Date in History: 1956

The house that began the Hoard Historical Museum was a generous gift given to the city of Fort Atkinson. Built in 1864, the stately and solidly built cream brick home at the end of Merchants Avenue was purchased in 1909 by Frank & Luella Hoard. Frank was the youngest son of William Dempster Hoard, the founder of Hoard’s Dairyman Magazine, who spent many hours in the home.

When Frank died in 1939, Luella Hoard stayed in her home and took on schoolteachers as borders to help pay the bills and provide some companionship. When she died in 1956, her two children, Shirley Kerschensteiner and Bill Hoard, offered their family home to the city of Fort Atkinson to be used as a museum, which at that time was crowded into a basement room of the library. The artifacts were transferred over in 1957, and over the next fifty years, the society added gallery and exhibit space, and welcomed the National Dairy Shrine to the museum complex.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 02/20/2006.