Keeping History Alive


  The Waupaca area, along with the Chain O'Lakes, were long home to the Menominee Indian tribe. The Waupaca River's falls and the nearby lakes provided an abundance of water, vegetation and wildlife. For many years, the Menominee moved around the area as the seasons changed, traveling from their village, likely on Otter Lake, to local camping grounds. 

In 1848, a federal treaty relinquished the last of their lands, including Waupaca. In June 1849, the five men from Vermont claimed land along the Waupaca River at what is now the city of Waupaca. These early settlers came to Waupaca looking for the "The Falls" that they'd heard so much about. Eventually the settlement took its name from a Menominee word meaning, "the quality of the light, or morning light on the water."

Waupaca steadily grew around the water, harnessing the power of the falls and welcoming many more settlers, including many Danish and Scandinavian immigrants. The Waupaca Historical Society, located in downtown Waupaca on Main Street, strives to preserve this rich history while educating and informing the public.

Visit one of our four historic buildings today and let us help you discover Waupaca's past today!



The Hutchinson House Museum is in need of volunteer tour guides this summer! No experience necessary and training is provided! Schedules are very flexible.

If you love history or just love people, this is the perfect volunteer opportunity for you! Email or call today if you are interested!

Volunteer Application

Upcoming Programs at the Holly Center

Thurs., Oct. 18th at 6 p.m.

"Scorched Sacredness: Paleo Indian Ceremonial Practices in the Western Great Lakes" with Ray Reser

Thurs., Nov. 8th at 6 p.m.

"Menominee in Wisconsin" with Mike Hoffman

Thurs., Dec. 6th at 6 p.m. at the Waupaca Area Public Library

"Laura Ingalls Wilder's Holiday Memories" with Laura Keyes

Current Exhibits at the Holly Center

Waupaca's Warriors

Curling in Waupaca

Building Waupaca

Keeping History Alive: A Look at What's New at the Waupaca Historical Society

And much more!

Summer Fun in Waupaca!

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