Where Past Meets Present

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about RCHS? Take a look at our list of Frequently Asked Questions to find all you need to know before you arrive. Enjoy the campus!

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Browse Questions and Answers in these categories:

What is the Rock County Historical Society?

RCHS is the Rock County Historical Society. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization, founded in 1948 and located in Janesville, Wisconsin. We serve the entirety of Rock County, Wisconsin in promoting local and regional stories and exploring our past.

How does the Lincoln Tallman Museum fit in?

The Lincoln-Tallman Museum is operated by the RCHS, and owned by the City of Janesville. The City and RCHS have a lease agreement in place that ensures the house and its grounds will be used as a museum forever. It is one of five historic sites on the grounds that we like to call a campus.

What are your hours?

Location 2024
RCHS Legacies Museum

    The Heartbeat of GM, Parker Pen, and Pickard China Exhibits.

      Thursday-Saturday
      10 AM - 4 PM
    RCHS Artisan's Gift Shop

      Original art and unique gifts.
      Thursday-Saturday
      10 AM - 4 PM
    Lincoln-Tallman Museum

      2024 Mansion Tours
      Thursday-Saturday

      11 AM, 12 PM, 1 PM, 2 PM
      All tours begin at the Gift Shop
      426 N. Jackson
    Questions 608.756.4509
    Accommodation requests [email protected]

    What educational programs does RCHS offer?

    RCHS offers a wide range of educational programming throughout the year.

    Be sure to check our event calendar for more details!

    Are these programs for everybody?

    Not every educational program will appeal to everyone, but everyone is certainly welcome to join us! We try to offer a wide range of programs, so that there is something for everyone to enjoy. RCHS is here for you and we welcome all people!

    I have an idea for a program. Who should I contact?

    If you have an idea for a program, and want to share or co-lead that program with us, please contact RCHS Operations at 608-756-4509 x1003. We’re open to your ideas!

    I’m writing a newspaper article and I need a quote about something historical; who should I speak to?

    We are happy to help you with your newspaper article! If you need anything, please contact RCHS’s Executive Director  at 608-756-4509 x1004 .

    How many tours are offered?

    Find out more by clicking here.

    Do you have ADA accessible options?

    Yes! We have an ADA lift in the Lincoln-Tallman Museum that offers access to the first floor. In addition, guests are invited to view videos of inaccessible floors at no additional charge.

    Do I Need To Make A Reservation?

    Tour availability may change with seasons and events on campus. We encourage guests to call in advance for tour availability. Our phone number is (608) 756-4509.

    Volunteer FAQ

    How do I apply?

    To apply for a volunteer position, please complete the VOLUNTEER APPLICATION, and send it to us!  For anyone under the age of 18 years, please make sure to have a parent or guardian sign your application.

    What positions are available?

    Click HERE for a list of our current available positions.  We have both single-time events as well as ongoing opportunities available.  Pick an option that works best for your schedule!

    Please let us know if there is a special project that you are interested in working on!

    Who can volunteer?

    RCHS is always looking for passionate historians who love to share their gifts with the community. There are positions available for adults, high school students, and groups!

    Do I need a background check?

    RCHS requires all staff and volunteers to pass a background check.

    What are the benefits of being a volunteer?

    Volunteers at RCHS enjoy a range of benefits—in addition to meeting some of the most interesting people in Rock County, our volunteers are also invited to an Annual Volunteer Dinner, as well as smaller recognition events throughout the year.

    Internship FAQ

    How do I apply?

    All interested applicants should complete the INTERN APPLICATION.  Please note the seasonal deadlines for annually posted positions! .

    What positions are available?

    Click HERE for a list of our current available positions.

    Please let us know if there is a special project that you are interested in working on!

    Can I be an intern if I am not currently a student?

    Anyone interested in working with RCHS toward an academic goal, but who is not a current student, is encouraged to apply for a volunteer position—some positions can be either volunteer or intern.  We reserve the title of intern for those working toward a credit through a university, but also encourage those who are looking to work in a museum-related field to consider us when they are looking for experience that can help them meet their goals!

    Where do you hold ceremonies and receptions?

    We hold ceremonies in any of our venues. Intimate parties will have the most selection and large gatherings will enjoy the use of the grounds and multiple venues. Parties up to 55 guests may consider the Lincoln-Tallman Museum for their ceremony. Ceremonies over 55 guests and all receptions have the option of the Tallman Carriage House or our beautiful grounds and grand porches.

    Are our guests able to tour the Lincoln-Tallman House?

    Absolutely. We have a number of special options that you can add to your rental package.

    Do you have spaces for the wedding party to get ready beforehand?

    Yes we have a number of options that the bride and groom and their wedding party can use to get ready! Let us know when you visit the site and we can show them to you.

    If we are having an outdoor event, what do we do if it rains?

    Please take precautions for the possibility of rain through tent rentals. We can refer you to an outside rental company for specific sizes.  Rental tents may have flooring and be enclosed to keep wind and rain away from your beautiful dinner or dance.

    Are we allowed to choose our own caterers?

    As long as the caterer that you choose has a catering license, we are happy to let you choose your own! Feel free to ask us for any recommendations.

    Can we bring in our own alcohol?

    All alcohol must be purchased through the Rock County Historical Society. Absolutely no carry-ins of any kind are allowed. We have open bar, cash bar, and combination bar options to make sure that you get exactly what you need.  If you have special requests for alcohol, you may share those requests and we will do our best to accommodate your wishes.

    What kinds of decorations are we able to bring?

    You may bring your own decorations as long as they will not cause any lasting damage to the site. Nails, glitter, flame, confetti, and smoke machines are not allowed.

    May we have a rehearsal the evening before our wedding?

