Preserving and promoting the history of Holmen, Wisconsin
HAHS to celebrate with holiday gathering
It is time to relax and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow local history buffs! Join HAHS for a holiday gathering/potluck Monday, December 4 at 6 p.m. at the Holmen Area Community Center. Share the spirit of the season with a favorite family dish. Music will be provided by Holmen’s own Greg Grokowsky. All are welcome.
Boys and Girls Club eighth-graders take on the La Crosse Does
The Holmen Area Historical Society invites the community to a Historic Women’s Basketball Game. Using 1920s’ basketball rules for women, the La Crosse Does, the La Crosse area Granny Basketball team, will play an exhibition basketball game against the Dave and Barb Skogen Boys and Girls Club eighth-grader basketball team. The game will be held Monday, November 6 beginning at 6 p.m. in the Festival Fieldhouse. The Boys and Girls Club is located at 600 N. Holmen Drive in Holmen. The Holmen High School Dance Team will perform at half time. The B&GC concession stand will be open during the event. The game is a fundraiser for the B&GC and the Holmen Area Community Center. Admission is $5 for adults; youth under 18 are will be admitted free. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. All are welcome.
Historical society to hold second annual Human Library
The Holmen Area Historical Society, in collaboration with the Holmen Area Community Center, will open its second “Human Library” Monday, October 2 at 6 p.m. at the Holmen Area Community Center. The “human library” will offer 10 - 12 living books authored by people from the community. This year’s theme will be the same as the National History Day for 2023-24 school year, “Turning Points in History,” with a focus on local history. Ruth Scholze will serve as librarian to help “borrowers” find books of interest to “read” during three 20-minute sessions. With insights about historic shifts that made a difference in the lives of the community, topics range from steamboats, Hmong immigration, our Holmen library, the Holmen Courier newspaper, historic downtown Holmen businesses, changes in agriculture, resistance to the holocaust, land preservation, the bicycle and enduring area Black families. The program is free and open to all ages.
Historical Society to hold second annual ice cream social
Holmen Area Historical Society is extending an open invitation to their second annual Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social fundraiser. The event will be held Sunday, August 6, 2023, at Yahnke’s Antiques Green tractor museum from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is located at 507 State Street (County Highway D East) Holmen. Along with decorate-your-own sundaes, Holmen musician, Doug Mahlum, will provide music to set toes tapping. The event will also feature a silent auction of donated antiques and vintage items, bucket raffles and a chance to see Yahnke’s collection of antique John Deere tractors. Money raised will be used cover the cost of the monthly rental fee for the climate-controlled storage unit housing HAHS’s archive collection. Guests are invited to wear vintage or period costumes (optional) and classic and vintage vehicle owners are welcome to showcase their cars and trucks on the grounds.
Annual Story Circle planned for July meeting
The Holmen Area Historical Society invites members and friends to circle up and share stories on a theme at this year’s Story Circle. The gathering will be held Monday, July 3, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Holmen Area Community Center. This year’s topic is “On the Job.” Come and share an experience in the world of work, perhaps your first job, perhaps an unforgettable incident when on the job. The telling is sweetened with root beer floats. The program is free and open to the public. Photo of canning workers from HAHS archive collection
Movie about wives of combat veterans to be shown at June meeting
A film featuring interviews with wives of veterans from WWII to the Middle-East wars will be shown at the HAHS June meeting. “I Married the War: Wives of Combat Veterans Tell Their Story” (Syringa Cinema LLC, 2021) will be presented at the La Crosse County Library Holmen branch’s community room June 5 at 6 p.m. The Holmen branch is located at 121 W. Legion Street, Holmen. The event is free and open to the public. The showing will be the Wisconsin premier of the moving documentary. Created by Betty Rodgers and Ken Rodgers, the film explores the ways families at home are forever impacted and changed by the trauma of war. Francine and Bruce Jones from Mindoro, Wisconsin, are featured in the movie and will introduce this important film. A trailer can be viewed at https://imarriedthewar.com/trailers. At the request of the producers and Francine and Bruce, donations to a local group providing support to veterans and families may be directed to La Crosse Area Veterans Mentor Program, lamp.org.
HMS eighth-grade National History Day projects to be presented at April meeting
The Holmen Area Historical Society will host Holmen Middle School students and their National History Day projects Monday, April 3 at the Holmen Area Community Center beginning at 6 p.m. The program is free and the public is invited to attend. The three display projects are “HeLa Frontier” by Tucker Comstock, “New Deal” by India Mathison and “Wright Brothers: First in Flight” by Grant Bires. The eighth-grade students’ projects show their in-depth research and creativity. Three displays are currently available for viewing at the center. The program will feature a few other top notch projects on this year’s theme, “Frontiers in History.”
Army nurse to talk about her service and her memoir
To mark Women’s History Month, the Holmen Area Historical Society has invited Deenie Laskey to talk about her service as an army nurse and her remarkable memoir, Journal from Iraq: A Nurse’s Story. Laskey’s presentation will be Monday, March 6, beginning at 6 pm at the Holmen Area Community Center. The community center is located at 600 N. Holmen Dr. The program will also be live streamed on the Holmen Area Historical Society’s Facebook page. The public is welcome to attend the free program. Laskey’s book relates the courage, sacrifices and triumphs of the military, including medical personnel, on the front lines during a time of war. Those wishing to have Laskey autograph a copy can purchase it ahead of time on Amazon.
