Macktown program revives history

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ROCKTON - Hidden archaeological treasures, early surveying methods and the Ho-Chunk culture are all upcoming topics in Macktown Living History's Second Sundays series.

Once a month from 2 - 4 p.m., residents can travel to the Macktown Living History Center, 2221 Freeport Road, Rockton, to rediscover what life was like before 1850.

Second Sundays Coordinator Connie Gleasman said the events are a way for people to learn more about the site.

"Most people don't know about Macktown. People who lived in Rockton their whole lives have no clue this settlement is there," Gleasman said. "It's kind-of an uphill challenge to find ways to draw people there."

So volunteers came up with Second Sundays, a series that gives people the opportunity to engage with local history. While there, they also can explore Macktown's three historical buildings.

"The goal is connect people with the history of this country and the life skills that were necessary to live back then. Hopefully it gives them a desire to come back and maybe even volunteer," Gleason said.

The next event is set for Sunday, and the topic is the first surveyors. People can learn about how early surveyors picked the location of a settlement during the time of westward expansion.

Here are the rest of this year's Second Sundays events:

• Aug. 11 - Historic Preservation Officer William Quackenbush will present on the past, present and future of the Ho-Chunk Nation.

• Sept. 8 - Archaeological items found at the Macktown site will be presented.

• Oct. 13 - Discover how people used to preserve food before refrigeration was an option.

• Nov. 10 - Learn how to prepare for and survive a winter on the frontier.

• Dec. 8 - Attendees can discover what Christmas was like in the early 1800s.

Macktown was the first permanent white settlement in Winnebago County. The settlement was once a hub during the short time it was occupied (from 1834 to 1850).

For more information, visit the "Macktown Living History" Facebook page.

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