The Rusk County Historical Society’s Log Cabin Day, set for this Saturday, June 8, will give attendees their first look at the recently completed Ojibwe wigwam housed in the unique 30-foot diameter geodesic dome.
The day-long open house at the museum will also feature new exhibits, an acoustic music jam from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the senior citizens center, a flea market and serving of ice cream cones in recognition of June Dairy Month.
“We wanted to expand our offerings this year because there won’t be a June Dairy Breakfast or Bluegrass festival,” said John Terrill, historical society president. “Those events brought in a lot of people who stopped at the museum that day.”
As always, admission to the museum is free to encourage family participation. Free will donations, however are always accepted.
After a successful fund-raising effort, construction on the geodesic dome began on Tuesday, May 28, on a cement slab poured last fall.
With assistance from Derek Miller of Natural Spaces Domes in North Branch, Minn., which manufactures the kit, volunteers placed the four-foot risers around the perimeter of the slab and erected the skeleton of the dome. The 2x8 struts are all connected to metal hubs, according to volunteer Jim Kurz, who with Jim Wheeler and Wade Johnson attended a two-day instruction course last fall in North Branch. By the end of that day, one tier of 3/4 inch triangular plywood panels were applied to the dome. The paneling continued on Wednesday and the dome was enclosed (except for the doorway) by Thursday.
Helping with the construction, in addition to Kurz, Wheeler and Johnson, were John Ziemer, Dan Bale, Bill Werner, Fred Marcon, Greg Wagner, Nancy Kraft, Donna Wishowski and John Terrill.
On Saturday a team of volunteers, which included Pam Guthman and the UW-Madison rural immersion nursing students, headed by Sister Cecilia Fandel of the historical society and Wayne Valliere, cultural educator of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation, completed the wigwam inside the dome using willow and birchbark that were harvested last fall. Building of the entrance to the dome, installation of skylights and shingling were to take place this week with the goal of completing the structure by mid June.
Museum curator Janet Platteter said several museum exhibits have been revised, including the medical and bridal displays. The veterans building exhibits have been expanded and rearranged, according to Platteter. “There’s always something ‘new’ to see,” she added. There also will be vintage children’s games led by Lois Goode.
The museum has 15 buildings, including the Wisconsin Plow museum, the Little Red School, teacher’s cabin, 1920s house, Gates County Courthouse, vintage displays, logging and farming, Weyerhaeuser railroad section house and Glen Flora Jail.
Members of the 6th Wisconsin Light Artillery, a Civil War reenactment group, will set up tents and display period firearms, uniforms and equipment used by Civil War Union soldiers, according to members Joe and Steve Baye of Ladysmith.
An acoustic music jam will be held in the senior center, across from the museum, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All singers and instrumentalists are welcome,” according to Linda Detra, the event’s organizer. “Amps, microphones and speakers will be furnished.”
The event is free, but donations will be accepted to benefit the historical society.
“Come to perform or just listen after touring the museum,” she added. Food and refreshments will be available.
A flea market will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. north of the museum fence in the area used for parking. It is open to anyone selling arts and crafts, household goods, local products and garage sale items. A free will donation saves you a spot.
In the event of rain, sellers can use the tin building where people ate during the dairy breakfast.
For more information about the music jam or flea market contact Detra at 715-415-4783.