Old St. Johannes

 © Photographed July 17 and September 5, 2017
Erected by Malone Area Heritage Museum
Johnsburg, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin
43.892227, -88.288038 (approximately)

Old St. Johannes
Fifty feet south of this marker stood the old St. Johannes log church. The congregation of St. Johannes existed in this area from about 1841 to 1853. At this 6 acre location a 20'x30' log church, parsonage, and school were built. A cemetery surrounded the church. Nearby was a beer cellar, brewery, cooper mill, saloon, and general store. This church, which served about 200 families, was the first Catholic Church in the territory from Little Chute to Milwaukee. Caspar Rehrl was the first resident priest.

The crude log church was soon outgrown by the early 1850's. Most of the parishioners decided to build a new church to the south at present day Johnsburg. Some dissenters started building a new stone church at this old location, but soon ran out of money. There was bitter disagreement among the parishioners, with many moving to other states. In 1854 a temporary church was built and used at the new location until the new stone church was dedicated by Bishop Henni in 1857.

The church buildings at this location were razed in 1873. The school building was moved close to Johnsburg. Over 100 persons were buried at this location. Some were exhumed and moved to Johnsburg, but most remain here.

Additional information about this site is available at the Malone Area Heritage Museum.
The marker is accessible from eastbound Calmar Road, about a quarter mile east of its intersection with County Highway W, Malone, Wisconsin 53049.

NOTE: It's easy to blow past this marker and miss it. If you go a half mile past County Highway W, you've gone too far.

In 2014 and 2015, the Malone Area Heritage Museum raised funds in part through generous donations by individuals to erect this sign at the site of the original Johnsburg community site, St. Johannes. The project was headed up by Dan Dreifuest. Elmer and Lorraine Thome made the journey to the backhills of the East to pick up the sign. The marker was first displayed during Museum's annual summer social before it was placed at its current location on Calmar Road.


See also, St. John the Baptist Parish and Marker 302: Father Caspar Rehrl, related markers at a nearby location.

 Looking south, with the steeple of the "new church"
visible in the distance in the center of the photo.



  Looking east along Calmar Road.

The nearby barn . . .

 The "new stone church", St. John the Baptist,
in nearby Johnsburg, is the location of

 Looking west, view of Lake Winnebago
from County Highway W and Calmar Road.

Signage on County Highway W leading to the marker location.

 The marker was placed by the Malone Area Heritage Museum.

The marker is located in Malone, Wisconsin.

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