of up to 16 children.  It has been difficult to gather all the information about such a large family.  As John has contacted family members to offer the end result of the research he has gotten even more information to include.  Genealogy is a never ending project, but John has paused at this point to publish his findings.  We are happy that he has taken the effort to compile this family history.  He is awarded the Kay Stewart Award for lifetime achievement in family history. 


Volunteer of the Year Award

Marlene Sauriol is one of many behind the scenes volunteers that perform services for the Oconto County Historical Society.  For several years Marlene has assisted our OCHS treasurer with accounting matters.  She provides an independent monthly reconciling of the Society’s accounts along with monthly and annual reports.  Marlene is a resident of Lakewood.  It is with great appreciation that we extend this recognition as a Volunteer of the Year Award to Marlene Sauriol.

The American Legion Post #74 has been actively involved in the Oconto community for many years.  Their most recent involvement actually started in 1957, when a handful decided that it would be nice to have a tank to help commemorate the sacrifices made by those who served in the military.  They were able to get a tank from New Richmond but had to transport it themselves.  That’s how Sandy McTavish, Bob Schmidt, Doug Bake, and Jim Lane, ended up driving a tank across the state.  The tank was placed at the Oconto Golf Club and was there until 2006 when the Post changed its location.  The Legion was then very instrumental in moving the tank to the grounds of the Beyer Home museum.  They also refurbished the gazebo, erected a flagpole, and installed a spotlight to complete the development of the area.  Commander David Cross is accepting a Volunteer of the Year Award on behalf of the American Legion Post #74.

OHS, Ron Rauscher, Brad Karbon – It is with extreme gratitude that we recognize the wonderful assistance the Oconto County Historical Society has received from the Industrial Arts Department of Oconto High School.  Whenever we had our backs to the wall with a project that was over our heads Mr. Ron Rauscher and Mr. Brad Karbon were there to help us out.  One project these wonderful teachers and their students have helped with is constructing new garage doors for the Beyer Home.  The docents are especially appreciative of these doors because they can be opened with much less effort than the old ones.  Like they do open now!!!  Ron Rauscher and his Building Trades Class were responsible for these doors.

Another project was the third floor window sashes which were in very bad shape.  We wanted new sashes made for the existing windows to preserve the windows historical significance.  Brad Karbon was approached about this project while he was at Bay Park Mall.  He graciously agreed to take this project on.  At the present time Mr. Karbon is supervising construction of 8 new window sashes for these windows.

Another time some of the members of the society were repairing the ceiling in the tower room on the second floor of the Beyer Home.  There are 2 special brackets on the windows designed to hold back the drapes.  One of these was damaged during the repair.  It was brought to Mr. Rauscher and he fixed it and returned it to me the next day.  No one even knew about this mistake until tonight.

We don’t even want to think about what the cost would be to our society if these two gentlemen and their classes were not so cooperative.  It is absolutely wonderful to have two so community minded people to help us in times of need.

The Historical Society congratulates and thanks them and the Oconto High School.


Director Emeritus

Bestowing a Director Emeritus designation is not something done lightly.  In the 67 year history of the Oconto County Historical Society only two people have been so honored, Jimmy Hall and Fritzi Schmidt.  This year, however, the board felt another person belongs in their company.  Bob Klozotsky will tell us more about this very deserving person.  [for Duane Ebert]