144 Shenandoah Drive
The last owner of this house was Harry Leutjen who sold it to the tribe on June 4, 1992. Harry Leutjen was born September 11, 1931 to Henry and Matilda (Baird) Leutjen. He is the grandson of Chauncey and Tillie (Metoxen) Baird. Chauncey was the eighth of Cornelius D. and Margaret (Hill) Baird’s twelve children and was 13 at the time of the allotments. Together Chauncey and Tillie had eight children.
THE JOSHUA & CHRISTINE (NINHAM) SKENANDORE'S HOUSE
600 Silas Drive
This house was built on the original allotment of Joshua Skenandore, born 1852 to Nicholas and Susan (Cornelius) Skenandore. He married Christine Ninham on September 6, 1874, in the Holy Apostles Episcopal Church. She was born July 9, 1858 to Aaron and Mary (Johns) Ninham. Together they had sixteen children.
THE JACOB SHENANDOAH HOUSE
140 Shenandoah Street
The original allottee for this homestead was Jacob Shenandoah. He was born 1840 to son of Elijah and Mary (House) Shenandoah and died September 16, 1890. He married Christine Swamp, born 1846 to Hannah Swamp and together they had fourteen children. Coincidentally, Jacob is the son of Elijah Skenandore and the father of Nelson Skenandore making three of the houses related. The last family to life in the house was Hilton Charles.
JOHN Q. ADAMS HOUSE
This house was also known as the Dexter House. It was removed from Dexter Drive which used to cross Duck Creek and continue on to County Highway J at the time the house was built. It was located behind the Hidden Valley Driving Range near Duck Creek just off Highway 54 in Oneida, Wisconsin. The house is believed to have been built around the mid-1800's.
According to an old newspaper clipping about the house, Leroy King, then owner of the Hidden Valley Driving Range told reporters, “I was out on the course and a guy came up to me, a guy that had to be around 90, told me that house used to be down by the creek. It was moved up here around 50 years ago.” That would have been about 1930.
NELSON SKENANDORE HOUSE
173 Riverdale, Drive
This house was initially called the Webster House because that was the name of the family living in the house at the time of its disassembly. It was located between the railroad track and County J and was the original homestead of Nelson Skenandore. Nelson was, at the time of allotments, 7 years of age. He was born October 5, 1882 to Jacob and Christine (Swamp) Skenandore. He later married Olive Reed, the daughter of John and Elizabeth (Cooper) Reed and together they had eleven children. One of their granddaughters, Alma, married Donald Webster and they were the last inhabitants of the house.
THE SALT PORK AVENUE PROJECT
By Judith L. Jourdan, Oneida Genealogist
Edited By Jill McNutt
Nineteen ninety-two marked the beginning of an exciting project that would take more than 13 years to complete – the re-creation of Salt Pork Avenue. According to Tribal Historian, Loretta V. Metoxen, the Jacob Shenandoah property was sold to E. P. Boland. Boland took five acres and built a series of small houses which became rental units. That was the first Salt Pork Avenue. Many of the older members of the Oneida community will remember the block-long Salt Pork Avenue in Oneida. In the old days, on any given day, you could smell the salt pork cooking as you walked down the street.
In the mid 1960's, the Hobart Town Board renamed Salt Pork Avenue as Shenandoah Drive. As the years passed by, Salt Pork Avenue has not been forgotten, especially not by the Oneida Cultural Heritage Department.
The location of the log home reconstruction project is the north side of Highway 54, just west of Hillcrest Drive (Highway FF). Access to the homes is by Pleasant Lane to Kahonk Road. The original allottee for this parcel of land was Noah Swamp.
Most of the homes on Salt Pork Avenue date back to the mid 1800's. It was deemed imperative that, as these homes were being replaced by newer, modern structures, the older structures be preserved as a part of Oneida’s historic past. These homes are a direct link to our ancestors from New York who began migrating to Wisconsin in the early 1800's. They utilized the materials at hand to build their homes. There was an abundance of timber, mostly oak, but also cedar and pine.
