The Verona Area Historical Society
Verona, Wisconsin
"Celebrating the story of Hometown U.S.A."

Check out our ongoing cemetery restoration project: Bringing Their Stones Home

Next VAHS Events: All events are free and open to the public!

*Saturday 8/19/17, 10:00am: "25 Years of Verona Area Community Theater", with guest Dee Baldock.  Verona Senior Center.

Twenty five years ago, three Verona women organized a small show tunes performance for a public audience in the step room of the newly built Verona Middle School (now Badger Ridge).  What started at that first performance of a handful of people would grow to an organization that today puts on 9 shows a year involving hundreds of our Verona friends and neighbors - and is slated to open up their new 2 million dollar building this fall.

Our guest this month will be Dee Baldock, who was a founder of Verona Area Community Theater back in 1992.  Dee had acted in plays in high school and would later move to Verona in 1976.  Having no community theater outlets in Verona at that time (many residents will remember that Verona was previously home to a performance group called "Verona Varieties"), Dee got involved in Oregon Community theater.  It was there she learned the behind-the-scenes workings of a community theater group, eventually leading to her teaming up with Jeannie Pitsch and Karen Rogness to start VACT.

Dee will share her personal stories and memories of how a small group can grow to a successful organization that enhances the lives of both young and old Verona residents.

     Location:  Verona Senior Center (108 Paoli St, Verona, WI 53593.)

*Friday 9/8/17, 12:30pm: "Goodbye, Gordon School". A presentation at the Verona Senior Center, followed by a field trip to the school - soon to be demolished.  Sign up at by emailing, or at the Verona Senior Center.

  • 12:30pm:  A special one hour talk about the school at the Verona Senior Center.  Please come and share your memories!
  • 2:00pm:  Short tours of the school for those who sign up.  There is no parking at or near the school, and it is dangerous to walk to - please take our shuttle.  Park on Shale Drive and take our shuttle from the corner of Shale Drive and Highway M.

The Gordon School

The Gordon School building has sat at on the corner of highway M and Midtown Road in some form for over 150 years.  It taught generations of rural school children back in a day when Verona's countryside was divided up into over a dozen small, numbered school districts.

Families of shared district #11 would come to know this building well.  Their kids would walk in the snow from neighboring farms, in some cases being pulled in a sled by tractor when the snow was too high.  They would bring lunches that their teacher would warm up in the old stove, and enjoy recesses playing softball in the field next door.

The Gordon School is also home to one truly fantastic Verona story which occurred on a stormy September day in 1928.  While school was in session, a tornado formed to the West and headed towards the Gordon School - destroying nearby farms on the way.  As the original wooden school was torn open and collapsed, students inside were saved by the quick thinking teacher who had gathered them next to and beneath the piano for shelter.

The building was rebuilt of brick the following year in 1929.  Unfortunately, the budget left no room for supplies.  Area mothers solved that problem by selling squares on a fundraising quilt which - nearly 90 years later - will be on display during our meeting.

The great school district consolidation of 1964 would end the Gordon School's service.  It was then sold and has remained a private residence in the decades since.  Sadly, what the tornado started a bulldozer will finish as the building is demolished in the coming months to make way for the widening of Highway M.

Please help us get the word out to anyone with connections to or interest in the Gordon School.  We will begin our special Friday meeting at 12:30pm by sharing memories and photographs of the school at the Verona Senior Center.  Following the meeting, a carpool and private tour of the building will be held for the Verona Area Historical Society.  Spots for the tour are limited, sign up by emailing or by signing up at the Verona Senior Center.

About the Verona Area Historical Society:

President - Jesse Charles
Vice President - Art Cresson
Secretary - Ruth Jensen
Treasurer - Beverly Beyers
Board:  Lisa Olmsted

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