Date in History: 1930s

In 1933 the Fort Atkinson chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, or DAR, met in the home of Luella Hoard to start thinking about the city’s upcoming centennial celebration. They decided to begin collecting historic artifacts and got permission to store the items in a basement room of the Dwight Foster Public Library. As their collection grew, others wanted to see what they had, so DAR member Zida Ivey agreed to open the room every Saturday for a few hours, and so began the city’s first museum.

In 1936 the Dwight Foster Library Museum became official, operating as a department of the library with Mrs. Ivey receiving a salary of $10 a month. And in a wonderful bit of happenstance, the museum would later move into the former home of Luella Hoard – the very place where the idea for a museum had its beginning.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 02/09/2004.