About the Historical Society

The Dane County Historical Society is a non-profit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) whose mission is to promote awareness of Dane County’s rich heritage and aid in its preservation through programs and publications and records center.

We are a volunteer organization that operates with a board of directors. Since the founding of the Society, there have been 8 presidents and 85 board members. The Dane County Historical Society was incorporated as an affiliate of the State Historical Society on January 16, 1961. The charter meeting of the Society was held on February 13, 1961 at the Dane County Fairgrounds. During its first year in existence, 143 people were awarded “Charter Memberships”.

The mission of the Society is to preserve, advance, and disseminate knowledge of the history of Dane County, Wisconsin. We do this in a variety of ways, including:

  • Historical Markers: Erecting historical markers to bring attention to significant people, places, and events in Dane County history. Since 1963, we have erected over 45 markers around the county.

  • Records CenterCollecting written published and unpublished archival materials, and other primary and secondary source materials in the Otto Schroeder Records Center, housed in the Lussier Family Heritage Center.

  • Publications: Publishing educational materials relating to the history of the county. These include two books and numerous online resources.

  • Programs: Each year the Dane County Historical Society hosts and sponsors a variety of events open to the public. The goal of these programs and special events is to promote the preservation of Dane County history, as well as to encourage collaboration and communication among the numerous historical societies in Dane County.