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NEWSLETTER

FEBRUARY 2013
Our future flows from our past.

Ripon Historical Society 508 Watson Street Ripon, WI 54971 USA 920-748-5354 www.riponhistory.com riponhistsoc@yahoo.com Betsy Stanfield, Editor

Society has nice turnout for December Open House Bill Woolley Over 80 people attended the Open House sponsored by the Society as part of the Ripon “Dickens of a Christmas” celebration in December. Joyce Rudolph and Alice Uecker provided hot cider and a wide variety of homemade Christmas cookies. The Open House was another opportunity for Ripon citizens to see the new exhibits in the museum, including the special exhibit, “Ripon Women in Your Grandmother’s Day.” In addition there were special seasonal exhibits including letters from the second grade students regarding their recent visit to the Society, an historic “feather tree” decorated with equally historic Christmas ornaments, and a second tree decorated with Jeff Bumby’s collection of artistic Christmas ornaments individually designed and crafted by his grandmother, Merle Bumby. The Ceresco Prairie Band played lively music and an unusally large number of visitors made long stops in the archives to learn from Nedra Martz about our excellent collections. Overall, Joyce Rudolph was very pleased with the turnout. “There was just a nice smooth flow of people all day long so that there was always someone to talk to, but no one felt rushed or crowded.” In addition, she pointed out that many of the people who came on Saturday were making their first visit to the Society. “We made a lot of new friends today,” she said.

Visitors from Mequon Joyce Rudolph In early February we had three visitors from Mequon Wisconsin. They were volunteers assigned the task of setting up the "Jonathan Clark Museum" in the home Jonathan built 200 years ago in Mequon. They are just getting started and visiting various historical facilities to get ideas for the home. They found our website and thought we might offer some help. They toured Pickard House and also visited our Archives. We enjoyed their visit and welcome visitors any time. To plan a visit call (920) 748-5354 and set up an appointment. College class visits Society Bill Woolley In February, 25 students from the introductory course in Ripon College’s Museum Studies Program visited the Society to gain first-hand experience about what an historical society does and what it is like. The course is a popular one at Ripon, since the College is one of the very few in the upper Midwest that offers a program in Museum Studies. Bill Woolley made a brief presentation describing what an historical society is and what it does. Afterwards, the class broke into three groups, each of which had a longer opportunity to listen to Nedra Martz discuss her work as Curator of Archives, Joyce Rudolph discuss her work as Curator of Exhibits, and Carol Sachen discuss her work as Curator of Artifacts. Everyone involved felt that the visit was a success and the Board may consider whether the Society should offer to expand its relationship with the College Program. -1-

However. the Society was presented with a bust of George Miller. Ann Pahlas. The bust. her principal interest was our Oral History Program and she carried out a number of valuable interviews herself. she also put in many hours every week working to maintain our obituary file. She was also one of our most enthusiastic gardeners. with Lawson House being her favorite station since she and her family were friends of Belle Lawson for many years. Both were long-time members of the Society serving on our Board and as volunteers. which was based on a series of newspaper articles published by Samuel Pedrick. -2- Barbara Scott gardening at Lawson House . He served as President almost every year for eleven years from 1967 to 1978 and as Curator General for a decade after that. serving terms as President of the Wisconsin State Historical Society and the Wisconsin Association of Local Historical Societies. He also edited the book. George was largely responsible for bringing the extensive Pedrick collection to the Society and initiated its organization into an archive. Bonnie served on the Board for many years as Program Chair. where George taught for 27 years. was acquired as a gift from Bill and Jean Woolley to recognize the leading role played by George in the Society for nearly 50 years. She served as docent. George was active at the state level as well. Under his leadership the Society acquired both the Pickard House and the Lawson House and barn. Both Bonnie and Barbara were wonderful friends to us all and they will be Bonnie Brooks shows the kitchen exhibit very much missed. Remembering Bonnie Brooks and Barbara Scott Bill Woolley The Society was saddened to learn of the recent passing of Bonnie Brooks and Barbara Scott. Wisconsin. In addition. and he led the effort to remodel them into museum exhibit areas. Barbara served on the Board for many years as Membership Chair. A History of Ripon. She was a member of the Interiors Committee that oversaw the reorganization of our museum. Artist Ann Pahlas unveils the Miller bust The bust of George is one of three created by Ann.Society receives bust of George Miller Bill Woolley At the 2012 Annual Meeting in November. Its presentation at the Annual Meeting was accompanied by a short program featuring an edited video of an interview George gave related to his service in World War II. and to the Wisconsin State Historical Society. one of the most valuable research tools in our library. created by local artist. The other two are to be presented to Ripon College. with her assigned plot at the Society kept as well as the lovely garden surrounding her own home.

At the same time. at the Society Headquarters at 508 Watson Street. who died 50 years ago this year. he collected. and as a Trustee of Ripon College.000 gift from the Webster Foundation to help defray the cost of a new flat screen TV and related hardware. Ripon’s “Mr. The meeting will be at 7 p. organized. Even though he was a successful lawyer. the Board of the Congregational Church. and indexed the massive number of news articles and other documents that are now the backbone of our archives while also writing letters daily to his daughters. The new TV will improve the visual experience for the audience during our programs which almost always include photos. Bernice are shown viewing an unusual baby crib Samuel Pedrick. the recording of these programs by Video Age will be greatly improved and will benefit local access viewers. one of the most active citizens in our community in his time. April 18th. These articles became the basis of the book “A History of Ripon” edited by George Miller. In addition.Remembering Martha Parfitt Betsy Stanfield Longtime Society member Martha Parfitt passed away in January. was not only one of the founders of the Ripon Historical Society. m. he also served on school boards. Martha was known to many area residents through her work at the Parfitt Photography Studio. Martha Parfitt and her sister. Bill Woolley will present a program about Pedrick. but was also one of the most active leaders in our community during the first decades of the twentieth century. focusing on his role in the formation and reactivation of our Society. For 12 years he published a weekly article on Ripon History in the Ripon Commonwealth Press. RHS receives Webster Foundation funds Jeff Bumby The Ripon Historical Society is the recipient of a $1. graphs or videos. He was. pictures. He played a major role in the creation of both our public library and our municipal hospital and served on the boards of both. History”. Samuel M. is topic of April program Samuel Marcellus Pedrick. At our meeting on Thursday. altogether. Pedrick -3- .

m.Ripon Historical Society 508 Watson Street PO Box 274 Ripon. in the Society’s Meeting Room at 508 Watson Street March 20. 19 Unions in Ripon Oct. History” May 16 Hess Cooperage demonstration Sept. 17 Baseball in Ripon Nov. WI 54971 USA Mark Your Calendar! 2013 Programs All events will be held at 7 p. Wednesday Historic Structure Restoration April 18 Samuel Pedrick. 21 Annual Meeting -4- . Ripon’s “Mr.

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