Meet The North Wood County Historical Society

North Wood County Historical Society

Headquartered in the mid-Victorian aged Upham Mansion, the North Wood County Historical Society (NWCHS) brings history to the present in Marshfield. Built in 1880, Upham Mansion, located at 212 West Third Street, is named for William Henry Upham, the 18th Governor of Wisconsin and a man that many credit for giving Marshfield its stable foundation.

William Henry Upham brought the lumber business to Marshfield via the railroad in late 1872. Kim Krueger, Coordinator and joint Director of NWCHS, said that Upham was integral in city growth.

“He was a mover and a shaker,” she said.

When the Great Marshfield Fire occurred in 1887, he played a key role in rebuilding Marshfield and restoring the city to health. Luckily, Upham’s home was spared in the fire and is now the center for NWCHS.

Upham Family

As an educational platform, NWCHS first met on September 19th, 1952. After holding meetings at the library and the current Alano Club location, it purchased Upham Mansion in 1975. It gave the budding organization a central location and room to hold artifacts along with some original pieces of the mansion. In January of 1976, Upham Mansion was listed on the National Registry of Houses. On June 25th, 1978, the doors opened to the public for the first time.

According to their website, the purpose the of this organization is: “To preserve, advance, and disseminate knowledge of the history of Marshfield, the surrounding area, and the State of Wisconsin,” and “To maintain the Governor William H. Upham House and to preserve the contents and such articles as may be given to the Society.”

As a 501 (c)(3) charity, NWCHS survives through private funding and fundraising, grants and tours of Upham Mansion.

Tours are given on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s from 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm. Showings by appointment are also available. Cost is $2.00 for adults. Kids 12 and under are free.

Special events are hosted at Upham Mansion throughout the year, such as the Pie and Ice Cream Social that occurs during Dairyfest. Beautifully decorated during the Christmas season, the holiday is celebrated on the first Saturday and Sunday in December from 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm. The Heritage Rose Garden features 30 historical rose plants and is free to visit from June – September.

This year, a Native American Artifact Identification and Demonstration will take place on July 29th. Archeologists Robert “Ernie” Boszhardt and Danielle Benden will help identify Native American Artifacts and demonstrate flint knapping from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Community members are welcome to bring their own artifacts from this category for advice on identification.

Local collectors that would like to add to the viewing can contact Kim at 715-387-3322. Along with the collection, tours of the Mansion will also be offered along with games and refreshments. There is no fee to attend but donations are greatly appreciated.

As with many nonprofit organizations, volunteers are often needed. History lovers are welcome to join NWCHS and learn to give tours and help out at fundraising events. Tech savvy folks that can lend website advice are also appreciated.

Upham Mansion can also be rented out for private parties with all monies going towards NWCHS. Kim can be contacted at the above number for more information or send an email to [email protected]. To financially contribute, please send donations to:

PO Box 142
Marshfield, WI 54449

Said Krueger on why history is so important, “It pertains to the local community. We have to take care of what we have. History helps a person be grounded in their environment. With a lack of roots, we lose identity. It’s about investing in something that is bigger than you.”