Calumet County Historical

Society Museum

Our Museum features two buildings filled with articles from around Calumet County that features things that hard working people used every day to make life just a little easier

Museum open June-Sept Sundays 1:00-4:00

Museum Admission is Free!!

Museum open June-Sept Sundays 1:00-4:00

Museum Admission is Free!!

Here is a historic film the Chilton Kiwanis Club commissioned in order to show what Chilton and the surrounding areas were like in 1938. In nearly 90 minutes of film you will see people living a typical, small town life as it was lived just before World War II. It is hard to know if the Kiwanis of 1938 knew what they were doing to preserve Chilton history, but we do know that the Kiwanis of 1999 knew what they were doing when they spent their time and money to research the people and events in the film. They then added narration to the original silent film to bring it up -to-date for VHS and DVD copies. In 2015 many of these same Kiwanis members made another important decision to allow the Calumet County Historical Society to bring this film to you by way of our Website.

Click here to watch a wonderful video on Brillion’s history from the Brillion Historical Society

Old Maps & Documenting Come Together

needed to complete the work.

After getting an estimate to copy 8 maps, we decided to apply for grant money to help with the costs. Through the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Inc., we received grants from the Allan and Karen Schuette Heritage Fund and the Zarnoth Family Fund.


We are in the process of having the work done now and are excited about a new display featuring these maps!

How do you preserve an old map for future generations to enjoy? What’s the difference between a paper map and a canvas map?  Should they be stored rolled up or laid flat? These were some of the questions we had when contemplating what to do with the museums’ map collection.

After contacting a preservation specialist at the Wisconsin State Historical Society, some of our questions were answered. We learned that in most cases paper items are

not restored but preserved and copies are created. The originals are then stored for display in special archival materials to prevent further disintegration.

To create a copy of a map that is 53”X 40” was the next challenge. A special computer program that would copy the map in sections and then meld those sections into one copy was needed. Preferring to stay local, we soon found that Printing Express in Chilton had the program that was

New Show Cases, New Look!

that was just too good to pass up. Shopko in DePere had 12 display cases for sale complete with corners so we can design our displays in any number of ways. Two trips to DePere and back and the show cases were in place. We

When we opened our doors in 2014 we had no intention of making a major change to the museum layout or displays that had served us so well in the past.  However, one of our members spotted a deal

Showcases at Shopko

had delivered 12 cases: 11 that the organization bought and 1 additional case that same member donated. That member also contributed a lot of time by helping to move the cases. Come see the new look!

Panoramic view of the Museum with the showcases in place

View the panoramic with

Documenting Is Under Way

will soon be made available to all of our members online.

Thanks also for all the help we had from people and members who showed up to help us get our items documented. Someone once said that “Many hands make light work,” and this is very true for us. We are off to a great start on a very large project.

We have a long way to go with documenting, but we are off to a wonderful start. At the start of 2015 museum season we had over 500 of our articles photographed, documented and ready to upload to our new software. We have a lot of people and groups to thank. As we progress with this project we will have information on what

we have, who donated it and whatever history we have on the items at our finger tips.

We would like to thank the Chilton Area Community Foundation for the grant that made this all possible. Because of their generosity, we have the best-in-class software for museums and organizations like ours. With this software, the collection

From the 2015 newsletter

What is the Documenting Project?

Many of the society’s objects were collected in the 1940’s through the 60’s; we do not know the history of a lot of our objects. Most what we know is on an old tag used by Dr Klofanda. The tags were created from left over medical documents. Some of the information was lost, or more likely, never collected.


Through a grant from the Chilton Area Community Foundation we have been able to purchase the best in class museum software. This has allowed us to start collecting what information we have and entering

it into a database for protection. This process will allow us to print up better tags, make the collection available online to members, and most importantly, it will allow us to know what we have in the collection. The other important factor is that now we can capture detail of all items being donated today.


We have developed a simple process that allows anyone to help; with the thousands of objects we have that help is really needed to get the whole collection documented!

Members CCHS Research Portal is Now Open!

*Complete Search of Documented Objects and Photos   * View photos  

* Searchable State Bank of Chilton Calendars * Searchable Herb Buhl Articles and Photos

For years we have been working hard to share our collection with more and more people, whether they be at the museum, on our web page,or on our Facebook page. Now we have something new for members; a much more powerful research tool.


