Traveling Exhibitions and Speaking Events-
Join us on Sunday, April 21 at 1 p.m. for a presentation by Robert Root, author of “Walking Home Ground: In the footsteps of Muir, Leopold, and Derleth”
Images and artifacts fill the exhibit dedicated to the area’s history of logging and lumber. 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 Wisconsin Rapids (pre-1920 Grand Rapids), Nekoosa, and Port Edwards are on exhibit.
This room in the past has been the Gift Shop and the office of the Administrator, the renovation has taken the room back to it’s original purpose, the study of Isaac P. Witter. The original built-in bookcases are full of classic novels, stories, and books that the Witter family would have enjoyed and collected. The family history is outlined on top of the cases.
The room, formerly known as The Front Gallery, has been renamed in honor of the contributions of T.W., Cathryn, and Nicholas Brazeau Sr. in the founding of the SWCHC, the establishment of the Museum, and its continued success within the Community.
During the 2024 season, this room will feature different Traveling Exhibits. The dates and outlines of the exhibits will be listed in the Events section. Some of the works of local artist Ann Kurz are also featured.
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 features “Then & Now,” showcasing street scenes through our city’s history.
Enjoy views of the Wisconsin River from one of Charlotte Witter’s favorite rooms. And step into Charlotte’s “Shadowlawn”.
Phil’s Den of Antiquity
A collection of local memorabilia belonging to Phil Brown. The exhibit includes souvenir items, postcard images that reflect the change from Grand Rapids to Wisconsin Rapids, and more.
Our 2023 updated exhibit takes you through the different processes of picking cranberries, as well as features of some of the founders of our cranberry industry and the history of Glacial Lake.
In 2020, the Toy Room was worked on to reveal the original fireplace previously blocked off for exhibit use. Over the exposed fireplace and mantel, enjoy hand-drawn nursery rhymes. Other displays include toy trains, Tootsie Toy cars, and a Barbie display.
Wisconsin Rapids 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”.
His other works include cartoon sketches, poetry, sheet music, and Consolidated News covers.
New for the 2024 season will be recently donated 1938 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs oil cloth dolls produced by the Ideal Toy Company.
General Store/Country Kitchen
Step back in time with the general store and country kitchen. These displays were initially 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.
Located in the School Room, our rotating Military display is assembled by our Military Historian, William Parker.
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.