Mary Elise Antoine

Mary Elise Antoine was born and raised in Prairie du Chien. She graduated from Marquette University with a BA in history and holds a master’s degree in history museum studies from New York State University–Oneonta. She resides in a restored French-Canadian house in Prairie du Chien.

Mary Elise has over 40 years of professional experience working in historic preservation and for historic sites. While residing in New York State, she was coordinator of interpretation for the New York State Division of Historic Preservation. She was then director at Fort Johnson, the 1749 home of Sir William Johnson.

Returning to Prairie du Chien, Mary Elise was curator of collections and research at Villa Louis State Historic Site for many years. She is on the board and past president of the Prairie du Chien Historical Society, where she coordinated the restoration of the St. Germain dit Gauthier House. She is the Wisconsin ambassador for the French Heritage Corridor and on the board of the Wisconsin Trust for Historic Preservation.

Her published writings include The War of 1812 in Wisconsin: The Battle for Prairie du Chien; Frenchtown Chronicles of Prairie du Chien; Enslaved, Indentured, Free: Five Black Women in the Upper Mississippi, all published by Wisconsin Historical Society Press. Images of Prairie du Chien, Legendary Locals of Prairie du Chien—Arcadia Publishing. Frenchtown Cemetery-Old Catholic Burying Ground-Prairie du Chien, 1816−1840—Little Creek Press.