Native American roots will be topic of February 2023 program
The program planned for the Monday, February 6, 2023 Holmen Area Historical Society meeting is Native Roots. The presentation will be held at the Holmen Area Community Center beginning at 6 p.m. Archaeologist and HAHS member Miranda Alexander will talk about her process of learning about her Native American roots in the Brothertown and Stockbridge-Munsee tribes of Wisconsin. The program is free and the public is invited to attend.
Historical society to hold "reverse rummage sale" to add items to archives
In collaboration with the Holmen Area Community Center, the Holmen Area Historical Society’s January program will be, “From the Archives.” HAHS Archivists, Barb Johnson and Pam Hanson, will share some of the recent acquisitions as well as their research into local history topics. The meeting will be held in HACC’s Friendship Center Monday, January 2, at 6 pm. The program is free and open to the public. The program will also offer an opportunity to learn about the process of documenting HAHS’s collection. The public is invited to bring heirlooms and other collectables in for a “reverse rummage sale.” If items are appropriate for the historical society’s archives, they will be accepted. Donors will be invited to give a free will contribution to support HAHS’s preservation work.
Holiday music and potluck on agenda for December get-together
The annual holiday gathering will feature the sounds of Steve Koch at the piano playing seasonal music accompanying a potluck meal. This will be followed by an annual business meeting of the organization and the evening will close with familiar carols accompanied by Steve.
Glen Jostad’s World War II story is topic of November program
To continue the Holmen Area Historical Society’s tradition of recognizing those who served in the country’s armed forces at its November meetings, excerpts from Glen Jostad’s interview about his experiences in WWII will be this year’s topic. With permission from the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, video segments of “WWII Video Oral History: Glen Jostad” will be live streamed Monday, November 7 at the Holmen Area Community Center beginning at 6 p.m. HACC is located at 600 Holmen Drive, Holmen, WI. Glen graduated from Holmen High School in 1941 and enlisted in the Army Air Forces after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He ended up in a POW camp in Germany. Jostad’s daughter, Cherryl Jostad, will introduce the program and share family memorabilia from those difficult times. The program is free and the public is encouraged to attend. Photo: Jostad's flight crew; he is standing, 3rd from the left. He was a radio operator gunner on a B-17.
Actual people will share their history as "Human Library" books
A library is full of books telling the stories of our experiences. What if instead of hard copy books, these stories were told by the human beings who lived the events; they might be considered a “Human Library.” These “Human Library” books can help us understand the impact, significance and changes people have encountered in the various frontiers of their lives. In partnership with the Holmen Area Community Center, HAHS will open its first “Human Library” program Monday, October 3, 2022, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The community center is located at 600 N. Holmen Dr. Those attending the “Human Library” program can be “Borrowers” who listen, ask questions and learn from the “Authors.” The program is free and open to the public. To support history in our schools, HAHS will adopt this year’s National History Day theme as the focus of the stories. This year’s theme is Frontiers in History: People, Places, and Ideas. The idea of frontier can range from venturing into uncharted territory, taking a step into the unknown or exploring something new and foreign.
Area Boy Scout history topic of September meeting
The Holmen Area Historical Society and the Holmen Area Community Center will present “101 Years of Scouting.” The meeting will be held Monday, September 12 beginning at 6 p.m. (Note: the date is a week later than usual due to the Labor Day holiday.) The Gateway Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America celebrated its 101st anniversary in May with an All Scouting Camporee at Camp Decorah. The camp, located between Holmen and Galesville, has served as the site for camporees and other camping opportunities for local youth for decades. Long-time Boy Scout volunteer, Glenn Walinski, will present a program about the history of scouting in the area.
Barb Anderson honored as a Friend of Education
At its July 25, 2022 meeting, the Holmen Board of Education recognized Holmen Area Historical Society President Barb Anderson as a Friend of Education. The Holmen Middle School nominated Barb for the honor. Along with other members of the HAHS Board, Barb led the HMS eighth-grade history project that resulted in a published anthology titled, “Living History: Holmen Eighth Graders Respond to 2020.” The book recorded the students’ experiences lived during the 2020-2021 school year during the pandemic. HAHS provided the funding to print the book. In conjunction with HMS staff and administration, a book signing for the book was held with media coverage May 2021. (Photo information) Holmen Area Historical Society President Barb Anderson (center) were congratulated by HMS Principal, Ryan Vogler (left) and HSB President, Jennifer Dieck (right) for being nominated by the Holmen Middle School as a Friend of Education.
Old Fashion Ice Cream Social fundraiser planned
Don your vintage outfit and join us for an old fashioned ice cream social and fundraiser to celebrate our love of local history. The event will be held at the Holmen Area Community Center from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, August 7, 2022. We are raising funds to pay the monthly rental fee for a climate controlled storage unit for housing our archive. In addition to a silent auction of donated antiques and traditional craft items, we will raffle off framed and signed prints of two of the McGilvray Bridge paintings by Arthur Anderson and Michael Klafke and a painting of Long Coulee School done by JoAnne Evavold. Efforts are being made to have basket raffles of items contributed by local businesses and individuals. We are working to have local barbershop music and a display of vintage cars in the parking lot.
