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    Waukesha County MuseumWaukesha County Courthouse Waukesha, Wisconsin
    The Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum occupies a building that is only a few years older than the museum itself, the Waukesha County Courthouse that was constructed in 1893, while the society was created in 1906, and the museum beginning in 1913, when John Lacher would open it in the basement of the courthouse in just one room in 1914. The museum would grow and expand into other rooms in 1920 and 1936, and the courthouse itself would enjoy a larger area with additions, but none for the museum. The county decided to leave the old courthouse in 1958 and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission would move into many of the vacated spaces and begin sharing the structure with the museum. In 1975, the building would become a national historic site, since it is an excellent example of Richardson Romanesque style, and constructed near a big turtle shaped mound that have been incorporated into the museum's exhibits with other mounds and various architectural styles. The society would help the county celebrate its sesquicentennial, and one of the most favorite exhibits was their SusquiScroll, that was a huge roll of paper that would travel the county during the year, getting as many people that wanted to sign it as possible, in 1996; that was then locked up in a time capsule showcased in the courthouse that will be opened in 2046. In 2002, the county signed a lease with the society so they could occupy the entire courthouse for just $1, and in 2003, the official papers were signed. Currently, the structure is being renovated to its 1893 conditions and is still growing, and now has had its first traveling exhibit called "Growing Seasons" that started in 2009. It is in the process of becoming a premiere regional destination that began this year and should be completed by 2013.

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    Clark House MuseumClark House Museum Pewaukee, Wisconsin
    The Clark House Museum in the village of Pewaukee is still a reminder that Asa Clark had been the first settler in the village, with outstanding local exhibits that include Walk Along the Lake and Pewaukee Rural Life, with photographs and relics to showcase a way of life from the early turn of the century in the village and town that has grown into a city. Asa's son, would construct the Clark House and it would remain in the family until the passing of Marietta Clark Larson, who was the great granddaughter of Asa, in 1984, with the historical society buying the property in 1992. Deacon Asa Clark had left Lunenburg, Vermont in 1834 heading to the western frontier, going by horseback with a neighbor, arriving in Milwaukee, where Clark would begin a partnership with the firm of Childs and Wheelock to construct a mill at Snail Lake, that has become Pewaukee Lake. In 1837, Clark came to this area, choosing the site of his property and the paperwork completed before going back to Vermont to sell his farm and come back with his family. Construction of the house started in 1844, by Mosely Clark, with a double-gabled front and L shaped porch, and became known as Lilac Rest because of the profusion of lilacs that blossomed around the property. Situated on the Watertown Plank Road, it was the perfect location for an inn, becoming the area's first hotel, with the Clark family giving shelter for weary travelers. These good folks would be fed home grown food from Clark Mills, with the meat, dairy products and meat from the family farm nearby. The old fashioned rope beds would have fresh straw mattresses, and when it became overcrowded, there was always room in the barn across the street.

May 2, 2011