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Society History

Society HistoryOn October 11, 1975, the Seymour Community Historical Society was incorporated by the State of Wisconsin as a 501 C-3 tax-exempt organization. The Articles of Incorporation describe the purpose of the corporation to be “exclusively educational and specifically shall be to collect and preserve records and physical objects relating to the history of the city of Seymour and surrounding area. To this end said corporation may establish and operate a local history museum, a history library, and one or more historical sites....”

The SCHS is registered with the State Historical Society and operates within the guidelines mandated by the parent organization. The State Historical Society provides advice and offers many services to members.

The idea for a local historical society originated with Tom Duffey, who was the first president. Other officers who signed the original articles included Rita Gosse and Bill Collar.

Since the railroad was closing the depot, it was obtained to be used as a museum. Numerous local artifacts were donated by area residents. Early displays included household items and appliances, toys, clothing, early agricultural, and railroad items.

Many people pitched in to prepare the museum for opening. Some of the most notable were Tom Duffey, Rita Gosse, Bill Collar, Gladys Stern, Lois Dalke, Pam Rucinski, Chuck Kimball, Edna Sherman, Pearl Kramer, Joe and Vivian Treml.

A youthful Randy Peterson, spent hours enlarging turn of the century pictures from glass plate negatives. Meetings were held at the Municipal Building where residents were encouraged to bring pictures and identify buildings and people. Eventually the museum outgrew the depot and the former office of the Miller-Piehl Lumber Company was donated to serve as a new home.

The Miller-Piehl Building, constructed in 1893-94, is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Seymour. At one time Depot St. was a busy commercial hub with as many as eight trains a day going through the city. Many of them carried supplies to and from the lumber and coal company that occupied the entire north side of Depot St. from Main to Mill St.

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