Photos courtesy of Curt Knoke
The mansion at the former Alexian Brothers Novitiate in Gresham, Wisconsin.
1939- A wealthy woman from New York, Jennie Peters, begins building a home for herself and her disabled daughter. Work ensues on the Georgian-style mansion constructed of cut limestone. The mansion includes 35 rooms, a two-story stone portico, and a second story balcony overlooking Freeborn Falls on the Red River. Unfortunately, her daughter dies before the mansion is finished.
1948 - Mrs. Peters donates the mansion to the Alexian Brothers, a Catholic order devoted to caring for the sick.
1952 - The Alexian Brothers build several other buildings on the grounds including a chapel and dormitories.
1972 - The last of the Alexian Brothers leave the property and move operations to Chicago.
1975 - Standoff with the Menominee Warrior Society. Later that year, fire severely damages the property.
2004 - After changing hands multiple times, the buildings built by the Alexian Brothers are demolished, leaving only the mansion, which was again put up for sale in 2020.
2021 - New owners with ties to the area purchase the property in hopes of restoring the mansion and gorgeous 180 acre property. Working together with various local stakeholders, and listening to the community, we hope to create something special! Do you have ideas what the property could become? Share with us your feedback!
Sources: Green Bay Press-Gazette, March 4, 2020
The Shawano Leader, January 6, 2012
The Menominee Standoff
Learn about the history of the 1975 standoff with the Menominee Warrior Society as reflected by Patrick Rick, a former resident of the Alexian Brothers Novitiate. Or, read about it in his book: The Abbey & Me: Renegades, Rednecks, Real Estate & Religion.