Rural Electrification: Outlet for Change explores the changes to farm and home life that came with electricity in the early 1900s. The exhibit is on view at the Woodson History Center, 410 McIndoe St., Wausau. The exhibit at the Marathon County Historical Society incorporates personal stories, photos, contrasting artifacts, and maps of each township with electrified farms highlighted.
By the 1920s, most city and town residents had access to electricity in their homes, businesses and schools. Indoor lights, home appliances, industrial machines and indoor plumbing were all run by electric power. Electricity made many jobs easier. But electrical power lines did not often extend beyond city boundaries, and electricity was available to only a few rural residents. As a consequence, rural life had changed very little since the late 1800s. Heavy manual labor remained a necessity for men, women and children on the farm.
This exhibit tells the story of how electricity eventually reached rural residents both in central Wisconsin and in the rest of the United States and how it changed their lives. Wisconsin Public Service has generously provided free Louie Coloring Books for patrons to take home, while supplies last. Funding for the exhibit was provided by the Wisconsin Public Service Foundation.
It's free to visit Rural Electrification: Outlet for Change, plus our other exhibits. Tours of the Yawkey House Museum are available on the hour for a small fee.
For more information, please call the Marathon County Historical Society at 715-842-5750.