May 2008 Newsletter

May, 2008                                                                                         Volume 5    Issue 5      


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

6:30 p.m.

Annual Pot-Luck

Starin Park Community Building


Bring a dish to pass and your own plates and utensils.  We will have coffee, water, and soda. 


Please Note the Location


Along with the good food and good conversation, the DVD of the Oak Grove Cemetery Tour from last year will be shown in its entirety while we eat.  We could not show the complete DVD last September, so this will be a good opportunity to view the parts you missed. 


There will also be on display the enlargements of selected Rile drawings prepared for the Art Festival.  And, some of the display materials from last year’s homecoming celebration will be on display.  It will be a time to celebrate our great accomplishments from 2007.


Short Business Meeting

After the pot-luck, the society will be voting on several issues, including the slate of officers for the coming year. 


Issue #1

Lease for Stone Stable and Depot

The board decided that in taking on the management of the Stone Stable, the Society should have only one lease that covers both the depot and stone stable. 


The new lease clearly defines the society’s responsibilities for the depot museum and stone stable and the relationship between the society and the city over monetary issues. 


The lease defines (as did the old lease) the depot as a building used solely as a museum open to the public.  The lease defines the stone stable as a historic building the society is charged with preserving and interpreting, making it additional museum display or programming space that is open to the public when the society sees fit.  It will not allow it to be used for non-historic purposes, such as bathrooms, a food stand, or rest area during the terms of the lease. 


The old lease put the burden of all maintenance and repair costs for the depot on the society.  Recognizing that the city actually owns both the depot and the stone stable buildings, the new lease includes shared responsibility for the upkeep of these buildings. 


The city and the society came together to share the costs of the new roof on a 50-50 basis and the new lease makes this arrangement permanent.  The new lease requires the society and the city to share costs of maintenance and repairs on both the depot and the stone stable, as well as any improvements, on a 50-50 basis.  The Society would still be responsible for interior janitorial services and the city will still take care of exterior landscaping. 


The lease will still require us to have insurance on the interior contents of the building and liability coverage, and the city will continue to carry coverage on the building itself.  This agreement will be extended to the stone stable.


The agreement for both buildings will last until 2072, the remaining years of the original 99-year lease for the depot. 


Our president, Ellen Penwell, spent many hours working with the City Manager, the City Attorney, and our insurance agent to make sure the new lease is a fair and accurate agreement.  The result is a great deal for both the city and the society in maintaining both the depot and the stone stable for generations to come. 


Issue #2

Budget for the Depot Museum

This year, we will not have a paid intern.  At the last meeting, the society agreed to pay Bo McCready to produce a documentary on the Esterly Company in conjunction with his book on this topic that is coming out in late fall.  However, we are still in need of some funds for the museum this year. 


The depot curator has suggested the following, with the approval of the Board of Directors. 

The budget for the depot will be $800.00

The money will be spent on two items; first, a combination copier, scanner, printer for the upgraded computer that the curator is donating.  This should cost between $200-$300. 


The remaining funds will be available for museum supplies.  The funds will be spent on display materials, archival supplies, and general supplies. 


Every summer, displays have been updated and more of our collections have been organized in archival storage, assuring their preservation for the future.  These funds will continue this activity. 


Issue #3

In order to update our application for the Department of Transportation grant for the restoration of the depot, the architectural firm needed to update the budget.  The city has asked that we share (as we did two years ago) in the cost of this fee.  We have been asked to pay one half of the bill $477.21.  The board has approved, pending approval by the members. 


Issue #4

Election of Officers

The following officers’ terms are up for election.    


President:       Ellen Penwell (2006-2008

Secretary:       Bobby Landsee (2006-2008)

Board:             Richard Landsee (2005-2008)

                        Kathleen Lashley (2006-2008)


The board of directors has proposed the following slate of officers for the coming year. 


President:   Ellen Penwell (2008-2010)

V-P:            Kathleen Lashley (completes Carol Cartwright’s term until 2009)

Secretary:   Carol Cartwright (2008-2010)

Board:        Arlene Newhouse (2008-2011)                    Linda Loomer  (2008-2010)


As usual, nominations for officers will be received from the floor.  If anyone would like to run for these positions, please indicate your interest in a nomination from the floor. 


The Board of Directors thanks those who are willing to serve as officers. 




Depot Roof Project

The Whitewater City Council agreed to the proposal presented by the Historical Society and the City Manager for replacement of the depot roof.  The work should be started shortly and completed before the Fourth of July celebration. 


The new roof promises to last for decades and is a result of the work of Ellen Penwell, Carol Cartwright, Gregg Gauger, City Manager Kevin Brunner, and Building Inspector Bruce Parker.  The society especially thanks Bruce for administering the bidding process and for being our building advocate for many years. 


Depot Restoration Grant

Thanks to the hard work of Mary Nimm of the city, our restoration grant to the Department of Transportation was successfully submitted.  Now comes the waiting game.  The committee for the grant meets in June and grant recipients are announced in September.  Everyone is keeping their fingers crossed for a success this time. 


New Whitewater Book

Bo McCready has submitted his manuscript to Arcadia Press about the Esterly Company and its impact on the economy of Whitewater in the 19th century.  Congratulations Bo!!  Lots of museum photos are going to be used in the book and we hope to premier both the book and documentary at the Society’s November meeting.


Get Ready!

2008-09 will be exciting!  September will be election program; November will be premier of Esterly documentary; 2009: another big fund-raiser??  Maybe a new cemetery tour??

Have a great summer and see you at the depot museum!!


The Depot Museum Needs Your Help this Summer

The summer hours for the museum are as follows:

Sundays:  1-4:00 p.m.  June 1- August 24.

Thursdays, 5:30-8:00 p.m.:  June 26, July 10, 17, 24, 31, August 7 and 14.


Carol Cartwright will be at the museum on Thursdays, 1-5:30 p.m. beginning June 12.


Here is the chart for sign-ups.  If you cannot come to the pot-luck on Wednesday, please call or email Carol at 473-6820 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you can work any of these days.


*days Carol cannot work, so we have to have a volunteer.


Sunday, June 1:  Carol Carwright

*Sunday, June 8:                              

Sunday, June 15:  Gregg Gauger 

Sunday, June 22:

*Thursday, June 26:

*Sunday, June 29:

Friday, July 4:  Carol Cartwright


Sunday, July 6:  closed

Thursday, July 10:

Sunday, July 13:

Thursday, July 17:

Sunday, July 20:

Thursday, July 24:

Sunday, July 27:

Thursday, July 31:

Sunday, August 3:

Thursday, August 7:

Sunday, August 10:

Thursday, August 14:

Sunday, August 17:

Sunday, August 24:


If you want to volunteer during July or August, but don’t yet know your schedule, please give Carol your phone number or email and she will call at the beginning of the month to sign you up.



W7646 Hackett Rd.

Whitewater, WI  53190


Dates to Remember

Wednesday, May 28, 2008, 6:30 p.m.

Starin Park Community Building - Pot Luck


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)