Comments from the many thousands of visitors to Alma, Wisconsin center on the quaintness of our river town on the Mississippi River and the preservation of our 19th century buildings. It's wonderful to see the impact 30 years later that a group of citizens can make and we believe firmly that they met their goal of "recapturing the small river town atmosphere of early Alma."
Survey of Buildings in Alma, Wisconsin Erected Prior to the Second World War Completed in 1980, the Society identified several buildings as "pivotal" to designation as a National Historic District.
Designation as a State Historic District & Addition to the National Register of Historic Places From the survey results, nomination papers were submitted and accepted by the state of Wisconsin in April of 1980 with its designation of Alma as a Wisconsin State Historic District.The National Register of Historic Places in Washington, DC gave their approval in 1982, the second district to be so named in the state of Wisconsin.Alma, Wisconsin was placed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its preservation of waterfront nineteenth century buildings built into the river bluffs in the style of a European village.
Publication Of Alma On The Mississippi The Society's premier publication, Alma On The Mississippi, was a natural response to the volume of information gathered during the survey.It had been over 60 years since a history of the county was written.Alma’s history was never written in book form and the Alma Historical Society decided that a history book would be of interest and value to the community.As a companion to the research and in preservation of the work completed, the book Alma On The Mississippi was compiled and published in 1980 by the Alma Historical Society, with reprinting in 1982 and 1994.Documenting the buildings in the City of Alma from 1848 through 1932, this work preserves the town from its origination to the time before the Lock & Dam system opened on the Mississippi River in 1935, changing the community forever.
Publication of Alma’s Historic Tour Guide A walking tour was created next of some of the historic properties designated by the Wisconsin Historical Society as “pivotal” in their designation of Alma as a Wisconsin State Historic District.The guide provides townspeople and visitors an opportunity to learn about the historic buildings that are so important to the city.
Exhibition of the 19th Century Photography of Gerhard Gesell Through the joint effort of the Alma Historical Society and the Wisconsin Historical Society an exhibition of 19th centry photography of Gerhard Gesell was created. In 1876 photographer Gerhard Gesell crossed the Mississippi River from Reed's Landing, Minnesota to Alma, Wisconsin and the photographic experience in Alma was never the same. "Gesell carefully documented the town, its people and culture, capturing the integral role the Mississippi River played in the lives of the people of Alma", Wisconsin Historical Society. As a prolific photographer, Gesell often staged studio photographs documenting the current day culture of the 19th century but he is best know for his photography capturing the natural beauty of the Mississippi River, the bluffs and valleys, steamboating and everyday life in the Wisconsin river town of Alma.
Establishment of the Alma Area Museum Designing and creating the museum was the most complex task completed by the Alma Historical Society. Housed for many years in the historic Buffalo County Training School, the museum receives rave reviews from its visitors. It is the envy of many other local area museums for the professionalism of its exhibits, which is supported by the reaction of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Exhibits range from a 19th century schoolroom, blacksmith shop, kitchen, laundry and physician's office to an exhibit on the devastating Armistice Day Storm of 1940 and a premiere exhibit of timber from the perspective of Alma, Wisconsin and the Beef Slough days.
Production of the Alma Quilt Show The Society produced its first quilt show in 1985. The 26th anniversary of the Socety's Annual Quilt Show was just celebrated in October 2011. As always, the show is a celebration of a true American art form. Quilts are from local and regional quilters. Included in the show are applique quilts, crazy quilts, art quilts, sampler quilts and traditional patchwork pattern quilts. In addtion to new auilt projects, the show also includes restoration projects of antique and vintage quilts. Quitls have evolved from a necessity to keep warm in the cold Wisconsin winters to works of art that are cherished and passed down from generation to generation. Many can recall the soft colors, comforting designs and warmth that came from hugging an old family quilt. Viewing the quilts offers our visitors an opportunity to step back to that familiar time and stand in awe as they have the opportunity to view the craftsmanship of our local quilters.
Alma Historical Society 505 South 2nd Street P.O. Box 473 Alma, Wisconsin 54610 [email protected] Copyright (c) 2010-2014 Alma Historical Society All Rights Reserved Design by KCG Creative