Wedding stories will be topic of Story Circle
The Holmen Area Historical Society and the Holmen Area Community Center, invite members and guests to HAHS’s July meeting for a round of personal storytelling. The evening begins at 6 p.m., Monday, July 11, at HACC. The event is free and open to the public. Membership in HACC is not necessary. The community center is located at 600 N. Holmen Drive. Note: the meeting is being held the second Monday of the month due to the Fourth of July holiday. This year’s Story Circle’s topic is “Wedding Bells.” The story can be of your own or of friends or family members. The story sharing will be accompanied by a display of vintage wedding attire and refreshments of traditional wedding bars.
Kitchen Stories movie to be show at June meeting
The Holmen Area Historical Society, the Holmen Area Community Center and the Holmen Public Library are joining forces to show the movie Kitchen Stories at the HAHS’s annual Movie Night. The showing will be Monday, June 6, at 6 pm. Note: The movie will be shown in the community room of the Holmen Public Library. The 2003 film is a humorous contrived look at the cooking methods of Norwegian bachelor farmers. Filmed in Swedish and Norwegian with English subtitles, the story has Swedish efficiency experts sent out to research and improve the kitchen practices of unmarried farmers. Unexpected insights and friendships develop. The event is free and the public is welcome enjoy the entertainment.
HAHS to discuss Past, Present and Future during Preservation Month
The Holmen Area Historical Society will be taking a look at its Past, Present and Future during Preservation Month. The discussion will be take place at its Monday, May 2 meeting. The meeting will be held at the Holmen Area Community Center beginning at 6 p.m. The society was founded in 1994 to “preserve and protect the history of the Holmen Area.” The meeting’s program will include such topics as how people can donate memorabilia to the HAHS archives, what the organization has supported in the past and the long range goals for the society, including the possibility of a regional museum of history and culture. Peggy Derrick, executive director of the La Crosse County Historical Society, be on hand to talk about the plans for the regional museum. Masks are optional at HACC. The community center is located at 600 N. Holmen Dr., Holmen. The presentation can be viewed virtually on HACC’s Facebook page and will be archived on YouTube. Look for a link included with the follow-up report and photo in this website’s Events page.
Middle school students to present their Nation History Day projects
The Holmen Area Historical Society invites the public to view presentations of some of Holmen Middle School’s top National History Day projects. The event will be held in-person at the Holmen Area Community Center Monday, April 4 at 6 p.m. This year’s theme is “Debate and Diplomacy in History,” a very relevant topic. We never fail to be impressed by the poise and scholarship of these eighth-grade historians. Masks are optional at the center. The HACC is located at 600 N. Holmen Dr., Holmen. The presentation can be viewed virtually on HACC’s Facebook page.
Conversation with former sheriff planned for March program
Holmen Area Historical Society will observe March as women’s history month with “A Conversation with Sylvia Boma, La Crosse County’s First Female Sheriff.”The program will be offered virtually through the Holmen Area Community Center starting at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 7. Boma will talk about her journey to become the first woman elected La Crosse County sheriff, the challenges of the job and the changes she facilitated. Zoom registration to view the program is available on HACC’s site calendar at holmencc.org. The program will also be streamed by HACC on Facebook Live. The program is free and the public is encouraged to view it.
Early Holmen Area Settlers program to be aired virtually in February
The Early Holmen Area Settlers program previously scheduled and then canceled for the January meeting will be presented virtually for the February 7 meeting. The program will also be streamed on Facebook Live on Holmen Area Community Center’s page. The program will begin at 6 p.m. For information about the program, see the post below.
Attention: The January 3, 2022 meeting and program has been canceled due to the rise in the level of COVID cases. The program will be rescheduled.
Early Holmen Area Settlers topic of January 2022 program
The Holmen Area Historical Society and the Holmen Area Community Center invite the public to learn about “Early Holmen Area Settlers” at its January program. The program will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, January 3, at HACC, 600 N. Holmen Dr., Holmen. The program is free and open to the public. The community center still asks visitors to wear masks. Current HAHS archivists, Pam Hanson and Barb Johnson, will present their research of three pioneer families who settled the town of Holland who became leaders in the communities they helped build. Johnson will share information about what brought them here and some of their experiences learned from family documents, newspaper articles and stories. They promise a unique surprise acquisition. If you’re a descendant of the Gordons, Bonnemas or the Black family, please try to attend to share the stories and history that were handed down in your family. Feel free to bring your pictures as there will be time for sharing.
Good News Singers and potluck planned for holiday program
Monday, December 6, 2021, 6pm: “Holiday Gathering.” Join the Holmen Area Historical Society and the Holmen Area Community Center for a celebration of the holiday season and Holmen history. This year we will be treated to a unique music program provided by Ruth Granum’s Good News Singers, featuring Steve Koch on the piano. They present at church services and provide special music at smaller venues/events. The Good News Singers have planned songs to set the tone for an evening of fun and fellowship as we hear about family traditions like church services, pageants, caroling, Christmas trees, special ornaments, and, yes, even fruitcake! COVID restrictions permitting, bring a favorite holiday treat to share, as well as an ornament connected to your family history. This event is free and open to the public and will be held at the Holmen Area Community Center, 600 N. Holmen Drive, Holmen.
Serviceman's diary program to honor veterans
At its November 1, 2021 meeting, the Holmen Area Historical Society will recognize the service of the country’s veterans with a program titled, “The WWI Diary of William Niles.” Excerpts from the diary documenting Niles service with the U. S. Navy will be shared by his daughter, former Holmen Village president, Nancy Proctor. Proctor will also talk about her frustrating quest for an official flag at his gravesite. The in-person meeting and program will held at the Holmen Area Community Center, beginning at 6 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. Mask wearing is required in the community center building. HACC is located at 600 N. Holmen Dr., Holmen. The program can also be viewed live on HACC’s Facebook page and via Zoom by registering on HACC’s website: www.holmencc.org.
