Thursday, August 20, 2015

Could be the Union Club.

I have in my collection a rendering of what appears to be a club house.  It isn't labeled in any way except to say it came from the office of Wm. Waters and Son.  That is significant as it dates the drawing to 1900.  For many years I've tried to identify the building, asking groups in Fond du Lac, Appleton and Green Bay if it was in their city.  No one could recognize it.  I concluded the place was never built.  That still left unanswered the question “What was it?”   Recently I decided to revisit my quest to ascertain the identity of the building and turned to the book “A Compilation of Articles Pertaining to the Works of William Waters”   There in the section about Oshkosh Societies, Clubs and Organizations were several newspapers write-ups about the Union Club.  This organization was brought about with the merger of the Crescent Club and Business Man Club and was housed on the second floor of the building on the south east corner of Main Street and Washington Ave. The space had proven to be inadequate and unattractive. 
The Oshkosh Daily Northwestern of February 5, 1901 reported on the proceeding of the annual meeting of the Union Club and highlighted the discussion of a club house.  There had been some talk of building some years earlier but nothing came of it.  There seemed to be renewed enthusiasm for the project and William Waters and his son were in attendance to present their plans for a suitable club house.  The plan called for a building of stone and pressed brick at a cost of $15,000 but no location was reviled for the proposed structure.   Over the next few weeks more articles appeared in the press and seem to urge the Union Club and the Elks to build a club house that would be an ornament to the city especially given the wealthy members of the clubs.  Again nothing came of this attempt to construct a club house and the Union Club eventually disbanded.  I can not say for a certainty the rendering here is the proposed Union Club, but it could be.  

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