In the town of Marion, which is north of Manawa, they have a new museum building which was dedicated in 2009. There is an extensive collection of tools that were previously housed in the Marion Depot. The Marion Depot is an original Chicago Northwestern depot composed of waiting rooms and an office, which are both restored with original furnishings. Half of the depot stores many different items of interest, such as wooden toys from the Schoenhut Toy Co., circa 1910; WWI and WWII memorabilia as well as an extensive collection of memorabilia from the JFK era. A variety of items related to the town of Marion, which merchants gave away as what we now refer to as “promotional items” during the early 1900’s. Postcard photos and handcrafted scale model replicas of the Marion Band Stand, Perry’s Boat and the First National Bank, these items were created by the late Doug Johnson. There is also a Soo Line caboose, it is the last wooden, cupola-style caboose to be retired. There is also a switching station and semaphore on the grounds as well. The Marion Area Historical Society Museums are open every Saturday from Memorial Day until Labor Day 1 to 4 p.m.
In Waupaca County there is a wealth of historical artifacts and places in which to see them. The Passport to History is a program that was conceived to help people become aware of the heritage of their Communities as well as the County. You may pick up a passport at any of the participating historical sites and receive a stamp for each site that you visit and once you have accumulated all the “visa” stamps, you can fill out the form and mail it in, and on November 1st your name will go into a drawing for $100 savings bond or one of two memberships to the Wisconsin Historical Society.
The Clintonville Historical Society is located in Pioneer Park, which is home to 3 historic buildings. The History House Museum, The Ralph Denn Cabin are open 1 – 4 p.m. June, July and August and are located at 32 – 11th St. in Clintonville.
Our next stop on the Passport to History is Iola, and the Iola Depot. Also in the Depot St. complex is the Helvetia Town Hall, a log cabin, a reproduction of a one-room school house and the 1901 Firehouse. Iola is proud of their history and it certainly shows. It is located at 210 Depot St in Iola and open every Saturday of June, July, August and September from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
We will continue our “passport to history” in our next blog post! Stay tuned for even more history of Waupaca County!