The mission of the Waupaca Historical Society is to preserve the history of the Waupaca area and to share that history with others. We do this through our library and artifact collections, special exhibits and programs, and tours of our facilities that we offer to individuals, groups, families, and students. Our services are provided free of charge.
The Waupaca Historical Society was organized on April 27, 1953. In 1955, the Waupaca Historical Society affiliated with the State of Wisconsin Historical Society and was incorporated under Wisconsin state law. The Waupaca Historical Society purchased the historic Hutchinson House in 1956, moved it to South Park, and opened it as a public museum in 1957. In 2001, Waupaca's historic 1914 Carnegie Library Building was purchased and renamed the Holly History and Genealogy Center. It now serves as the headquarters of the Waupaca Historical Society and provides the community with a history library and genealogy research facility and a community meeting room. In 2004, the Society purchased the Waupaca Railroad Depot from the Canadian National Railway. Depot restoration began immediately and is ongoing.
The Waupaca Historical society is actively involved with the following projects:
- Maintaining and improving our four historic buildings
- Developing and offering historical programs on a monthly basis and offering tours of our historic buildings during the summer months
- Creating rotating educational exhibits at the Holly History and Genealogy Center
- Actively collecting and cataloguing historical documents and artifacts of significance to the Waupaca and Chain O'Lakes area
- Supporting genealogical and local historical research
- Serves a resource and partner for our community, local leadership, businesses and organizations
Thank you for donating to the Waupaca Historical Society and helping us preserve Waupaca and Chain O'Lakes history!
Come visit us at the Holly Center at 321 S. Main Street during our open hours on
Wednesday through Friday,
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.!
What's Happening at the Waupaca Historical Society!
(all programs are at the Holly History and Genealogy Center unless otherwise noted)
- Thurs., October 19, 6 p.m.: Program at the Holly Center--Waupaca 101: The History of Our City with Tracy Behrendt
- Friday, October 27, 4-7 p.m.: Brat Fry at Halloween on Main (downtown Waupaca)
- Saturday, October 28, 2-4 p.m.: Cemetery History Walk at Lakeside Cemetery
- Thurs., November 9, 6 p.m.: Program at the Holly Center--Ojibwe Culture and History with Liz Arbuckle
- Sat., December 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: 5th Annual Yuletide Trail and Cookie Walk (downtown Waupaca)
WHS COVID POLICY
Masks are not required in our buildings at this time. We encourage visitors to wear masks if they feel more comfortable. We also encourage all visitors to remain at home if exposed to COVID-19 or feeling unwell.
Appointments outside of open hours at any WHS buildings can be made at least two weeks in advance by calling the Holly History and Genealogy Center at (715) 256-9980 or emailing
Tracy Behrendt at