November 2007 Newsletter

 November, 2007                                                                              Volume 5    Issue 2       





Wednesday, November 28, 7:00 p.m.



Starin Park Community Building






History Toys from the Museum and the Collection of Bobby Landsee


For the first time in many, many years, there are five Wednesdays in November.  This gives us the unique opportunity to hold our meeting after Thanksgiving instead of before. We hope you are all in the Christmas mood, since our program will be about old Christmas Toys.


We will be displaying a few of our toys from the museum and telling you all about them.  But, we will also show a special collection of toys from Bobby Landsee.  Many of you know that Bobby is a collector and had an antique shop in town.  This will be a great opportunity to view some special toys of the past and hear something about them. 



Please feel free to bring your old toy to our meeting.  Since there will be only a short business meeting, feel free to share.



DORIS KOLMOS, 1916-2007

Doris Kolmos, long-time volunteer curator of the Depot Museum and even longer-time member of the Whitewater Historical Society, died on October 19, 2007. 


Doris was from Elkhorn, graduating from ElkhornHigh School in 1933.  She graduated from the Racine-KenoshaRuralNormal School in 1939, and for several years was a rural school teacher. 


Doris met Alfred Kolmos at the normal school and were married on August 18, 1945.  They did most everything together, raising their two children, traveling, and especially working for the Whitewater Historical Society. 


Doris was part of the group that opened the depot museum in 1974, and during the 1980s through 2001, she was the museum curator.  She was well known for her creative newspaper columns in the Whitewater Register called “The Spider’s Web,”  and for her fine artistic talent, shown on our note cards.  We will all miss her very much.


Memorial to Doris Kolmos

One of Doris’ lasting achievements for the Whitewater Historical Society was the creation and promotion of the Memorial Fund.  The Board of Directors is planning a special memorial at the depot to Doris.  If any members would like to make a special donation to the Memorial Fund in honor of Doris, please send your contributions to:

            Carol Cartwright

            W7646 Hackett Rd.

            Whitewater, WI  53190


As always, your contributions are tax deductible.


Winter At the Museum

The museum is officially closed for a couple of months.  Although we have heat, the holidays and bad weather make it difficult to have regular hours. 


But, we will be open on February 8, 2007 for Whitewater’s Freeze Fest.  This event takes place at LakefrontPark and in the Lakefront building and includes a chili cook-off, ice carving, and other activities.  We will have hot cocoa and treats at the depot that day and will welcome all visitors. 


During the winter season, we will be finalizing plans for the new roof and working on improving our display information.  This will all culminate in the spring with an Open House, which will also have a ceremony honoring Doris Kolmos.  The stone stable may be celebrating their building completion and landscaping, as well, so look for a fun, historic, event.


Goodbye to Melissa Schultz

Our student intern from UW-Whitewater, who has been with us over two years, is graduating this December and will no longer be working at the museum.  She was a fantastic worker and we wish her well in her new endeavors.



On Saturday, November 17, the Stone Stable was dedicated.  It was about 100 years ago at this time when the log cabin was dedicated on the Normal School campus in honor of the first Whitewater Home-Coming.  The stone stable continues that tradition in honor of the second home-coming event. 


The weather wasn’t great, but a good crowd was on hand.  Our President, Ellen Penwell, made the following comments:


As I watched the stone stable take shape over the past months, I was struck by how it didn’t look like any other building on the Whitewater cityscape.  It doesn’t look like 21st Century Whitewater and it doesn’t look like 20th Century Whitewater.  I am always impressed by how accurately objects reflect the culture that made and used them.


The stone stable was built at a time when Whitewater was itself taking shape as a community.  The practical function of the building was to shelter horses—horses being critical to transportation and agricultural life in mid-19th century Whitewater.  As Whitewater grew, welcoming the railroad, industry, business, higher education and the automobile, the stone stable simply endured.  Today . . . it now serves a loftier and less intended function—that of being a physical point of reference connecting all of us with our community deep past—that far away place where the first citizens of Whitewater lived.  Standing now in close proximity, the Train Depot and the Stone Stable are like bookends flanking a long period of Whitewater history from early settlement into the 20th century.  Both are transportation buildings of a kind; portals so to speak through which we can interpret the comings and goings of our town over time—encompassing all the changes that characterize a living community.


Welcome to our new neighbor—the stone stable!


W7646 Hackett Rd.

Whitewater, WI  53190


Dates to Remember


Wednesday, November 28, Meeting at Starin Park CommunityBuilding, 7:00 p.m.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008, First meeting of the new year. 


Officers of the Whitewater Historical Society

President:       Ellen Penwell (2006-2008)

VP:                   Carol Cartwright (2007-2009)

Secretary:       Bobby Landsee (2006-2008)

Treasurer:      Gregg Gauger (2007-2009)

Board:             Richard Landsee (2005-2008)

                          Kathleen Lashley (2006-2008)

                         John Newhouse (2006-2009)

                         Mariann Scott (2007-2009)

                         Michele Smith (2007-2009)