News & Events

Sunday, Nov 4th from 1-4pm:
Annual meeting at TimberHaven in Polar
Annual Meeting Registraton Form

Wednesday, November 7th evening:
Refreshments at the Civic Music Association Concert at the Volm Theater

Current Newsletter - Fall2018.pdf

Newsletter Highlights

Remodeling Plans Continue
Preserving Francis Deleglise's Cabin
Sources for Tips on Restoring Historic Buildings - Sandborn Maps
How to Preserve Your Historic Building

Annual Board Meeting

Our 2018 annual meeting will take place on Sunday November 4 from 1pm to 4pm at the TimberHaven in Polar. There will be a dinner followed by a brief business meeting and a presentation entitled “A Stroll through Old Downtown Antigo”. Details of the meeting are on a separate page in this newsletter.

Downtown flourished with business and social life when Antigo was a major railroad hub, from the beginning of the 20th century to the 1950s and on into the 1960s and 1970s. But, like many smaller cities, downtowns have been affected by movement of retail sales to big box stores at the outskirts and to online retail outlets. With efforts underway to revitalize downtown, we should take pride in and perhaps learn from what was a thriving area with the variety of stores and opportunities for gathering and socializing.

The presentation will be given by board members Dean Blazek and Joe Hermolin. A few years ago Blazek and Hermolin assisted Antigo Middle School students to prepare a booklet entitled “Take a Walk Back in Time in Downtown Antigo”. The project was directed by teachers MS Umland and MS Darr and used information and photographs from the museum archives and Blazek’s recollections

Museum Board Elections

Each November three of the museum’s nine member board have their terms expire. This year Nancy Bugni, Joe Hermolin, and Diane Zuelzke have expiring terms. In addition there is a vacancy due to the resignation of Gary Whitman. Bugni, Hermolin, and Zuelzke have agreed to serve another term and Chris Haedtke has also agreed to serve. This is the slate of candidates recommended by the current board for election at our annual meeting. There will be an opportunity for nominations from the floor at the meeting.

The State-Wide Picture

The Langlade County Historical Society is one of over 400 local museums around the state affiliated with the Wisconsin Historical Society. The flagship museum in Madison has major revisions in the works. A new museum on the capitol square is being planned, at a cost that could approach $250 million. The Wisconsin Historical Society was formed in 1846, two years before Wisconsin became a state. Its current museum, which draws 77,000 visitors annually, including 23,000 school children, is inadequate and expansion is much needed. It is housed in a former hardware store on Madison’s Capitol Square and is limited by outdated technology, costly maintenance, and public safety risks. School groups have been turned away because of inadequate space.

Consistent with “the Wisconsin Idea” the philosophy of the Historical Society is that “the walls of the museum should be the borders of the state”. Therefore, as part of the expansion there will be greater collaboration with local museums to tell the story of “What makes Wisconsin, Wisconsin”.

Approximately 5,000 square feet of the new museum will be dedicated to temporary exhibits with a significant portion highlighting collections from local history organizations. Exhibits created from local collections will be created for display in Madison. They will then be re-installed in the local museums and other venues. Field Services representatives from the Wisconsin Historical Society will be touring museums around the state to develop plans for collaborating on exhibits.

The Wisconsin Historical Society is also increasing its outreach to local museums to assist them with their own work. Increased outreach has begun and will expand by planning collaborations among local museums as well as between museums and other organizations such as schools, tourist development offices, service organizations, etc. With the technology planned, the new museum should be able to reach students and local history partners in all 72 counties of the state.

This is a lengthy process. Architectural and exhibition space plans are now being developed. The current museum will close in the fall of 2019. Demolition of the current building and construction of the new museum at the same but expanded location will begin in the winter of 2010. The new museum should reopen in the spring of 2013. We should all be able to benefit locally from the efforts of the Wisconsin Historical Society in more ways in the future.

Remodeling Plans Continue

Construction of the original building

Our remodeling master plan has been a long process but we feel we have arrived at a workable plan. At our annual meeting in November, 2017 we presented a plan to the general membership, hoping for some feedback – and we got it. While upgrades to the lighting, ductwork, and ceiling repairs had been high on our initial list, it became clear that handicap accessibility was a greater priority. This included access to the building, elevator access to all three floors and a handicap rest room. And so that, along with some badly needed foundation repairs, were moved to the top of the list. Improvements to the lighting, ceiling repairs, and ductwork on the main floor will be our next step and improvements to the second floor and basement will be third.

Another stumbling block for the board has been assembling a team to oversee a project that is beyond the knowledge and skills of board members. In addition to revising our priorities we have decided to work with a new team of consultants. We will be working with Rod Cox, of the architectural firm Cox and Associates of Wausau, to develop a new plan. George Shinners of Antigo Construction and Dave Kuhr of Tradewell Construction, both of Antigo, will work with the museum to implement plans developed by Rod Cox. Wherever possible, we will work with local subcontractors. The museum board has met with Rod Cox, George Shinners, and Dave Kuhr and outlined an approach which will be more fully developed in the coming months. Major work will begin in the fall when museum hours are reduced but some preliminary work will begin shortly.

There will be some disruption in the museum but we will try to minimize it. Once more detailed plans have been agreed upon fundraising will begin in earnest although we have already raised some funds. Based on the community support that our historical society received when we purchased and restored our steam locomotive and created our “railroad park” we are confident that we can move far down our priority list and make the museum building itself an even greater asset to Antigo.