History of the Holmen Courier is topic of October program
Gretchen and Dave Skoloda will be the speakers at the Monday, October 4 program and will talk about the role of community newspapers and their function in helping residents connect and get a sense of belonging to their area. The couple owned and operated the weekly from 1991 to 2003. The couple will share their unique vantage point as long-time newspaper owners and operators. Their talk, “The History of a Community Newspaper: The Holmen Courier” will be begin at 6 p.m. in the Holmen Area Community Center. The meeting is free and open to the public. The HACC requires visitors wear masks.
Milk Hauling in Early 20th Century program to be presented
The Holmen Area Historical Society and the Holmen Area Community Center will host a program about the history of milk hauling in the Holmen Area. the program will be held Monday, September 13, 2021 beginning at 6 p.m. (Note: the meeting has been moved to the second Monday of September because of the Labor Day holiday falling on the first Monday.) Roger and Dan McHugh's father, Francis, hauled milk for the Holmen Creamery. They will share photographs, artifacts and stories about this early Holmen business. In addition, a replica of the truck Francis used will be parked in front of the community center. HAHS meetings are free adn open to the public. We welcome guests wanting to become members; they can sign up at the meetings. For more information about the program, contact HAHS program coordinator Lynne Valiquette by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holmen Area History Book Fair planned for August meeting
The Holmen Area Historical Society and Holmen Area Community Center are hosting a Holmen Area History Book Fair Monday, August 2, beginning at 6 p.m. at HACC, 600 N. Holmen Drive. The evening’s main speaker will be Scott Lee, a Holmen native who has a 40-year teaching career in Trempealeau. His book, Spiders & Snakes & Rats - Oh My!, tells of his Holmen history, his teaching experiences and the ways he connected others to the natural world. HAHS will also have on display and for sale other history books by local authors, including the newly published Living History: Holmen Eighth Graders Respond to 2020. HAHS’s president, Barb Anderson, will have her newly published cookbook, The Keepsake Cookbook, for sale. It’s filled with favorite recipes of family and friends, a rich community connection. Holmen author, Amanda Zieba, will have her most recent novel, Close Quarters: A Pivotal Pause available. The book continues the stories of four cousins, young women at various stages in their lives and careers, whose lives are upended by the “historic” pandemic. It is set in the Coulee Region and is filled with familiar locations and businesses. She’s willing to share information about her course called Take Action Author Plan which covers how to publish and market work in this digital age. For a donation to the Holmen Area Historical Society, Lynne Burgess will be giving away copies of her short story collection, For Truly to See Your Face. The linked stories are set in rural Holmen. Published by Black Hat Press in 1996, it was awarded Outstanding Achievement by the Wisconsin Library Association. For more information, contact HAHS program coordinator Lynne Valiquette by emailing email@example.com.
HAHS to host author virtually
The Holmen Area Historical Society invites the public to a book signing and a chance to meet author, Cynthia Bertelsen. Bertelsen presented a virtual program about her recently released book, Meatballs & Lefse: Memories and Recipes from a Scandinavian-American Farming Life. The book is an homage to her mother-in-law, Ethel Bertelsen and the Bertelsen family and the way of life of which she was a part. Cynthia lives in Florida but will be in the area for a family wedding in August. Lewis Valley Lutheran Church,W5402 CTH V, Holmen, will host the event at 3 p.m., Sunday, August 8, 2021.
Traditional Story Circle set for July meeting
“Story Circle: Something You Probably Don’t Know about Me” will be held Monday, July 5 at 6 p.m. in the Holmen Area Community Center. Several months before she died, one of our founders, Pauline Van Dunk, hosted a lutefisk dinner. Always building community and connections, she asked us to go around the table and share something we didn’t think others knew about us. So this month’s annual story circle is in honor of Pauline. Come prepared to share your story and, COVID precautions permitting, our traditional root beer floats. The evening also includes a tour of the community center.
Book about Scandinavian food and farm life to be topic of June meeting
Scandinavian cooking and farm life will be the topic of the June meeting. Author Cynthia Bertelsen will talk about her book, “Meatballs & Lefse: Memories and Recipes from a Scandinavian-American Farming Life” at the Monday, June 7, 2021 meeting. Bertelse’s book contains recipes along with “anecdotes, photographs and historical musings” related to the family of Knute and Ethel Bertelsen. Cynthia is the daughter-in-law of Ethel Bertelsen who lived in rural Holmen. Some of the pictures in the book were resourced from the HAHS collection. The program will be presented via Zoom with the assistance of the Holmen Area Community Center on its website. Registration for the virtual version can be made on the HACC website at https://holmencc.org. The video can also be viewed on the center’s Facebook Live page. For more information, contact HAHS program coordinator Lynne Valiquette by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Living History: Holmen Eighth Graders Respond to 2020
In the past, the Holmen Area Historical Society has hosted Holmen Middle School eighth graders who were willing to share their National History Day projects at HAHS’s April meeting. Because the competition was canceled due to COVID, the eighth-graders haven’t worked on NHD projects during the past year. Instead, HAHS President Barb Anderson and Dayce McAndrews, NHD coordinator, collaborated on an activity to showcase student writing in response to the events of this historic year. In history classes, the students researched historic precedents of current events such as the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. In language arts classes, they shaped their findings into short personal essays. In collaboration with the Holmen Area Community Center, HAHS will provide the students with the opportunity to present their work to the wider community via a series of panels. The program will be presented Monday, May 3 at 6 p.m. It can be viewed virtually by Zoom on the HACC website to those who register and on Facebook Live at HACC’s Facebook page. Attending in-person at the community center is also possible. Registration for the virtual version can be made on the Holmen Area Community Center website at https://holmencc.org.
