history of the brand
Fanna Kendall Pier was the wife of Colwert Pier, one of the first permanent settlers of Fond du Lac. On May 28, 1836, Colwert Pier left Green Bay by horseback to prepare the “Fond du Lac House” for the coming of his wife. Mrs. Pier took a safer route by boat down the Fox River and Lake Winnebago, for there were rumors of an Indian war about to break out.
On June 6, 1836, Fanna Pier arrived at the outlet of the Fond du Lac River on Lake Winnebago. The Winnebago Indians lined the banks of the river and welcomed Fanna on her arrival as she was greeted by her husband.
Captain Samuel Irwin wrote these words about the Piers: “I bade goodbye to Mrs. Pier with feelings not unmixed with sorrow. She endeared herself to all of us by her uniform kindness. She assisted us in our cooking, and cheering us by her looks and words through all the trying scenes of the nine days we were on the voyage. When we left her on the bank of the Fond du Lac River, a lone region surrounded by hundreds of Indians, with no one but her husband to protect her, we all felt sad.”
Another writer also had this to say, “She once told me that when Captain Irwin’s boat was out of sight, she and her husband were left alone-feeling they constituted the only civilized inhabitants of the entire region, she sat down upon the ground and cried a considerable time, then wiping away her tears, she resolutely got up and walked into the house where her home was to be, and took a calm view of the surroundings…”
The Fond du Lac House consisted of two cabins united; there was a hall between the dining room and sitting room, and a kitchen in the rear of the cabin. Within a half a day, an Indian squaw appeared at the house. Through sign language, Mrs. Pier understood that the woman wanted to trade some feathers for some flour, and she did so. Within a half hour, the house was filled with squaws wanting to trade feathers for pork and flour. The Piers only had one barrel of pork and 2 barrels of flour. By the end of the day, Fanna had enough feathers to make two rather large feather beds.
Tragedy struck the small settlement of Fond du Lac on March 1, 1838, with the passing of Mrs. Fanna (Kendall) Pier, following a short illness.
Fanna Street, a one block road in Fond du Lac, is named after Mrs. Pier and is located on land where the Pier farm had previously stood.
Owners, Chris (Willis) Koepke and Cathy (Willis) Spanbauer grew up on Fanna Street. Their first entrepreneurial enterprise (at the ages of 10 and 8) was named Fanna Street Lounge and was located in the basement of their home. They served homemade paper food “cooked” on their mother’s vintage toy stove.