May 2011 Newsletter

May, 2011                                                                               Volume 8, No. 5


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

6:30 p.m. Pot-Luck; Annual Meeting to Follow

Lakefront Community Building***

          ***Note the Building Change; the Lakefront Community Building is in Lakefront Park, just go under the arch and to the left.


This is our annual meeting and pot-luck.  Our members have all received an important notice about changes to the by-laws and we hope that many of you will be able to attend to vote on this important issue for the organization.  If you have not been to our pot-lucks before—you are in for a treat.  It is a casual affair, just bring a dish to pass (home-made not required), your own dishes and utensils and special drinks.  Coffee will be served.  No matter what people bring, there is always good food and a great opportunity to get to know your fellow Whitewater history supporters. 


In regard to the changes to the by-laws, they are important.  The by-laws have served us well, but were written in 1946!!  We need to update them in a few key areas to reflect our current situation.  One of the most important changes is in the area of society dues.  You are all aware that we have only charged $1.00 per year for dues and that served to make the society affordable to everyone in the past.  However, the reality of keeping a modern society going means that we must be more realistic in our dues requests.  Most people have generously responded to our plea for donations above and beyond the $1.00, but the Board of Directors would like our dues to better reflect modern times and the needs of the society.  Be assured that  we will have a number of affordable choices for you. 


So, come on down to the Lakefront Community Building, a beautiful location for a spring pot-luck and near our beloved depot, to engage in some good food, good conversation, and important business. 



Secretary’s report

Treasurer’s report

Depot Museum Curator’s Report & Membership/Newsletter Report

Introduction of 2010-2011 Board Members

Review of 2010-2011 Activities

Presentation of Sale of Officers to be elected for 2011-2012(13-14)

            Vice President:        Alan Marshall (2011-2013)

            Treasurer:                 Gregg Gauger (2011-2013)

            Director:                    Arlene Newhouse (2011-2014)

            Director:                    Open

            Director                     Renae Mitchell (2011-2012)  2nd year of Alan Marshall’s term


Presentation of by-laws amendments and vote

Old Business

            Up-date on Whitewater Passenger Depot Restoration Projects

            Update on Fundraising Campaign

            2011 Mini-Grant Application

New Business

            Reading of article on “Washboard Hale”

            Program ideas for 2011-2012, plus your thoughts on the Grand Opening of Restored                            Depot Museum



Our long-time friend and board member, Kathleen Lashley has moved to Jefferson and will no longer be able to serve the Whitewater Historical Society.  She was Vice-President and Alan Marshall graciously stepped in to fill her position, leaving his spot on the board vacant.  Board member Dan Sable also indicated he was no longer able to serve, leaving an additional board seat vacant.  Renae Mitchell agreed to fill Alan’s final year on the board, but that has left us with a board seat still vacant. 


If anyone is interested, please let us know at our upcoming meeting.  If you can’t attend the pot-luck, just let Ellen Penwell know that you would be willing to serve (262-203-6529).  We have a number of new members who have responded to our latest membership drive.  If you have any interest, please let us know. 


Of course, we will always take nominations for officers from the floor for any office! 



The society has been informed that work should begin on the depot by August!!  And it can’t come too soon.  The board hopes that we will be able to begin moving in some time in the late fall.  The first activity will be a large grand opening event to celebrate the depot and the society.  Fittingly, our first exhibit will be on the depot and the railroad and their relationship to Whitewater history.  This will be located in our temporary (rotating) exhibit space. 



The Board of Directors meets every month and a lot of business takes place.  In this and future newsletters, we will keep you informed about board activities.  If you have any questions about board activities, please contact Ellen Penwell, our president (262-203-6529).  As always, board meetings are always open to our members and you can call Ellen any time for a schedule of meetings with time and place. 


In April, the board spent much of their time reviewing the final draft of the changes to the by-laws.   Ellen also presented a new collections policy form, which the board approved.  As always, the board discussed the depot restoration project and soliciting final donations to meet our fund-raising goal.  The board discussed plans for the final move-out of the few items left in the depot.  Gregg Gauger and Bruce Parker of the city have been extremely valuable in making this move. 


The society has been asked to partner with other WalworthCounty societies to help bring a touring Civil War exhibit to the Young Auditorium on the UWW campus.  At the May board meeting, Ellen reported that a decision will be made in August on the proposal to bring this exhibit to Whitewater.  This event could take place in either 2012, 2013 or 2014. 


Also at the May board meeting, the group discussed staffing the museum for the July 4th holiday.  Even though our artifacts will be moved out, the building will be open for public viewing (and a chance for the public to donate to the restoration effort).  Speaking of the fund-raising efforts, treasurer Gregg Gauger reported that the society is very close to its $60,000 goal. 


Other important business of the board included the proposal for a mini-grant from the Wisconsin Historical Society for shelving for our collections in our renovated basement.  The cost would be about $1,500, of which the grant would cover $700. 


Finally, a hint about our first new exhibit on Whitewater and the railroad came from Ellen Penwell.  She viewed a large collection of Milwaukee Road artifacts at the Eagle Historical Society that we may be able to acquire on loan for our exhibit. 



More memberships came in after the last newsletter went to press.  Again, we had a number of generous donations. Thank you to all who donated and a special thanks to those listed below:


$100 or more:             Rick and Jeanine Fassl


$20 or more:               Karen Coburn

                                    Jerome and Virginia Laurent

                                    David & Pamela Van Doren


Other:                          Kelly Law Office

                                    Dale Kuster

                                    Mary Lou and Art Lein

                                    Karen Weston


Achievements of the past year

  • Two public meetings (August and November) about the depot restoration plans.
  • Two great programs; Whitewater and Wisconsin farm breweries and Whitewater pottery with Whitewater native and expert Kori Oberle.
  • Stone Stable landscaping, largely done by Bruce Parker and Mary Nimm of the city staff.
  • Stone Stable interpretive sign, thanks to the society, especially Ellen Penwell.
  • Dr. James Trippe interpretive sign, thanks largely to Fred Kraege.
  • Participation in the celebration of the Stephen Ambrose Memorial Highway sign dedication.

This year was, indeed, a good one, and here’s hoping that next year will be even better! 


Whitewater Historical Society

Carol Cartwright

W7646 Hackett Rd.

Whitewater, WI  53190