Maria the Midwife: Stories of Norwegian Midwives in the Midwest
Historian Glenn Borreson will present stories and photos of midwives who emigrated from Norway to rural Wisconsin, where they were trusted members of their communities. The program will be presented Monday, April 5 at 6 p.m. via Zoom from the Holmen Area Community Center. To watch the program, go to Holmen Area Community Center's website and then to its calendar, then click on the event. It will be possible to ask questions and share stories. The program will be streamed live on the community center’s Facebook page and will be available for viewing for a week. It will also be available on YouTube.
Programs cancelled for the rest of 2020
Due to the pandemic, the Holmen Area Historical Society Board of Directors has decided to cancel all programs for the rest of the year.
All summer programs have been cancelled
Because of the pandemic situation, the Holmen Area Historical Society Board of Directors has decided against holding programming for the rest of the summer. The board hopes to begin holding programs in September depending on whether it will be safe to again hold gatherings.
May Holmen Area Historical Society meeting cancelled
Due to the COVID 19 and the Safer At Home directive, there won't be meeting in May.
April Holmen Area Historical Society meeting cancelled
Due to efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and the closing of schools statewide, HAHS April’s meeting has been cancelled. The program for the evening was to have been National History Day presentations by Holmen Middle School eighth-graders.
HAHS to mark 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment with portrayal of suffragette
Lynne Valiquette will reprise her role as Alice Green Hixon to mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment. Hixon was a Central High School teacher married into the Hixon family, who was a strong proponent of women’s suffrage. She helped form the first League of Women Voters chapter in La Crosse. Valiquette intends to portray Hixon as an elderly woman looking back at women’s struggles for equality. It’s believed she was one of the few family members to vote for Franklin D. Roosevelt. The HAHS meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall. The village hall is located at 421 S. Main Street, Holmen. The meeting and program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact HAHS program coordinator Lynne Valiquette by emailing email@example.com.
African-American heritage to be topic of February meeting
The Holmen Area Historical Society will host the Enduring Families Theater Project at it Wednesday, February 5. The program explores the local history of the African-Americans in the community to “build a more cohesive multicultural community through an inclusive history, to provide venues for community discussions and to create opportunities for direct interactions between diverse peoples.” The HAHS meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall. The village hall is located at 421 S. Main Street, Holmen. The meeting and program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact HAHS program coordinator Lynne Valiquette by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judy Hoffman to present honey pot collection
Our January 8, 2020 meeting program will feature the collection of HAHS member Judy Hoffman. Judy has been collecting honey pots as long as her husband, Robert, has been beekeeping, more than 50 years. Judy will share some of her beautiful and varied honey vessels along with their stories. The HAHS meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall. The village hall is located at 421 S. Main Street, Holmen. The meeting and program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact HAHS program coordinator Lynne Valiquette by emailing email@example.com.
Historical Society will hold annual holiday gathering
The annual Holiday Potluck and Sing-along will be held Wednesday, December 4, at the Holmen Village Hall. Attendees are asked to bring a favorite dish that has been a part of their family's history.
Stories about a Holmen family’s military service to be presented
Holmen Area Historical Society member, Fred Heuer, will share stories from “My Family’s Military Service: France, Korea, Vietnam,” which relates the military service of members of his family. Fred’s 2016 trip to the Normandy Beaches prompted him to research and record the stories of those who served in the military beginning with his father, a WWI veteran. The November program is in keeping with HAHS’ tradition of honoring area veterans and their service. The HAHS meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall. The village hall is located at 421 S. Main Street, Holmen. The meeting and program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact HAHS program coordinator Lynne Valiquette by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program about Holmen Locker and Meat Market to be presented
Holmen Area Historical Society’s October meeting will be held at the Holmen Locker and Meat Market for a program about the business’ history. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 2, at the Holmen Locker and Meat Market at 412 Main Street, Holmen. The second oldest surviving Holmen business is marking its 75th anniversary. The evening’s program will include a tour and the history of the shop now owned by Lauri and Scott Stettler. The public is invited to join Holmen Area Historical Society members at the Holmen Locker for this program. For more information, contact HAHS program coordinator Lynne Valiquette by emailing email@example.com.
Farming commune to be subject of September 2019 program
The history of an Ettrick-area farm commune will be the topic of the Wednesday, September 4, 2019 meeting. Simple called, The Farm, the commune was settled by “back-to-the-landers” during the 1970s. The HAHS meeting will be held in the Holmen Village Hall’s community room beginning at 7 p.m. The village hall is located at 421 Main Street in Holmen. Because of her interest in midwifery, HAHS President Barb Anderson interview people connected with The Farm, which had the birthing service for a number of years. Barb has been assisted in research for the presentation by Roger Kanies, a former resident of the commune from 1974 to 1979; Wade Britzius, retired director of the Trempealeau County Television Studio; Andrew Dannehy, editor of the Trempealeau County Times; Olin Fimreite, a retired Soil Conservation Service agent who worked with the residents and Rob Grover, who has one of the orchard ladders made by residents of The Farm. At one time, 75 people lived on The Farm, partially resulting from the midwife. Nurse and midwife Kim Cox came to the Ettrick farm from a sister commune in Tennessee. It’s estimated more than 100 babies were born at The Farm to residents and surrounding area. The Farm was sold in 1980 and the residents moved the “mother farm” in Tennessee.
