National Dairy Shrine Comes to Fort

Date in History: 1970s & 1980s

The National Dairy Shrine was organized in Iowa in 1949 as a way to honor dairy leaders and pioneers, to record the history of the dairy industry, and to promote its products.

In 1973 the Shrine decided to move its home from Waterloo Iowa to Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. A key factor in that decision was the Hoard Museum, which at that time had an outstanding dairy exhibit done by Jim Baird. The Shrine added a new dimension to the display and began making plans for a new building that would be connected to the Hoard Museum.

Ground was broken on the National Dairy Shrine’s Visitors Center in 1980 and the building was formally dedicated in the fall of 1981. The Visitors Center was financed entirely by donations from Dairy Shrine members. The deed was handed over to the city of Fort Atkinson, which continues to operate the museum complex along with the Fort Atkinson Historical Society and National Dairy Shrine.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 06/21/2004.

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