Historical societies in every community in Wisconsin desperately need money, memberships and volunteers, particularly given this pandemic.
It takes much effort, money and care to preserve our heritage. In my hometown of Marshall, a devoted yet small band of preservationists does a great job of displaying artifacts in the museum, the village’s former fire station.
I’m donating all profits from my new book, “Memories of Marshall, Ups and Downs of Growing Up in a Small Town,” to the Marshall Area Historical Society (MAHS). I’m doing so not just to raise money but to boost awareness about the value of historic preservation, and because Marshall’s historical society was so supportive of my first book, “Death Beyond the Willows.”
During speeches I gave in Dane and Jefferson counties the past 15 years, residents of Sun Prairie were likewise supportive of “Death Beyond the Willows,” the true story of a 1927 tragedy that befell a couple wed in Marshall.
You can buy a signed copy of “Memories of Marshall” for $13.95 at Hellenbrand Ace Hardware and He & She Design Parlor in Marshall. These business owners have generously agreed to pass all profits to the historical society.
Or you can send a check payable to me for $17.95 and I can sign and ship “Memories of Marshall” anywhere in the United States. My address is 1421 Eastwood Ave., Janesville, WI 53545. With Christmas coming, the book would make a nice gift for anyone with ties to Marshall or who can relate to small-town life.
People involved in historic preservation maintain their passion by taking pleasure in little things. They appreciate the delighted face of a young girl who sees an artifact and understands how her ancestors survived in the days not only before iPhones and WiFi but before electric refrigerators and washing machines. They take solace in the idea that they’re preserving our knowledge of yesteryear so teachers can bring history lessons home.
Also, they realize that they’re helping rescue from the ravages of time the story of a community, so those from future generations will understand how we got to this place and where we are going.