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Reedsburg Historical Preservation Commission renovating city hall basement into museum
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Reedsburg Historical Preservation Commission renovating city hall basement into museum

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Reedsburg plans to create a small museum to preserve the city’s past.

The historic preservation commission is working on setting up a museum in the basement of city hall in a room that used to hold newspaper archives.

Commission chairperson Jason Schulte said the museum has been in the works for more than a year. Several pieces of memorabilia from Reedsburg’s past have been collected from residents for the museum, from pictures of the Big Store, hotels and even items like pens and rulers from former businesses that aren’t around anymore.

“We had access to these collections and these were local residents who collected this stuff and spent their life collecting this stuff, these artifacts,” Schulte said. “It would be a shame just to see them get auctioned off and disappear. We wanted to do what we could to help keep it together.”

“Reedsburg has a lot of history that we haven’t been able to tell and this will help tell that story,” Schulte said.

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The historical preservation commission shared progress of the room following its July 14 meeting. Schulte and City Planner/Building Inspector Brian Duvalle said the museum is still in the restricting and re-purposing stages. So far, the lights have been fixed and shelves still need to be painted and the artifacts need sorting for placement in the museum. Schulte said the group hopes to complete painting within the next month.

Duvalle said the city received a Sauk County Good Idea grant for the project. The room will provide a temperature controlled area to host the artifacts so it can preserve the items, Schulte said.

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Schulte said he wasn’t sure when the room could be completed because items have to be cataloged and documented for display.

“It’s going to take some time before we can say that it’s ready,” Schulte said. “We want to make sure we are doing it in a way that’s respectful of the donation and respectful of the family that had it.”

Schulte said the historical preservation commission is taking monetary donations to help move the project along or collecting artifacts related to Reedsburg to preserve items. Anyone who wants to donate can contact Schulte at 608-495-0854 or Duvalle at Reedsburg City Hall at 608-524-6404.

Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.

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