“In this gracefully written and insightful book, John D. Krugler pulls back the
curtain to reveal the history behind one of the nation’s great outdoor muse-
Creating Old World Wisconsin
will enlighten and entertain museum visi-
tors and will be essential reading for public history professionals.“
Michael E. Stevens, Wisconsin Historical Society
With its charming heirloom gardens, historic livestock breeds, and faithfully re-
created farmsteads and villages that span nearly 600 acres, Old World Wisconsin
is the largest outdoor museum of rural life in the United States. But this seemingly
time-frozen landscape of rustic outbuildings and rolling wooded hills did not
effortlessly spring into existence, as John D. Krugler shows in
Creating Old World
As dozens of historic buildings were transported in the 1970s from various
locations throughout the state to the Kettle Moraine State Forest, researchers,
curators, and volunteers launched a massive preservation initiative to salvage
fast-disappearing immigrant and migrant architecture. They created a backdrop
against which twenty-first-century interpreters demonstrate nineteenth- and
early twentieth-century agricultural techniques and artisanal craftsmanship. The
site, created and maintained by the Wisconsin Historical Society, offers visitors
a unique opportunity to learn about the state’s rich and ethnically diverse past
through depictions of the everyday lives of its Norwegian, Danish, Finnish,
German, Polish, African American, and Yankee inhabitants.
Creating Old World Wisconsin
chronicles the fascinating and complex origins
of this outdoor museum, highlighting the struggles that faced its creators as they
worked to achieve their vision. Even as Milwaukee architect and preservationist
Richard W. E. Perrin, the Society’s staff, and enthusiastic volunteers opened the
museum in time for the national bicentennial in 1976, the site was plagued by
limited funds, bureaucratic tangles, and problems associated with gaining public
support. By documenting the engaging story of the challenges, roadblocks, false
starts, and achievements of the site’s founders, Krugler brings to life the history
of the dedicated corps who collected and preserved Wisconsin’s diverse social
history and heritage.
John D. Krugler
is professor of early American history and public history at
Marquette University. He is the author of
English and Catholic: The Lords Balti-
more in the Seventeenth Century
. He lives in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
LC: 2012035301 F
224 PP. 6 X 9 36 B/W PHOTOS
E-BOOK $17.95 ISBN 978-0-299-29263-8
Wisconsin Land and Life
Arnold Alanen, Series Editor
“A meticulously researched account
of the development of a premier
historical attraction of significance
not only to Wisconsin but to the
entire nation. Krugler takes the
reader from what was once just
a vision to preserve vestiges of
our state’s unique architectural
legacy, through many perplexing
challenges that complicated the
museum’s construction, to what
has become one of America’s larg-
est and finest outdoor museums
of rural American life.”
William H.
Tishler, author of
Door County’s Emer-
ald Treasure: A History of Peninsula
State Park
304 PP. 6 × 9 250 B/W PHOTOS
Distributed for Fine Arts Conservation Services
O f r e l a t e d i n t e r e s t
I...,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23 25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,...42