Historical society keeps local history aliveDuring the annual membership meeting of the Waupaca Historical Society on Thursday evening Sept. 10, the roar of three Canadian National trains rolling by did not bother the potluck dinner and fellowship of more 50 members at the Waupaca depot.
However, the loud, always somewhat thrilling, passage of the train engines and chains of large cars did slightly pause the presentation of some of the WHS officers: President Dennis Lear, Vice President Mike Kirk, Treasurer Bob Kessler, Secretary Betty Stewart, Holly Center Manager Julie Hintz and Hutchinson House Museum Curator Barbara Fay Wiese.
The buzz came from chatter about a number of issues. Included was the newly dug out full length and width basement of the depot. Although there have been a number of helpers, the main job was completed by three dedicated workmen: Mike Kirk, Jeff Weasner and Roger Hildebrandt who together recorded over 400 hours of labor.
The additional space, housing a number of priceless collections such as a set of dining car china, a model railway network, and a set of train lanterns, will add new purpose for Waupaca’s historic depot.
Wiese, after thanking her team of docents for their excellent tour-leading duty, reported on the active summer for the Hutchinson House Museum. She emphasized the antique trunk display, the forthcoming open house for the Fall-0-Rama, and management of the important oncoming Waupaca fourth-grade class history tours.
But Curator Wiese’s outstanding reminder of the meeting was that the Hutchinson House is more than the location of the Hutchinson family legacy, it is also Waupaca’s Historical House in the sense that in the late 1950s many of the local heritage families donated choice Victorian artifacts to furnish the newly renovated home and truly make it a museum of Waupaca’s early history.
Yes, it was a good evening with the clatter of train wheels interspersed within the vocal business and fellowship buzz of keeping Waupaca history alive.
Waupaca Historical Society