PWAHS Mission Statement
The mission of the PWAHS is to provide research resources, educational opportunities and to safeguard our area history and heritage.
It All Began with the Town Centennial
Our society began when the citizens of Port Wing were asked to bring their historical artifacts to the Town Hall for the town’s July 2001 Centennial Celebration. The donated artifacts filled the Town Hall! After the celebration, many didn’t want them back, so a group of interested citizens decided to build a museum to house them. The resulting Port Wing Heritage Hall was built solely with donations of money, materials and volunteer labor.
Sondra “Soney” Rockenbach, a retired history professor, drove the planning for our 2001 Centennial Celebration, but her interest, combined with that of society member, Dave Noble, spearheaded the construction of our museum.
Heritage Hall is next to the town’s School Park. We have added the old jail and the Booth Fishery building to the site. In summer months we display the old school bus wagon and a mail carrier sleigh. Volunteers staff the building three afternoons a week. Last year 980 persons, mostly out-of-town visitors, visited our Heritage Hall.
Heritage Hall is a treasure trove for history buffs and family history researchers. Soney passionately curated the collection and over time she added family and business histories, census data, historic maps, books, newspaper clippings and and file cabinets full of historic documents. She passed away in 2017 leaving a storage room full of unexplored boxes. Casual browsers become totally absorbed in the displays of 19th and 20th century photographs with rich descriptions of the town’s history.
We have over 140 members, publish a newsletter 3 times/year and manage a Facebook page. Our volunteers tend the grounds and make the Annual Flea Market and Harvest Dinner fundraisers possible. Join us!