Wisconsin Historical Society, Old World Wisconsin

Internship Location: Eagle, WI

Organization Type: State government

Policy Areas: History

In the Summer of 2022, I had the opportunity to work at Old World Wisconsin, a historic site owned and operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Here I acted as an experience facilitator where I managed a historical space and interpreted the history and story of the location to visiting guests. I would take the historical information about the space I managed, such as where it came from and the history of the family that built and lived in it, then presented that information in an accessible way to a diverse array of guests. The goal was to create an interactive learning experience in the living history format that catered to both families and history buffs alike. The particular space I occupied was the 1890’s Danish house which contains a medicinal garden and a working hand pump that guests are encouraged to explore. The house itself was built by a Danish immigrant whose story is tragic and explains how not everyone who came to the United States in search of a better life necessarily thrived while doing so. Overall, the experience was very rewarding but exhausting. Interacting with our guests and helping them learn is great, the constant guest interaction in addition to the unrelenting heat as well as the need to memorize large tracts of information can be a bit much.