Daughter’s of the Union Veterans to be Topic of Delavan Historical Society

The Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War (DUVCW) faded into obscurity a few decades ago due to an aging membership, but with a resurgence of patriotic pride and the diligence of Pat Blackmer, this society is getting another beginning.

Ms. Blackmer, herself the descendant of a Union Soldier, will discuss some of the history of the organization and the formation of the newest “tent” which will be located in Walworth County and based out of Delavan. The Delavan Historical Society will share from their collections old Daughter’s of the Union Veterans books including applications available for review.

In order to be eligible to join the DUVCW, you must be able to prove descent from a Union Soldier and furnish their war records. Your application helps to preserve the history of your Civil War ancestor. Find out more on Thursday, January 19th at 1pm at the Delavan Historical Society Exhibit and Resource Center located at 635 E. Wisconsin St. All are welcomed to attend and learn more.

The program will be followed by refreshments and the Delavan Historical Society’s annual meeting and election.

Temperance House Committee to meet Sat. Jan. 14th

The Israel Stowell Temperance House Committee will meet on Saturday, January 14th at 9am at the Municipal Building in the City Council Chambers. Anyone with an interest in the Temperance House and helping the project move forward is invited to attend. Amoung itmes being discussed; Current work on the building, the next steps, and fundraising. Frank Butterfield from the National Trust for Historic Preservation will be a guest speaker.

Stowell House to be featured at WCTU national convention

Israel Stowell Temperance House

The Israel-Stowell house will be featured in a slideshow at the Womens Christian Temperance Union’s national convention this year. Why is this significant? The WCTU is the oldest organization in the state of Wisconsin, and promotes Temperance, drug free and alcohol free. These are what the Stowell house was built upon. It was a “dry” hotel, meaning no alcohol was allowed. In fact, the entire CITY of Delavan was founded under the premise of a “dry” city as well. Members of the WCTU are certain to have stayed at one time or another in the Stowell house. With the recent donation of the house, funds are being raised to restore Delavan’s oldest standing structure. Since the WCTU, City of Delavan, and the Stowell house all stood for the same thing, it’s only fitting that it be on display at the WCTU national convention this year, running from August 9th to the 20th.

Next DHS event

The next monthly event at DHS will be on September 15th and will feature Delavan Questers featuring Robin Staudt. As usual the start time is at 7 PM at the Historical Society.

Stowell House at WCTU a success

Israel Stowell Temperance House

The presentation of the Stowell House to the WCTU was a success. The house was shown to the National WCTU convention. Women from most of the 50 states were represented at the four day convention, which kicked off with a visit to Old World Wisconsin. The Stowell House was one of two big features Friday night, including Milwaukee District Attorney. The WCTU audience was in awe over the mention of 33,000 books in the Stowell house. Hopefully this will raise awareness to other groups. The Stowell House now has even more national recognition, and we continue to raise awareness daily with presentations locally, as well as the work being done on the house. We can always use donations, either in the typical form, or in the form of labor, tools, services (such as tree cutters who can help remove the trees that threaten to fall on the house), or perhaps you know a bit of history on it that we don’t? Stop on by the Historical Society Saturday or Monday 10-2 or by appointment. Your help is much appreciated.

Richard Quinney’s visit

For those of you that missed Richard Quinney last night, you missed a great presentation. Quinney talked about his growing up in Delavan, and shared some unique photos that aren’t often seen, such as the one taken in front of the Stowell House where his mother took a photo of his father, while his father took a picture of his mother at the same time. A photo from inside a car driving down Dam Road in Delavan as well, which you rarely if ever saw due to the time it took to take a photo then. He then shared some of his books with us, he had brought a rather large collection, and allowed everyone to take one or two if they wished. Among the books handed out was one about growing up in Delavan. Another was a journal he had kept for a year. “Field Notes” and the newly published “And Then Came the Liberators” about the German occupation of Norway. This book was written by Albert Jaern, translated by Kathleen Stokker, and published by Quinneys Borderland Books. As they would say in the early Delavan papers, “A good time was had by all”.

Delavan Daze set for August 11th and 12th!