As a part of the reconstruction process, a consultant, James K. Hayward, was hired. James is a restoration specialist who was, at the time, working at the Heritage Hill Park construction. His first assignment was to assess the log homes for disassembly and restoration and to outline his process.
Restoration is a complex process which begins with a through assessment of the structure. Careful documentation is taken via notes, drawings, and photographs to assist in the reconstruction. It is also a running record of the reconstruction process.
James K. Hayward states:
“Research is an important part of documentation. Research includes the study of historic material such as old photographs, personal letters and diaries. This information is helpful in planning what will be done during restoration. For example, a period photograph can be helpful in determining whether a chimney is brick or stone.”
It is only after the original structure is assessed and documented that disassembly can occur. Non-historic material is removed, and recovered treasures are documented. Old newspapers, letters, or diaries provide information to help better
re-create not only the structure, but the original “feel” of the building.
As the reconstruction process occurs, modern building codes are applied to the historic buildings, keeping the “new” buildings safe, and assuring they will last.
Consultant Hayward says:
“The process ... is lengthy and time consuming. It requires the talents and special skills of many dedicated people. From assessment, documentation, disassembly to reconstruction, historic restoration is a labor of love for the people who contribute to the preservation of our historic past.”
HISTORY OF THE PROJECT
Between 1992 and 1996, five homes were disassembled in the manner James Hayward described. They were stored in a barn on Highway 29 until 1998, when they were moved to the barn at the Cultural Heritage Department.
On October 26, 1998, a General Tribal Council (GTC) motion was made by Tribal Historian Loretta V. Metoxen, that $250,000 for reconstruction of the log homes be included in another resolution. The motion passed and the project was on the move again.
The site which had already been designated in a 1996 GTC resolution was excavated and the foundations laid. In the spring of 1999, James Hayward was again consulted to teach the staff how to reconstruct the log homes. Now it was just a matter of reconstructing the houses.
Like a giant tinker toy set, each log home was carefully laid out next to the reconstruction site in preparation, but in the fall of that year the project was held up because of problems with the lease. In order to not lose the funding, the $250,000 was placed under CIP Project status. Gratefully, the Business Committee was supportive of the Cultural Heritage Department’s efforts and the project moved to number three on the CIP priority list. Culture, history and language had become a national priority.
The log home project was always included in the overall Cultural Center Plan and in the year 2000, the log homes project appeared on the Land Commission agenda several times. Finally, the Cultural Center Plan was given one year to submit an overall project site. At that time, the CIP Plan was 95% complete.
In August of 2000, the CIP plan for the Cultural Center, which included the log homes project, was completed and submitted to the Land Commission agenda and all the required committees. The log homes project was tabled by the Land Commission. On Nov. 13, 2000, a public hearing was held for the reconstruction of the five log homes into an historic Oneida village. A conditional use permit was granted.
A lease agreement was approved on March 19, 2001.To the relief of the Cultural Heritage staff and all parties involved, reconstruction of the log homes resumed. During the summer of 2003, driving down Highway 54, just approaching the Brown County Park, the “new” Salt Pork Avenue could be seen going up.
Eventually, James Hayward moved on to other projects within the state and in 2004, a new contractor, Jerry Dewayne, was hired to continue the project.
Doors and windows were installed, some of the roofing completed, and the final finishing needs were identified to complete the log homes. The fall of 2005 marked the completion of the project and the beginning of the furnishing and usage planning.
Throughout 2005-2007, the Oneida Department of Public Works assigned a crew to continue the work to finish the log homes. The crew completed the exteriors with board and batten, sealed the homes, and applied a preservative to the exterior. Then, they began work on the interior window casings, lofts, and floors. They did a fantastic job! In 2007, an open house was held to provide the opportunity for the community to share their families’ stories of living in these log homes and to provide input for the usage and furnishing of the interior.