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Oregon Area Historical Society


2024 Events

Our Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, March 16th.  If you want an invite, become a member today!  

Heather Young, OAHS Publicity Coordinator and Tuesday Crew

Recent Blog

Greetings Oregon Area Historical Society followers!  My name is Heather Young.  I am the publicity coordinator for the OAHS and museum.   I also update the website and Facebook and a Tuesday volunteer.  


I thought it would be fun to feature a few “Walk Back in History: Did You Know” articles written by Florice Paulson for the Observer from 1987-1991.  Many of these articles were made into a book that you can purchase at the museum.  If anyone knew Oregon history, it was Florice.   So watch this space for a new post monthly…maybe more than once a month. We’ll see.


But first…who was Florice Paulson?



Many people who grew up in Oregon know that name.  Chances are, she taught you or your parents in school.  But for those of you who didn’t know Florice, here is a little history about her and her importance to the OAHS and museum.   


Florice Aileen Paulson was born on August 28, 1917 to Arthur P. and Mona (Hanan) Paulson.  She was a 5th generation resident of the Oregon Area and lived her life on Jefferson Street (formerly Copenhagen Street).  Florice was a graduate of Oregon High School class of 1935 and went on to college at UW and Carrol College in Waukesha.  She taught English and Social Studies for 25 years in several school districts, including Oregon, where she retired in 1970. 




Florice loved history but especially local history.  She is the reason we have a museum.  She used an inheritance to buy a rundown building at 159. W. Lincoln Street, which was the former Oregon Lumber Company and then the Chase Lumber Company (and the site of the Oregon Hotel until it was destroyed by fire in 1906).  She then gifted the building to the Oregon Area Historical Society for the purposes of a museum.  The museum dedication was held in May 1991 (Oregon’s 150th birthday) and then opened to the public in October 1992.  Florice was a charter member of the OAHS, served on the board and was board president from 1993-1996.  



Florice passed away in June 2013, just shy of her 96th birthday.  She left many items and artifacts to the historical society.  So thank you Florice Paulson for all you did to help make the museum possible.  



This Month in History

100 Years Ago: December 1923

  • Mrs. Abe Noyce, who submitted to an operation two weeks ago contracted pneumonia but is now improving.
  • Mr. And Mrs. C.W. Netherwood of Monticello were Thanksgiving day guests of Mr. And Mrs.W.N. Gilette.
  • Mrs. Arthur Ailing has received word of the arrival of twin daughters, Elizabeth Alice and Isabel Agness born to Mr. And Mrs. E. H. Koster at the General Hospital at Madison Sunday morning.  Mr. Koster is a brother of Mrs. Alling. 
  • Name Your Farm:  “Farmers today fully realize that farming is a business, but many of them still hesitate to apply business tactics.  One way to obtain business is to advertise.”  An appropriate farm name, neatly painted on the barn, on the mail box and on a sign or shingle at the entrance of the farm furnishes one of the most effective means of advertising.
  • George Litch arrived home last Thursday from Colorado Springs and is spending a week here looking after business interests.  Expects to return to Colorado Springs Thursday and may spend part of the winter in California.  He reports his family well, the Colorado climate agreeing with them.
  • A social dance will be given in Paoli Hall on Friday evening, December 21

50 Years Ago: December 1973

  • Girl Scouts will host a Christmas party for the Senior Citizens at the Brooklyn Lutheran Church from 12:30 to 3pm.  The girls will entertain with dances and skits.  From the holiday table the girls will serve refreshments, punch and cookies, baked by the Girl Scouts themselves.
  • The village board at their regular meeting Monday authorized the purchase of a police car and street sweeper.  The automobile will be purchased from Shappe Pontiac for $2245 and the street sweeper from Bark River Equipment for $1945.
  • Groundbreaking has begun for an 8 unit apartment building on the Genesis Housing project in Oregon, directly west of the present 16 unit building.  This addition will give the senior citizens in the Oregon area a total of 24 apartments.
  • A momentous  occasion took place on Thursday last week as the Village of Oregon, with president Norman Champion and clerk Jeanette Forman doing the honors, signed the deed which transfers a 28-plus acre tract of land in Oregon’s Industrial Park to A. J.  Braun of Chicago and Erving Kjellstrom, President of Wisco Industries in Oregon. This sale, at $2200 per acre, and totaling $62,913, leaves only about five acres left of the original industrial park, which was approximately 50 acres.
  • Two Oregon bowlers came up with national honor counts in the span of the last couple weeks — Jack Ricker with 713 and Larry Beers with 705.  The last bowler to go over 700 was Ollie Haarklau in February of 1970, when he totaled 710.
  • Rosemary Smith, Oregon, will spend her upcoming semester break on a study tour of France and Italy.  The tour is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin- Platteville, where Rosemary is a senior.  The group will leave December 27 for a 15 day tour. 
  • Dave Martinson is now on a final leg of his stay in London, England, where he is studying under the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point Semester in Britain program.  A junior majoring in business administration, “Marty” is one of 40 UWSP students living and working together at “Peace Haven” , the university’s London headquarters.

25 Years Age: December 1998

  • While most school boards preferred to address issues surrounding the traditional educational “Rs” the Oregon School Board was preparing to tackle a new set of letters, which no matter how one might arrange them, initially spelled headaches for administrators, students, parents, teachers and staff members alike. In the end, however, the board -and the state, which mandated the move- hoped to come out ahead by forcing the development of a uniform code of conduct for students in the district. Wisconsin Act 335 required school districts statewide to formulate formal board policies on all foreseeable matters relating to student conduct in school.
  • Explaining that the school district was preparing for a future expansion, the District superintendent announced at a school board meeting that the district was looking for a 20- to 25-acre parcel that could serve as the site of a new middle school. Though the district did purchase two parcels in the early 1990s, one had already been used as the building site for the Oregon Middle School. The other, which is on S. Perry Parkway just west of Union Road, was best suited for a possible elementary school expansion in the years to come.
  • Students at Oregon Preschool celebrated the season with their annual holiday program that included skits, singing and a chance to meet Santa. Above, from left to right Derek Owen, Sawyer Barron, Danielle Wagner, Alex Decker and Steffan Frisque act out the words to the Christmas song ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’.
  • Oregon school speech and language therapists appeared before the Oregon School Board to propose the launch of a “Fast ForWord” pilot program for students with speech and language disorders. Prior research had shown that students involved in the four-to-six week “Fast ForWord” program had been shown to advance their speech and language skills by nearly 18 months by the time they completed the program. The minimum improvement in skills and comprehension should be at least one year.
  • Professional musicians from the Madison Symphony Orchestra (MSO) throughout the year worked with students from the elementary through the high schools. This unprecedented program made it possible for young students to receive top-notch coaching for chamber music, solo work and orchestra playing as well as hear professional musicians in both Oregon and Madison. “Students who work with professional musicians on a regular basis have a better Idea of their own potential and are more motivated to improve their own musical skills,” said the Oregon High School orchestra director. “Since most of our students don’t study with private teachers, this is a fantastic opportunity for them to get individual attention to help them with their playing.”

10 Years Ago: December 2013

There is no 10 year timeline this month.  Sorry.  

Want to Help?


OAHS is 100% run by volunteers. Everyone here is incredibly passionate about what we do. Click below to find out more about how you can help! 


OAHS appreciates any and all gifts that the community is able to offer. Find out how you can help by clicking below!

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OAHS has several roles for all types of commitment levels. Click below to find out how you can get involved!