Old World Stories
19th-century Wisconsin is depicted on the Wisconsin Historical Society site. Pioneer spirit is richly represented in buildings, costumes and people's reenacted tasks of the period. Triumphs, innovations and struggles are highlighted. 60 minutes (cc)
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Intro/Breaking Ground (12:00)
Old World Wisconsin, the nation's largest outdoor museum of rural life, is a place where visitors can step back in time. It's a place beyond modern imagination. Here, depictions of early frontier settlers who also couldn't imagine -- what would Wisconsin have in store for them?
Farm Life, Food and Family (7:10)
As early residents settled in, the bounty and natural assets of Wisconsin led to prosperity on farms and amongst families. All is seen through the homesteads and artifacts of the living displays at the site.
The Entrepreneur (6:33)
Difficult agricultural work was lightened when innovations came to the wilds of Wisconsin. As an example, Heikke Ketolaa, originally from Finland, sold cream separators across the state bringing a work-saving advance to the early dairy industry and making a prosperous living.
Living History (7:21)
Interpreters at the site escort visitors on a journey to the past, enhanced by accurate period clothing. Site storerooms contain racks and shelves of straw hats, shoes, crinolines and glass-buttoned dresses, all modeled after styles from the mid-1840s to 1915. These outfit more than 100 interpreters in a given year.
Oxen, Old Gardens
and Twine Binders (7:33)
Motorized threshers, twine binders and livestock lessened the work on early farms.
The Crossroads (6:58)
Many small villages once dotted Wisconsin and people of all backgrounds crossed paths. Take a look at the common occupations, and their buildings and tools, that were a staple of a crossroads community.
Pleasant Ridge (9:55)
A thriving African-American community formed at Pleasant Ridge at the time of the Civil War. It's recreated at Old World Wisconsin, with a church as the centerpiece. Aspects of early race relations also are explored.