Oconto’s History, Brick by Brick
There’s all kinds of history in Oconto, but two architectural beauties stand out. It’s not uncommon to see churches sprawling across various Main Street communities in the Midwest, but they’re rarely the first church of their kind. Oconto is home to the first church built exclusively for worship by the First Christ of Christ, Scientist—not to be confused with Scientology—and was just the second church built by the denomination in the country. The gothic building dates back to 1886 and the interior is largely unchanged since its original construction. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and remains in use to this day.
Built in 1868, the Beyer Home Museum is one of the oldest remaining buildings in Oconto. The property spans a full block and is home to other historic buildings like the George E Hall Annex and a historic, carefully restored log cabin from Wisconsin’s earlier days. The Annex features several exhibits relating to the general history of Oconto County, including a history of nearby rivers and their role in shaping the community along with two vintage electric cars. One of the newest openings on the historic lot is the Carriage House, housing various artifacts that might have gone unnoticed if not for the meticulous attention of the historical society. The Carriage House opened in 2016 and offers tours during the Beyer Home’s normal hours. The next fact may give anyone with a mortgage a serious case of heartburn: when the expansive Beyer Home was put up for sale in 1878, it was eventually purchased for $568. The museum is open 12-4 p.m. every day through Labor Day.
Up Next: Oconto’s Late-Summer Staples and Autumn Events