Story circle to be held at July meeting
The stories behind photographs will be shared at the Holmen Area Historical Society’s July meeting. HAHS will hold its annual story circle Wednesday, July 3, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall community room. The village hall is located at 421 S. Main St., Holmen. This year’s theme is being called “Picture Perfect,” and HAHS members and visitors are encouraged to bring an iconic family photo and share its backstory. There’s no cost and the public is welcome to attend. Along with the storytelling, root beer floats will be served. For more information about the historical society and the movie, contact Valiquette by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Last Bridge Home to be shown at June meeting
An award winning independent film about family and friends seeking connection with their lost soldiers will be shown Wednesday, June 5, at 6 p.m. in the Holmen Public Library. The library is located at 121 W. Legion St.; the movie is free to attend. The 2003 production, “The Last Bridge Home,” was written, directed and produced by Scott Thompson of My Town Pictures for Trempealeau County Community Television. Thompson developed the script of mysterious letters found by a teenager in her mailbox after he read a story about a 30-year-old undelivered letter being found. The teen is then sought out by folks who wonder whether other letters from loved ones who went to Vietnam to fight and who didn’t come back were being delivered. The film is about one man’s struggle to connect with his brother who went to Vietnam and didn’t return. The film was shot on location on the McGilvray Bridge Trail and the Mississippi River at Treampealeau as well as other local sites.
History of McGilvray Bridges will be topic May 1, 2019 program
Friends of McGilvray Road member Linda McMullin will present a program on the history of the road and bridges located in the Van Loon Wildlife Area with assistance from Nancy Hill, one of the group’s founding members and former president, at HAHS’ May meeting The historical society meeting will be held Wednesday, May 1, 2019, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall community room. The village hall is located at 421 S. Main St., Holmen. The effort to preserve and restore the bridges and create a hiking trail from the roadway involved numerous actions begun in 1989 when the DNR proposed to tear down the bridges. The group formed to save the bridges continues to maintain the trail and the remaining bridges with volunteer help and donated funds. The roadway was created and the bridges put up in the early 1900s to span the Black River and serve as a connector between La Crosse and Trempealeau counties. It was named after Alexander McGilvray, who operated the ferry service until the service was replaced by the road. No admission is charged to attend the program and the public is encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Valiquette by emailing email@example.com.
Middle school students to present NHD projects
Four Holmen Middle School students will present their National History Day projects at Holmen Area Historical Society’s Wednesday, April 3 meeting. The HAHS meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall. The village hall is located at 421 S. Main St., Holmen. Last fall, the HMS eighth-graders began working on their projects based on the theme, “Tragedy and Triumph in History.” Tyrus McCoy, Reid Tengblad and Drew Tengblad created a website about the Wisconsin Native American Spearfishing Controversy to educate viewers about the tragic discrimination experienced by Native Americans in Northern Wisconsin. Anna Johnson did her research on Frances Perkins and the Social Security Act to create her individual performance. Perkins was the Secretary of Labor during the Franklin Roosevelt administration. The program is free and the public is encouraged to attend to learn more about these historic events.
Anna McCabe Brown’s scrapbooks to be highlighted
To mark Women’s History Month, Holmen Area Historical Society’s March meeting will feature the scrapbooks of Anna McCabe Brown, Marie Dummer’s mother. Dummer has consolidated her mother’s 30 scrapbooks of newspaper clippings into 26, and she will share five of those collections at the March 6, 2019 program. The meeting will be held Wednesday, March 6, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall community room. The village hall is located at 421 S. Main Street, Holmen. The scrapbooks’ clippings include accounts of such monumental national events as the landing on the moon along with local milepost events such as weddings, births, anniversaries, alumni reunions, fires as well as obituaries. Along with recording special moments, the clippings give an insight into the cultural and societal practices evolving over the decades.
Jordan Briskey to talk about building a Vietnam War Memorial
Holmen High School freshman Jordan Briskey is undertaking a fundraising campaign to create a Vietnam memorial at the Veterans Freedom Park on Clinton Street on La Crosse’s north side. He will present a program about his project at Holmen Area Historical Society’s February meeting. The meeting will be held Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall’s community meeting room. The village hall is located at 421 S. Main St., Holmen. While campaigning for the memorial, Briskey researched the Vietnam War and other war memorial sites in the area. His research led Briskey to talk with local veterans and meet with the developer of the Highground Veterans Memorial in Neillsville, even traveling to Clark County to view the site first-hand. Briskey has a goal of raising $400,000 to cover the costs of erecting the memorial with the Holmen Area Foundation serving as the organization accepting donations and sponsorships. The memorial design created by Mike Martino includes four bronze sculptures with a center island containing a plaque showing the dates of the war and an outline of Vietnam. The island display will also include a sculpture of a pair of boots and a helmet on a pedestal along with a bronze star marking each branch of the military. Other sculptures will be a crouching soldier with his dog and two others showing soldiers carrying weapons. A semicircle wall bordering the monument will display the names of the 1,157 Wisconsinites who died serving in the war.
