New London museum repository for national club
The New London Public Museum has been chosen to become the official repository for a nationwide organization devoted to water spaniels.
Photographs, documents, articles and administrative records of the American Water Spaniel Club will be preserved in the museum archives.
The AWSC donated $200 to help the museum purchase the supplies it needs to properly care for the collection. The club also agreed to donate $50 a year to continue the care of the collection.
“We’re excited about it,” Museum Director Christine Cross said. “It’s kind of a cool collection just to be able to see the history of not only the water spaniel but the club as well.”
The public will be able to view the archival collection by appointment. Cross said Alice Gilman, assistant museum director and archivist, will be processing the collection throughout the summer, but people are welcome to call and start scheduling appointments.
“We are very excited about this new collection,” Gilman said. “With its ties to New London, it is a natural fit with the museum’s mission.”
Formed in 1985, the AWSC is a Wisconsin-based non-profit and the AKC parent club of the breed. There are around 200 members from the U.S. and internationally. The AWSC promotes the American Water Spaniel and provides support to club members by hosting gatherings and events, conducting hunt tests, and giving tips on training, health and safety.
Developed in the Fox and Wolf River valley of Wisconsin during the mid-19th Century, the water spaniel breed was a favorite of waterfowl hunters in the Great Lakes region. It was also used by hunters because of the breed’s endurance and ability to work in a variety of terrains.
In the 1920s, Dr. Fred J. Pfeifer of New London was a major influence in having the dog recognized as a specific breed by the United Kennel Club. With help from local students, the American Water Spaniel became the Wisconsin State Dog in 1986.
The AWSC has held competitions in New London during past summers. The next competition in the area will be the 2016 AKC Spaniel Hunt Tests at Wolf River Game Farm in Shiocton from June 18-19.