The Eagle River Historical Society members and museums have been a valuable source of information and inspiration since my arrival in Eagle River. As a veteran teacher new to this school district, I felt like I hit the jackpot when I connected with this organization! I've been beyond impressed with their dedication and perseverance to their mission of broadening the scope of history education and appreciation in their facilities, through public education events and with increasing outreach to the schools. In the days of shrinking education budgets, it's a refreshing change to be approached with and included in the formation and implementation of educational outreach programs. I'm proud to have become a member of this results-driven, community-oriented organization.
Review from Guidestar
I took my class of 4th graders to the museum for a field trip. All of my students enjoyed this experience quite a bit and learned a lot about Vilas County history. We could have certainly stayed there longer, but the stations were a lot of fun for the students to rotate between. The students loved both the information and the hands on nature of the exhibits. The presenters were very informative, energetic, and worked very well with the fourth graders. As an adult, I was fascinated by all the displays and the organization of the museum. This museum is certainly a hidden gem in Eagle River!
The Eagle River Historical Society has added professional stature to its organizational structure this year and is prepared to provide exciting opportunities in the future to all visitors to our Museum and Depot. Leaders have written a new strategic plan that will streamline and define the roles of committee members and the work that will be accomplished in the next five years to keep the community and visitors excited about how the past has shaped the present and will inspire the future.
The Eagle River Historical Society (ERHS) has made great strides in the past year in making the Society a fully professional organization. With a strategic planning process in place, the ERHS has set standards and goals for every aspect of operations: financial,administration,collections, physical management, growth and personnel.
This enthusiasm and hard work has attracted new supporters and made current ones even more dedicated. The most challenging work has been to choose among the many proposed ideas for growth and development. Such enthusiasm is the lifeblood of the organization.
It's public programs, from lavish benefits to fourth grade class tours of the museum, all attract large numbers and compliments. The Society has become an institution in the community.
The Eagle River Historical Society is poised to open a new, and second, museum in this small community of 1500 people. That alone is an accomplishment, but when the time frame from conception to completion is only a year, it becomes that much more so. As a small organization with limited resources building occurred in phases, as funding became available. The support of the community has been the mainstay of this effort. Almost every contractor involved, from designer to floor installer, has donated labor and/or materials, some the entire amount of the estimate.
As each phase commenced someone came forward and offered help or funding. Some volunteers were so committed that they were on site every working day. The Society should be very proud to have attracted such devoted and passionate support.
This is an organization that has evolved from a few store front displays to one with two museums and a variety of programs under way. Even as this building nears completion there is discussion of moving other historic buildings to the site and considering future physical development. It is a prime example of what commitment and perseverance can accomplish.
We had the opportunity to visit both museum sites, Railroad Depot and the Historical Museum, over the summer with visiting family. Our group had varied ages and interests. There was something for everyone to enjoy! It is great to see history being preserved. Definitely a "Jewel" in the Northwoods!
Eagle Lighting Inc in Eagle River, WI, was asked for advice in lighting the new historical museum. The museum needed general lighting and display lighting for their exhibits. We were able to donate some large fluorescent lights used for the general lighting area. We supplied the display lighting for the exhibits and installed all LED bulbs.
The museum is now energy efficient saving 2/3 the energy cost from last years expenditure! We are fortunate to have this museum in our small community to preserve history and educate our school children with tours.
I am relatively new to the Eagle River area and have enjoyed becoming involved as a volunteer for the Eagle River Historical Society. I have been impressed with how well-run the Society is and what they have accomplished in recent years. The purchase, renovation, and opening of their beautiful second location over a short period of time and the fact that they carry no debt on the extensive renovations shows how well-run the organization is and how important it is to the community. Volunteers, community members, and local businesses all demonstrated their belief in the importance of the Historical Society by pitching in with the renovation.
Eagle River Historical Society's mission of preserving the rich history of Eagle River is an important one. The volunteers are constantly striving to improve its internal methods of operation (such as cataloging historic items) and its external community relationships (such as its involvement with the local schools) so that residents and visitors to Eagle River can enjoy learning about Eagle River's history. Visitors to the museums are often adults who spent time in Eagle River as children and they are fascinated to learn more about the history of the area and where they stayed and the activities they enjoyed.
I am happy I chose to donate my time to the Eagle River Historical Society and enjoy working with its hard-working, competent, and fun volunteers.
These guys have definitely been an awesome part of the local community. Great people, helpful, always willing to give a hand. They're set up programs for the local schools, they're putting programs together to save people's items, they're looking to bring more and more tourism into Eagle River... Overall a great part of Eagle River. They're developing a great way to learn about the area and the heritage of Eagle River. Kudos.
The second museum of the Eagle River Historical Society has now been open for two full seasons. In that time several goals have been achieved: programs developed with the local school district, new, professional level, policies and procedures in place, a full collections management policy established and a plan for strategic planning and board restructuring created. In the same time frame a second successful benefit was held at a historic estate, combining the Society's mission with fund raising.
The Society has addressed a need for highly qualified volunteers through an annual volunteer job fair, organized by the Society and including 10 other area non profits. It's financial position is stable, allowing for a 60% reduction in the remaining debt on its new campus.
I am proud of colleagues who have raised the professional operating standards of the Society to match the impressive museum they created.
This review is based upon being involved with the Eagle River Historical Society for four years. During that time I have donated $500 plus to the organization and contributed about 200 hours of my time to working on the rehab of the new Historical Society building. Here's why I decided to focus my efforts on this organization:
* The mission of the Society is well thought out--tell the 150 year story of the Eagle River area to the tens of thousands of tourists and summer residents who visit the Northwoods each year and to the students attending Northland Pines schools.
* All of the Directors of the Society contribute their own money to the organization or are instrumental in raising funds. They have made a personal commitment to the success of the organization.
* The Society's funds are carefully managed. Budgets are used to monitor revenue and expenditures. Financial statements are prepared monthly and distributed to all Directors for their review. Expenditures over certain amounts require approval by the Board before a commitment to spend the money is made.
Over the last twenty years I have been involved with some twenty non profits in Houston as Chairperson, President, Treasurer, or volunteer. Non demonstrated a stronger commitment to their mission, had more grass roots support or tenacity than the Eagle Historical Society.