Annual trivia contest to be held
The Holmen Area Historical Society will hold its annual trivia contest Wednesday, Jan. 2, at the Holmen Public Library beginning at 7 p.m. The library is located at 121 W. Legion St., Holmen. The online platform called Kahoot will be used to play the game. The questions will be projected on a screen, and the players can key in their answers using a smartphone, iPad, or other mobile device. Several iPads will be available for individuals who do not have their own electronic devices. For more information about the program or HAHS, email Scholze at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Holiday Party
The Holmen Area Historical Society will hold its 2018 Holiday Potluck Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m., at the Holmen Village Hall. The holiday gathering will reflect another year of Holmen’s history. Attendees are invited to bring a dish to pass and enjoy the variety of dishes and good fellowship. The evening’s highlight will be a kazoo salute to HAHS’s retiring House Band, Grand Picnic.
Korean War veterans stories is topic of November program
The story about two Coulee Region Korean War veterans will be the subject of the November Holmen Area Historical Society program. Former Marine and La Crosse Tribune reporter Terry Burt will share the stories of Stanley Christianson and Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the Holmen Village Hall community room. Christianson and Red Cloud are posthumous recipients of the Medal of Honor; both losing their lives in the Korean War. Christianson was buried in the Wet Coulee Cemetery and Red Cloud lies at rest in a Ho-Chunk cemetery near Black River Falls. Burt’s research shows Red Cloud and Christianson were in the same Marine division during the biggest land battle of the war. However, it’s unlikely they knew each other since Marine infantry division may be between 15,000 and 20,000 men. Burt’s interest in the two soldiers stems from his time as a Marine. He enlisted in 1960 after graduating from Viroqua High School. He was first stationed with the Fleet Marine Force-Pacific in Japan or Okinawa. He finished his tour at a Navy base in Virginia where he taught ship-to-shore procedures for amphibious warfare. After his stint in the military, Burt heard about an opening for a sports writer at the La Crosse Tribune. The newspaper lost at least three young reporters when they were drafted during the Vietnam War era in the late 1960s. Burt’s presentation continues HAHS’s tradition of honoring veterans at its November meeting.
Letterpress program to be presented at October 3, 2018 meeting
Bob and Carole Mullen will present a program about the centuries’ old technique of hand-setting type to print with manual printing presses. The program about the art of letterpress printing will be presented at Wednesday, Oct. 3, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall’s community room. The village hall is located at 421 S. Main St., Holmen. “Letterpress printing is a historic communication tool that is worth preserving,” said Lynne Valiquette, program coordinator for the HAHS. “The various historic presses, fonts and papers represent a technology in which painstaking human involvement is not only critical but results in beautiful products.” The Mullens have been using the letterpress technique for over 40 years. They operate a noncommercial private press, Xanadu Press, producing cards, historical pieces, broadsides and small booklets for personal fulfillment. “Letterpress printing using hand-set type and century-old printing presses is undergoing an artistic revival,” said Carole. The Mullens will talk about the process of letterpress printing, its history, printing in the La Crosse area and their own private press. Carole grew up with the craft watching and helping her father in his hobby print shop. Bob became fascinated with the craft after he and Carole were married. They enjoy learning and researching the heritage of the type and tools they use and have written and published several books on the topic. The Mullen’s presentation and demonstration is free and the public is encouraged to attend. There will be a printing demonstration, plus an opportunity for attendees to print their own bookmark after the program.
Collecting movie memorabilia to be topic of September 5 program
Jarrod Roll, Monroe County Local History Room and Museum’s Director, will show-and-tell about pieces from his Star Wars action figure collection and discuss the psychology of collecting memorabilia at the September 5 meeting. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall. The village hall is located at 421 Main Street, Holmen. Roll’s collection contains action figures, space ships and playsets from the Star Wars series. He boasts of having every one of the nearly 100 different characters from the movies that Kenner Toys produced since the first Start Wars movie was released in 1977. Every piece in Roll’s collection is complete with all accessories still intact. Dedicated collectors such as Roll have made the Star Wars phenomenon the Guinness World Record holder for the most successful movie toy merchandising franchise. In addition to sharing the history of the toys and how they changed the way movies are made, toys are sold and children play, Roll will discuss the whys and hows of collecting. “It is estimated that one in three adults in North America collect something,” said Roll. “Serious collectors expend great amounts of energy, money and passion collecting what we do. Shouldn’t we try to understand what it is about the act of collecting that we are driven to do so?” For more information about the program or HAHS, email HAHS President Hannah Scholze at email@example.com.
