Make a Great Escape with Us in Autumn

Did you know that Appleton, Wisconsin was a childhood home of the legendary escape artist, illusionist, and paranormal debunker Harry Houdini? And did you know that there is a currently-airing TV series on Fox, Houdini & Doyle, dramatizing Houdini’s real-life relationship with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes?

You can learn more about the life of Houdini when you make a three-day escape with us on our September 21-23 Autumn Excursion, when we’ll visit the Houdini exhibit in Appleton’s History Museum at the Castle (pictured below) as part of our tour of Wisconsin’s historic entertainment-related sites.

For the Autumn Excursion brochure, including the itinerary and registration form, click here!

Castle Appleton

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A Look Back at Our Best Auction Yet

Thank you all for making our 2016 fundraising benefit a massive success! Last month’s 30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction and its Preview Night were very well-attended, and the donated vintage and antique items were definite treasures. We are proud to be able to assist the Wisconsin Historical Society with putting the auction proceeds to good use keeping history alive. You can be sure that your support will make a difference for our state historic sites!

Spring Pillars 2016


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A Notion Worth Entertaining: Autumn Excursion 2016

Marketing Flyer 2016 Annual Autumn Excursion

For a brochure of this event, including an itinerary and registration form, please click here!

For more information about the Autumn Excursion, call 414-476-4061.

And in the meantime, don’t forget about the FWHS Annual Meeting, coming up on June 15th (click here for the brochure)!

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Get On Board for the 2016 Annual Meeting

Join in the Adventure

June 15th, 2016

US Mailboat at Lake Geneva

Day’s Events

7:30 ~ Bus pickup available at The Dutch Mill Park & Ride in Madison

9:30 ~ We board Lake Geneva’s Mailboat! Experience how the mail was delivered for 100 years–and still is! (Don’t be late or the boat leaves without you!)

1:00 ~ Off to Black Point Estate where site director David Desimone will join us for our Box Lunch Meeting on the scenic Black Point veranda, and share with us some fascinating history! Then we enjoy a tour of the Estate, which includes witnessing what YOU (FWHS members) did to help preserve this treasure.

The price includes tour bus, boat fare, all Black Point programs, lunch and snacks.

Members: $43

Non-Members: $55

Please click here for the registration form and meeting brochure.

Space is limited! Reserve your spot now!

Black Point Estate


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Auction Update: We’ve Caught a Cart


We have acquired an exciting last-minute addition to the lots for this Saturday’s auction: an antique governess cart!

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Two-wheeled horse-drawn carts like this one were designed to provide a safer, gentler ride than other carts and to be difficult to fall from–perfect for transporting small children, hence the name!

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This hot item and hundreds more antique and vintage objects will be up for the bidding at the 30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction, which will be held on Saturday, April 23 at 10:00 am at Old World Wisconsin’s Clausing Barn (check out our recent post about it for more information). We hope to see you there!


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Auction Listings Are Here: Lots of Lots to Look At!

30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Preview 9:00 am, Auction 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Old World Wisconsin’s Clausing Barn

W372 S9727 WI-67

Eagle, WI 53119

Two years in the making, 350+ lots of vintage (50-99 years old) and antique (100+ years old) items have been donated from throughout the Midwest to produce the 4th Biennial 30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction.

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From vintage kitchenware to antique churns, country cupboards to Victorian rockers, antique quilts to country store advertising, there is something for everyone! Included in this auction are the “Asparagus Man” paintings, among them Heaven on Earth, the masterpiece of outsider artist Adam Berg’s works.

For many more photos of the auction listings, click here!

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The auction is produced by the volunteers of the Friends of the Wisconsin Historical Society. The auctioneer is Carol Miller, Wi Registered Auctioneer #319 of Baileys Honor Auction & Estate Service LLC. All proceeds benefit Wisconsin State Historic Sites.

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This is a No Reserve auction. There are no phone or internet bids. Absentee bids will be accepted through April 20. Cash, checks (with proper ID), and credit & debit cards are accepted (a 3% credit & debit card convenience fee will be added). A 10% buyer’s premium additionally benefits Wisconsin State Historic Sites.

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Good food will be available on the site!

For more info, contact Debbie McArdle at or 815-575-1272.

2016 Auction Lot f2016 Auction Lot i

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Sunday, May 1st: Bustle Hustle at Old World Wisconsin

Hurry to Old World Wisconsin for the Bustle Hustle 5K Run/Walk!