We have created a research portal that is available for CCHS members that would like to have access to the information in our collection. This tool provides many browsing features that allow you to explore what we have, by giving you the ability to search just as you would on the internet. You can search all of our documented items by year, by community, by collection or by name – either business' or people’s names. You can also search by using combinations of these fields. If you find anything in the category of “Local Photo or Print” or “Local Newspaper Articles” that interests you, most are available to be viewed online. In the future every category object will be viewable online. This is a work in progress and is self-developed; there is a small learning curve, but this is a

very useful way to find information about something you are looking for. Take a look at our online help documents, and with a little bit of playing around, it will become easy in a short time.


             Every object that has been documented and processed in our collection is available with the search tool. Making this information available through the database is a daunting and never-ending task for CCHS. Every year we are making huge progress! This last year’s exceptional progress was made, but there is still a lot of work to do. Let us know if you’re interested in helping! We have opportunities for people to work from home or at the museum. To have access to this tool you must be a member.


If you would like this membership benefit, check out our membership page Click Here

Tales of Old Chilton Back in Print

Published in 1978, in celebration of the Centennial year for the City of Chilton, this book chronicles the early years of Chilton and surrounding communities such as Hayton, Gravesville, Stockbridge and Brant, during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Details about Moses and Catherine Stanton, the founders of Chilton, along with articles about other early prominent citizens  who were critical

in the growth of our community can be found in this book.  It also contains snippets of old newspaper clippings, am 1878 map of Chilton, and many great pictures that give a look into the past, as well as descriptions of businesses, homes and community organizations. A great read and resource for those interested in the history of Chilton and life in years gone by.

Text Box: 2013 when he passed away at the age of 93. It was Herman‘s family‘s land that our building sits on. Our collection was started by Dr Klofanda, our second building was donated by Mike Bolz, but the land, the energy and the hours spent building and sharing our mission was all Herman.
Text Box: If you had stopped in to visit our museum any time from our start in the early 1960’s  and up to 2013, the odds are very good that you would have met Herman. He was there all the time and loved to share his knowledge of our county‘s history. It was also likely if you had driven by and seen a car there, it was him working on something.  This what he did until

It’s official! Our property is now called the “Herman Pagel Historical Site.”

Our top story of the year does not fit on our front page! We were thrilled when James Barany decided that he could create two beautiful, history packed murals; one each for Chilton and Stockbridge.  Following completion of the murals, he integrated a student project in both communities. You can learn more about these projects from the insert in this mailing and at our website. The vision and research for this project were completely due to James, his incredible talent and commitment. This project was made financially possible by grants from The

Calumet County Mural Initiative

Community Foundation of the Fox Valley, The Bright Idea Fund, The Chilton Community Foundation, Wisconsin Art Board and the National Endowment for the Arts. Please check out the insert that is included with this newsletter. James’ talents are many and include his performances as a Bass-Baritone singer with the Florentine Opera Chorus in Milwaukee. From the CCHS to you James - Thank you, and “Bravo James, Bravo!”

Protecting and Digitizing Chilton’s Newspapers

2019 has been the year of newspapers for the CCHS and we could not be happier about it. We have started to digitize the newspapers that are on microfilm at the Chilton Public library. Newspapers are really interesting and give great insight into the minds of that day - what interested them, scared them, and what they aspired to become are all there. The newspapers that are digitized and available on our portal have some very basic search capabilities; when searched they will hit on major events and names.


When the dust settled around the sale of the Chilton Times-Journal building, Kay Vercaurtern graciously donated all newspapers that were in the building. In this collection of over 200 binders are the Chilton Times, Chilton Times-Journal, Badger Sportsman, Calumet County Shopper, Wisconsin Demokrat (German Language) and the Calumet County News. This collection goes back to the late 1800’s.


These papers vary in condition. Anything before the 1970’s are very brittle and each contact causes damage. Some are little more than a pile of papers with little being readable. Whatever their condition, we are saving and storing them all. When we have them inventoried, we will make the details available through the members portal. Once we understand what we have in the collection, we can identify what has not been saved on microfilm and find a way to digitize it. This is a welcome  project but a bit overwhelming as well. It requires a lot of time, storage space, and methodical planning. At this point we can not give public access to these volumes, but in time we hope that will change.

Our thanks to Kay Vercaurtern and Erica Hoerth for recognizing the importance of these papers and making them available. Thanks also to the CCHS members that spent a long day doing the heavy hauling! (Have we mentioned that newspapers are heavy and bulky and that we are not all that young anymore?)

We have some of the finest Historical Societies anywhere Click here for other Calumet County Historical Websites and resources you can use to research Calumet County History

Donate the image, the story and the history and keep the picture !


Click here to learn more about donate pictures or digital images to the Calumet County Historical Society

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