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McFarland Historical Society | Facilities
 

Facilities

Facilities include the Museum Building on Main Street in McFarland (diagonally across from the Library), the Log Cabin, the Annex, and most recently, the Larson House Museum.

The Board of Directors is constantly involved in facilities maintenance and improvement.  Examples are a new energy efficient heating system for the museum, new cedar shingles for the Log Cabin, and a rustic fence to delineate Historical Society property.  All of these projects involved contributions of time and money from members and local business people.

In 2012, the Society purchased the Larson House, an 1898 Queen Ann style Victorian home in disrepair.  It had stood empty and neglected for twenty years.  The Board of Directors appointed the Larson House Planning Committee whose members developed a restoration plan that was approved by the McFarland Landmarks Commission.  Once again, this community has been generous with local contractors donating considerable time and materials, many people donating artifacts, and many volunteers donating their time to clean and renovate the building.  In September of 2013, a “Sneak Peek” open house was offered with 75% of the house completed.  Over 250 people attended and marveled at the work that had been done so far and the local history that is being preserved in this house museum.

Also in 2013, the Annex received a complete make over with the building being dedicated to farms and farming over the years.  The result is another very interesting feature of the McFarland Historical Society’s facilities.

In 2014, the grand opening of the Larson House Museum was held with many guests, contractors, volunteers and donors in attendance.  The Larson House Museum is truly a community resource with open house held Sunday afternoons during the summer, special tours by appointment and private parties and events.

In 2015, volunteers built more shelving in the Society’s garage and in the Larson House attic to store artifacts for special displays.  All boxes and tubs of artifacts were labeled.

In 2016, the board of directors decided to add 17 feet onto the back of the Museum for a records and meeting room, and also for a place to restore and display a double pointed rowboat like the ones used at resorts along Lake Waubesa in the early 1900’s.

In 2017, new paint designed for cement floors was applied in the new display area and throughout the museum.  The new addition is completed and work has begun to clean and restore the old rowboat.  Eventually, a display about McFarland’s connection to lake activities will be created.

In 2018, restoration on the rowboat was completed and it was floated in Lake Waubesa as part of a special event at McDaniels Park.  Dale Marsden rowed and Ginny Dodson was his passenger.  The boat is now on display in the museum’s Lake Waubesa Room.

In 2019, the Lake Waubesa Room display was completed, with areas on ice harvesting, fishing, boating, resorts and other activities.  Also in 2019, a new automobile display was completed.  A special wedding dress display was set up in the Larson House Museum.

Open House

The McFarland Historical Society’s Museum, Norwegian Log Cabin and Farm Display at 5814 Main Street, and the Larson House Museum at 6003 Exchange Street are open to the public on Sunday afternoons from 1 to 4 pm from Memorial Day through September.  Covid vaccinations are required for those 12 and up and masks are required for children 5 to 11.  Admittance is free and donations are encouraged.  For tours by special appointment, contact Dale Marsden at 608-838-3992 or Jane Licht at 608-838-8178.