Welcome to a new year!
The museum’s 2018 series of free monthly programs begins Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 1 p.m. The first program, called “Normal School Days: Teaching Through the Decades,” will focus on students at the Vernon County Normal School and their teaching careers.
The Normal School, or Teacher Training School, began in 1907 and closed in 1971. To quote an October, 1908, editorial in the Vernon County Censor newspaper, “The training school was established for the avowed purpose of providing trained teachers to conduct the public schools of the small towns and country districts. It was hoped that the proper training of these teachers would mean that Vernon County would have better teachers and better schools.”
Several Normal School graduates will talk about their experiences at the school and out in the community teaching. This program will be held in the museum’s first-floor conference room. Everyone is welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided afterward.
A related project that the museum has been working on for some time is a list of all of the county’s rural school teachers. Volunteer Bonnie Sterling is currently adding names to this list. Several thousand teacher names have been recorded so far, and we have many more record books to look through. The earliest names date to 1847. This list is in the form of a computer database, which is easily searchable by teacher names and school names.
The museum’s genealogy class is on winter break now and will not meet this month. Classes in February and March will focus on Norway and Norwegian ancestors. In June, the class will take its annual trip to the Wisconsin State Historical Society’s Library and Archives in Madison. Other topics for the year are still being planned – watch this space for further information.