Intro to the Dane County Historical Society

The Dane County Historical Society is a private non-profit, tax-exempt organization. In January 1961, DCHS affiliated with the State Historical Society. Our charter meeting was held on February 13, 1961, at the Dane County Fairgrounds. In our first year, 143 people were awarded “Charter Memberships”.

The mission of the Society is to preserve and promote Dane County’s history. We do this in several ways:

  • Otto Schroeder Archives and Records Center: By collecting written, both published and unpublished, materials, and other primary and secondary source materials and housing them in the Otto Schroeder Archives and Records Center. Our facility is located on the lower level of the Lussier Family Heritage Center in Lunney Lake Farm Park at 3101 Lake Farm Road.
  • Publications: By publishing educational materials relating to the history of the county. These include two books about Dane County history and numerous online resources. Our two most recent books are available for sale. Click here to see more about them.

  • Historical Markers: By erecting historical markers. Historical markers bring attention to significant people, places, and events in Dane County history. Since 1963, DCHS has erected over 45 markers countywide. See more about our historical markers, including an interactive map, here. 

Below is an introductory video with Rick Bernstein, DCHS’s office manager. Before joining DCHS, Rick retired from the Wisconsin Historical Society. He worked there for almost thirty years and brings that experience to bear. During the Covid Pandemic, the archives and records center is available upon appointment. Simply call us at 608 224-3605. Better yet for a faster response email us at to set up your appointment.

Intro to Dane County Historical Society