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Vernon County Museum Notes

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This Saturday, June 25, is the date of the Vernon County Historical Society’s next grill-out. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the main doors at Nelson Agri-Center on Decker Street in Viroqua. The menu will include hot dogs and bratwurst. Stop by for lunch or a snack, and help us raise funds to continue preserving and promoting local history.

The museum is working on a new exhibit about Joshua Sanford (1919-1962) of Hillsboro, and we find that we have relatively few objects representing the Hillsboro area during the mid-20th century. If you have an item – a photo or postcard, a commemorative plate or other souvenir, a vintage object that says “Hillsboro” – that would help fill in that gap, please consider donating it to the Vernon County Museum.

We are particularly interested in objects that advertise downtown Hillsboro businesses. Joshua worked for Willis Hofmeister at Willis’ Radio and Electric Service, and then opened his own business, Sanford Radio and Electronics Shop, both in the 1940s. Items related to either of these would be especially welcome.

Independence Day will soon be here! This year, July 4 falls on a Monday. The Vernon County Historical Society will be hosting the annual Marcia Andrew Strawberry Shortcake Social that day at the historic Sherry-Butt House, 795 N. Main St. in Viroqua. The event will run from 1 to 5 p.m.

Tickets are $6, available for purchase that day. With your ticket you will receive strawberry shortcake and either lemonade or coffee. The shortcake is homemade by local volunteer bakers, and is topped with vanilla frozen custard donated by Culver’s, and also of course with strawberries.

You will also receive admission to the house for a tour. Built in 1870 by Cyrus and Margaret Butt for their growing family, the gracious home contains many furnishings of the era. Orbec and Hilda Sherry bought the house in the late 1940’s and lived there for the next 40 years, and then it was sold to the Historical Society. Today most of the house represents the 1890s, with a few 20th century touches.

The Strawberry Shortcake Social also features live music on the lawn throughout the afternoon. The Viroqua Community Band will play at 1 p.m., and we hope to have another musical group play afterward. You can bring your own lawn chairs and stake out a good place on the grass, or use the tables and chairs provided. Hope to see you there!

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