Oconomowoc Area Historical Society

Committed to historic preservation and research

The museum is open Tuesday-Thursday and on Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Office hours are on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Thank You to Piggly Wiggly receipt donors! We made enough money to fund a new laptop for the education volunteers. Please keep the receipts coming!


It is the mission of the Oconomowoc Area Historical Society and Museum to serve our many constituencies as a community resource and learning center, committed to historic preservation and research; and to inspire and encourage curiosity and passion for our historic treasures.

We are a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization and there is no charge for museum admittance.

Historical Society Shared an Evening with some 'Greats' hosted by the Smith Society

It all started with golfers Alex and Willie Smith, two brothers from Scotland, the birthplace of this sport. They came here in the 1890s, sponsored by many of the local benefactors of the time who wanted to play challenging rounds of golf. You know their names: Montgomery Ward, John Dupee, Henry Shufelt, George Peck, William Pelouze and Albert Earling. They had the resources to realize the dream that was the La Belle Golf Club started in 1896, now known as The Club at Lac La Belle. The Smith Society celebrates the historical importance of these early golfers that not only contributed to the future of golf in the United States but more importantly to the growth of this gentleman's sport in Oconomowoc.

An August 2023 dinner gathering of history-minded golf enthusiasts from around the United States joined together after the Oconomowoc Open to remember and pay their respects to this sport as it was long before the PGA was ever a thought. Guests were entertained by David Mackesey, the historian for The Club at Lac La Belle and the Carnoustie Club in Scotland. With each dinner course he shared his knowledge of golfs' development during the early years. His 'show and tell' included several large silver trophies from the first tournaments played. Famous golfers over the years have had their names added to these, such as Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. He also shared a priceless medallion prize awarded at an 1877 contest.

The warmth and friendship of all the guests was strong as they joined in song to wish one of the members' a happy birthday and pay homage to the hole-in-one they achieved very recently. The dinner was also an occasion to celebrate the completion of The Founders' Room, attractively designed with large, nearly wall sized images of the clubs' early origins and founders. David worked with the Oconomowoc Area Historical Society & Museum over the last few years to gather vintage images and historical resources for inclusion into this and other display projects. Oconomowoc Historical Society researchers, Kathy Strauss and Jill Papke were honored to be invited to this event and receive accolades for their collaboration in bringing the Clubs' history to life for the delight of all.

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