HAHS to hold WWI veterans cemetery walk
The Holmen Area Historical Society and Holmen FFA will host a “World War I: Buried History Cemetery Walk,” Wednesday, Aug. 1, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Halfway Creek Lutheran Church Cemetery. The walk will honor the service and sacrifice made 100 years ago and help bring the memories of the fallen to life. The program will feature several FFA and HAHS members dressed in historical costumes at five different spots throughout the cemetery, reenacting and sharing the lives of the individuals buried nearby. “History is not just found in old documents and photographs, but can also be found in cemeteries, where the past is literally buried beneath visitors’ feet,” said HAHS President Hannah Scholze. The WWI veterans include Oscar and Henry Granum, Rudolph Gullickson, Alvin Halverson, Ouner Lund, Clarence and Elmer Moe, Morris and Eaner Snuggerud and Rudolph Wallum. More than 100 men from the Holmen area enlisted in military service when the United States entered the war in April 1917. While some of them remained stateside, others fought in the trenches in France. Three who didn’t return home alive have their final resting place in the Halfway Creek grave yard. While the focus of the cemetery walk will be on the soldiers, their families’ stories will also be shared. “We felt that it was important to not only honor the sacrifice and service of these veterans, but their loved ones as well,” said Scholze. “Three of their mothers became Gold Star Mothers after their sons died in service. There was a kinship that appears to have developed between them. Ironically, all three of them died within less than two years of each other, and they’re all buried at Halfway.” The Holmen American Legion Post 284 Honor Guard will also be present. The event will close with a 21-gun salute and the traditional playing of “Taps.” Halfway Creek Lutheran Church Cemetery is located on Knudson Road, two miles east of Holmen on County Hwy D. The public is invited to the free event to hear about the veterans buried in the cemetery as well as the stories of their families. The walk will last around 90 minutes and visitors are advised to bring chairs for seating. A freewill offering will be accepted. Refreshments will be available. In the event of heavy rain, a modified version of the program will be held nearby in the Halfway Creek Lutheran Church. For more information, email HAHS President Hannah Scholze at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 11, 2018 meeting, Story Circle
The connection food has with history will be explored during the next Holmen Area Historical Society’s Story Circle. “Stories are a way family histories are not only preserved but embellished,” said Valiquette. “We recognize that at the Holmen Area Historical Society, and each July, we circle up to share stories on a theme. Our topic is food, lutefisk, lefse, tacos, eggrolls, fried bread and more. We welcome all to join in.” HAHS will hold its annual Story Circle Wednesday, July 11. The meeting will be held in the Holmen Village Hall beginning at 7 p.m. The village hall is located at 421 S. Main St. in Holmen. This gathering is a chance for HAHS members and storytellers from the community to share their fond memories surrounding food. While the meals served at birthdays and holidays make those celebrations special, preparing the food can also make lasting memories. Those food preparations can serve as a connection with prior generations. HAHS member Gretchen Skoloda still uses her grandmother’s homemade noodle recipe and her mother’s pickle recipe. HAHS member Mary Sween remembers the special cookies called temperature cookies that her grandmother made when her grandchildren were sick. The evening’s program also includes the tradition of serving root beer floats at the July meeting.
June 6, 2018 meeting, Movie night, Fort McCoy
The award winning movie, Fort McCoy, will be shown at the Holmen Area Historical Society’s June meeting. The movie showing is free and the public is encouraged to attend. The viewing will be Wednesday, June 6, at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Public Library. The library is located at 121 W. Legion Street in Holmen. The 2010 movie was shot on location at Fort McCoy, between Sparta and Tomah, and at Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center near Coon Valley. HAHS’s first movie night will give attendees the chance to experience the latest projection technology in the new library’s community room. Written by actor, co-director and co-producer, Kate Conner, the story is based on the life of Connor’s grandmother and grandfather who lived near Fort McCoy during World War II. Known as Camp McCoy at the time, the military base housed German prisoners of war and Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazi regime. In the film, the Stirn family takes up residence near the camp when father, Frank, becomes the barber for the base. There, the family members encounter POWs and Jewish refugees. The movie gives an intimate perspective of how the war affected those on the American home front and insights into that period in modern history.
May 2, 2018 meeting: Archivist to present program about preserving documents
La Crosse Public Library Senior Archivist and Archives Manager Anita Taylor Doering will present the program about document and photo preservation at the HAHS’s Wednesday, May 2 meeting. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall community room. The village hall is located at 421 S. Main Street, Holmen. Doering will discuss the steps taken by archivists to help ensure the viability of original photos and documents long into the future. In addition to recording historic events and people, archivists assist those researching their genealogy and mentor young people in the archival profession. In her job, Doering’s continues to make discoveries about the history of the community as well as preserving it. The historical program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
April 4, 2018 meeting: National History Day presentations
Several Holmen Middle School eighth-graders will present their state-qualifying National History Day research projects at the Holmen Area Historical Society’s April 2018 meeting. The meeting will be Wednesday, April 4, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall. The village hall is located at 421 South Main St., Holmen. Kenton Newman will present his individual performance titled, “Martin Luther and the Reformation: The Refusal to Compromise of a Conflicted Man.” The team of Elizabeth Anderson, Kristen Anderson and Marissa Pederson will show their website depicting the Japanese American Internment: A Constitutional Conflict. The meeting and program are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
March 7, 2018 meeting: George Poage: Forgotten Olympian
The role a La Crosse family played in Olympian George Poage’s life will be the subject of a performance at the Holmen Area Historical Society’s March meeting. The Lucian and Mary Losey Easton family were a positive influence in the life of the first African-American to medal in the Olympic Games. “Poage was the greatest scholar athlete ever in this area,” said Frost. “He was a remarkable, remarkable man. He was a man before his time, a man of reason and not a rebel. His name should be on every school kid’s tongue.” A portrayal of the Eastons will be presented by Richard Frost and his wife, Teri Wachuta, at the Wednesday, March 7 meeting. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Holmen Village Hall. The village hall is located at 421 S. Main St. in Holmen. In addition to the skit about the Eastons, Frost and Wachuta will present a slide program about Poage’s achievements with photos and articles about the La Crosse athlete. The program is free and open to the public.