The Life and Lace of Mrs. Van

The Life & Lace of Mrs. Van

Meet Susannah Van Valkenburg!

This early Wisconsin settler was known in Oshkosh for making beautiful lace, and for her role as a Civil War nurse. “Mrs. Van,” as her many friends called her, led a long and fascinating life. From emigrating to Wisconsin in 1856, to nursing on the warfront, to involvement in women’s clubs, one constant in her life was lace making. Self-taught as a child, her fine needlepoint lace was admired by many, including first ladies and queens! 

Mrs. Van was beloved by the Oshkosh community and lived here for fifty-nine years. At the end of her life, she donated several belongings and examples of her lace to the Museum. This exhibition showcases her skill with a needle, as well as the stories of her remarkable life.

Intricately hand-woven lace by Susannah Van Valkenburg

August 26, 2023 through February 11, 2024

Historic Sawyer Parlor


Educators viewing The Life and Lace of Mrs. Van
View of the gallery exhibiting The Life and Lace of Mrs. Van
Child inspecting artifacts in People of the Waters

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