The new WCHM display celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act has turned out to be quite popular with museum visitors. Entitled “Wisconsin’s Moving National Park,” the display focuses on the Namekagon River in Wisconsin, which together with the St. Croix River forms the St Croix National Scenic Riverway. “Everybody that visits the museum loves the new display, especially the wall size map of the Riverway,” claims WCHM Executive Director Jed Malischke, “They all want to look up where they have been on the river, or where they are planning to go.”
Archeological items in the display illustrate the history of the riverway, first as an ancient travel route for Native Americans, then as an avenue of exploration and trade for the Voyageurs, later as the major mode of transportation for the timber industry, and most recently as a recreational opportunity. “It is surprising to learn that so many people, even those familiar with the St Croix and the Namekagon, don’t realize the riverway is part of the National Park Service and essentially a National Park,” explains Malischke. “We are happy to educate them to that fact, and also about the historic significance of the riverway as a canoe route. And we have the National Park Service and Fort Folle Avoine to thank for the loan of items in the display.”
The National Scenic Riverway display will be available to visitors through the rest of the 2018 season. With Labor Day now being past the museum will be open Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sundays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. The last day of the season, Sunday September 30, will see the drawing for the annual canoe raffle taking place just prior to closing time. Visitors can also make an appointment to visit the museum at other times by calling 715-635-2479 a few days ahead.