Vernon County Historical Society

Vernon County Historical Society Preserving the history of Vernon County, Wisconsin. Museum hours for September and October: Monday through Friday, noon to 4PM, or by appointment.
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The Vernon County Historical Society operates four historic sites: the Vernon County Museum (housed in the former Vernon County Normal School), the Sherry-Butt House, the Foreaker School, and Old St. Mary's Church.

The Vernon County Historical Society operates four historic sites: the Vernon County Museum (housed in the former Vernon County Normal School), the Sherry-Butt House, the Foreaker School, and Old St. Mary's Church.

Mission: Our mission is to preserve and promote Vernon County history.

Operating as usual

11/11/2020

In honor of Veterans Day, here are a few pictures of local people who served during World War I.

Time is running out to vote for us in the “Give Where You Live” VFC Donations Program!Every year Viroqua Food Co+op Memb...
11/06/2020

Time is running out to vote for us in the “Give Where You Live” VFC Donations Program!
Every year Viroqua Food Co+op Member-Owners have the opportunity to vote for their five favorite nonprofit organizations to determine which ones will participate in the “Give Where You Live” Program.
The organizations with the most votes become the recipients of all the round-ups and spare change donated at the registers for one month. Checks are now averaging $1,500 or more!
We’d love to be one of the 12 recipients of those checks in 2021! If you are a VFC Owner, be sure to vote for us as one of your five choices before/by November 9th.
To see last year’s recipients, look at a sample ballot, or to vote online go to https://www.viroquafood.coop/community-outreach

(photo is of the Lier general store in Coon Valley)

Today's the day -- remember to vote!
11/03/2020

Today's the day -- remember to vote!

10/27/2020
Good Things for Halloween

The Vernon County Historical Society and the Viroqua Community Theatre have partnered on a theatrical video presentation to celebrate Hallowe'en! These stories, poems, and skits re-create an early 20th-century country school Hallowe'en program for today's Zoom era.

Are you getting ready for Halloween? To put you in the seasonal spirit, click here for some local ghost stories as told ...
10/24/2020

Are you getting ready for Halloween? To put you in the seasonal spirit, click here for some local ghost stories as told by Vernon County Historical Society volunteer Veronica Kleiber:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X78NmB9Twg&t=2s

Vernon County's old rural schools are the topic of this week's History column:  http://www.vernoncountyhistory.org/notes...
10/22/2020

Vernon County's old rural schools are the topic of this week's History column: http://www.vernoncountyhistory.org/notes/weekly.php
(This is the old frame Ole Torger School building, which closed in 1913 when it was replaced by the brick schoolhouse.)

We’ve been nominated for the “Give Where You Live” VFC Donations Program!Every year Viroqua Food Co+op Member-Owners hav...
10/21/2020

We’ve been nominated for the “Give Where You Live” VFC Donations Program!

Every year Viroqua Food Co+op Member-Owners have the opportunity to vote for their five favorite nonprofit organizations to determine which ones will participate in the “Give Where You Live” Program.

The organizations with the most votes become the recipients of all the round-ups and spare change donated at the registers for one month. Checks are now averaging $1,500 or more!

We’d love to be one of the 12 recipients of those checks in 2021! If you are a VFC Owner, be sure to vote for us as one of your five choices before/by November 9th.

To see last year’s recipients, look at a sample ballot, or to vote online go to https://www.viroquafood.coop/community-outreach

This week's History column focuses on the servants who lived in the Cyrus Butt household over 100 years ago:  http://ver...
10/16/2020

This week's History column focuses on the servants who lived in the Cyrus Butt household over 100 years ago: http://vernoncountyhistory.org/notes/weekly.php
(The photo shows the "maid's room" inside the Sherry-Butt House, 795 N. Main St., Viroqua.)

Gourds for sale!  Stop by the museum to purchase a few locally-grown gourds for your fall displays.  Donations will bene...
10/12/2020

Gourds for sale! Stop by the museum to purchase a few locally-grown gourds for your fall displays. Donations will benefit the Vernon County Historical Society as we preserve and promote our shared local history.

Happy first day of fall!  The leaves are just starting to turn here at the Vernon County Museum....
09/22/2020

Happy first day of fall! The leaves are just starting to turn here at the Vernon County Museum....

Here's your chance to re-create a country school Halloween program.  Auditions start today!
09/21/2020

Here's your chance to re-create a country school Halloween program. Auditions start today!

09/18/2020
Harness racing was first held at the second Vernon County fairgrounds, located on West Decker and extending to West Broa...
09/17/2020

Harness racing was first held at the second Vernon County fairgrounds, located on West Decker and extending to West Broadway in Viroqua. These grounds were used from 1858 to 1890. For three years prior to 1891, racing was cancelled, but when the Fair Association realized it was in debt, the popular harness racing was reinstated. The purchase of the standardbred trotter "Vernon" by Frank M. Minshall in 1892 increased the popularity of the races. Vernon raced for 11 years. Even with fewer participants today, harness racing continues to be one of the most popular events at the Vernon County Fair.

