Couple leaves $130,000 to Wisconsin Maritime Museum
MANITOWOC (WLUK) -- The Wisconsin Maritime Museum received a donation from a couple who's relationship began at the museum.
A $130,000 bequest came from the estate of Robert and Grace Peppard.
Bob Peppard was a museum volunteer from its inception in 1969. He also served on the museum's board of trustees, including as vice president in 1974-1975.
Bob met his wife, Grace Swensen, through the museum. Grace was the museum's first archival librarian.
Along with the bequest, a collection of books and photographs was also donated for the museum's archives.
"Bob was passionate about the museum, generous to a fault, and a champion of the museum's collections," said Caitlin Clyne, registrar/collections manager of the museum. "Almost 10,000 of the photographs, books and artifacts in our collections were donated by the Peppards. Bob was like a living, breathing hard drive of Great Lakes maritime history. Most of what I know about Lake Michigan car ferries, I learned from him."
The couple was also involved with the museum's Admiralty Society which helped fund the restoration and interpretation of the Chief Wawatam triple-expansion steam engine, a favorite interactive exhibit in the museum.
The Wawatam was an ice-breaking car ferry that worked in the Great Lakes.