The Reedsburg Area Historical Society was awarded a Wisconsin Humanities Council Large Grant for their new “Prisoners of War: Filling the Labor Shortage on the Homefront” exhibit on June 26. The RAHS is requesting the public’s help by providing stories and artifacts toward the exhibit. The exhibit will open in May 2020, and remain open during the organization’s tour season. After the tour season ends, it will travel to other organizations for display.

Founded in 1965, the Reedsburg Area Historical Society operates the Pioneer Log Village, E7882 Highway 23/33, Reedsburg. The 52-acre pine forest site includes more than 10 buildings that explore Reedsburg and the surrounding area’s local history. The site is open to the public on Saturdays from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend. Membership to RAHS costs $15 annually.

The “Prisoners of War: Filling the Labor Shortage” exhibit will explore the history of prisoner of war camps during World War II located in the Midwest. During the war, Reedsburg was one of more than 30 locations to host a branch camp throughout Wisconsin. More than 100 German prisoners of war were used to offset the labor shortage in the surrounding communities and housed in a camp located where the current Webb Middle School is located. The exhibit will explore other Midwestern states that had a similar story and history. If you have any stories, or artifacts, related to this aspect of history, contact the Reedsburg Area Historical Society.

For more information, call 608-495-3499 or visit rahspv.com.

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