New exhibit Rural Electrification: Outlet for Change opens May 13 with Downtown Open House
The Marathon County Historical Society will host the official opening of its newest exhibit, Rural Electrification: Outlet for Change, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, at the Woodson History Center, 410 McIndoe St., Wausau. Rural Electrification: Outlet for Change will demonstrate the changes to home and farm life that came with electricity in the early 1900s. This public opening will be in conjunction with other activities during the Downtown Open House.
By the 1920s, most city and town residents had access to electricity in their homes, businesses and schools. Indoor lights, home appliances, industrial machines and indoor plumbing were all run by electric power. Electricity made many jobs easier. But electrical power lines did not often extend beyond city boundaries, and electricity was available to only a few rural residents. As a consequence, rural life had changed very little since the late 1800s. Heavy manual labor remained a necessity for men, women and children on the farm.
This exhibit tells the story of how electricity eventually reached rural residents both in central Wisconsin and in the rest of the United States and how it changes their lives. Wisconsin Public Service has generously provided gift certificates and Louie Coloring Books that will be given away during the exhibit opening on May 13. Funding for the exhibit was provided by the Wisconsin Public Service Foundation.
The Downtown Open House is a day of varied activities in and near downtown Wausau, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. At the Woodson History Center, besides viewing the new Rural Electrification exhibit, visitors can learn how an archivist turns a box of random receipts and papers into an interesting story, and can handle and compare modern appliances with implements that our grandparents would have used for cooking, cleaning, grooming and entertainment.
Downtown Open House activities and Rural Electrification are free. Tours of the Yawkey House Museum will be available on the hour for a small fee.
For more information, please call the Marathon County Historical Society at 715-842-5750.