Happy New Year! The staff and Executive Board at the Vernon County Historical Society would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy 2020. Why not make a New Year’s resolution to visit one or all of our sites sometime in the coming year: the Vernon County Museum, the Sherry Butt House, Foreaker School and old St. Mary’s Church. Check our website at vernoncountyhistory.org for more about these historic sites and their hours and days of operation. Hours vary for each site. If you have any questions you may call the museum at 608-637-7396.
On Tuesday, Jan. 14, the VCHS will present its first monthly program of the year entitled “Crisis by Design – the Farm Crisis of the 1980s.” Pam Saunders will discuss how the farm crisis of the 1980s was a crisis by design, a result of agricultural policies that warned “get big or get out.” The crisis continues to the present, but with a few new factors.
Pam currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and retired after 20 years in the organic meat and poultry industry with CROPP Cooperative/Organic Valley. Her family had a dairy farm during the farm crisis years of the mid-80s and was active in the fight to maintain the family farm and the fabric of rural life.
This free program will be held Jan. 14 at the Vernon County Museum located at the corner of East South and South Main streets, Viroqua, at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The museum is handicapped accessible and the general public is invited. Weather cancellations will be announced on WVRQ radio and on the Vernon County Historical Society’s Facebook page. You may contact the VCHS with any questions by calling the phone number above or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a previous column, curator Kristen Parrott invited those of you interested in beginning your genealogy research to visit the museum’s research room, which holds many reference materials related to Vernon County. One excellent source of information is the dozens and dozens of scrapbooks we have in our archives which contain old newspaper clippings of obituaries, weddings, and anniversaries, among other articles. Each scrapbook has been indexed and if you peruse through the file, you may find information about your family. Many other interesting Vernon County topics are covered such as churches, communities, schools and businesses. Genealogy is a very rewarding (and addicting!) hobby so why not start today?