Historical Society

The event will feature “best of the season” sales, music, street performers, chalk walk, arts, crafts, food and a 175th birthday party for Delavan.

Delavan merchants will mark down their merchandise to the lowest possible prices. Participating businesses include Brick Street Market, Bibliomaniacs, Delavan Gold and Diamond Exchange, Remember When, Scene II, Bradley’s Department Store, Hair Techniques, Pac Ratz and Lubick Gallery on South Third Street.

Delavan Daze is a new event created by the Downtown Business Association in lieu of Maxwell Street Days.

The DBA aims to recreate the feel of an art mecca as it was at the turn of the century when Delavan, as an art colony, attracted students from the Chicago Art Institute. Over the past three years, the DBA has had public art displays throughout the summer. This year, birdbaths are the featured art object on display and for sale throughout the downtown. Proceeds from the sale of the birdbaths help the Delavan-Darien High School Art Club and beautify downtown Delavan.

Richard Quinney at next Historical Society event

Historical Society

Next Delavan Historical Society event will be held here at Delavan Historical Society at 7 PM on Thursday, August 18th, 2011! Make sure to mark your calendars for this! This month will feature Delavan author and writer Richard Quinney! Not sure who he is? This is an exerpt from his Wikipedia page:

Richard Quinney (born 1934) is an American sociologist, writer, and photographer known for his philosophical and critical approach to crime and social justice. After earning his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, he taught at several universities on the East Coast and in the Midwest. He was awarded the Edwin Sutherland Award in 1984 by the American Society of Criminology for his contributions to criminological theory. He is currently professor emeritus of sociology at Northern Illinois University.

Quinney is also the author of several books that combine photography with autobiographical writing. Recently he founded the independent press Borderland Books in Madison, Wisconsin. In addition to Quinney’s works, the press publishes books by other notable Wisconsin authors such as Roy Chapman Andrews, Glenway Wescott, and August Derleth.

This is an event not to be missed! Also remember, you can stop by the historical society any Saturday or Monday from 10 AM to 2 PM and we’ll be happy to help you out!

Open House on Saturday March 19, 2011

Historical Society

On Saturday, March 19th, the Delavan Historical Society will be holding an Open House at the Delavan Historical Society Exhibit & Resource Center located at 635 E. Wisconsin St., in Delavan from Noon – 4pm.

The special Local Organization Exhibits being featured through July are the Delavan lake Improvement Association, The Monday Club, and the Garden Club. These organizations are amoung Delavan’s oldest. Members from each of the organizations will be on hand to share information and talk about their displays.

Wall displays include information on Delavan’s Circus History and interesting information about the early settlement of Delavan.

Publications about Delavan, Delavan t-shirts, and Delavan notecards will be avaialbe for sale and are excellent gift ideas for the hard to buy for Delavan lover in your life.

Refreshments will be served. Please join us.

Attendees will also be able to take a look at our new location and find out about what the Delavan Historical Society Exhibit & Resource Center has to offer our visitors and local community.

Repairs and Improvements at the ISTH

Israel Stowell Temperance House

Repairs and cleanup have been ongoing since takeover of the building. Windows, yard work, roof and foundation repair were some of the considerations.

Wood-covered windows were the city’s concern, because of the poor impression on passers-by. A large bay window and another were replaced. Unfortunately, two soon were broken but vigilant neighbors saw it and the boys were apprehended. Hopefully the cost will be reimbursed. Plexiglas replacement is under consideration.

Many scrub trees, stumps and undesirable growth needed attention. Adam Sandberg of Sunrise Gardens LLC of Darien volunteered to work on the exterior in his spare time and completed a considerable amount of cleanup and promised to continue the work. Many thanks to Adam.

Necessary repairs were needed for roof and foundation. Several holes in the roof and around the building allowed entrance to animals and rain water. Volunteer Brian Bickle helped seal up several openings around the building; Mayor Mel Nieuwenhuis took care of roof repair and John Finley set traps, catching a house cat and two raccoons which he humanely returned to the out of doors. A volunteer has offered to do some work on the foundation to seal up the building as soon as weather permits. We greatly appreciate their contributions.