Tomahawk Area Historical Society looks back at 2023, ahead to future
For the Tomahawk Leader
TOMAHAWK – The Tomahawk Area Historical Society (TAHS) held a special fall get-together held last week, which provided the organization with the opportunity to thank its many volunteers and take a look back at the past year, as well as offer a glimpse into future plans.
Immediate, future needs
TAHS said continuing and new volunteers are needed to help keep its two historic museums open, noting that assistance is needed with cleaning, displays, summer staffing and events.
“Monetary support of $10,000.00-plus is needed for Old Kindergarten Museum building foundation repairs in the next year or two,” TAHS stated. “Additional repairs will be necessary soon to the ramp and deck at the entrance of the museum.”
TAHS noted that its Building Committee conducted an in-depth review of the organization’s numerous structures, which led to the installation of insulation in a needed area and repairs to siding.
Accomplishments in 2023
Nearly 1,000 people signed the guest books at TAHS’ two museums this summer, the organization said.
“We experimented with opening the museums for two Wine and Cheese weeknights and held some Saturday hours,” TAHS stated. “Both were well-received, especially by people who cannot attend during regular hours and those visiting the Flea and Farmers Market on Saturdays.”
TAHS noted that it will try to do more Wine and Cheese weeknights and Saturday hours next year.
The organization converted information from its previous obsolete website to a new site, thanks to help from John Wurl. The site will receive continued updating, and new information will be added.
“The site has been maintained for years by Robin Comeau,” TAHS stated. “With these changes, she will bow out of that longtime assistance and we will take over locally. A huge thanks go to both Robin and Jon.”
TAHS received a $690.00 matching grant from the Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin Council of Local History. Only 18 of 53 applicants were accepted.
“The grant program provides monetary support to affiliate historical societies for projects related to collections care and access,” THAS explained, adding that its Accessioning Committee applied for the funding to support the purchase of collections management software.
TAHS said it is “excited to implement this new system to build upon the countless hours already devoted to accessioning efforts.”
“Two volunteers will be trained to use the newly purchased CatalogIt program to record all museum collections in one, easily searchable location,” TAHS stated.
A $1,900.00 grant from the STAR (Support Tomahawk Area Resources) Foundation allowed TAHS to purchase a laptop computer and various programs, as well as a projector.
Another grant from the Tomahawk Community Thrift Shop helped TAHS with maintenance, including spray foam to close air leaks under the porch area.
More than 50 people attended a Speaker Luncheon hosted by TAHS. The event featured retired local printer Louie Heuser, who is one of only a few printers left with an active Linotype.
TAHS also held several fundraising brat sales in the new hut at Trig’s.
TAHS said it is planning a reunion for students who attended the Old Kindergarten.
“The goal is to reunite as many ‘graduates’ as possible sometime around July 4, 2024,” TAHS stated.
TAHS is asking those who attended the Old Kindergarten and those who have class pictures to pass information along to the organization to help get the word out about the reunion.
The organization said it is currently in early discussions and exploratory stages of “possibly enhancing the historical complex with some exciting additions,” noting that more information will be shared as it develops.
“Our continuing goal is to preserve and share area history,” TAHS stated. “The society is run by volunteers. Your help make it possible. Spread the news about our efforts and encourage others to join us.”
To learn more about TAHS, visit www.tomahawkhistoricalsoc.org or www.facebook.com/TomahawkAreaHistoricalSociety; email [email protected]; or call 715-966-4801.