I think many people find Museums boring. And quite a few souls, when coming across a generic title, such as the Ashwaubenon Historical Society, will simply pass on a visit. Seemingly, local history is just not that exhilarating. However, if you give me a second, I’ll tell you that at times, as was the case here, one discovers relics wholly unanticipated. I guess it’s all about who you are, and what you seek out. Yet, since this museum has some very unique pieces, when compared to other local places, the hour I spent inside was definitely worth every second.
You’ll have to pardon my take, but there has always been some fascination, I’m talking of myself, when wandering such institutions. This little place has true blue antiquated items from this area’s past.
I’m not much for replicas; I want the real deal. That’s because, when observing an object that once served somebody’s purpose, there is a very real tale encapsulated in that piece. And it’s kind of mind blowing when you think, ‘That was the height of someone’s entertainment,’ when looking at an eight inch vacuum tube television.
But hey, it’s simply stuff from the past. Some call it junk, some call it priceless, others call it….well, history would be the word I would use. So, don’t trade in that old iPhone, keep it, and donate it. One day, who knows when that day will be, some kid might be astounded to find out that was the epidemy of technology. Well, at least I hope we keep progressing in that respect.
As for the Ashwaubenon Historical Society, when I approached, impeded by torrential rains, I discovered the glass doors were locked. I had to ring a bell. I also discovered, after entering and surveying the sign in log, that few people visit the place…and it’s a shame.
I say this because, and I’m not just being gracious or trying to create an interesting piece of writing, there were some cool pieces inside this place. I think the uniqueness is what sold me.
There was no fee, and the museum, which was basically two rooms, had horse carriages and sleighs, an antique punch in time clock, something known as a Graphophone and few other interesting features.
Also, included in the museum, I discovered a late local artist’s collection, the man was known as Adolph Vandertie.
Plus, with it being an honorable endeavor, there is a side room honoring veterans from all time periods. I was intrigued to find a Japanese flight suit among the US uniforms.
I was equally impressed that this museum hit on the many aspects of life. There was evidence of an economic past-from relics of a sugar beat factory to extensive research on Dairy Farmers in the area.
There were also historical remnants of religious and entertainment pursuits.
There was just a touch of government, mainly stories about an unconventional judge. Of course, the necessities of survival were also represented.
And finally, there was artwork depicting the hero of Ashwaubenon. It was a story of Native American lore. And the painting is pretty enormous, being a product of the WPA program.
In my opinion, for what it is, the museum is tended with care and done right. It’s a nonprofit outfit and they didn’t charge me a dime. I wasn’t even asked to make a donation. I know some kids are simply not interested, but, I think it would make a fun family pitstop. It’s practically right across from the Bay Park Square mall. The hours fall in the midday timeframe, so keep that in mind.
Here’s to our local past!