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 11/18/17, 10:00am: "A City Is Born", with guests Jane Pearcy and Art Cresson.  Verona Senior Center.

This month we will travel back to the 1970s - a time when Verona was watching its borders gradually get gobbled up by annexation into our big neighbor to the Northeast.  Some of those living in the village banded together to discuss what might be done to keep the surrounding town of Verona from continuing to disappear.  The solution?  Become a city!
     Village president Burr Weiland set in motion events that would include creating districts, ordinances, a referendum, and eventually campaigns and a vote for the city's first mayor and City Council.  Our guests this month will be two of Verona's first alders who were there at day one:  Jane Pearcy and Art Cresson.  They will share their memories of that time of change and what our young city government was like when the dust settled after we became a city on April 18, 1978.  We will hear of growing pains, early debates, and enjoy stories like the reason why buckets were required at our first city hall votes.
     Jane had been involved with the league of women voters in Madison before she moved to Verona.  In addition to being our first female city alder, she has been on the school board, been chair of the EMS, ran a restaurant on West Verona Avenue, and taught foreign languages at the middle school for many years.
    Art's interest in the local political scene began in the late 1960s during Verona's great fluoride debate.  When the time to find alders for the first city council came, a friend asked him to get involved due to the fact that his position as a mail carrier meant he "knew everyone in town", in Art's words.
(Pictured above:  Judge Shirley Abrahamson swears in alders Jane Pearcy [left] and Art Cresson [right] on April 18, 1978.)

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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