09/14/2020
VCHS -Votes for Women Event 8 26 2020

Our August 26 Women's Suffrage Centennial Celebration was recorded, and you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/J38pdFp2yws

Vernon County Historical Society presents: "Votes for Women" Event that was held on August 26, 2020 for the 100th Anniversary of the certification of the 19t...

The last of our summer cook-outs is today!  Chili cheese dogs are an additional menu item, while they last.
09/12/2020

The last of our summer cook-outs is today! Chili cheese dogs are an additional menu item, while they last.

Address

410 S Center Ave
Viroqua, WI
54665

General information

The Vernon County Historical Society is based at the Vernon County Museum. The museum building was once the Vernon County Normal School, also called the Vernon County Teachers College. The first floor of the museum is devoted to research and meeting rooms. Our research archives contain a wealth of information about local history and local families. The exhibit halls are on the second and third floors — here you can learn about round barns, raising tobacco, Norwegian immigrants, Viroqua's own astronaut Mark Lee, rural schools, and Vernon County's role in World War I, among other topics.

Opening Hours

Monday 12:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 12:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 12:00 - 16:00
Thursday 12:00 - 16:00
Friday 12:00 - 16:00

Telephone

+16086377396

Alerts

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Contact The Museum

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Videos

Category

Our Story

Our mission is to preserve and promote Vernon County history.

The Vernon County Historical Society is based at the Vernon County Museum. The museum building was once the Vernon County Normal School, also called the Vernon County Teachers College. The first floor of the museum is devoted to research and meeting rooms. Our research archives contains a wealth of information about local history and local families. The exhibit halls are on the second and third floors — here you can learn about round barns, raising tobacco, Norwegian immigrants, Viroqua's own astronaut Mark Lee, rural schools, and Vernon County's role in World War I, among other topics.

The museum building is handicapped-accessible, equipped with an elevator and an ADA-compliant restroom. Park in the parking lot by our main door, or on the street.

Members of the Vernon County Historical Society enjoy monthly programs, a quarterly newsletter, free admission to the museum and its research room, and free tuition at our genealogy classes. Membership rates start at $20.

Nearby museums

Comments

The Book When the teacher Opened the book Our eyes were Fixed on her As we remembered Chapter five from The day before “Wow, Jody was Just like us Farm kids At Brown school In Wisconsin Except he had A yearling deer” I said to myself “A real dear All to his own Sure we farm Kids had calves And pigs... ( Oh sorry,that’s me Row two Fourth child back) But no one Had a baby Deer ever” The book filled Our hearts With another child’s Dreams, a child Like us.... Who knew the woods Water and Named the animals We knew of birth Death and the Life in between Or so we thought Looking back I Knew but a little I did not know my Life was a book One I could not Reread only the Good chapters I didn’t know The teacher got Up early and started A fire in the stove At Brown school So we would be Warm...or That she cooked our Food for lunch On that wood stove I didn’t know books Were made up Mostly Or that my life Would be of my Making mostly I didn’t know so Many of my Classmates would Die young in Accidents Illness while some Would get to Live long lives I think I should Write it down... The book I Mean...you know The stories like In story time When I was at Brown School... Maybe I was A little poet And didn’t Know it... A poem by Nancy Bicknell about story time at Brown School in Vernon Co Wisconsin in the 50s. Drawing is pen and ink with colored pencil
Thanks for fixing headstone on Black Hawk Trail.
Purchased at an estate sale of Clifford Schroeder, Jr. is this approximately 15x20 photo of Johannes Hall and Sire Kristine Hall parents of Syverine (Sarah) Hall born 01/05/1870 Westby, Wisconsin at the Hall homestead. Clifford's grandmother was Syverine (Sarah). If anyone is interested in having this original photo please let me know.
i found Bennie Frydenberg in your Vernon County Museum Notes, ty
My grandfather, Ludwig Scheck had a farm near Stoddard. My mother went to the nearby school. Both are shown on this map. If there is any help or documentation you may provide me would be greatly appreciated. Here is a photo of the map.
Ruth Schmidt and I were so happy that you were able to use the picture and discharge papers of Delbert Blakley. Let Kevin Alderson know that I found his book and will be ordering it. Please let Keven know that the drive from Veroqua to Tomah was indeed spectacular.
No idea why I haven't looked for you sooner. My great uncle Frank Robinson took me all over Vernon County one time to show me the brick work he had done or was involved in. I miss him and great aunt Mary Robinson, and my long lost cousins. My mom was born there and grew up in the coon valley. My granddad was a tobacco farmer.