We have a small collection of objects that tell pieces of the Verona story - sometimes significant, sometimes simply snippets of daily life. Holding an artifact and knowing its story helps us connect with the past, and today's objects will help future generations connect with our present. Below is a sampling of our collection.
If you have an item which you think might be relevant to Verona history (historic OR modern objects) that you would consider donating, please contact us to see if it fits our collections philosophy.
The following are a few examples of things that are appreciated:
Verona Yearbooks, class photos, diplomas, school pictures.
Anything connected to our rural schools. Interesting items connected to the Verona School District.
Photos of founding or early families, old pictures of lost and surviving buildings, photos of community events from any era.
EVEN MODERN photographs and materials from Verona events or items that might be important in the future. A great example is our gold shovel from the 2018 high school dedication, and Mayor Diaz's 2020 declaration of emergency for COVID.
Pamphlets from grand openings or dedications of buildings, businesses, churches, or schools.
Antiques with connections to the Verona area (created here, or maybe used here historically).
Promotional material and "schwag" from Verona area businesses.
Old copies of the Verona Press or other community newspapers / bulletins.
Military uniforms and memorabilia of Verona area veterans.
Anything related to the Dane County Asylum / Poor House.
Other items you think might be of our interest. Thank you!
Theme: Verona Schools
Item: Gordon School hand bell, pre-1900.
Short Description: Logged as VAHS0158. Hand bell used at the Gordon School, pre 1900, by teacher Bertha Casebeer. Bertha was the daughter of Verona Civil War Veteran Frederick Casebeer. This bell stayed in her family for several generations until being donated to us around 2017 by a direct descendant. Hand bells were typically used by teachers of one room rural schools to call in kids after recess and other outdoor activities.
Items: Gordon School post-tornado fundraiser quilt.
Short Description: Logged as group VAHS0160. A quilt containing names of Verona families created around 1929 as a fundraiser to buy supplies for the newly reconstructed Gordon School following its earlier destruction by tornado in September of 1928.
Full Description: Quilt created as a fundraiser to buy supplies for the newly reconstructed Gordon School. Area families bought squares to raise money, and the quilt itself was auctioned and won by Emil Dreger, relative of Eugene Dreger, the little boy who was tossed around by the 1928 tornado but survived. After Eugene died, the quilt was transferred to the Miller family of the Gordon School Distrit. In 2011 Ruth Miller donated this quilt to the Verona Area Historical Society.
The 1929 replacement of the Gordon School and was funded (between $6,000 and $7,000 depending on accounts) but no money was left over for supplies, hence the community project ot make this quilt. Signatures were sold for 10 cents each and were hand embroidered into blocks of five. There are differing accounts as to when this quilt was completed, ranging from 1928 to 1930.
Items: Various pieces of the 1929 Gordon School, recovered from its October 2017 demolition.
Short Description: Logged as group VAHS0159. Bricks, Wooden floor panels, foundation piece of the 1929 reconstructed Gordon School, collected after its 2017 demolition.
Full Description: Various pieces collected from the Gordon School demolition in October of 2017. the original school was destroyed by a tornado in 1928 and a brick version was rebuilt a year later and served as a school until consolidation of Verona's rural schools in to the Verona school district in the mid 1960s. The outside face of the bricks is a rugged decorative texture. The inside surface has stamped "STREATER BRICK CO. Shaletex. STREATOR, ILLINOIS".
Items: Ceremonial shovel used during high school ground breaking, April 2018.
Short Description: Logged as group VAHS0159. A gold colored shovel used during the ground breaking ceremony at the new high school site on April 24, 2018.
Full Description: Used in various group photographs with school board members, teachers, and other persons associated with the high school project. This ceremony included speeches by superintendent Dean Gorrell and High School principal Pam Hammen, as well as a small band of high school students playing music and the Wildcat mascot mingling around a tent with cake and refreshments. Earth movers had just recently begun sculpting the land where the high school would eventually be constructed. A public referendum had approved the high school facilities and conversion/upgrades of existing schools earlier that Spring. The goal was to open this facility in Fall of 2020. This gold colored shovel was collected at the conclusion of this ceremony with permission of a Findorff employee present.
Theme: Verona and the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020
The goal of these objects is to help future generations understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affected Verona.
Items: Handmade signs related to the Spring 2020 teacher parades during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Short description: Various signs from teacher's cars, spectators, etc displayed during COVID-19 era teacher parades in Spring of 2020.
Full description: COVID19 caused the closing of schools and in-person instruction in Verona starting on March 16, 2020 and lasting through the end of the Spring semester. During this time, teachers from various Verona schools came up with various ways to show support for their students and community. Several schools held teacher car parades, where the teachers drove in a line with inspiring and caring messages attached to their cars. Students and parents gathered on the sides of streets.
Country View Teacher Parade April 24, 2020:
Glacier Edge Teacher Parade, May 7, 2020:
Items: Caution tape from Cathedral Point Park.
Short description: Logged as items VAHS0147-0148. Segments of caution tape used to close down the playground equipment at Cathedral Point Park during the COVID-19 quarantine.
Full description: In line with social distancing and the closing of public spaces due to the pandemic, the Verona parks department was required to close down playground equipment around the end of March 2020. Seeing the caution tape draped over playgrounds around Verona was a difficult visual for many parents in Verona as it was a stark indicator of the seriousness of measures being taken and the possibly vulnerability if our children - mentally if not physically - to the world events unfolding. The parks remained open but playground equipment, swings, and ball courts were all closed for several months. Caution tape was removed from Cathedral Point Park and Scenic Ridge Park the week of June 15, 2020.
Items: "6 FEET" social distancing signs from Military Ridge and Ice Age trails in Verona.
Short description: Logged as items VAHS0161. Several signs displayed near the Military Ridge bike trail crossing by Hometown Junction and the Ice Age Trail by Whalen, instructing trail users to practice social distancing.
Full description: These signs were placed at various outdoor locations around Verona towards the end of March 2020 as social distancing and quarantine were being recommended in public spaces.
Items: Homemade masks made or used by Verona residents during the pandemic.
Short description: During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, many people began making protective masks for themselves and others. In March and April of that year it became increasingly more difficult, and at often not possible, to purchase masks at stores or even online as supplies could not keep up with Demand. At the beginning of the pandemic masks were not being recommended but by some time around mid-April(?) the CDC recommended people wear masks when being in public. It became commonplace to see people wearing them outside, in stores, and sometimes even while driving.
Even with the recommendation, there was still disagreement between people about if they should be worn and where. Some stores required masks for customer (causing some arguments when people tried to enter without them) but most only required them for employees. In July of 2020, Dane County issued an order to take affect on 7/13/20 that requires masks to be worn in all indoor locations, with some exceptions such as eating in restaurants, people with health conditions that prevent it, and very young children.