The Mineral Point Historical Society is Up to Something!




2017 Calendar of Events 

Sun , February 19th – Lyceum #2 – Badger Huts & Early Mining in Mineral Point and Surrounding Area @ 1:00 p.m.

Location is Mineral Point’s First United Methodist Church located at 400 Doty Street

Join us as we explore Wisconsin’s “badger holes,” or “badger huts,” as they are more aptly called. Tracey is a history professor emerita at UW-Platteville who has done considerable research on Wisconsin’s badger huts. She will share with us tales of her badger hut explorations, more about their construction and usage, and other early mining dwellings in early Wisconsin.

Sun , March 5th – A Heart of Winter ~ Gathering of Readers @ 1:00 p.m.

Location is Orchard Lawn

located at 234 Madison Street, Mineral Point WI


We will take turns reading aloud 5-minute excerpts of works by our favorite authors. Prepare a reading of prose or poetry that you’d like to share. Choose to read a 4-line poem. Or several people may prepare a dramatic reading. 5 minutes or less per reader.

It is a party, of course. So come, have fun, break up the winter tedium, and join us for a gathering at Orchard Lawn, with maybe a fire in the fireplace, a bit of food and drink, a few good books, and thou.

If interested in reading call 608.558.1937 or email Michelle @


Sun , March 26th – Lyceum #3 ~ Genealogy and DNA @ 1:00 p.m.

Location is First United Methodist Church

located at 400 Doty Street, Mineral Point WI

Mary Eberle is a biologist and former patent attorney with 30 years experience in the field of DNA research. She now owns DNA Hunters, LLC and has presented many DNA workshops and talks around the country. She initially used her scientific training to develop DNA testing for transplant patients. In her work, she finds people’s biological parents and helps people understand their DNA results.

DNA is a powerful tool for genealogy research. Whether a family mystery involves breaking through a dead end in a genealogical paper trail or determining who relatives or ancestors are, DNA might provide the key to unlock a family mystery. Ms. Eberle points out, however, that just as in any type of genealogical record, it’s important to understand what you’re looking at and where to search.

Mary’s talk will begin with an overview of the ways DNA is used for family research: the types of DNA, the best companies to use, which relatives to test, and how to interpret DNA test results, as well as how to combine individual DNA results with traditional genealogy methods. She will also provide an overview on how to use additional sites to find more relatives. Mary is trained to use genetic genealogy to help people with unknown parentage, such as adoptees, foundlings, and donor-conceived individuals. Mary Eberle will provide amazing stories of how she has helped others use DNA testing to break down genealogical barriers and find those missing relatives.

Whether you are a family genealogist trying to solve a family mystery or you are thinking about ordering a DNA test, but not sure which one, come to this presentation. If you are feeling overwhelmed now that you have your DNA results, come and learn more.

The Mineral Point Historical Society warmly welcomes you to attend this, our third lyceum of the season. The program is free. Refreshments will follow the presentation.

Sat, May 6th – Tea Party at Orchard Lawn from 2:00-3:00 p.m. 

Join us for tea and conversation at the historic Gundry House with the “Ten Dollar House” actors portraying the original owners, William Gundry & Margery King!


Sat, May 6th – Historic Open House & Historical Home Tours Ticket sales from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Sat , May 20th – Orchard Lawn Arboretum Dedication from 1:00 -4:00 p.m.

Location is Orchard Lawn

located at 234 Madison Street , Mineral Point WI

Joseph Gundry had a love of trees and plants, bringing a variety of specimens back to Gundry House following their travels abroad.   Using Joseph Gundry’s plant purchase lists and other historical records the Mineral Point Historical Society is able to identify some of the original trees planted by the Gundry family. Many of the trees located on the remaining acreage of Orchard Lawn are specimens that date back well over 100 years.

On May 20th 2017, the MPHS will celebrate the beautiful, majestic trees of Orchard Lawn with an arboretum dedication event. This dedication, beginning at 1pm, marks another step in the restoration and preservation work begun on this historic property many years ago.

The Orchard Lawn Arboretum dedication will bring focus to the large number of tree species on the property, which were identified using the above-mentioned Gundry documents as well as a Vegetation Analysis Plan completed in 1987. Documents such as these are used whenever restoration work is being done on the grounds.

