Speaking of area history…

The Marathon County Historical Museum’s new exhibits “A Time Of Change: Marathon County 1900 – 1910” and “Special Edition: 100 Years Of The Daily Herald” is opening June 30th with a big open house. Activities will feature live music, a drawing for 2 teddy bears (in celebration of the birth of Teddy Bears during Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency) and film clips showing the technology of the era. The exhibit curators, Linda Forbess and Kathy Jansen, will be there to answer questions about the exhibit.

The early 1900’s was a dynamic period in Marathon County’s history. It was when the lumber industry was in obvious decline, giving way to the businesses of savvy entrepeneurs (including the Wausau Group). The history books, newspaper articles and even City Directories of the time show a wide array of businesses. The 1901 – 02 City Directory shows a bustling city with 10 cigar makers, 15 confectioners, 75 dressmakers, 30 general stores, 16 hotels, 13 lawyer firms and 9 meat markets.

This is also the era of the introduction of new technology such as automobiles and planes. Residents could take the trolley from Wausau down to the Rothschild Pavilion for a day of fun. Electrical lighting and telephones were becoming more common. And don’t forget the Sear’s Catalog- the best friend of rural shoppers!

The second exhibit shows the headlines from and the history of Wausau Daily Herald in the past 100 years. There will be front pages from major events in the past century (I stopped and read several while they were being gathered- the ads are pretty cool, too). There will also be newspapers from around the county from the past 150 years (There were alot of them! I was amazed by the number of different publications there were!)

Be sure to stop in Saturday, June 30th from 1:00 – 4:30 for the big opening. The exhibits will be on display from June 23, 2007 – May 2008. The museum is open Tuesday -Thursday 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM and Saturday -Sunday 1:00 – 4:30 PM. The exhibit is free and open to all.

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