August 2012 Newsletter


Depot Project Gets Underway—Yes, Really!

This special edition of the newsletter is being sent to update you on the rapidly moving construction project at the depot.  There have been two inspections by the project architect and one by the Whitewater Historical Society.  Here is an update from those inspections:

  • Basement: The large raised stone storm sewer that used to bisect the basement and was a source of moisture problems is GONE!!  A new drainage (sump) system is almost completed, the concrete floor repaired and leveled, and the stone walls and brick pillars  have been cleaned and tuck-pointed with an approved mortar mix. 
  • Main Floor: The old carpeting in the office area has been removed and it was noted that some floor areas in the building did not match due to prior patching; this will be addressed.  The old closet and bathroom walls have been removed.  Old interior paneling boards are being saved to reuse elsewhere.  The interior staircase has been cut in and the  handicapped-accessible bathroom has been framed up.  A minor structural problem in the location of the new bathroom (old closet) was discovered.  Additional new boards were added to existing joists to make sure the new bathroom is structurally sound.
  • Windows:  Windows have been removed for rehabilitation.
  • Paint: The architects have proposed a “Victorian” brown, beige, and gold color palette for both inside and outside.  It promises to be both historic and distinctive. 
  • Preservation: The project architect is being very careful to make sure all historic preservation techniques are being followed by approving all materials for repairs and inspecting tuck-pointing techniques, important for this brick and stone building.


Due to the underbidding of the project in the second round bids, a few technical items are being returned to the project to improve the basement:  a fire wall, additional heating and cooling vents, and an epoxy coating on the floor.  It was thought that the ticket window restoration had been dropped, but it will be done as part of the regular project.  The only historic detail not in the project is the roof cresting decoration and the board is working to get this detail restored, as well. 


New Grand Re-Opening Date—April, 2013

But, Museum Will Have Open Hours Prior to the Grand Re-Opening

Because it is still unclear if the depot will be completed enough for the society to schedule a fall grand re-opening, the board of directors decided to move this event to April of 2013.  This coincides with the April, 1891 date that the railroad actually moved into the new depot, and insures that the event can be an indoor-outdoor celebration as planned.  This will give the society enough time to return our collections, install our depot/railroad exhibit, and start on the permanent exhibits. But, the society will begin regularly scheduled open hours as soon as the building can be re-occupied, so the public can see our museum progress.  And, the memorial brick walkway may be installed this fall; the society is coordinating this with city staff.


The Good News Keeps Coming: The society received a mini-grant ($700) from the Wisconsin Historical Society that will pay for half of the shelving ($1,400) needed for the basement.  Thanks to the perseverance of President Ellen Penwell, who sent in applications for several years, we were finally accepted. This shelving will keep our collections off the floor and out of harm’s way if there are any basement water problems. 


Whitewater Historical Society

c/o Carol Cartwright, Editor

W7646 Hackett Rd.

Whitewater, WI  53190


Society Meetings for 2012-13

Tentative Agendas:

September, 2012: Historic Cultural Ecology of Whitewater Area

November, 2012: Historic Taverns with Guest Speaker and Book Author Jim Draeger

January, 2013: Whitewater Collects and Appraisal Fair

March-April, 2013: Grand Re-opening of DepotMuseum

May, 2013: Annual Meeting and Program on History of Local Baseball