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- Actively collecting and cataloguing historical documents and artifacts of significance to the Waupaca and Chain O'Lakes area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
Order your "Safer at Home" Waupaca community cookbook today!
Cookbooks are now available for pre-order with the form here! Cookbooks cost $10 each. The form, with payment, can be dropped off at the Holly Center or the Waupaca Area Public Library.
The cookbook, a joint fundraiser for the Waupaca Historical Society and the Waupaca Area Public Library, features recipes, stories and photographs from this pandemic year.
2020 FALL PLANS
Keeping in mind the safety of its volunteers, staff and visitors, the Waupaca Historical Society has decided to open its buildings this fall by appointment only.
People may call or email the Waupaca Historical Society for a one-hour tour or research appointment at the Holly History and Genealogy Center, Hutchinson House (as weather permits) or Depot (as weather permits). Outside of prearranged appointments, the buildings will remain closed to the public. All programs and meeting room rentals are cancelled through 2020.
No one should enter the building—visitors, staff or volunteers—who does not feel well or is experiencing flu-like symptoms, fever or any other COVID-19 symptoms. All visitors and volunteers are required to wear masks during tours and appointments.
Gift shop items are available via email or phone for curbside pickup or mail.
Appointments to visit the WHS buildings can be made by calling the Holly History and Genealogy Center at (715) 256-9980 or emailing Tracy Behrendt at