Street Address
5814 Main Street
McFarland, WI 53558
Mailing Address
PO Box 94
McFarland, WI 53558
phone: 608-838-3992
e-mail: bluebee@madtown.net
web: www.mcfarlandhistorical.org
Hours
Seasonal
Memorial Day thru September and by appointment.
Sunday1 PM - 4 PM
Staff
Dale Marsden, President
Jane Licht, Webmaster
phone: 608-838-8178

Description

The McFarland Historical Society is presently run by a small volunteer board. In the late fall a new theme is chosen for the following spring opening. A theme display is set up in the front window and a more elaborate exhibit is gathered and set up in the foyer of the museum. This display is kept up for the following season, opening on Memorial Day. Docents are present while the museum is open on Sunday afternoons all summer. Special tours are also available at other times and throughout the year by appointment.

The Historical Society also has a small display in the Local History Room of the new McFarland library. You can get information about the Museum, the board and how to become a member there as well as being able to refer to references that were only available in the museum before.

The once very attractive Queen Anne style house at the intersection at Farwell and Exchange Streets is viewed by everyone traveling through the heart of McFarland. It has stood empty and neglected for many years. McFarland Historical Society members are determined to preserve this property that has a special place in McFarland history. This landmark structure, known as the “Larson House” was originally built for E. N. Edwards in 1898. The second owner, Tollef Olson Foshein, sold it to John Larson in 1911 and it has been in his family every since, almost 100 years. John’s daughter Bertha Larson lived in the home until her death in 1988. Bertha’s younger sister, Norma Larson Hoenecke, then inherited the house, followed by Norma’s son, Roy Hoenecke. The house features the original design, woodwork and hand-painted murals in its interior, and is in need of repair and new paint on the exterior.

We invite you to become a member of the McFarland Historical Society and lend your area of expertise to help us in our mission. We can always use help with cleaning, cataloguing, researching, designing and preparing displays, baking for the bake sale, hosting at the Museum, giving group tours and demonstrations, and providing the funds necessary to keep our operation going.

History

The McFarland Historical Society received its charter from the Wisconsin State Historical Society on April 18, 1964, as a result of interest generated by a school exhibition of artifacts presented by parents in 1963. The Society’s holdings received a tremendous boost by Margaret Greene Kennedy’s donation of her Uncle Albert Skare’s private collection in 1969. The McFarland State Bank donated a lot on Main Street. In 1971, the Museum was built and exhibits displayed thanks to these and other generous donations, and hundreds of volunteer hours.

The museum was completed and opened on September 17, 1972. A few years later, the Skare cabin was taken apart and rebuilt on the site behind the museum and opened in 1973. A rope bed, cradle, log high chair and the loft where nine children slept may be viewed in the cabin.