What We Do
The Marathon County Historical Society provides opportunities for people to “connect” with the past to discover something about their own history and where they live. We help people learn about their own connection with the community as well as its historic roots, and how the past played a role in who they are today. We accomplish this through education, preservation, research, experiences, and entertainment.
How it began
The historical society was formed in 1952 by members of the community who felt that the history of Wausau was slipping away. They came together to start an organizational drive for the society and held a meeting on March 18, 1952. The State Charter was received later that year.
In 1954, Leigh Yawkey Woodson and her daughters donated the home of her late parents, Cyrus C. & Alice Yawkey to the Marathon County Historical Society. The house became the official “home” for the society, housed artifacts, and was open for people to tour. The Yawkey House Museum was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
The Marathon County Historical Society purchased the 1914 home of A.P. and Leigh Yawkey Woodson in 1995 and it became the new home to the society. The building is now the Woodson History Center and was renovated to accommodate the collections of the society, the library, and the main offices.
The Yawkey House Museum also underwent extensive renovations that were completed in 2008. The house, built in 1901, has been restored back to its 1908 configuration designed by George W. Maher. The estate includes the original carriage house and a formal garden with a pergola and fountain. The house is now open for guided tours and is a prime example of life in the early 1900’s.
Today both buildings have become an essential part of the Marathon County Historical Society and the history of the Wausau area.
To collect, preserve, and exhibit materials related to
the history of Marathon County, and to use those materials
to help people learn about North Central Wisconsin, connect
with their roots, and explore their own historical connections.