Langlade archives online

Langlade County Historical Society information online at website.

CCC Camp 657 of Elcho Added to Archives

Elcho CCC 657The CCC was one of the most successful of the New Deal projects implemented by FDR. It provided work and training for many young men and financial support for their families.

Camp 657 was established, in June, 1933 at Summit Lake in Langlade County. More permanent barracks were erected at nearby Otter Lake, in Elcho. In November 1933 the recruits marched in from their tents at Summit Lake to their new barracks in Elcho.

Camp 657 primarily did reforestation in a region that had been clear cut by the logging industry. Enrollees planted almost 1,400 acres and also build fire roads, lookout towers, fire breaks, did stream and pond development with fish stocking, improved conditions for wild game and established 3 acres of public campgrounds. More than 75 years after the camp ceased its existence the benefits of their efforts are still enjoyed in Langlade County.

Photos, camp newsletters, and memorabilia of Camp 657 Elcho may now be viewed at (in the search window, type “ccc camp 657 elcho”).

Medicine Man


A. J. Kingsbury Picture Postcards of Northern Wisconsin

Images of Ojibwe and Menominee Indians in northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the early 20th century, photographed by Arthur J. Kingsbury of Antigo.
Click to View Collection

Deleglise LetterDeleglise Documents

Letters written to family members by Francis Deleglise, founder of the city of Antigo, during his service in the Civil War.
Click to View Collection


Steam EngineLanglade County Railroad Photographs

The railroad photographs in the collection of the Langlade County Historical Society depict depots, rail yards, rail crews, locomotives, and train wrecks in the Antigo area from the late 19th century to the 1990s. View collection.
Click to View Collection

Logging Wagon Langlade County Logging Photographs

The logging photographs in the collection of the Langlade County Historical Society document work crews, logging camps, sawmills and other aspects of Wisconsin’s logging industry from the 19th century to the 1990s.
Click to View Collection


Anitgo Soldiers in World War I

In World War I Langlade County men formed the 107th Trench Mortar Battery Company. They saw action in France and participated in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. William Wessa documented the 107 TMB with photos and a written history.
Click to View Collection

Reuben Sweet Diary

Rueben Sweet Diary

Rueben Sweet left Manitowoc in 1863 to fight in the Civil War. He participaed in Sherman's March to the Sea.
Click to View Collection




by Richard Prestor and Joseph Hermolin

$21.99 - The newest book in the Arcadia Publishing's Images of America Series

Recent Donations:

David Aspenson: Sign from the White House Tavern in Antigo
Richard Brock: Indian beadwork examples, books
Mike Donahue: School books, Chicago & Northwestern hat, old money and stamps
Darin Fisher: Mess kit 1917-1918 of Roy Goodwill, mule bits, carpenter tools
Shirley Jeffrey: MLogging photos including Antigo’s Veneer Mill in 1947
Sandra MacArthur: Antigo High School yearbooks, UW-Madison book of 1925
George Rock: School book once owned by Richard Hanousek
Mary Wilhelm: Specialized centrifuge tubes for a Babcock milk fat tester

Monetary Donations:

Ron & Nancy Blood for the museum remodeling project

We took our show on the road:

Parts of the museum went on field trips to the community. we went to Pleasant View Elementary on three occasions to describe Francis Deleglise and the founding of Antigo, Antigo’s general history, and logging history in Langlade County. History is not just for the classroom and students.

This year, for the first time, we were invited to Breakfast on the Farm as part of June Dairy Month. A constant stream of breakfast attendees visited our display of old dairy farming related photographs and equipment. Some old-timers reminisced about old time practices while others, much younger, needed explanations of what they were looking at. Breakfast on the Farm is definitely an event the museum hopes to participate in again.

Special Thanks:

To all who donated items for our rummage sale and helped on the day of the sale and all who baked pies and helped at our table at music in the park. Thanks to all who helped at our annual railroad picnic: especially celebrity chefs Gary Kieper and Steve Bradley, The Springbrookers band, art donors Karen Aulik-Now and Andy Kazukewicz for our raffle.


Wisconsin Council for Local History

Mary Kay Wolf - CuratorThe Wisconsin Council for Local History is a state wide organization of over 370 local history groups. The Langlade County Historical Society is part of the Northwoods Region. The Council helps local groups in several ways:

  1. Each year mini-grants are awarded to a number of groups. This year the Langlade County Historical Society received a grant for the purchase of archival boxes and pages for our photo collection. Curator Mary Kay Wolf is busy organizing and indexing our archives and in the near future they should be much more accessible to the public.

  2. The Council, together with the Wisconsin Historical Society, organizes a number of workshops and webinars on a wide range of topics. A recent conference was held in Madison and board president Joe Hermolin attended workshops in processing archival collections, web design, and digitization. Workshops are being planned for spring and the next annual conference is scheduled for Wisconsin Rapids from October 11-12, 2013. Details on future workshops, webinars, and conferences, as well as bibliography and notes from the recent conference may be viewed on the Wisconsin Historical Society’s web site:

  3. The Council manages a local history listserve where people may ask questions, seek advice, post events, and more. Join by sending an email to: and type SUBSCRIBE in the body of the email.