Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Wisconsin Council for Local History

Wisconsin Council for Local History | Wisconsin Historical Society
Black-and-white logo for the WCLH

 

The Wisconsin Council for Local History is an association of over 400 local, county and specialized historical societies and private historic preservation groups that are affiliated with the Wisconsin Historical Society. The Council promotes the work of local historical societies in Wisconsin and advises the Society on its services to local affiliates. A complete list of affiliated organizations appears in the Local Historical Affiliate Directory.

About the Wisconsin Council for Local History

In 1899, Reuben Gold Thwaites, director of the Wisconsin Historical Society, traveled by train to Green Bay and Ripon to participate in the affiliation of Wisconsin's first two local historical societies. Since then, more than 400 additional local societies and private non-profit historic preservation groups throughout the state have organized and affiliated with the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Affiliated local historical societies and the Wisconsin Historical Society have a special relationship defined in the Wisconsin Statutes. The Society offers organizational and educational assistance to local affiliates. The local affiliates, in turn, share in the mission and responsibility of preserving Wisconsin's heritage.

Local history groups become a member of the Council by becoming an affiliate of the Society. For information on becoming an affiliate of the Wisconsin Historical Society and a member of the Wisconsin Council for Local History, please see How to Become a Local History Affiliate.

Mission

The mission of the Wisconsin Council for Local History is to promote communication and cooperation among local history groups. The Council provides opportunities for historical organizations in Wisconsin to discuss mutual problems and promote wider interest in local history.

Through its Administrative Committee, the Council also advises the state Society on its local history programming and serves as a voice of local historians. 

Each year, the Council and Society organize regional meetings that offer educational programming, roundtable discussions and tours of the host organization's museum, sites, or historical features of the area. The Society and Council also partner to offer an annual mini-grant program and to plan the Local History - Historic Preservation Annual Conference, the largest gathering of its kind in the state.

Volunteer Recognition and Awards Program

The Wisconsin Council for Local History will recognize and honor local historical societies and specialty museums; their individual members; and other groups, organizations or individuals who, through their efforts in the form of time, talent or treasure, contribute to the advancement, appreciation and preservation of Wisconsin's local history heritage. 

Learn more about the program and how to nominate individuals and groups here (PDF, 153 KB).

Administrative Committee

The Administrative Committee is the Council's representative decision-making body. It is composed of a president and vice-president, a secretary, a treasurer, six members at large, one representative of the Society's Board of Curators and ten regional representatives. The director of the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Society's Field Service representatives serve as ex-officio members of the Administrative Committee. The Administrative Committee meets in the spring and at the state conference in the fall. The current Administrative Committee is listed below.

President:John Decker
143 W. Main Street
Evansville, WI 53536
608-882-5528

deckercorp@charter.net
Vice PresidentAlli Karrels
200 W. Main Street
Sparta, WI 54656
608-269-0033

dekeslayton@centurytel.net
TreasurerRoy Ostenso
1208 1st Avenue E.
Menomonie, WI 54751
715-235-5390 or 715-505-1110 (cell)

ostensor@sbcglobal.net
SecretaryJoe Hermolin
PO Box 45
Deerbrook, WI 54424
715-623-5372

hermolin@wisc.edu

 

Past President
Roy Ostenso
1208 1st Avenue E.
Menomonie, WI 54751
715-235-5390 or 715-505-1110 (cell)

ostensor@sbcglobal.net
Members at Large

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Larry Behlen
PO Box 332, 491 Canal Street
Green Lake, WI 54941-0032
920-294-6229

larrybe@charter.net

Lee Kaschinska
506 E. Terrace Street
Colby, WI 54421
262-895-6858

kaschinskal@hotmail.com

Gary Kunz
S33280 S. 140th Street
Fall Creek, WI 54742
715-877-2850

kunztwo@centurytel.net

Joe Hermolin
PO Box 45
Deerbrook, WI 54424-0045
715-623-5372

hermolin@wisc.edu

Katie Kirby
1798 Huron Street, PO Box 250
Three Lakes, WI 54562
715-546-2295

curator@threelakesmuseum.org
Board of Curators RepresentativeGeorge Jacobs, Attorney at Law
510 W. Wilson Street
Madison WI 53703
608-251-5411

gfj@ptitle.com
Ex Officio:Christian Overland, Wisconsin Historical Society
816 State Street
Madison, WI 53706
608-264-6440
christian.overland@wisconsinhistory.org

Rick Bernstein, Local History-Field Services - South
816 State Street, Rm 455
Madison, WI 53706
608-264-6583
rick.bernstein@wisconsinhistory.org

Michael Edmonds, Director, Programs and Outreach
816 State Street
Madison, WI 53706
608-264-6538
michael.edmonds@wisconsinhistory.org

Janet Seymour, Local History-Field Services - North
105 Garfield Avenue 
Eau Claire, WI 54701 
715-836-2250 
janet.seymour@wisconsinhistory.org
Regional Representatives
CapitalHelen Wirka
3101 Lake Farm Road
Madison, WI  53711
608-244-3605
danecountyhistory@gmail.com
NorthwesternDuane Lahti 
4890 County Highway B 
Iron River, WI 54847
715-372-4793
finlander@cheqnet.net
CentralKim Krueger
PO Box 142
Marshfield, WI 54449
715-387-3322
nwchs@uphammansion.com  
NorthwoodsRachel Egelseer
1545 Lake Road
Florence, WI 54121
715-528-3000
raegelseer1@chartermi.net
East CentralTravis Gross
3110 Erie Avenue
Sheboygan, WI 53081
920-458-1103
travis.gross@sheboygancounty.com
SoutheasternDavid Totten 
5390 S. Edinbourgh Drive
New Berlin, WI 53146 
262-643-8855 
djtotten@earthlink.net 
MetropolitanMame McCully 
910 N. Old World Third Street
Milwaukee, WI 53203 
414-273-8288 
mmccully@milwaukeehistory.net 
SouthwesternAlli Karrels
200 W. Main Street
Sparta, WI 54656
608-269-0033
dekeslayton@centurytel.net
NortheasternTerry Thiessen
1707 Pilgrim Way
New Holstein, WI 53061-1246
920-948-7748

tethiessen@frontier.com
West CentralKelly Herold
407 S. Second Street
PO Box 394
Alma, WI 54610
608-685-6290
office@bchsonline.com

Learn More

Have Questions?

EnlargeMap of Wisconsin Field Services Regions

Wisconsin Field Services Regions

Contact the Northern Representative:

Janet Seymour
c/o University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
105 Garfield Avenue, Hibbard 728
Eau Claire, WI 54701-4004
Phone: 715-836-2250

Contact the Southern Representative:

Richard Bernstein
Wisconsin Historical Society
816 State Street, Room 455
Madison, WI 53706-1482
Phone: 608-264-6583

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