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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Port Washington in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Wisconsin Chair Company Fire

 
 
The Wisconsin Chair Company Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul F, July 15, 2009
1. The Wisconsin Chair Company Fire Marker
Inscription. One of the largest manufacturers of chairs in the United States, the Wisconsin Chair Company of Port Washington was founded by Fred A. Dennett and John M. Bostwick in 1888. After acquiring the important “MacLean Swing Rocker” patent in 1891, the Chair Company grew rapidly and became Port Washington’s biggest employer. The factory complex included two square blocks of Port Washington’s lakefront. Unfortunately, this success was interrupted when a catastrophic fire broke out in the factory’s veneering department on the night of February 19, 1899. The fire spread quickly despite the attempts of the Port Washington Fire Department. Although firefighters from Milwaukee and Sheboygan were called to assist, the Chair Company and six square blocks of homes and businesses were completely destroyed before the fire was under control. One firefighter lost his life, 28 families were left homeless and 800 people were without jobs. The damage was estimated to be $400,000, but because of community’s herculean efforts, the Wisconsin Chair Company was able to rebuild and remained a premiere industry until 1954.
 
Erected 1999 by State Historical Society of Wisconsin. (Marker Number 414.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society marker series.
The Wisconsin Chair Company Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Melinda Roberts, August 17, 2012
2. The Wisconsin Chair Company Fire Marker
Marker is located next to Dockside Deli.

 
Location. 43° 23.314′ N, 87° 52.084′ W. Marker is in Port Washington, Wisconsin, in Ozaukee County. Marker is on E Main St 0.1 miles from N. Franklin St. when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 E. Main St., Port Washington WI 53074, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sidewheel Steamer Niagara (a few steps from this marker); The Wilson House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Schumacher Building (about 500 feet away); Propeller from the S.S. Badger (about 500 feet away); Leland Stanford (about 500 feet away); Of Valor and Sorrow (about 500 feet away); Those That Fished (about 500 feet away); A Lakefront in Transition (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Port Washington.
 
Also see . . .  McLean Swing Rocker - 1895 Montgomery Ward Catalogue. (Submitted on June 8, 2010, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable Events
 
The Wisconsin Chair Company Fire Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, September 8, 2011
3. The Wisconsin Chair Company Fire Marker
at the Port Washington harbor
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,386 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.   2. submitted on , by Melinda Roberts of De Pere, United States.   3. submitted on , by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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