McFarland Historical Society News

Annual Meeting Features Brian Ward on Indigenous Peoples – March 10, 1 pm, 2024 – McFarland Municipal Building

We are pleased to have Brian Ward as our guest speaker at the Society’s annual meeting on March 10 at the McFarland Municipal Building.  Brian teaches a course on Indigenous Peoples at McFarland High School.  He has lived and worked on the Pine Ridge Inn Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota Nation.  Brian is co-advisor of the Black Student Union and Model United Nations.  His Master’s thesis work focused on the representation of indigenous people in K-12 classrooms.  His articles on indigenous and environmental issues have appeared in various publications.  In addition, Jane Licht will present an overview of the First Peoples display in the McFarland Historical Museum.

Gail Aaroen will be honored as the Society’s Volunteer of the Year.  A special tribute will be presented to Jackie Utter who recently retired from the board of directors after serving as treasurer for twenty years.  The public is invited to the meeting from 1 to 3 pm.  Refreshments will be served.





McFarland Chocolate Fest to be held Oct 6th, 2018, from 7 to 9 pm

Now in its seventh season, the elegant and ever delectable Chocolate Fest will again be held at the Curling Club at 4802 Marsh Road in McFarland on Saturday, Oct. 6th from 7 to 9pm.  The best bakers in the community will donate their favorite chocolate desserts, the candles will be lit, and the champagne poured.  Fine music will be provided by talented McFarland High School students.  Fruit and cheese, famous Door Creek Orchard apple cider, and coffee will be served – all for a modest $20 fee.  Tickets are available at the McFarland House Cafe, the McFarland State Bank and online at this website.  Tickets will also be available at the door until they run out.  An always popular upscale silent auction will also be featured.

Strawberry Shortcake Social a Big Success in 2018!

The word is getting out about our Strawberry Shortcake Social held on the lawn of the Larson House in June.  This year, because of the last spring and heavy rains, the date was moved from its usual date on Father’s Day to June 24.  Madison newspapers and television stations picked up on the event, attracting visitors from Madison and elsewhere in Dane County.  McFarland’s best homemade strawberry shortcake was a big hit as well as the lively entertainment and tours of the Larson House.  Over $1000 was raised from the food booths and donations and great fun was had by all.

Annual Meeting Sunday, March 4, 2018

Michael Edmonds was our guest speaker at the annual meeting at the McFarland Municipal Building.  He presented his recent book, “Warriors, Saints and Scoundrels: Brief Portraits of Real People Who Shaped Wisconsin.”  Michael told  us about some of the strange and colorful people who helped shape our state, and why the Wisconsin Historical Society wanted to publish a book full of short sketches of obscure eccentrics.

President Dale Marsden gave an update on the restoration of the double-pointed row boat used at early resorts on Lake Waubesa.  He said a group of society members have met 11 times so far to work on the boat.  Tim Kreft provided his expertise.  Boat laborers are Lee Ackley, Dale Marsden, Rod Clark, Bob Kolek, Don Peterson, Dick Kohl, Wes Licht, Joe Larson, and Mark Finley.

Marlene Richard said the 2017 Strawberry Shortcake Social went well and the fundraiser garnered $843 dollars.  Jane Licht said the Larson House Museum has seen a great deal of activity and is a destination for groups and individuals.

Rod Clark gave a powerpoint presentation on restoration work on the society’s Norwegian Log Cabin.

Thelma Allen was honored as the society’s Volunteer of the Year and a powerpoint presentation was given showing her many good works for the Larson House Museum.

There was also a special video about the history and restoration of the Larson House.  Beverages including Wisconsin wines and other treats followed.




Very Victorian Christmas

Every room in the Larson House Museum was decorated for our Very Victorian Christmas.  We were part of Christmas in the Village on Saturday, Dec. 2nd and had well over 100 visitors.  Free tours, fancy treats, and hot beverages were enjoyed by all..  Holiday music was played on the piano, lovely gift baskets were sold (all but three), and youngsters listened to a reading of “T’was the Night Before Christmas.”  Christmas carols were be sung around the tree in the living room.  More visitors voted for the dining room as their favorite decorated room this year.

The Larson House Museum was also open Sundays in December from 1 until 4 pm.  Christmas music was played on the piano and a reading of “T’was the Night Before Christmas” was given for the children in attendance.  Two book clubs, a Red Hat ladies’ group and a private dinner party were held at the Larson House during the holidays.



Former McFarland Community Life editor Tom Thrun will be the guest speaker at the McFarland Historical Society’s annual...