Current Events

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Long-ago Lunchtime Lessons

A Look at the History of Baraboo from Prehistoric Times to the Advent of the Ringling Brothers Circus

In 2017 the Sauk County Historical Society created 10 modules of local history for all of the third grade classrooms in the Baraboo School District. The lessons were based on an 1872 map of the city drawn by pioneer surveyor and historian William H. Canfield who was careful to document Native American effigy mounds and other historic items on his map. A point on the map begins each lesson.

The third grade local history curriculum will be expanded and used to teach eight in depth lessons on Baraboo’s history. The presentations will look at the three different cultures that have inhabited this spot over the past 1,000 years, the reason there is a city here at all, how Baraboo grew and its biggest claim to fame.

Sept 27 - Mr. Canfield and his Map

October 25 - Effigy Mounds and Native Americans

November 29 - The Name “Baraboo”

No Presentation in December

January 31 - Baraboo Rapids, Dams and Mills

February 28 - The County Seat

March 28 - The Arrival of the Railroad

April 25 - The Fair

May 30 - Circus City

The series will run from September through May (skipping December) with presentations being held on the last Thursday of each month from 12:10 to 12:50 pm at the Baraboo Area Senior Center, Room 24 of the Baraboo Civic Center, 124 Second Street. SCHS Executive Director Paul Wolter will use pictures, maps and illustrations to bring each presentation to life. The presentations are free and open to the public.

Room 24, Baraboo Civic Center

124 2nd St. Baraboo, WI

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Reedsburg at the Ready

September 27, 2018 6 pm — Reedsburg Public Library

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Reedsburg at the Ready – Sept. 27

When the United States declared war against Germany in April of 1917, the Badger State and Reedsburg sprang into action. Reedsburg’s Company A of the First Wisconsin Infantry of the National Guard had returned from active duty on the Mexican border just a few months before and was soon called into duty for the great war in Europe. They were the first troops from Sauk County sent to fight and when Company A made its way to Camp MacArthur in Texas it was folded into the 32nd Infantry Division which eventually earned the nickname the Red Arrow Division for its tenacity in piercing the enemy line.


The French nicknamed the division “Les Terribles” for the same reason. Men from Reedsburg engaged in combat in the most significant fighting of World War 1 including the Somme to the Meuse-Argonne. Many returned home but some did not.  Reedsburg’s armory, which had been constructed in 1903, was the headquarters for all of the local action. In May of 1917 it was the site of a mass meeting to organize the Sauk County Council of Defense which would oversee war efforts at home.

The story of Reedsburg’s involvement in World War I will be the subject of a free presentation on Thursday, September 27 at 6 pm at the Reedsburg Public Library (370 Vine Street, Reedsburg) given by SCHS Executive Director Paul Wolter. The presentation is open to the public which is encouraged to bring in any World War One memorabilia they might like to share.

Mark Your Calendar!

Lunchtime Lesson –

Mr. Canfield and his 1872 Map of Baraboo

Thursday, September 27, 12:10 pm

Baraboo Civic Center – Room 21

Free will offering


Lunchtime Lesson –

Effigy Mounds & Native Americans

Thursday, Oct. 25, 12:10 pm

Baraboo Civic Center – Room 21

Free will offering


Annual Banquet & Meeting

Sauk County and the Great War

Thursday, Oct. 25, 6 pm

Frank Fischer Center, Lake Delton


Tuscania Memorial Dedication

Saturday, Nov. 10, 10 am

Lower Ochsner Park, Baraboo



Baraboo Holiday Tour of Homes-

Saturday, December 1,  2-7 pm


Edwardian Christmas Wine & Appetizer Premier

Friday, December 7,  7 pm


Edwardian Christmas Jingle Bell Open House

Saturday, December 8,  12-7 pm