In 1942, Walter and Ethel Smith moved to Eau Galle, Wisconsin and purchased 300 hives of bees. Along with the bees, they also had maple rich property in Arkansaw that they were able to tap and boil sap in a sugar house to make maple syrup. Walter and Ethel’s son, John, grew up working with these bees and tapping the trees for maple syrup.
As time went by, John and his wife, Shirley, eventually took over the family business and in 1980 moved the maple syrup operation to their home property in Eau Galle, expanding to over 1000 hives of bees.
The Dunn County Historical Society was organized in 1950. The first location was a former church on Wilson Street. In the late 1990s, thanks to a generous donation from Russell Rassbach,
it moved to the current location in Wakanda Park. It has since expanded into a campus with four buildings: the Rassbach Heritage Museum, Hilkrest School, the Mabel Tainter playhouse, and the Fulton and Edna Holtby Museum.
The Fulton and Edna Holtby Museum just opened this past November and teaches kids of all ages about inventions and technology.
The Rassbach Heritage Museum is open all year, Tuesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. The Rassbach Heritage Museum tells the story of Dunn County history from the Native American mound builders, through the fur trade to the more recent history of the Dunn County Asylum and of rural electrification.