Museum building getting a face lift

Posted 11/3/21

Members attending the Quarterly Meeting of the Stanley Area Historical Society on Monday, October 25, had two surprises in store for them. As they approached the museum building, they encountered a …

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Museum building getting a face lift


Members attending the Quarterly Meeting of the Stanley Area Historical Society on Monday, October 25, had two surprises in store for them. As they approached the museum building, they encountered a variety of equipment being used to accomplish the tuck-pointing being done on the original museum building and later learned that with a monetary gift covering half the cost of needed tuck-pointing, the project is getting done before winter. The tuck-pointing had been cut from the project when the new roof was put on last year because of a larger than anticipated cost associated with the roof replacement. The second surprise was discovered when attendees entered the meeting room was an outstanding collection of arrowheads that had been a recent gift from Donald J. Miller. Miller is the grandson of Walter Miller, an early Stanley banker, who had collected them, along with Donald’s father, mostly from the Stanley countryside. Four panels of Native American artifacts/arrowheads arrived at the museum last week thanks to Dean Tinjum, who special transported them to Stanley from Miller’s sisters home in Denver, Colorado. A more complete history on the collection will be presented at the SAHS Annual Meeting in January.

During the regular meeting reports from Secretary Sharon Wundrow and Treasurer Jim Ericksen were approved as presented. The treasurer’s report indicated that finances remain stable and the Donald Halterman family was thanked for naming SAHS as the recipient of memorials. Ericksen also brought before the attendees his request to move SAHS accounts to the new Citizen’s State Bank. He noted that his working hours will better align with the hours the Citizens State Bank provides to account holders. His request was approved.

In a Building and Grounds report, Mark Bernklau reported that Gordy Smith had been hired to do the tuck-pointing repairs on the original school building. He noted that the project was more extensive than had originally been thought as a number of bricks had to be removed and replaced as their facing was damaged by moisture freezing and thawing that occurs in the fall and spring. For a building that is over 100 years old, its overall condition was noted as being very good. The brick walls are mostly protected by the substantial overhang of the roof which protects them from the elements. The fall work on the grounds has been completed thanks to John Pozdell and Dave Jankoski, with Pat Jankoski assisting with removal of the bush and plant trimmings. It was again noted the nice job the high school landscaping class had done on the west side of the museum.

Looking ahead to summer of 2022, the museum will remain open in June, July, August and September on Saturdays and Sundays, from 1-4 pm. President Jankoski noted that this year there were 50 volunteers who worked at least one day and 15 of them did two days of volunteering. Eric Mehnert, a summer intern from U W- Eau Claire, also assisted with museum coverage and received accolades for the work he did throughout the museum this summer/fall.

Museum Director Betty Plombon reviewed summer activities at the museum and is compiling a list of projects to be worked on this winter by volunteers.

There was a general discussion on possible programs in 2022.

Several under consideration are a presentation on the geology of the Stanley area, a wedding dress review, showing and telling of special collections, involving school children in making things and activities, and bring an antique/collectible for show/tell/learn. The museum staff would be interested in hearing from community members who have special collections that they would be willing to show and tell stories of their collecting adventures.

Cheryl Kern-Simirenko reported that her work with the state Digital Readiness Community of Partners Committee is winding down with getting documents and guides in final form, so they can become part of a digitization toolkit on Recollection Wisconsin. On the local level, the Digitization Work Group is in the process of regrouping after a summer recess. However, they have a desperate need for a volunteer who could do photographing of artifacts, as many items need to be added to the Past Perfect files in order for them to be completed. Work continues on enhancing the archives catalog and work is continuing on scanning of High School memorabilia. The group also hopes to develop a plan for utilizing TheClio to develop location tours of area cheese factories and rural schools, but this too is hindered by the need for more volunteers. Anyone interested in possibly getting involved can visit the museum on a Tuesday afternoon to become acquainted with what would be involved.

Plombon reported that the next newsletter will be coming out in January. Jankoski reported that the Clark County Historical Society’s semi-annual meeting will be hosted by the Woodland Hotel in Owen, which is under restoration, on Saturday, November 6. It was announced that the Annual Meeting of the Stanley Area Historical Society will be held on Saturday, January 22, beginning with a potluck meal at noon, with the meeting and a program to follow. President Jankoksi noted that the SAHS By-Laws need updating. Plombon and Kern-Simirenko volunteered to work with him developing a proposed update to be brought to the annual meeting. Jankoski thanked those in attendance, Mary Fitzsimmons for providing nourishment, and noted the presence of special guest/member Beanie Slowiak of Illinois who was visiting in the area.