Baraboo, WI. – The Wisconsin Historical Society is excited to announce that the Sauk County Historical Society (SCHS) is the recipient of the Reuben Gold Thwaites Award Trophy for 2020. The Reuben Gold Thwaites Award Trophy recognizes an affiliated historical organization for continued excellence and overall service to its community over a period of at least five years.

“The Sauk County Historical Society has demonstrated excellence in collecting, preserving and sharing history since 1905,” said Christian Overland, Ruth and Hartley Barker Director & CEO of the Wisconsin Historical Society. “As one of the state’s oldest historical organizations and the fifth organization to affiliate with the Wisconsin Historical Society, Sauk County Historical Society continually looks to offer new spaces and platforms of access for history to be useful for the communities they serve.”

The SCHS manages and maintains a diverse collection of historic buildings and other cultural resources, including the Sauk County Historical Museum and Sauk County History Center, Man Mound National Historic Landmark, the Yellow Thunder Memorial, and Hulbert Creek Garden Beds. Educational programming for children and adults is a priority for the organization. “Sauk County Investigators” offers fourth-grade students an opportunity to explore history and solve mysteries using primary sources.

The SCHS developed a 10-part module on Baraboo history for public and private third-grade classrooms in the district. In 2018, the SCHS launched a new website with more than 400 pages of fully searchable Sauk County history, including photographs, family histories, and extensive databases. The society also created an app for both iOS and Android users to further engage new audiences. Over 3,000 people are served annually through in-person programming. The website had more than 20,000 unique visitors and over 49,000 individual page views in 2019.

The award is named after Reuben Gold Thwaites who was secretary of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and became executive officer of the Society in 1887. His energy in historical undertakings and his ability as an administrator made the Society one of the leading organizations of its kind in the country, and made Thwaites “the best known non-political man in Wisconsin.” Thwaites also created the Society’s historical organization affiliate program in 1898, which was the first of its kind in our country. He believed in history being useful for the residents of Wisconsin and in creating the opportunity for local history organizations to pursue excellence in serving their communities.

Each year, the Wisconsin Historical Society’s governing Board of Curators recognizes individuals and organizations for meritorious work in areas relating to the Society’s mission.  The Board of Curators is made up of thirty-seven elected and appointed members from across the state.

For information on award criteria, nominations and deadlines please visit

About Wisconsin Historical Society
The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs and services. For more information, visit

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