2016 Holiday Happening

“Christmas in the Good Old Days” is to be the theme for the 12th annual Holiday Happening luncheon to be held Saturday, December 3, 2016 at St. Joseph’s Center in Adams.

The event invites individuals to decorate their own tables of 8 guests in the Christmas in the Good Old Days theme or a theme of their own choosing. Participants vote for their favorite decorated table to select winners of the Peoples Choice Awards. A nice luncheon is served to participants at the decorated tables by volunteer students and entertainment is provided.

Look for more Holiday Happening details and invitations to come out soon.

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2016 Cemetery Tour

Saturday, October 1, 2016. Once again, the stories of the people buried in Adams County cemeteries, will come alive through the “spirits”  representing them at the Adams County Historical Society’s popular Cemetery Tour.

Mount Repose Cemetery: Visit the graves of George and Nellie Bingham, Maude Decorah, Frederick and Caroline Klaus, Charles and Elizabeth Houghton, and Elsie Ewing Barnes McVey.

Saint Leo’s Cemetery: Visit the graves of John R. “Smiley” Desmond, Elton and Irene Davis, Helen and Donald Fogarty, Frank and Louise Nowachek,  and the commemorative plaque for Frank Skotzke.

East Arkdale Cemetery: Visit the graves of Hans Christian and Amelia Pedersen, Inez Sweet, and Edwin Olson.

Lois Jacobs portraying the spirit of Eugenia Jost Jacobs at the 2015 Tour

Lois Jacobs portraying the spirit of Eugenia Jost Jacobs at the 2015 Tour

To join in the Cemetery Tour, please register by Thursday, September 29.  Register at the Historical Society’s Heritage Center, 311 Main Street in Friendship during open hours, or call 608-339-7733 and leave a message anytime.  Then on Saturday, Oct 1st, meet the bus by 9:15 am at the Historical Society’s McGowan House Museum, 507 Main Street in Friendship.  About 12:30 pm we will have lunch at Trinity Lutheran Church in Arkdale.   The bus will return to Friendship after lunch. A $12.00 fee will be charged for the Cemetery Tour. Included in the price are the tour, bus ride and lunch.

At Mount Repose Cemetery we will meet George and Nellie Bingham.  Bingham was a Friendship pioneer who was called “The most important man in the history of Adams County that no one knows about.”  We will also hear from the spirits of Maude Decorah; a basketry artist and member of a famous and large Ho Chunk family; Frederick and Caroline Klaus, German immigrants who farmed and kept a stagecoach station near Rattle Snake Bluff; Charles and Elizabeth Houghton whose legacy includes their name on a rock south of Adams; and Elsie Ewing Barnes McVey, a colorful gal who was married to “Apple Tree” Barnes.

Next door at Saint Leo’s Cemetery we will learn some railroad history from the spirit of John R. “Smiley” Desmond who was an early conductor on the C&NW “400” passenger train.  We will also hear from the spirits of Elton and Irene Davis, long time Adams County teachers; Helen and Donald Fogarty, who built and ran the old Cities Service station in Friendship; Frank and Louise Nowachek who ran the Adams movie theater and the Dellwood Pavilion; and Frank Skotzke who is commemorated with a plaque as his body was lost at sea. He was killed in action when a Japanese kamikaze sank the aircraft carrier St. Lo on which he was serving in WWII

Travelling out to East Arkdale Cemetery, we will meet the spirits and hear the stories of Hans Christian and Hilda Amelia Pedersen, who were progressive Strongs Prairie farmers and parents of a large family; Inez Lecy Sweet, a very active person in community service and one of the founders of the Adams County Historical Society; and Edwin Olson, who carried on farming on the land that his family settled on in 1855.

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Bohemian Hall Stage Curtain Now at Adams County Heritage Center

The Bohemian Hall stage curtain is now exhibited in the historical society’s Adams County Heritage Center. The painting showing a scene from near Prague, Czech Republic was painted by Richard Rose (in Czech: Ruzicka) probably in the late 1920s.The curtain hung for many years on the stage of the Bohemian Hall in Friendship.

Bohemian Hall Curtain

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Announcing: K- A Girl’s Life in Friendship, 1905-’06

K – A Girl’s Life in Friendship, 1905-’06:

At “Tea With Katherine”  on Saturday, November 29th young Katherine McGowan (Erin Pease) showed guests around “her” house while author Sharon Hart Addy signed copies of K – A Girl’s Life In Friendship, 1905-’06 and guests enjoyed tea and cakes in the dining room and parlor.

K – A Girl’s Life in Friendship, 1905 -’06

Katherine McGowan lived a story book life and here is the book that proves it. The girl who grew up to be Supervising Teacher of Adams County schools and fearlessly navigated our sandy roads in her trusty Model T Ford was born and raised in Friendship. Her early years shaped the woman she became. They also make for a set of very interesting stories.

Author Sharon Hart Addy has combined historical research and storytelling skill to tell us about one year in the life of young Katherine. Addy has written five stories, each one based on a special day, to describe what it was like to be a youngster in Friendship at the start of the 20th Century.

Katherine anxiously prepares to recite a patriotic poem for Memorial Day. She watches the veterans of the Civil War parade on July 4th, and goes to the county fair, which was just as exciting for a child then as it is today. She celebrates her birthday with a gift she long desired but she also learns that life is not always a party.

Addy shows how the McGowan family coped with the loss of their breadwinner, Katherine’s father and the village’s medical doctor. Katherine’s mother Hattie, her elder sister Nessie and brother Wynn become real people we can all relate to. She also paints a vivid portrait of the little village of Friendship as it entered the modern age. Katherine rides to the county fair in a horse-drawn buggy, but also experiences her first thrilling ride in an automobile.

K - A Girls Life In Friendship

Addy is an experienced, published author of children’s literature, but K is not just for young people. There is no age limit on reading  stories as well-told as these are.

Addy has donated her services to the book project. Book production was underwritten by a generous grant from the Easton-White Creek Lions and other donors. That means all proceeds from sales will go to our Society. The book is on  sale now for $10.

Our Heritage Book & Gift Shop (311 Main Street, Friendship) has it fresh from the printer in stock and selling fast.

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ACHS Meetings

The Adams County Historical Society Board of Directors meets except as noted elsewhere at 7:00 pm on the second Wednesday of January, March, April, June, July, September, October and December at the Adams County Heritage Center, 311 Main Street, Friendship, WI.  Meetings are open to the public

ACHS Membership Meetings are held at the same time and place as the Directors meetings on the second Wednesdays of February, August and November.

The ACHS Annual Meeting and election of officers is held at the same time and place as the Directors meeting on the second Wednesday of May.

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2016 McGowan House Tours

The McGowan House is now closed for the season.  Tours may be arranged by appointment.  To make an appointment, stop in at the Adams County Heritage Center at 311 Main Street in Friendship during open hours, or call 608-339-7733, 608-339-6867 or 608-339-2199.

The McGowan House will reopen for tours  May through September 2016 on Saturday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 pm;  other times by appointment.  Family and group tours can be arranged in the off season.

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