May 2009 Newsletter

May, 2009                                                                              Volume 6, No. 5

WHS holds cemetery tour and annual meeting and pot-luck


  • Cemetery tour:

Monday, Memorial Day, May 25

1:30 at the Calvary Cemetery

Tours:  2:00 to 4:30


  • Annual meeting and pot-luck:

Wednesday, May 27

6:30 p.m.

Starin park community building


Cemetery Tour, Memorial Day, May 25

Be sure to come to the Calvary Cemetery Tour.  The participants from the WHS will be marching in the parade in the morning.  The event will begin at 1:30 with a VFW/Knights of Columbus memorial ceremony at the flagpole in Calvary Cemetery.  After the opening remarks, the tours will be underway and will continue until 4:30 p.m.  Tell and/or bring your friends.


To get the CalvaryCemetery:  Take North Prairie Street into the dormitory area of UW-Whitewater.  There will be a sign telling you which street to turn into.  There is parking at the university parking lot right by the cemetery. 


Participants include WHS members and members of the Walworth County Genealogical Society.  People portrayed include accused murderer Nellie Horan, harness-maker Joseph Haubert, musician and professor William Thiele, beloved policeman Joe Monahan, and a member of the Cummings family, early pioneers in the Town of Whitewater. 


Annual Pot-Luck and Meeting, Wednesday, May 27

Pot Luck begins at 6:30 p.m.

Please bring a dish to pass, your own plates and utensils, and anything special you want to drink.  Coffee will be provided. 


Annual Meeting

After our pot luck (always the best meal in town!), we will have our annual meeting.  We will be electing our slate of officers for the next year (nominations from the floor always welcome) and conducting some brief business. 


So far we have the following nominations for officers whose terms expire next week.


Vice-President:  Kathleen Lashley  (two year term until 2011)

Treasurer:  Gregg Gauger (two year term until 2011)

Board Members: 

            John Newhouse (three year term until 2012)

            Mariann Scott (two-year term until 2011)

            Dan Sable (two-year term until 2011)


Officers who will still be serving into 2010 are:


President:  Ellen Penwell (until 2010)

Secretary:  Carol Cartwright (until 2010)

Board Members:

            Arlene Newhouse (until 2011)

            Linda Loomer (until 2010)



Upon approval from the society membership, we will have a summer intern who will help us keep the museum open for additional hours this summer.  This is critical, as we will be kicking off our fund-raising drive for our share of the depot renovation costs and want to have the building open to the public more than usual.  Our intern will be Jennifer Kalvaitis, a junior in the public history program at UWW.  She is from Fort Atkinson, so is a “local” student who is enthusiastic about working with us this summer.  Besides manning the museum during the week, she will be helping us get materials in order for the big move out of the building prior to the depot restoration.  Carol Cartwright and Ellen Penwell will be supervising her work during the summer. 


But, we still have our regular hours to fill with volunteers.  We need our regular Sundays 1-4 p.m. June 7 through August 30 slots filled and Thursdays from June 18 through August 13 from 5:30—8:00 p.m. when the lakefront park has activities.  Carol will have a sign-up sheet at the Cemetery Tour and the pot-luck.  If you cannot make the pot-luck, email Carol at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to volunteer or call her at 473-6820.  If you are not certain about the dates you might be available in July or August, let her know you would be interested and she will contact you about a specific date closer to that time. 


Depot Restoration Project


ARCHITECTS: The committee to select the architect for the depot restoration completed its work last month and have selected Isthmus Architects, Inc. of Madison.  Isthmus is one of the leading restoration architects in the state and has completed several depot renovations.  They will be beginning work as soon as final contracts from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation are sent to the city.


FUND-RAISING KICK-OFF: The kick-off for our fund-raising drive will be coming soon.  As you remember from the last newsletter, WHS is are NOT fund-raising with the city.  We will only be raising our “half” of the match:  $40,000.  We will also be raising an additional $20,000 for new exhibit equipment and supplies for the museum.  The restoration of the depot is an opportunity to also renovate our displays, making them more interesting, educational, and fun.  If you have been to the recently renovated HoardMuseum in FortAtkinson, we aim for this type of professionalism in our renovation.  Of course, we are not nearly the size of that institution, but we hope to be just as interesting in our interpretations of Whitewater history. 


Our fund-raising will center around selling bricks of various sizes to be laid in front of the depot and down the sidewalk to Whitewater Street.  Helping us with this project will be FortAtkinson resident, Joel Van Haaften.  Joel used this fund-raising technique to great success when he was the director at a museum in Illinois.  Because of the size of the depot, we have few places to honor donors.  With this approach, we can honor all donors, big or small.  We are also hoping the public uses these bricks to honor Whitewater history, including historic figures, businesses, and buildings. 


The restored depot and new historic brick walkway will add even more interest to Lakefront Park and will blend in well with the beautiful historic arch put up by the Art Alliance. 


Historic Preservation Tours

Interested in learning more about Whitewater history and its historic sites?  The Historical and Architectural Survey of Whitewater is available on-line at the City of Whitewater web site.  It contains an extensive history of the community and chapters on historic architecture and historic resources in the community.  A printed copy of the survey is at the library. 


Also, the Whitewater Landmarks Commission is celebrating Historic Preservation Month with two tours.  On Saturday, May 23, there will be a tour of the Indian Mounds in IndianMoundPark on the west side.  This is a great way to see Whitewater’s unusual effigy mound group.  On Saturday, May 30, in the afternoon, there will be a tour of downtown Whitewater’s historic buildings.  For further information, call Mariann Scott at 473-4219. 



W7646 Hackett Rd.

Whitewater, WI  53190



Calvary Cemetery Tour, Monday, May 25

Annual Meeting and Pot-Luck, Wednesday, May 27

Indian Mounds and Downtown Whitewater Tours, Saturday, May 30