DeForest Area Historical Society

Serving the Villages of DeForest and Windsor, as well as Portions of Burke, Leeds and Vienna Townships


Guardian Of The Past - Caretaker Of The Future


The mission of the DeForest Area Historical Society is to preserve, celebrate, and share the local history of the area.


The society was created in 1975 by a group of local citizens interested in preserving the area's history. Since that time, it has increased its visibility in the community as the main repository and interpretive body for local history, now responsible for a growing collection of artifacts, manuscripts, photographs, and print materials.


The society serves patrons who reside in the geographical area of the DeForest Area School District. This includes all of the Villages of Windsor and DeForest, much of Vienna Township, and portions of Leeds and Burke Townships. It is supported by local patrons, area businesses, and the village and township governing bodies. A membership drive is conducted each fall in conjunction with the publication of a newsletter.


The society is responsible for maintaining and interpreting history at four sites in DeForest: two home museums, a restored depot, and an archival center in the public library. All work is completed by a dedicated group of volunteers. There are no paid staff workers. Volunteers are present at the library archival center on most Tuesday and Thursday mornings to help patrons and to work on a variety of society tasks.

The Executive Board of Directors meets every other month in a first-floor conference room in the DeForest Area Public Library. The Annual Meeting is usually scheduled in conjunction with the July meeting.


The circular logo symbolizes two important influences on the early settlement and growth of the area. The wheat stem and tobacco leaf recall two crops that were successfully grown on the excellent farmland. The railroad lantern, patterned after one in the society's collection, recalls the impact that the railroad had on the area during the 1870s and following. It also symbolizes the society's role in "lighting the way" for the important mission of area historic preservation.

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