Monday, March 7, 2011

Explore Your Local History!

Have you ever looked around Mukwonago or Waukesha and thought about the way it used to be? Can you see horses pulling carriages through the streets or imagine when Native Americans were the main inhabitants. The opportunity to exercise your imagination is rich within Waukesha County and Mukwonago itself. With an abundance of museums and local library reference collections you can learn more about the place you live and work every day!


Red Brick Museum

"Located in the heart of downtown Mukwonago, Wisconsin, the Mukwonago Museum was first established in 1967, the the Red Brick House was purchased with funds left by Mr. Arthur Grutzmacher. Built in 1842 by original Mukwonago settler Sewall Andrews, the home has been restored to a lovely Victorian house, reminiscent of the post-Civil War period.
For 40 years, community volunteers have staffed the museum, updated rooms, and educated guests in Mukwonago's history.
Today, the museum's mission is still strong. Continually involved in renovation of the old house, the museum's primary goal is to impart a love for history to all who visit this unique Mukwonago attraction." Check out their featured exhibit The American Indian Collection with artifcacs like beads, pottery, and arrowheads!

Waukesha County Historical Society & Museum

Founded in 1906 and residing in a the old gorgeous Waukesha Courthouse building built in 1893. The actual space for the collection began in 1913 and started with one room and has expanded to the entire building. For over 100 years it has been an instrumental part of the community housing, educating people about Waukesha County, coordinating local events, and housing great exhibits. Check out their Memories of World War II exhibit with photos from Associated Press photographers.

Local Library Resources

The Waukesha County Federated Library System has a great local history collection. I wanted to highlight just a few of the gems here at the Mukwonago Community Library.

A Chronicle of Mukwonago History is a work compiled by D.E. Wright in 1990. It will introduce you to some of the important folks from Mukwonago and early settlers where you can get to know people like "Old Cal" Agnew and the Craig Family. Imagine yourself as a pioneer when you read a little about earlier days and reminiscients. Get to know about the historical significance of the inns, industries, and church history.

Place of the Bear is another worked compiled by D.E. Wright with a first print in 1994. This seems to be an extension of A Chronicle of Mukwonago History and touches more on local schools, early Indian settlers, and family ties.

From Mequanego to Mukwonago is a set of four walking tours through Mukwonago by Kathryn Bergmann with the first edition printed in 1998. The tours are intersting and not overly long with a little over (or under) a mile on each tour. The book provides descriptions about each building it highlights on the tour and even adds some earlier photos of select buildings. This is definetly a neat family outing or romantic evening with a picnic!

Hopefully I will see you poking around these great places!

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