Prigan sara

Sara Prigan

My great great grandparents, Karl Anton (1833-1888) and Johanna Caroline Calies Anton (1835-1897), left Prussia in 1863 on the ship Sir Robert Peel.


Their first child accompanied them, as did my great great great grandmother Christiana Calies (1804-1900).


They joined other Germans in tiny Hustisford, Wisconsin, where schools, businesses, and churches used German for decades to come.


Their church provided services in German until the 1970s.


They had 10 children and farmed land that was rich, inexpensive, and plentiful, its native American inhabitants recently driven off. 


I imagine their first plow, and then think of William Carlos Williams’s poem "The Red Wheelbarrow" (1923).


So much has depended on that plow, and on their hard work, their risk-taking, and their luck.


My panel shows the ship’s manifest, the ship itself, the 1880 Wisconsin census, parts of the 1890 Hustisford plat, and my great great grandparents’ gravestones.


What might these strangers have passed down that I don’t realize?


What can I find out about them by looking inward?


 For example did they have the dry sense of humor on my mother’s side, or perhaps my feeling that a city must be near a lake or river?  

One House Project Blackrock Audio Tour
  1. Kajal Dhabalia
  2. Kellyn Moran
  3. Craig Cahoon
  4. Rosa Leff
  5. Shanthi Chandrasekar
  6. Cynthia Farrell Johnson
  7. Jen Sterling
  8. Rita Elsner
  9. Jacqueline Grace
  10. Leslie Nolan
  11. Sandra Davis
  12. Cheryl Mendenhall
  13. Sara Prigan
  14. Anne Cherubin
  15. Dominie Nash
  16. Seemeen Hashem
  17. Lourdes Bernard
  18. Cheryl Edwards
  19. Barbara Frank
  20. Ric Garcia
  21. Warren Alan Jackson
  22. Sally Kauffman
  23. Kyujin Lee
  24. Michael Lang
  25. E. Tina Martin Wyatt
  26. Yolanda Prinsloo
  27. Jane Pettit
  28. Akemi Maegawa
  29. Kate McConnell
  30. Gabrielle Tillenburg