2011 McFarland Historical Society Annual Meeting
Wes Licht served as master of ceremonies and introduced the board members and also Brian Utter who is McFarland’s Citizen of the Year. Brenda Zier distributed the minutes, Jackie Utter read her Treasurer’s report, and Dale Marsden gave his President’s report.
Dale explained that there were a number of fund raisers for the purchase and preservation of the Larson House and the Chocolate Fest was especially successful with 250 people attending and about $7000 being raised.
Display honoring Crystal Lokken who served on the McFarland Historical Society Board from 2006 until her death in 2010.
Gini Nichols pointed out the table honoring Crystal Lokken and she mentioned some of the many contributions Crystal made to the Society.
Ginny Dodson explained that it is still not too late to contribute favorite family recipes for the recipe book that will be done in time for the 2011 Chocolate Fest.
Dale conducted the election of board members. All the current board members were re-elected plus one new board member, Dick Kohl. After a brief break for desserts and visiting, Dale introduced Gary Hess who with his cousin Jim gave a very interesting presentation on the cooperage started by their grandfather, Frank J. Hess.
Barrel-making was an important industry that supported the many breweries and wineries in Wisconsin and across the country. Frank J. Hess, was a cooper (barrel-maker) who immigrated to the United States from Bohemia (now Czechoslovakia) and made Madison, Wisconsin, a major center for barrel-making. The Frank J. Hess and Sons Cooperage became Wisconsin’s largest independent family-owned cooperage, manufacturing quarter-sawn white oak beer, wine, and whiskey barrels. The two factory buildings located near the railroad tracks were behind the family home, which stood at 1952 Atwood Avenue. At its peak, the Hess Cooperage could manufacture 40 barrels a day. When it closed in 1966, it was the last factory in America that manufactured white oak beer kegs.