March 24 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
An Evening at the Milwaukee Club
Built in 1882, the Milwaukee Club is the oldest city club in its original clubhouse west of the Allegany’s. The presence of the original clubhouse has been maintained with the same reverence of tradition and high standards for more than 133 years. Event guests will enjoy self-guided tours of the club, dessert, and a program with Milwaukee author Matthew Prigge.
At this Historic Milwaukee event, Prigge will discuss the tragic Newhall House Hotel fire which took place at the hotel where the Milwaukee Club was founded. On February 17, 1882, the executive committee of the Milwaukee Club met to sign the articles of association and on March 6 of that year the new members gathered in the ladies parlor of the ill-fated Newhall House Hotel for the first meeting. In less than a year, that hotel burned to the ground in a tragic fire.
About Matthew Prigge
Matthew J. Prigge is a librarian and freelance author from Milwaukee. He is the author of four books, including Damn the Old Tinderbox!: Milwaukee’s Palace of the West and the Fire that Defined an Era, and contributed a short story to the recently released Milwaukee Noir anthology. He won the 2017 Gambrinus Prize from the Milwaukee County Historical Society and is a regular contributor to Milwaukee Magazine and the Shepherd Express. He is currently working on his first novel.
Prigge’s book Damn the Old Tinderbox!: Milwaukee’s Palace of the West and the Fire that Defined an Era, is the gripping tale of one of the Gilded Age’s forgotten calamities. In the dead of an unassuming January night in 1883, Milwaukee’s Newhall House hotel was set on fire. Two hours later, the building—once among the tallest in the nation—lay in ruins and over seventy people were dead. It was a tragedy that brought global notice to Milwaukee, with daring escapes and rescues and heart-wrenching tales of victims burned to death or killed as they leapt from the burning building. From the great horror emerged an even greater string of mysteries: Who had set the fire and who was to blame for the staggering loss of life? What of the many other unexplained fires at the hotel? Had the Newhall’s management neglected fire safety to boost their profits?
$35 – 45