There are rare opportunities to learn about and to preserve local history in the Mequon-Thiensville area. A group of local history enthusiasts have formed the Friends of Jonathan Clark House with a mission to:
Collect, preserve and share the history of the Jonathan Clark House and the early settlers of Mequon and Thiensville.
The mission is being carried out through the historic 1848 Jonathan Clark House on the corner of Bonniwell and Cedarburg Roads. Perhaps you have driven by it and wondered, “What is in that beautiful stone house?"
The Jonathan Clark House has been developed as a historic house museum of mid-19th century Mequon and Thiensville that interprets the life of the early settlers. Furnishings and accessories throughout the house reflect the era of 1840 to 1860. The Friends of Jonathan Clark House are proud to preserve one of the area’s last available historic landmarks but need financial support to provide educational programming with authentic artifacts.
The Friends of Jonathan Clark House is a non-profit organization led by volunteer Director Dr. Nina Look, a volunteer board of eleven directors, and five additional volunteer staff members. A cadre of additional volunteers provides a variety of services, year-round. In addition, several middle school and high school students enjoy serving as JCH Young Historians.
Educated docents provide tours to groups of children, families, and scout troops. Tours of the house and grounds are available by contacting the staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 262-618-2051.
Put down the electronics and experience the life of the early settlers!
Linda Chay, President Vice President/Mortgage Lending, Port Washington State Bank
Tom Gifford, Vice President Owner, Gifford Video
Scott Ballering, Treasurer Customer Representative, Port Washington State Bank - Mequon Branch
Margaret Bussone, Education Director Retired, Foreign Language Faculty, Mequon Thiensville School District
Judy Button, Board Member Early Childhood Educator
Kirsten J Reinhardt, Board Member Guest Curator, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut
Patrick Steele, Ph.D., Board Member Professor of History, Concordia University Wisconsin
Joel Willems, Board Member Director, Cedarburg History Museum
Three vacant positions as of January 10, 2023
Anne Bridges,Assistant Director/Special Projects Retired, Financial Analyst
Shaw Bridges, Information Technology Retired, Financial Analyst
Margaret Bussone, Assistant Director/Education Retired, Foreign Language Faculty, Mequon Thiensville School District
Frederick Derr, Preservation Manager and Curator Metalsmith, Historic Preservationist
Henry HIle, Information Technology Communications Technology
Jean Hill, Photographer Retired, Ozaukee Economic Development and Ozaukee Bank
Nina Look, Ph.D. Director Retired, Vice President, Milwaukee Area Technical College
Reed Perkins, Historian Musician/Turck Family descendant
“Volunteering at the JCH has given me countless fun memories of teaching the history, and having a great time getting to learn more about 1840s Wisconsin!”
2022 Eagle Scout Project Two Bicycle Racks for the Jonathan Clark House Grounds
Matthew Seiberlich, HHS Sophomore
“Getting to know our local history helps us understand why many things are the way they are today. A lot of the people, buildings and roads we see everyday are here because of something that happened a long time ago. We also should learn about having to make decisions that affect the future. When we learn about history we see that decisions a long time ago have an impact for many years or even centuries. Helping to see how good or bad these decisions have been, helps us take today’s decisions much more seriously.”
Spencer Hollway, GHS Sophomore
Meet our “youngest” Young Historian in his custom-made costume
“I like all of the artifacts from different times. I like the living history and hands-on activities. I enjoy being able to show kids what it was like during that time in history.”
Soren Damsgaard, Mequon Third Grader
"We have personally witnessed the value of the Jonathan Clark House Museum as our children have had their first volunteer experiences helping with preservation projects and museum events. Because of these experiences they have a deeper appreciation of the community and a more significant understanding of the past in relation to the future. They call this having fun at the museum."
Kurt and Suzanne Zellmann, Mequon
John Gattoniis a Thiensville resident and middle school student. He is our newest Young Historian. In 2022 he served as an event greeter and open house greeter.
In addition, John cleaned and painted the outdoor lights under the mentorship of Mequon Thiensville Optimist Club Member Tom Frank. We look forward to John’s continued help at JCH as he aspires to gain his Eagle Scout Award.
McKenna Chay, a student at Cedarburg High School, recently started an organization for her fellow-students who are interested in volunteering at local non-profits.
At the Bonniwell Bible event, sponsored by her grandfather, she gave a moving presentation as she accepted the donated Bible on behalf of the next generation. She assured the group that her generation will carry on with a commitment to historic preservation.
Sarah Daniels and Marcy Zimmerare seniors at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School and have volunteered for several events and projects.
If they look familiar, you may have seen them at Heritage Days, the Foxtown Holiday Market or the JCH Exhibit at the Museum of Quilt and Fiber Arts Family Day.
We wish them the best as they go off to college. How about a degree in ”United States History”?
Eight year old Emerson Trumbull-Holperstepped right up into the role of greeter at the summer Heritage Days event. His job was to make certain that all of the other children had fun with the array of yard games. It seemed that his favorite task was giving out cookies and ice cream to children of all ages.
We look forward to Emerson’s volunteering skills at future outdoor events.
Spectrum Investment Advisors
Fromm Family Foods
Antique Center @ Wales
Baird - Andy Krogstad
Cedar Creek Winery
Cedarburg Toy Company
Creekside Valley Farm
Egelhoff Lawn Service
Old World Wisconsin
Outpost Natural Foods
The Pink Llama Gallery
Port Washington State Bank
Richmond Investment Services
St. Paul Fish Company
TRU Heating and Cooling
Washington House Inn