written by Alison Bruener, Museum Assistant
As I prepare to welcome 2018, I begin to wonder what items will find their way to 540 3rd St. S. in the coming year. It’s been a busy year for museum staff. We’ve seen items unearthed from the attic and placed into exhibits for the public to see. New visitors ventured in throughout the summer, some with childhood memories of when the building was the T.B. Scott library. I’ve learned names of individuals who make up the history of our county, listened to stories from those born and raised here to those who moved here at some later point in their lives. I never know when someone I meet will have an event or time in their life when they touched a historic part, not only their community, but the country as a whole.
I’ve countless times walked past a small lap desk on display under the Witter history in the back sun room of the Museum. It was only when SWCHC Director Emeritus Dave Engel gave me a brief history and assignment to find information of the original owner that I realized how interconnected everyone is.
Professor Chittenden, who came to the area in the 19th century, was a man of many interests. He was principal at Howe high school, worked on water quality in the area and discoursed at the Congregational Church.
But it was perhaps his life before Central Wisconsin that gained attention and took some further digging. Before moving to this area, Thomas W. Chittenden was a teacher in New York and possibly taught a young boy who would one day become a great figure in American history.
But, to learn that name you will have to wait for the next issue of Artifacts, where the story can be given in greater detail!
The past couple weekends, the Museum was open for the Christmas Tree Walk. I am gladdened to see we had even more people walking through than we did for this event last year! Our Museum housed numerous trees in different rooms decorated by individuals, groups and organizations who are making history in South Wood County.
Here are some photos from this year’s event: