An Auction Approaches!

For “30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction,” FRIENDS of WHS Seek Antique Treasures

Carol Miller of Bailey’s Honor Auctions Volunteers; WADA Continues as Founding Sponsor

Auction Promo Pic

The FRIENDS of the Wisconsin Historical Society are currently collecting tax-deductible donations of antiques and vintage items for their April 2018 “30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction” held at Old World Wisconsin in Eagle.

The inaugural auction, held in April 2010, was followed by three successful encores in April 2012, 2014, and 2016. Thus far the proceeds from the four biennial auctions have provided important funding for the Wisconsin Historical Society’s historic sites as well as for National History Day.

Though it is still months away, the “30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction” demands a great deal of advance preparation. Contributions of antiques (more than 99 years old) and vintage items (50-99 years old) will be gathered from across middle America. Tax-deductible receipts will be provided.

A fifth grant recently received from the Wisconsin Antiques Dealers Association (WADA) continues their commitment as the auction’s founding sponsors. The admissions charged at their October and February antiques shows in Waukesha fund their grant and scholarship programs. See to learn more.

Carol Miller of Bailey’s Honor Auction Service in Oconomowoc has once again volunteered to call the auction. You can follow her many auctions throughout the year at

For questions about the April 2018 “30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction” or to make a donation of an antique or vintage item, please contact Riene Wells at 262-363-4700,, or Debbie McArdle at 815-575-1272,


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Annual Meeting 2017: Recap and Report!

On June 28th, a determined group of FRIENDS members from various locales came together in Rock County to visit the Historical Society and tour Rotary Gardens. Like the postal service, neither the wind nor rain kept us from our appointed rounds of the many garden settings, ponds and art work. The recently mounted outdoor garden art project was a hit with the gaily decorated colorful fish forms helping to brighten the cloudy, sunless morning. On command, the rain relented as our tour ended and we boarded our mini-coach.

2017 Annual Meeting Pic 1

Heading back to the Rock Co. Historical Society headquarters, we were chauffeured past many historic buildings in the downtown area and through portions of three of Janesville’s historic districts. Upon arrival at the society, we were welcomed by director Mike Reuter who apprised us of the many recently completed and ongoing projects what will put the Tallman House and entire grounds into a campus- type destination environment. A tour followed highlighting the relocated Frances Willard Schoolhouse, the totally refurbished carriage barn (fall of 2017 completion), and of the c. 1857 Tallman House itself.

2017 Annual Meeting Pic 2

If you have not visited this historic site lately, you will be amazed at all of the renovations and thoughtful additions. The near future will provide visitors with hands on exhibits, audio, and video displays to engage mind and body. This is not your mom and dad’s house museum but an interpretive look at our historical past through a 21st-century lens.

2017 Annual Meeting Pic 3

A wonderful catered luncheon preceded our annual membership meeting. The meeting covered topics from the fall excursion to the 2018 excursion. For a complete report of the annual meeting, please click here.

If you couldn’t make it this year, we hope to see you at the 2018 annual meeting. The location will be revealed later this year!


Phillip Schauer, President FWHS

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Autumn Excursion 2017: Frankly, It’s the Wright Thing to Do

Autumn Excursion 2017

September 27 – 29

FRIENDS of the Wisconsin Historical Society Presents:

Frank Lloyd Wright Trail through Wisconsin!

Join the FRIENDS of the Wisconsin Historical Society for another fascinating 3-day tour as we follow the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail through southern Wisconsin. This year’s adventure will be held September 27 – 29 and we will celebrate  the sesquicentennial of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth by visiting many of the famed architect’s most famous creations in the Badger State.

2017 Autumn Excursion a2017 Autumn Excursion b

The 2017 Autumn Excursion begins and ends in Madison and includes visits to Wright-designed buildings in Milwaukee, Racine, Delavan, and Spring Green. Our tour stops include the Unitarian Meeting House, Monona Terrace, The Cotton Exchange, SC Johnson Administration Building & Research Tower, Ross Summer Residence, AP Johnson House, Wallis Cottage, the Spencer House, The Lake Lawn Resort, Taliesin, the Wyoming Valley Cultural Arts Center, Gilmore House, and Lamp House.

2017 Autumn Excursion c2017 Autumn Excursion d

The registration fee for the 2017 Autumn Excursion is $610 for double and $710 for single occupancy. The fee includes motor coach transportation, driver, on-board entertainment, site charges, entrance fees, accommodations, special speakers, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners.

Click here for the registration form and itinerary of this year’s excursion! For additional information, call JoEllen Hegwood at 414-476-4061.

Registration deadline is August 20, 2017.

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Annual Meeting 2017: The Rock County Historical Society

Annual Meeting 2017 Save the Date

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Do You Know About the 30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction?

You have seen the biennial “30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction” advertised for about eight years now. Ever wonder how the FRIENDS of the Wisconsin Historical Society chose this name for their first auction when planning began in 2009? They’re all about preserving and sharing history, so they wanted to choose a name that would be a history lesson in itself. Wisconsin was the 30th state admitted to the Union, and therefore the 30th star on the flag. And now you know!

30th Star Flag

And speaking of facts about the “30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction,” did you also know that the donation period for the next auction has already begun? In keeping with their efforts to preserve and share history, the FRIENDS are seeking donations of vintage (50-99 years old) and antique (more than 99 years old) items for the next auction, to be held in 2018 for the benefit of Wisconsin’s State Historic Sites. And did you know that your item donations are tax-deductible?

