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  Stanley's History and Museum  


Click the picture below for a brief You Tube Video of the year 1906 and the story of the fire that ravaged the City of Stanley.



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Stanley Area Historical Society Meeting Minutes
1/25/14 Annual Meeting

2014 Stanley Events

Stanley Area Historical Society Museum is open Saturdays and Sundays 1-4 p.m. June, July, August and September.  The museum features four distinct buildings with over 12,000 sq. feet and is full of interesting and educational exhibits including a 1906 Cadillac and an unusual 650-item beer tap collection.  Small groups and bus tours welcome.  The museum is handicap accessible with an elevator and has a wheelchair available for use.

2014 Exhibits: WWI Timeline Begins, 100 Years Ago – 1914, Stanley Businesses between 4th and 8 the Avenues operating in the 1950’s and 1960’sStanleyPublic Library, and an exhibit of rose pattern dishes.  

Contact Persons: David Jankoski 715-644-5880 or Betty Plombon 715-644-5492 for information on the historical society or the museum. 

2013  Calendar of Events 

  • April 2014 - Antique Appraisals at Stanley Area Historical Society on April 5th. Shelby Weister of Marshfield will be giving appraisals on antiques brought in. You may buy appraisals of two items for a fee of $5 each which included refreshments. Those who would like a written, verified on paper appraisal were charged a fee $25.


Stanley History

Stanley owes its existence to the logging industry. The railroad arrived in 1880. In August 1881, when the area was still a forest of pine, Stanley was surveyed and mapped. It gained village status in May 1895 and became the City of Stanley on March 17, 1898. After the demise of the logging industry the cutover land was transformed into numerous productive farms. Although farming is still important, since the 1970's the number of dairy farms has drastically declined. Today, more and more people like to live in the rural environment near a metro area.
For many years, Stanley was nearly totally dependent on farm related businesses and industries that used wood in the manufacturer of its products. Today Stanley, a Highway 29 corridor city, has a number of businesses that thrive on the traffic that passes them each day.

Stanley Area Historical Society Museum is open Saturdays and Sundays 1-4 p.m. Memorial Day to Labor Day. (In September, Sundays only 1-4 p.m.) 
The museum is located at 228 Helgerson Street, one block west of the Stnaley United Methodis Church
  • The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War                          
  • Calendars from early Stanley businesses
  • City of Stanley in 1911 
  • A Red Wing Pottery crock display
  • A renewed dolls and toys exhibit
With an investment of over $400,000 and 10,000 square feet of exhibits, the Stanley Area Historical Society’s museum ranks among the best small town museums in the Mid-West.   It is a must see for anyone visiting Stanley.   The museum is open 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day and on Sundays only in September.  During the winter months volunteers are working most Tuesday afternoons and the museum can be visited.  Guided tours for groups can be arranged by calling 715-644-5880.
The museum also offers a “Step on Guide” for bus tours of 30-45, to three heritage rural churches (German-Bohemian, Russian and Polish). The tours include a delicious ethnic meal.  Brochures are available by writing to the Stanley Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 142, Stanley, WI 54768.
In 1984, the former two room 1905 Southside School was purchased.  Through the generous support of the community and many former Stanley natives, the museum opened in 1985 after extensive repairs were made and exhibits were constructed.  Today it houses exhibits of the Northwestern Lumber Company, churches, women’s work, children’s toys, military displays, a 1900’s kitchen, businesses and industries, a general store, shoe shop, saloon, harness maker, railroading and much more.
A Logging and Farming Building, built in 1987, recognizes the contribution which lumberjacks, farm families and carpenters made to the settlement and growth of the Stanley area.
Additions to the main building opened in 2002 and 2009. The 2002 addition, besides providing more exhibit space, includes a small library that houses a collection of family genealogies, county atlases and high school year books.  It also has office space, files for extensive photo and paper collections, general storage space in the lower level, and a beautiful meeting room that can seat up to 75. Call 715-644-5880 to book your meeting in advance.
The 2009 addition houses the museums 1906 Cadillac in front of an early 1900’s garage, a collection of beer taps, a rural school bell that can be rung, and a number of other special pieces of Americana.  The loft allows for more storage of the museum’s collections. 
Ask about memberships and donations to this extraordinary community asset and enjoy receiving a fascinating semi-annual newsletter with stories about the people, businesses, farms and lifestyles across the ages in this area. Also, for additional historical information contact http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/