My Legacy I still remember the day my parents told me that they were looking into buying the house on Broadway. The very next day we went to look at this amazing home. I loved the house from the very beginning. It was like my dream house. When parents decided to buy it I was joyous. I love history so I read through some of the history about this marvelous home.
The house was built in 1858 by Joseph G. Lawton. He was an idustrialist and a banker. The was two-foot lime stone that originally quarried from the river for a lock and a dam was salvaged and used to build three houses one being the Crow's Nest.
Legend has it that the house was used as a hideaway for the Under Ground Railroad.
In 1889 it was bought by Col. Harrison Cawker ( a millionare). Cawker had many parties.
At these occasions the guests would drink, dine, and dance which occupied the guests untill dawn. Benjiman Harrison was a guest at one of Cawker's parties. A popular song "After the Ball was Over"was inspired and authored after a formal dance hosted by Col. Cawker.
The home was called the "Crow's Nest". Some say the home got it's name from the railing on top the house called "The Widow's Walk",or the "Crow's Nest".
Others beleive that the house got it's name from Col. Cawker himself, or a modified indian translation of his name.
The house was then sold in 1892. After a period of decline for fifteen years it was made in to a creamery and then a tenement house. It was purchased in 1907 by J. W. Lyons, founder of Lyons Boiler Works. He restored the estate to it's former beauty. the Crow's Nest faced Front Street on the Fox River untill North Broadway became a major transportation area. Front Street was eliminated and Lyons changed the front of the house to face Broadway.
The J. H. Taylor family of Green Bay bought the home in 1917 and lived in it for fourteen years.
Vacant from 1931 to 1936 it was then purchased by the A. A. Reimer and then refurbished.
In the 1980's the property was bought by St. Norbert College and made for the president to live (Thomas Manion) untill 1996.
That is when we purchased the wonderful home and renevated it to match the original setting of the home's beauty.
When we were renevating the house, between the levels we found eaten cobs of corn. We also found a little glass dish with a gold ring around it and later found out it was possibly part of Mrs. Reimer's doll tea set.
To this day there are still heavy wood shutters that you can open from the inside that were used to protect them when the Indians attacked.
The stream to the north was used to float timber from the backwoods to the river and eventually to the nearby sawmill.
"Beyond the stream, where the apartment pool now stands, was a pond'', my father once said.
"This pond provided happy times for the children of De Pere who have fond memories of the fun they had swimming and ice skating as the seasons changed",added my mother.
This affects my family because we now live in this amazing historic site.
This changed my way of thinking about old houses because when people say a house is haunted because it is old that makes me mad.