Discover the Silent City- Steenwyk

 

This year LCHS hosted the 17th annual Discover the Silent City cemetery tours through Historic Oak Grove Cemetery. While previous events have included female characters, this event focused on the stories of eight "Remarkable Women of La Crosse". 2016's event saw attendance doubling previous year's attendance. This was a very successful event and we greatly thank all of our event organizers, volunteers, attendees, and sponsors! 

Over the next few days we will add some photos and a little more information on each "Remarkable Woman"

Our last stop on the tour took us to Grace Pettingill Hogan Van Steenwyk - portrayed by Wendy Mattison. This was the favorite performance out of many attendees to the tour.

Grace Van Steenwyk lived a very long life, and she lived it entirely here in La Crosse. A socially prominent figure, she devoted much of her time and energy to a slew of civic and religious good causes, including being a very early member of the League of Women Voters in the 1920s.  She was even a member of the La Crosse County Historical Society. Her first husband was James Hogan, who was a large wholesale grocer. After his death she remarried Gysbert Van Steenwyk. Van Steenwyk was a member of a prominent local banking family.

Grace Van Steenwyk tells a very humorous tale, based on something that happened to her in 1918 while attending the funeral of Judge George Bunn, a Minnesota State Supreme Court Justice. You’ll find yourself in stitches, laughing at her inadvertent adventure with an electric car in the cemetery during this solemn occasion.