The COVID-19 oubreak is forcing the Wisconsin Historical Society to temporarily close its historic sites and other facilities.
The society announced Monday that all of its historic sites, including Old World Wisconsin near Eagle, Pendarvis in Mineral Point, Circus World in Baraboo and the H.H. Bennett Studio in Wisconsin Dells, will close "until at least April 10." The closures include the library and archives at the Society’s headquarters building adjacent to the UW-Madison campus and its museum on Capitol Square. School tours are also canceled at the state's 10 historic sites until May 11.
"Our facility closures are precautionary measures," Christian W. Øverland, the society's director and CEO said. "No known cases of the virus have been reported by any of our volunteers, staff or visitors. Our facilities team has increased cleaning and sanitizing frequencies in all of our buildings as an additional precautionary measure."
The closures come on the heels of several other WHS cancellations announced Sunday. They included Friday's Burial Board meeting at the society's headquarters, a "Hmong in Wisconsin" book launch on April 6 at the Historical Society Museum and Saturday's Brews, Brats and Curds at Wade House in Greenbush.
Other events that have been canceled or postponed include "Wisconsin in Watercolor" with Joe Kapler in Mount Horeb on Thursday, and on Saturday the Hmong Diaspora speaker series in Menasha "Farm Memories" with author Jerry Apps in Columbus. The WHS also canceled Jerry Apps Day in Wild Rose.
A genealogy workshop on March 28 will be offered on-line.
Those with tickets to events special events and rescheduled dates will be posted on the society's website and in some cases e-mailed.