To make an item donation, you can contact Riene Wells at 262-363-4700,, or Debbie McArdle at 815-575-1272, And now you know!


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Participate in National History Day 2017!


National History Day (NHD) is a yearlong program that helps students (grades 6-12) learn about historical events, issues, ideas, and people. Every year there is a new theme; the theme for 2017 is “Taking a Stand in History.”

Would you like to be a part of this event, but are not sure how? You can volunteer! They need room monitors and judges (judges decide which projects and students will advance on to the next level). People from all backgrounds are encouraged to volunteer! They need your help!

The application to sign up to be a volunteer judge or room monitor at the regional or state level can be found on the Wisconsin Historical Society website.

If you just want to see what the students are up to, there will be open houses in many regions. All the dates, times, and locations can also be found on the historical society website.

Just a few of the dates:

The Northeastern Region Contest is Saturday, March 4 at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay.

The Northwestern Region Contest is Thursday, March 16 at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.

The Western Region Contest is Tuesday, March 28 at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.

The State Event is Saturday, April 22 at the UW-Madison campus.

The most important takeaway from National History Day is that it is designed to revolutionize the teaching and learning of history. If you want to read more about NHD and why their themes change each year, you can look at the NHD website.


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Donate Your Antiques This Friday and Saturday (or Anytime Thereafter)!

The FRIENDS of the Wisconsin Historical Society are soliciting tax-deductible donations of antique (more than 99 years old) and vintage (50-99 years old) items for their next “30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction,” to be held in 2018 at Old World Wisconsin.

To assist us with that goal, the Wisconsin Antiques Dealers Association (WADA)–the founding and continuing sponsor of the auction–is providing FRIENDS with a free booth at their 43rd Winter Antiques Show, this Friday and Saturday, February 3rd and 4th at the Waukesha Expo Center. Volunteers will be on hand to accept donations for the next auction. Tax-deductible receipts will be provided!

Larson, Double Irish Chain, Ohio Amish, 74x74

Though more than a year away, the next “30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction” demands a great deal of advance preparation (yes, it really does require two years to acquire enough inventory for our auction!). Contributions of antique and vintage items will be gathered from across Middle America. In keeping with our goal to “preserve and share history,” each item will be accompanied by a Provenance Statement. The auction catalog will list the known history of each piece as well as the donor’s name, if desired.

1 2014 auction begins

Our previous auction, held in April 2016, was another financial and cultural success. Thus far the proceeds from our auctions have provided important funding for restoration projects at several Wisconsin State Historic Sites, as well as funding for National History Day.

The admissions charged at WADA’s antiques shows fund their grant and scholarship programs. Please support their endeavors by attending this worthy show! Details are available at or at 414-510-4441.

If you are unable to attend the WADA antiques show to drop off your antique or vintage donation, please contact Riene Wells at 262-363-4700,, or Debbie McArdle at 815-575-1272,


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February 3 & 4: A Winter Show for WADA


Mark your calendars for the

Wisconsin Antiques Dealers Association
Antiques Show & Sale
February 3 & 4, 2017
Friday 10:00 – 8:00, Saturday 10:00 – 5:00
at the Waukesha County Expo Center



-Over 55 quality antiques dealers

-Tax-deductible donations of vintage and antique items for future FWHS auctions

-Special educational exhibit Valentines & Easters Past

-Friday night fish fry dinner

-Free parking


Admission: $7 (good both days)

Click here for a $1-off admission coupon!


Directions: I-94 to Hwy J (exit 294) South 1 mile. West to Show.

GPS: 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha, WI 53188


Proceeds from the show provide grants for historic preservation within Wisconsin, Waukesha County college scholarships, and Friends of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

For more information, call 414-510-4441 or visit



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A New Year, A New Adventure

Got the New Year blues?
Well, here’s something to look forward to in 2017:
Where on earth–or rather, where in Wisconsin–could FRIENDS be going for the Annual Meeting in the summer, and the Excursion in the fall? What history mysteries are waiting to be uncovered so close to home? And will you join us for the adventure of finding out?

Old Suitcases

Keep a lookout for the next issue of Pillars, when maybe at least one of these questions might be answered!

tour bus

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Seven Events, One Day: Saturday, Nov. 5th

You might not be able to be in two places at once, but we hope you’ll be able to attend at least one of these great events, all of which are happening on Saturday, November 5, 2016 around the state! Click on the titles of the events listed below for more information:


Breakfast in a Victorian Kitchen

Join us for a hands-on cooking workshop based on the 19th century lifestyle.

8:30 am – 1:00 pm

Villa Louis, Prairie du Chien


Swedish American Genealogy

Join this all-day workshop to learn about the bases of Swedish genealogical research.

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Memorial Library, Madison


Old World Foundation’s Dog Walk for the Animals

Stroll the scenic grounds of Old World Wisconsin with your leashed, friendly dog.

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Old World Wisconsin, Eagle


The Sterling North Book Festival

Author Scott Knickelbine from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press will have a booth and a signing table for his new book The Great Peshtigo Fire.

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Edgerton High School, Edgerton


Jerry and Steve Apps Bring Their Roshara Journal to Wild Rose

Father and son author duo, Steve and Jerry Apps, will be giving a talk and signing copies of their new book Roshara Journal.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose


Hungry for History: The Flavor of Wisconsin

Author Terese Allen will be giving a talk on food, culture, and history of the supper club.

11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Time Out Sports Bar and Grill, Manitowoc


Hearthside Dinners

Enjoy a delicious hearth-cooked meal, prepared with your own hands, in the historic Wade House stagecoach hotel.

11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Wade House, Greenbush


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