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 facilities today and let us help you discover Waupaca's past today!



Historical Museum Curator


The Waupaca Historical Society seeks an outgoing and organized individual to manage our Hutchinson House Museum and supervise volunteer tour guides.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Experience in museums, history or education is preferred and must be able to work summer weekends. Position is mostly seasonal (summer) with some spring and fall hours (totaling 150 hours per year).


Send letter of application and resume by December 31 to:


Waupaca Historical Society

ATTN:  Director

321 S. Main St.

Waupaca, WI  54981

or email to:


For full job description, click here.

Upcoming Programs

Thurs., Jan. 18th at 6 pm:

“Remembering the Battle of the Bulge” with Eric Percy

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!

Lost Waupaca