Images and artifacts fill the exhibit dedicated to the history of logging and lumber in the area. From the days when lumberjacks roamed the territory and transformed the natural landscape, and Raftsman traversed the Wisconsin River you’ll learn what life was like for these figures in the 19th Century.
Located at the bottom of the stairs into the basement, the exhibit is displayed to step back in time waiting for the next train to arrive. The history of depots in the Wisconsin Rapids (pre-1920 Grand Rapids) Nekoosa, and Port Edwards are on exhibit.
The Front Gallery
The room that originally served as the Witter living room now holds the Grim Natwick display.
Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School graduate Myron H. “Grim” Natwick (1890-1990) is best known for animating the motion picture character “Betty Boop”. He also helped create “Snow White”, “Gulliver’s Travels”, “Woody Woodpecker”, and “Mr. Magoo”.
Enjoy his early work, cartoon sketches, and his cover artwork featured in 1920’s Consolidated Paper Mill “News”.
J. Marshall Buehler Gallery
Named after local historian and long time Board member of the South Wood County Historical Museum, the gallery that holds our changing exhibit space is featuring “100 years of Wisconsin Rapids” 1920-2020.
Phil’s Den of Antiquity
A collection of local memorabilia belonging to Phil Brown, President of the SWCHC. The exhibit includes items from the Grand Rapids Brewery, souvenir items, items reflecting the change from Grand Rapids to Wisconsin Rapids and more.
What was originally the kitchen and Butler’s pantry now holds the Cranberry Exhibit. Both rooms feature equipment and descriptions of South Wood County cranberry history. New in 2021, is cranberry art by local artists.
In 2020, the Toy Room was worked on to reveal the original fireplace that had previously been blocked off for exhibit use. For the 2021 season, the space features hand-drawn nursery rhymes. Other displays include toy trains, TootsieToy cars, and a Barbie display.
General Store/Country Kitchen
Step back in time with the general store and country kitchen. These displays were originally put in for the Museums’ first season in 1972. Through the years items from local grocers, dairies, and banks have been included.
Reminiscent of the one-room schoolhouses that used to operate through the South Wood County area, our school room features vintage student desks and mementos of primary school education from the past.
The Doctor’s office exhibit, located in a former bathroom has been transformed to resemble a visit to a doctor’s office. On display are medical tools and equipment that doctors from the region used. The history of local doctors is also highlighted in the exhibit.