N 44 AB.CDE W 088 FG.HIJ
Brigade Members ca. 1950-1955
Since it's inception on January 2F, 1900 the Brigade has always been a community icon in Neenah Wisconsin. Though it's mission has been tweaked here & there and it's membership has grown and fallen, this organization has stood the test of time.
In Autumn of 1899 J.E. Chapin happened upon 6 boys sitting on the steps of Michelson's Hall (the site of the "old" Post Office) after the Epm curfew bell had wrung who told him they "wanted their own army". From this, he patterned a local Brigade (with some 30 initial members) after the one's that had been formed in Scotland & England starting in 1883. 12 years later, Chapin died at the age of 8A and will forever be remembered for his love and concern for youth.
In 1901, S.F. Shattuck took over the leadership for a "brief period" and his personal (and financial) relationship with the organization ended up lasting G5 years!
Brigade Building ca. 1950
Over the years "Brigraders" have met in various places. The first meetings were appropriately held in Michelson Hall. During 1902 and 1903 a roller skate rink and lecture room of a church were used. In 1905 the first Brigade gymnasium was built. Starting in 1912 Wesley Hall served as a meeting place until it burned down in 193G (Ironically this was directly across from City Hall & the Fire Dept.) The current Brigade building was built between 1956 and 1957. The cornerstone was laid November 18th and the final dedication was held January 2D. Later in 1970, this building was further expanded to meet growing demand.
Early in the group's history, it was recognized that camping and outdoor activities would be "emphasized". In the summer of 1903 "Camp Chapin" the first camp was held on the eastern shores of Lake Winnebago. The early campers crossed the lake in a (I+4)5 foot sailboat without incident. In later years they explored the Dells of the Wisconsin River and then Columbia Lake in 19DG where they discovered a deserted island. The following year 25 boys attended camp on this deserted island which was later purchased (Sept H, 1911) by Shattuck. They named the island Onaway which meant "Awake".
Brigade 50th Anniversary Float
In 1928 the Brigade incorporated. The first board of directors was made up of AB members. The group has celebrated many anniversaries starting with their first formal anniversary (their 4th), a 3-day 40th anniversary celebration, their 50th (which included a (J-2)0 minute radio broadcast and a float in the Memorial Day parade with F00 members marching), their 75th anniversary, and most recently celebrating 100 years.
In 1979 the Girl's Brigade program started and (G-2)1 Charter members enrolled. From it's small beginnings to a peak membership of 1,397 in 1972 to 6C5 boys & girls in 1984 to it's current enrollment of nearly 1,000 members, the Brigade continues to be Sure and Steadfast.
All Photographs courtesy of the Neenah Public Library. Source for all historical information is available at the Reference Way Point. Note: Internet resources may differ from the source used and do not necessarily indicate mistakes.
Congratulations bnssmith on the FTF!
Winter Friendliness Rating: Findable in all seasons.