Each tree species on the property have been identified using Quick Response (QR) code technology. This now common technology, allows visitors to Orchard lawn an opportunity to learn more about the individual tree species, using a smart phone. Using one of a number of free apps, a visitor scanning the QR code will automatically be linked to the Missouri Botanical Garden database and their information specifically on that type of tree. This technology was made possible thanks to the generous funding by the Jeffris foundation as well as the matching restoration donations made when MPHS was fundraising for that challenge grant.

The arboretum dedication at Orchard Lawn is destined to be a fun and educational experience for all! The day’s events will highlight the importance trees play in the preservation of a historic property in addition to their ongoing benefit to a community’s landscape.

Orchard Lawn is honored to be hosting tree expert and consulting arborist, R. Bruce Allison who will speak on “Trees’ role in our history.”   Mr. Allison is an internationally recognized expert in advanced technology in tree decay, detection and tree risk assessment and is the author of three books: Every Root Has an Anchor, Wisconsin’s Champion Trees and If Trees Could Talk. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Cooperative Reseracher at USDA Forest Products Lab.

In addition to Mr. Allisons’ presentation, Orchard Lawn will host a series of afternoon events that include:

  • Self-guided arboretum tour
  • Mineral Point Chamber Music
  • Tree planting
  • Tree inspired art projects
  • 19 Century yard games
  • Refreshments

Please join this fun and informative event as we celebrate the heritage of Mineral Point’s trees at Orchard Lawn!


Jammin’ on the Porch on Friday the 9th @ 6-8 PM with The Dang-its!


Field trip to Aztalan, June 8th

Aztalan State Park is a Native American site about 1200 years located east of Madison.  Aztalan is a National Historic Landmark and contains one of Wisconsin’s most important archaeological sites. It showcases an ancient Middle-Mississippian village that thrived             between A.D. 1000 and 1300. The people who settled Aztalan built large, flat-topped pyramidal mounds and a stockade around their village.

We will take our own cars (and carpool with friends) to travel to Aztalan State Park, where the state archaeologist will speak to us and share some of the history of this early site. Bring a lunch and we will picnic on the grounds after our tour. The park has picnic tables, a soda vending machine, not-too-fancy restrooms, and a small visitor center. The park has shuttles for those who are unable to walk the entire site. Check in with us closer to the time of the trip if you need transportation. We will try to help people ride together in shared vehicles. Note: if you are bringing your car, a state parks sticker will be required for each vehicle. RSVP if you need transportation or a shuttle when you get   there.

Keep posted for more information!


Volunteer Job Fair

June 10th at Orchard Lawn, 1-4

Nonprofits! Come, set up a booth and show and tell volunteers what you may require from them to help you carry out your mission. Volunteers! Come, view many, varied volunteer opportunities available in our area. See how you can help! This is an opportunity for nonprofits and volunteers to get together all in one place to find your best volunteer match!

There will be food vendors and picnicking on the grounds.



Jammin’ on the Porch on Friday the 14th @ 6-8PM with Stay Tuned!



Jammin’ on the Porch on Friday the 11th @ 6-8 with Mascot Theory!


Kids’ Fossil Workshop August 12th @ 1-3 @ First United Methodist Church

Jim Kostorhrys will be back to offer a workshop mostly for kids. So, kids, bring your fossils and have Jim tell you about them. Jim also has a collection of rocks and fossils given to him by the late Roland Sardeson. Everyone who attends will receive a piece of Roland’s collection!



Jammin’ on the Porch on Friday the 8th @ 6-8 with Dan Law and the Mannish Boys!



Christmas Caroling on High. December 2. Meet at 6 o’clock at the Cornish Pocket Park next to the Opera House. We will carol for about an hour. Wear Victorian-style dress, if you have it. Bring your own songbook or we will provide.


Victorian Christmas at Orchard Lawn, 1-4. Date Dec. 9 Keep posted for details!


Private Events

We will be closed to the public on the following dates in 2017 for Private Events at Orchard Lawn:

May 27th, 2017

June 3rd, 2017

June 24th, 2017

July 15th, 2017

August 19th, 2017

August 26th, 2017

September 14th, 2017

September 16th, 2017

October 7th, 2017