Historical Society to celebrate 50 years in November

Fifty years ago, a local woman decided that history was in need of protection and gathered together a few people who shared her vision.
Monona local Willa Helwig began to look around the town and noticed the need for an organization that would preserve the history of the storied community. She began to spread the word around the town to see who might be interested in forming a group that was interested in saving the history of the town.
On November 16, 1967, Willa and 19 other people attended the first ever Monona Historical Society meeting in a conference room at the telephone building. The Society was formed and the dues were $1 for a year.
The group agreed that it needed a permanent home and place to store historical items. The problem was they did not know where or how to go about finding a place.
As the years went on, the various members would collect historic items and would store them in their house or wherever there was space available.
This carried on for some time; all the while the newly formed Society kept looking for a place to call home.
The group would hold meetings and discuss where to have a museum that would house all of the items that they had procured over the years.
In 1970 the widow Elizabeth Davis Smith decided that she wanted to donate her share of her house that her husband and she used to own. She had a third-stake in ownership, with her stepchildren owning the other parts.
She was in various clubs that Willa was in and heard that the Society was looking for an appropriate place for a museum. 
The Society was able to come up with the money, $8000 and buy the other two shares. On May 29, 1971 the Monona Historical Museum was officially open and the Historical Society moved in. 
Read the full article in the Wednesday, May 3, 2017 edition of The Outlook.