Feeling bored, blue, or blasé? Old World Foundation will put the spring back in your step at the 7th annual Bustle Hustle 5K Run/Walk. Held on the grounds of the Old World Wisconsin historic site in Eagle, Waukesha County, the race steps off on Sunday, May 1st at 9:45 a.m.

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The charming historical homes and farmsteads–complete with animals grazing outside–make this 5K course fun and unique. Old World Wisconsin staff dressed in authentic period clothing add to the ambiance while offering friendly assistance.

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Bring along your cheering section: spectators are welcome at this fun family-friendly event. Strollers are allowed, and children 12 and under may race a special 1K loop that’s just for them, beginning at 10:45 a.m. Every child will receive an award for participating.

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For the more serious runner, the Bustle Hustle 5K features chip timing, provided by Performance Timing of Wausau. The overall male and female winners will each receive a premium award and a gift certificate from InStep Physical Therapy & Running Center. Top finishers in each age division will also win prizes. Run or walk in historical costume and you’ll receive a special ribbon to honor this great personal achievement!

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Each Bustle Hustle participant receives one free admission to Old World Wisconsin. You’ll want to return to Old World Wisconsin after they open for the season on May 7th to experience all the fun and excitement they have to offer. Ride a historic tricycle, find eggs in the chicken coop, help the blacksmith and shoemaker with their trades, attend the one-room school, and much, much more! Old World Wisconsin is a nationally-recognized “Let’s Move” institution, helping foster healthy and active habits in over 70,000 visitors each year.

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There is a $25 registration fee for the 5K Run/Walk and $20 registration fee for the 1K Youth Run. Register before April 18th and take $5 off your registration fee!

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The Bustle Hustle 5K is hosted by Old World Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports Old World Wisconsin’s special projects and programs. For more information, visit or call (262) 594-2922.


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Mary Poppins Visits for Tea on April 16!


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Join the fun and mischief at Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane as Old World Foundation hosts Tea Time Featuring Mary Poppins! On Saturday, April 16 from 1:00-3:00, Old World Wisconsin’s Clausing Barn will be transformed into the 1934 P.L. Travers children’s book Mary Poppins.

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This fun family event will feature make-and-take crafts, entertainment, and of course tea and tasty treats, all based on the popular book. Do you like your tea with a “spoonful of sugar,” or perhaps with cream or lemon?

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Tea Time Featuring Mary Poppins is hosted by Old World Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports special projects and programs at the Old World Wisconsin historic site in Eagle (located in southern Waukesha County).

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Space is limited, so don’t delay; call today for reservations!

Call (262) 594-2922 or visit

Tickets are only $15 per person for the general public, and $10 per person for Friends of Old World Wisconsin.

Old World Tea Time d

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The 30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction and Preview Party

Hundreds of treasures, from classic to kitschy, will be available to view the day before the 30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction as the FRIENDS of the Wisconsin Historical Society hold this biennial auction to benefit the Wisconsin Historical Society. The Wisconsin Antiques Dealers Association generously sponsors the 30th Star Benefit Antiques Auction, and proceeds benefit Acquisitions & Restoration at Wisconsin Historical Society sites.

Friday, April 22, 4:30 pm: Preview Party and Dinner (by advance reservation) – $40 donation per person

Friday night’s Preview Party will be held at Old World Wisconsin’s historic Clausing Barn. Doors will open at 4:30 pm with a silent auction lasting from 4:30 to 8 pm. Dinner will be served at 5:00 pm (baked or fried fish dinner, including dessert) and a cash bar will be available throughout the evening. Antiques appraisals will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 pm by Debbie McArdle of Iron Horse Antiques, and Susan Caya Slusser, Director of Villa Louis, will speak on “Victorian Furnishings” from 6:30 to 7:45 pm. The event will conclude at 9:00 pm.

Saturday, April 23, 10:00 am: Auction (no reservation necessary)

There is no admission charged for Saturday’s all antique-and-vintage auction. This is a “no-reserve” auction with a 10-percent buyer’s premium benefiting the Wisconsin Historical Society.


Old World Wisconsin

W372 S9727 Hwy 67

Eagle, WI 53119-9503

Reservations and Contact

Please contact Riene Wells at 262-363-4700 (email: or Debbie McArdle at 815-575-1272 (email: to make reservations for the Preview Party or with any questions.

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