The stories of America's past possess tremendous value. In 2021, we paused to consider the means by which the past is preserved. How do we remember? This theme carries the central idea of handing history down through time. Delivering history to the next generation involves a multidisciplinary approach and is as varied as it is fascinating and colorful. Through engaging events, hands-on workshops, and educational programs, we explored the links that tie the past to the present.
90th Season as a Museum
The Historic Indian Agency House officially opened as a museum in 1932 after the NSCDA-WI purchased and restored the historic building during the Great Depression. One of Wisconsin's most time-tested museums, we celebrated our 90th consecutive season in 2021!
She's a celebrity
in our book
Ann (Roberts) Kemnitz visited the Historic Indian Agency House on September 30, 2021, but this was no ordinary visit. It was a homecoming of sorts. Ann was 4 years old when her father was hired to assist architect Frank Riley in
the restoration of the 1832 house. It was a walk down memory lane, 90 years in the making. She was here at our grand opening in 1931 (her name is in our guest book), and she returned during our 90th season as a museum. That's really something. News Release (Pdf)
Learn in-depth about the theme of "Remembering"
What have our ancestors done to preserve history for us? What can be done in the present to continue the stewardship of our heritage for the benefit of future generations?
How do we remember? And why?
Artifacts and archaeology
Preservation and stewardship
Enduring skills, living history, traditions
Literature and the arts
Enjoy 40 engaging hands-on "Remembering" activities with your family or students. Or do them yourself. Recommended for approximately ages 9 through adult.
Each year, the Historic Indian Agency House produces a new curriculum based upon the season's theme.
A new edition of a classic
First published in 1856 by Juliette Kinzie (wife of Fort Winnebago Indian agent John H. Kinzie), Wau-Bun endures as a fascinating and indispensable firsthand account of the 'early day' in the frontier Midwest. The volume also poignantly serves as a catalyst for deeper consideration of the crucial lessons of history that we dare not forget. The newly released 2021 Historic Preservation Edition includes more than 65 pages of extra features.
Online History Series: 2021
Each year we produce an online history series to deepen and enrich our patrons’ understanding of the historical context of our site. This year, we dusted off the Agency House archives and explored curiosities from old scrapbooks to fascinating documents and more.
From our speaker series to an archaeological dig; an heirloom preservation workshop to an Enduring Skills weekend, a fire-wrought dugout canoe project to living history weekends and so much more, our 2021 season was packed with events that helped us "Remember."
The Antiquarian Society of Wisconsin generously sponsored much of our 2021 seasonal programming in memory of Olive "Cissy" Bryson. Mrs. Bryson served as a past president of the Antiquarian Society of Wisconsin and was a member of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Wisconsin, which is the governing board of the Historic Indian Agency House. We honor Mrs. Bryson and her passion for preserving history for the benefit of those who would come after her.