The Dane County Historical Society manages the Otto Schroeder Archives and Records Center, located in the lower level of the Lussier Family Heritage Center (LFHC).
The LFHC is in Dane County’s Lunney Lake Farm Park at 3101 Lake Farm Road. The Park is part of the Capital Springs Recreation Area that stretches along the southern border of the City of Madison.
In 2002, the DCHS searched for a new home, and DCHS started a fundraising effort. To DCHS’s benefit, Amy Gillibrand donated generously in her grandfather’s name. Her gift made it possible for us to move into our current home.
The public can make appointments for the Otto Schroeder Archives and Records Center by contacting the Dane County Historical Society via our contact form, email, or phone (608 224 3605). As a tip, emails usually get a faster response.
Otto Schroeder was born in the small farm town of Elben, Germany September 26, 1899. At sixteen, he served in the military during World War I, assembling Folher tri-planes for the Red Baron’s squadron. Schroeder served as a non-combatant because two older brothers lived in the United States. After the war, he received a degree in mechanical engineering and began employment in a steel manufacturing plant in Kassel, Germany.
In 1926, Otto married and moved with his wife to San Francisco, where he worked for the Soule Steel Company. The Schroeders moved to Napa, California, in 1941, where Otto worked in the Basalt Rock Company’s Napa Shipyard. While there, Schroeder invented a manufacturing process that revolutionized steel pipe production worldwide. After World War II, Schroeder worked as an international consultant, supervising the establishment of pipe manufacturing plants around the globe. Schroeder died at 92.
The Otto Schroeder Archives and Record Center is home to a multitude of Dane County Historical Society’s Collections. Notable collections include
Madison Central High School was Dane County’s oldest high school. The Tychoberahn yearbook was first published in 1900. The publication’s name is derived from two Indian words: “tah-hah,” the word for lake and “tshopiwi,” a word meaning four. The words were combined to form Taychoperah, the name which the Ho Chunk people gave to the four lakes region around Madison. The Dane County Historical Society has digitized some of these yearbooks, and they can be accessed here.
The Dane County Historical Society’s Historical markers bring attention to significant people, places, and events in the County’s history. Since 1963, DCHS has erected over 47 markers countywide. See more about our markers program, including an interactive map, here.
Ferdinand L. Kronenberg’s (1877-1944) work spanned nearly five decades in Madison. He lived and worked for most of his life at various addresses on and around Williamson Street on Madison’s isthmus. Many Kronenberg-designed buildings survive today. Together they give Madison much of its unique historic architectural identity. His architectural drawings and plans have been digitized here.
The collection was donated to the Dane County Historical Society in 1975 – 1985 by Walter and Gertrude Scott. Walter Scott (1911-1983) is a well-known naturalist who was inducted into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame in 1995. He also had a penchant for preserving local history and was one of the founders of Historic Madison Inc. This extensive collection includes three scrapbooks, presumably compiled by Walter Scott, consisting primarily of newspaper clippings. Taken as a whole, these three scrapbooks document the public efforts, surrounded by controversy played out in the local newspaper coverage, to make the Cherokee Marsh, an environmentally critical part of the Yahara River headwaters, a public conservation park. This collection has been digitized here.