The Monroe County Local History Room in Sparta recently was awarded the 2018 Wisconsin Federation of Museums’ Institutional Award of Excellence for its new exhibit, “Monroe County: A to Z.”
The Wisconsin Federation of Museums (WFM) is an affiliate-based, nonprofit organization supporting Wisconsin museums and the Wisconsin museum profession.
The theme of “Monroe County A to Z” exhibit is that of a colorful, alphabet history pop-up book that highlights what is special about Monroe County from corner to corner. Each letter of the alphabet represents a place, person, or event that is remarkable about the county. For example, “A” for astronaut Deke Slayton, “B” for bike trail, “C” for cranberries, all the way through to “Z” for the “zzzt, zzzt” of the saw blade that was once commonly heard in the northwestern corner of the county during the lumbering era of the 1800s.
“Monroe County A to Z” is a professionally made, fully interactive exhibit that features 27 hands-on components — things that the visitor can touch, lift, turn, and hear to learn more about the subject. In addition, historic artifacts and images are featured. Pica Grove Image Allies of Sparta fabricated the exhibit using designs created by Local History Room staff.
According to Wisconsin Federation of Museums’ President, Sarah Kapellusch, “The Monroe County Local History Room was selected as this year’s award recipient because its ‘Monroe County: A to Z’ exhibit is an outstanding example of design creativity, community support and visitor engagement. In just under 300 square feet, the Local History Room created a colorful, interactive three-dimensional display highlighting the history of the area through use of the letters of the alphabet.
“Each section of the exhibit has an engaging, hands-on component and the content supports local school curriculum. Through working with display fabricator Pica Grove of Sparta, local artists and community members, along with additional funding support from area businesses, organizations, and individuals, the Local History Room has created a true community exhibit celebrating the history of Monroe County.”
The Monroe County Local History Room, located at 200 W. Main St., Sparta, connects people to the past. The “Monroe County: A to Z” exhibit is available to view during the history room’s usual hours of operation: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.Facebook.com/MCLHR.