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* Jones Leads Peshtigo Kickers Past Phelps
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* Bulldogs Show Improvement in Loss to Ranked Clippers

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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Tales from the old-timer

Small Town Museums

One of the many problems apparent in small town museums is the lack of a courteous but efficient screening process for new donations. Otherwise the museum gets stuck with things that don’t belong, out of a concern for the feelings of persons wishing to donate something unsuitable for inclusion. You will get loaded down with weird stuff otherwise.

Modern craft items, for example, don’t belong in a historical museum. If somebody makes a dollhouse out of old popsicle sticks, it is a novelty, but it doesn’t fit a local history museum.

The Marinette County Historical Museum at one time had about 15 old typewriters stored in a loft. They were old, but not old enough to have historical value. They were essentially junk.

There was also a rock collection some youngster had brought home from the Grand Canyon years earlier. The parents donated it after the boy grew up and left home.

Some proud parents donated a trophy earned at college in 1920 by their son for his high grades, and the museum was displaying it.

If you aren’t careful, you will get Readers Digest condensed novels and even old magazines, Life, Better Homes and Gardens, Cosmopolitan, and the like, along with the popsicle stick creations.

The one that topped them all was the stuffed bantam rooster at the Peshtigo Fire Museum.

I served as a volunteer and on the Board of Directors for several years for the Marinette County Historical Society but was unable to affect policy to any extent. Suggestions for change were not welcome.

The Evancheck log cabin, from about 1920, had to have a spinning wheel, although women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries no longer made their own cloth. They bought cloth at the store. Spinning wheels go back to American Colonial times, and this is not a Colonial era cabin.

Another problem is the supposed need for a non-stop talking tour guide to hang at your elbow while you are trying to look at the exhibits. The guide delivers a steady stream of gratuitous narrative. I went to the Menominee County Historical Museum a few years ago, and a well-meaning lady latched onto me and delivered a continuous monolog as I tried hard to look at the displays.

These old artifacts bring a sense of wonder, a reverence in me for the men and women on long ago and their world, and the yakety-yak destroyed that mood. My tour guide assumed total ignorance on my part, though most of the exhibits were well-marked and their meanings were obvious.

A woman friend of mine told me the real purpose of tour guides is to keep an eye on people, as thievery is a major risk.

An old friend’s grandfather lived through the Peshtigo Fire, holding his little brother and sister in the cold river. In the morning the little ones were dead from hypothermia. He is well versed on local history, but was unsuccessful in telling a tour guide at the Peshtigo Fire Museum that he didn’t need her to tell him about the fire – the usual spiel about how the Chicago Fire took place at the same time etc., etc. He politely told her he knew those things, but we were unable to shake her off, and we left before we really intended to, because of the annoyance.

One museum has a logging tool item with a card proudly listing the donor and the notation, this tool is 90 years old. Ninety years old as of when?

There are many well-designed and arranged displays in our area museums. The miniature logging camps, the very old farm items, Indian items, furniture arrangements, and many other great exhibits are things to be proud of. A small town museum can be well run from a standpoint of arrangements, themes and good taste, but it takes hard work, leadership and a true reverence for history.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
10-18-2017Sports
Bulldog Boys Win Packerland Crown; Marinette's Polomis Tops NEC

10-18-2017Sports
Jones Leads Peshtigo Kickers Past Phelps

10-18-2017Sports
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10-18-2017Front Page
Give Rides

10-18-2017Sports
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10-18-2017Front Page
Peshtigo School Survey May Go Out In November

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Sheriff Urges County Not To Open All Roads To ATVs, UTVs

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10-18-2017Front Page
Middle Inlet Property Owners Billed For Driveway Culverts

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Carole Ziemer

10-18-2017Obituaries
Marilyn A. Walters

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10-11-2017Sports
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Name Sue Hinch New Co. Child Support Head

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10-11-2017Front Page
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Robert H. Wontor

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Don A. Wagner

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Martin Vieth

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Joel J. Settersten

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Larry D. Schoen

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Elizabeth K. Olson

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10-04-2017Sports
Marines Cap Season With 4th Place Sectional Finish

10-04-2017Sports
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Wausaukee 9th Annual Fall Festival Oct. 7th

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Trick or Treat in Crivitz Oct. 31

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Coleman Utility Board Oct. 9

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Library Forms Lego Club

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Vegas Coming to Equity Oct. 27, 28

10-04-2017Front Page
Granite Plaques Mounted on Logs Taken From River

10-04-2017Front Page
Peshtigo Sewer Rates Are Going Up, Old Buildings Coming Down

10-04-2017Front Page
School Building Group Asks For Third Option

10-04-2017Front Page
Appeals Court Dismisses Crivitz Locker Room Suit

10-04-2017Front Page
Marinette Bank Re-Zoning Request Falls Short of Passing

09-27-2017Sports
Deer and Turkey Tagging Changes; Goose Harvest Registration

09-27-2017Sports
Marines Finish Fifth at NEC Conference Match

09-27-2017Sports
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09-27-2017Sports
Home Teams Dominate M&O Triangulars

09-27-2017Obituaries
Gloria R. Bauerfeind


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Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
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