March 2012 Newsletter

March, 2012  ­­                                                                         Volume 9, No. 4


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

7:00 p.m.

Place:  Cravath Lakefront Building

          Whitewater Street, Go Under the Arch and Left



You may have seen flyers and news articles around town about this event.  It is an opportunity to see what “Whitewater Collects.”  It is also an opportunity to come and display your own favorite collection, whether it be Whitewater memorabilia or your own antiques.  Whether you have one item or several, this is your opportunity to showcase your collection.  Bring your photos, pottery, bottles, advertising items, glassware, and post-cards, to name just a few suggestions.  Or, just come to see what fascinates others.  The following items will be on display:


Whitewater postcards

Old antique wind-up toys from the 1900’s to the 1950s

Scrapbooks full of vintage greeting cards

A collection of old and vintage cook books, some from World War II

A map and listing of early Whitewater area residents with their professions

A display of Wisconsin artist Owen Gromme’s wildlife prints


If you have something you want to bring and need special tables or handling, contact Alan Marshall (262) 473-3221 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



January’s membership drive was very successful as we heard from almost all our current members.  If you are receiving a brochure, it means we did not hear from you or there was an address mix-up or some other reason. 


The society wishes to thank all who gave generously in our new individual ($15) and family ($25) categories.  In particular, we want to thank those who donated at our “Engineer” ($50) and “Conductor” ($100) levels. 

Jim & Ginny Coburn                           Eleonora Jedrysek                   Dan Sable

Commercial Bank                               Lolita Kachel                          Jim & Claire Stewart              

James & Norma Frink                         Alan & Connie Marshall         Jerry & Nancy Wendt

Michael Grubb                                    Renae Mitchell                        Doris & Karl Zahn                 

Lyle & Dawn Hunter                          Ellen Penwell

Special thanks for a generous donation from Pam Ellinson in memory of Neil Ferguson


Depot Restoration Update

Five bids were received for the depot restoration and three were under budget.  By law, the city is required to accept the low bid, but it was from a reputable contractor who has experience in historic restoration in Madison.  So, by the time you read this, the city council should have acted to accept this bid and contracting should begin soon.  We will probably have a work schedule available for the May newsletter. 


For the second bid, some items were removed from the original work program, but be assured that none of these were significant to rehabilitating the building and making it an efficient space for the museum. The work included in the grant project is the following:   cleaning and tuck-pointing walls; repairing and painting the wood overhangs, doors, and trim and making everything operational again; restoring interior finishes, adding a handicapped accessible bathroom, adding an inside staircase to the basement, returning the ticket agent office wall for a research room, rehabilitating the windows, and making the basement a dry and safe storage and work space.  These are the things that will restore the building and get it up and running for the museum.  Two decorative items, the ticket window and the roof cresting (metal railing) had to be removed from the project temporarily, but will be done with private donations. 


Reinstallation and Society Improvement Updates

Thanks to board member Linda Robinson, UWW Professor of Communications, we have several student projects in the works that will improve the historical society’s communication with the public.  First and most important, we will very soon have a web site. This web site will include up-to-date information on the society and the depot museum and will eventually have links to things like photos and historic manuscripts.

Advertising and public relations classes are coming up with radio ads and promotional materials for both the re-opening of the depot and the society in general.  The most exciting are two videos that will be posted to our new web site that will highlight the society’s programs and the depot museum.  Also exciting is the graphic arts class that is designing a new society logo and a picture for a coloring contest.  These efforts will help us publicize the society and museum when we are back in the depot building. 


May Annual Meeting: Election of Officers for the Board of Directors

Our meeting at the end of May is our annual meeting and there is an election of officers whose terms are expiring.  The following offices are up for election:  President (Ellen Penwell), Secretary (Carol Cartwright), three-year term director (John Newhouse) and two-year term director (Renae Prell-Mitchell).  The slate of officers will be made up between now and May and any member who is interested in filling any of these positions should indicate their interest to Ellen Penwell at 262-203-6529.  An organization with contested elections is seen as healthy—so if you are interested, please “throw your hat into the ring.” 




During the month of March (through March 31st) Whitewater’s Irvin L. Young Library has had a special display of interest to all Whitewater history lovers.  It is a collection of local business documents and advertising memorabilia that was primarily donated by local historian Fred Kraege.  You still have time to view this great display.  Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, 10-2.