November 2006 Newsletter

November, 2006                                                                                Volume 3    Issue 2       



The next meeting of the Whitewater Historical Society will take place on Wednesday,  November 15 at 6:45 p.m. in the Irvin Young Public Library

Please note the location.


Meeting Schedule:

6:45 p.m.:  Refreshments start

7:00 p.m.:  Brief business meeting

7:30 p.m.:  Program


Program for November Meeting

The Cravaths and the Cortland Colony:  Early Settlers of Whitewater and Lima


Presenter:  Karen Weston, Archivist of the UWW Archives/Area Research Center of the Wisconsin Historical Society


Karen Weston has been doing genealogical research for about 30 years and her presentation at our next meeting will be a genealogical and biographical study of a group of early settlers to the Whitewater area.  The Cravath family and their connections are excellent representatives of “Yankee” (New England and New York State) settlers who came to Walworth and Rock counties during the earliest years of Whitewater. 


The values, skills, and interests of these Yankee settlers contributed to the community we see today.  Like other Yankees, they brought “American” institutions to the area, easing the transition from frontier territory to statehood. 


The Cravaths and the Cortland Colony had an impact on journalism, education, horticulture, and religion in early Whitewater. 


Karen Weston has lived in the Whitewater area since 1985 and has worked at the UWW’s Anderson Library.  In 1994, she was named Archivist for the UWW Archives and oversees the local collection from the Wisconsin Historical Society. 


Business Meeting and Membership Voting Issues in November

Because of the outstanding program we have lined up for November, the business meeting will be short and held prior to the program.  In order to facilitate the business meeting, the following items are listed here for members to review.  The Board of Directors have discussed each of these items and unanimously voted to recommend that the members approve them.


A.  Purchase liability and contents insurance for the Depot Museum.  This will mean a $353.00 total annual premium. 

According to our lease of the building from the city, it is the responsibility of the historical society to carry proof of personal liability and property insurance.  It was thought that the city provided coverage, but in truth, no such document exists as an amendment to the city’s existing policy.  If we are to honor the lease agreement, and protect our museum contents and our society, this insurance must be purchased.  The following quote was received from Binning & Dickens Insurance Services for a 2-part policy:


Insurance Policy (continued)

1.  Commercial Property Premium

     $183.00 annually

This will give us $50,000 worth of coverage for the museum’s contents.  The building, itself, is owned by the city and IS covered under the city’s property insurance.  The contents are owned by the society and need insurance coverage. 

2.  General Liability Premium

     $170.00 annual premium

This will provide us with $1,000,000 limit of liability, a standard amount of liability protection.


B.  Agree to assist the Stone Stable Leadership Team by having the society serve as a repository for donations received throughout the duration of the Stone Stable Restoration Fundraising Campaign.

This request for partnership came to the WHS board from Ginny Coburn, Co-Chair of the Stone Stable Leadership Team.  We are being asked to do this because the stone stable restoration will cost over $25,000, the maximum amount of money the city can spend without a bidding process.  The stone stable group wants the flexibility to choose the contractor based on skill level rather than on the lowest bid.  Therefore, they would like donations deposited in an account of a non-profit organization, rather than the city. 


A separate account would be established with the society for the SOLE PURPOSE of accepting stone stable donations.  Our treasurer, Gregg Gauger, would establish this account, and it will not affect our current accounts or the society’s finances.  It will only be a repository for donations for the stable restoration.


Museum Notes

  • Since September, the museum has been open between 1-4 p.m. on Thursdays.  Most Thursdays we have had visitors, one day we had seven, a good number for a weekday.  More importantly, many people who have had business with the society or the museum have come in on Thursdays, saving time for both the visitor and the curator. 
  • The museum will be open on Thursdays, except Thanksgiving, until December 7.  There will be a holiday-cold weather break from December until January 30.  Then the museum will be open one afternoon a week between February and May, when we will start “summer” hours.
  • Our intern, Melissa, who has been working on Thursday afternoons, continues to sort our subject files.  She has sorted some fascinating items, including many paper artifacts from old businesses in Whitewater.  
  • Melissa is separating out the paper artifacts from general subject information, so we will be better able to identify and use both the subject files and the artifacts in future displays and research. She has also been adding the vast Betty Boyd papers into both our subject files and our “people” files.  Betty had many newspaper clippings of births, weddings, and deaths that will enhance our files.


Depot Roof

The Board of Directors has started the process for gaining information about installing new roofing on the museum.  President Ellen Penwell has set up a meeting with City Manager Kevin Brunner to discuss the city’s involvement with this project.  In the past, due to our unique lease agreement, the society and the city have worked together to maintain the depot building.  The board will have more information about this project at our January meeting. 


Looking for a Christmas Gift for the Person who has “everything”?

How about "Whitewater"? --

Photo history compiled by Fred Kraege


Remember, you SAVE when you shop with the museum!  The book costs $19.99 tax-free, saving you $1.10. 


Give the gift that will bring enjoyment to your family and friends for many years to come.  Get your copies at the museum on Thursday afternoons until December 7,  or contact Carol Cartwright (473-6820 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), and she will be glad to get them to you.


Oak Grove Cemetery Tour

As members saw  in September, the program committee has been working hard on the cemetery tour scheduled for the end of May.    The committee has lined up several “interpreters” for specific families or individuals buried in the cemetery.  A large amount of information has already been compiled and the committee will begin working on printed material for the event. 


This will be an exciting event.  Look for more details in 2007. 


End of Year Thoughts From the Newsletter Editor

The year 2006 was both exciting and challenging. The depot’s new heating and air conditioning system makes the museum comfortable year-around and provides a better environment for the collections.  On the other hand, we did not get the grant that would have completely updated the building.


Visitors doubled at the museum this summer thanks to the Thursday evening activities at the LakefrontPark and the well-attended Fourth of July celebration. 


Society membership increased and there were wonderful programs at our meetings in 2006, thanks to the program committee.


Our great UWW student interns have all of the museum photographs and glass negatives properly stored and catalogued by subject and Melissa is making great progress updating subject files and paper artifacts that will also be catalogued by subject.     


2007 will also bring its challenges and excitement.  If I don’t see you personally, have a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a Happy Holiday Season!!



Members were generous this year in contributing to the on-going financial needs of the historical society.  These extra funds were used to help pay for printing and sending the newsletter to those without internet access; for on-going museum  supplies and display materials; and for general society needs, such as our new utility bills and for our student interns. 


If you did not make a donation beyond membership dues to the society in 2006, you may wish to make an end-of-year donation.  We thank you for your support!


Additional Donation to the Whitewater Historical Society

Here is my extra 2006 donation $_________


Name: ______________________________


Address: ____________________________




Send to:  Carol Cartwright

               W7646 Hackett Rd.

                Whitewater, WI  53190



W7646 Hackett Rd.

Whitewater, WI  53190


Officers of the Whitewater Historical Society

President:   Ellen Penwell (2006-2008)

VP:               Carol Cartwright (2005-2007)

Secretary:   Bobby Landsee (2006-2008)

Treasurer:  Gregg Gauger (2005-2007)

Board of Directors:

            Richard Landsee (2005-2008)

            Kathleen Lashley (2006-2008)

            John Newhouse (2006-2009)

            Mariann Scott (2004-2007)

            Michele Smith (2005-2007)





            Meeting at Irvin Young Library

            6:45;  Early Settlers Program



            Depot Museum is OPEN



            Next meeting of the Whitewater Historical Society