    Yes, all rental time is available to book by the hour. Rehearsal fees are not included in day-of rental time. However, the event coordinator will make sure you feel comfortable with all visits leading up to your event. 

    How soon in advance of our rental time are we able to come and start setting up?

    Your rental time will include prep time. Please allow for as much time as you will need to set up and take down your items when you schedule.

    Where can we hold our party or event?

    We hold events with up to a total of 55 guests in the Lincoln-Tallman House—and you can pick the room! You can hold larger celebrations with over 55 guests on our beautiful grounds and grand porches.

    Are our guests able to tour the Lincoln-Tallman House?

    Absolutely. We have a number of special options that you can add onto your rental package.

    If we are having an outdoor event, what do we do if it rains?

    If your guest count is 55 or under, we are able to relocate your ceremony to the inside of the Lincoln-Tallman House. Otherwise, please take precautions for the possibility of rain through tent rentals. The RCHS can rent tents to you, or we can refer you to an outside rental company for specific sizes.

    Are we allowed to choose our own caterers?

    As long as the caterer that you choose has a catering license, we are happy to let you choose your own! We also have a list of caterers that we have worked with in the past so feel free to ask us for any recommendations.

    Can we bring in our own alcohol?

    All alcohol must be purchased through the Rock County Historical Society. Absolutely no carry-ins of any kind are allowed. We have open bar, cash bar, and combination bar options to make sure that you get exactly what you need.

    What kinds of decorations are we able to bring?

    You may bring your own decorations as long as they will not cause any lasting damage to the site. Nails, glitter, flame, confetti, and smoke machines are not allowed.

    Are we able to have a DJ and dance floor?

    Due to the fragile nature of the artifacts—and low-hanging gasoliers–we do not allow dance floors in the Lincoln-Tallman House. We are flexible with music and DJs, so feel free to reach out directly to RCHS staff for approval.  Perhaps you would like to add a vendor’s rental tent outdoors and bring a DJ there.  These tents can come with flooring for dances.

    How soon in advance of our rental time are we able to come and start setting up?

    Your rental time will include prep time. Please allow for as much time as you will need to set up and take down your items when you schedule.

    What amenities do you have for business meetings?

    Our Lower Gallery of the Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center has Wi-Fi, an AV system, a podium, tables and chairs to seat up to 75 guests.

    Where do you hold business meetings and what are the capacities of each?

    Depending on your set-up and needs, you may have up to 75 people in the lower gallery of the Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center, 55 people in the Lincoln-Tallman House, and 20 people in the Charles Tallman Archives & Research Center.

    Are our guests able to tour the Lincoln-Tallman House?

    Absolutely. We have a number of special options that you can add to your rental package. Ask RCHS Development Manager for details at [email protected].

    Do you provide catering?

    While we do not have our own catering service, we have a great relationship with a number of local caterers to whom we can refer you! You are also free to choose your own caterer and, as long as they have a catering license, they may be used!

    How soon in advance of our rental time are we able to come and start setting up?

    Your rental time will include your set up time. Please allow for as much time as you will need to set up and take down your items when you schedule.

    How many artifacts does RCHS own?

    This is a tough one! We have had over 5,000 donations since the museum’s opening in 1951. Some donations have only one item and others have hundreds. Does a set of china count as 36 individual pieces or one set?  We have been transferring information from catalog cards into a software program and have recorded 12,730 items as of Dec. 2015.  We have around 23,200 donation cards, which does not include archival materials.

    How do I make a donation?

    Please contact the Curator/Collections Manager at the museum before bringing items in. We need to determine the Rock County connection, provenance, condition and verify the fit within our collection guidelines. We require a signed and completed Deed of Gift for legal purposes.

    What are the collection guidelines?

    The Rock County Historical Society has a written policy about items that will be accepted into the collection. The items need to be consistent with the RCHS mission, not be duplicated, something we can adequately store, conserve and care for, in good condition, free of restrictions and have a clear and legal title.

    How do I determine my tax write off for a donation?

    The Rock County Historical Society cannot provide an appraisal.  We suggest checking published price guides or contacting an appraiser.

    How do I protect my historical collections at home?

    Collection care is individual to the item type – paper, textile, wood, metal, etc.  In general, items should be protected from direct sunlight, stored flat, and handled as little as possible while wearing white cotton gloves.  Use acid free materials for mounting and storing.  We would be happy to provide a list of resources for acid free materials and care suggestions.

    How long does a Frances Willard School program take?

    The program lasts an hour and a half. We have two sessions a day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Programs are offered from late April to early June.

    How do I schedule a visit?

    You can either call the museum center (608-756-4509 – ext. 304) or send an email to the Education Curator at [email protected]. The program does fill up quickly and please note this is based on a first come, first served basis.

    Why should I bring my students to this program?

    This program meets both Common Core and Wisconsin and Illinois state standards in a variety of school subjects. More importantly, this is a fun and interactive experience that kids remember. Students will do activities that children did in this one-room school many years ago.

    All right, you convinced me! Are there any activities I can do to help prepare my students for the experience?

    Yes! Be sure to take a look at this great teacher’s resource for pre and post visit activities you can do with your students at school.

    Can we dress up?

    Sure thing! We encourage all students to come and play the part of a 19th century one room school student. This program is trying to get kids immersed in history and the deeper the immersion the better!

    How about souvenirs? Are we able to get some?

    Each student coming to the program will get a souvenir card that is theirs to keep. Additionally, teachers can elect to make a purchase order for items in our gift shop that pertain to the schoolhouse. If interested, please call (608) 756-4509 ext. 305. The gift shop is open for individual child purchases if the school leaders agree.

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    Our Mission

    2021 RCHS Logo

    The Rock County Historical Society enriches and engages the communities in Rock County, Wisconsin through preservation and dissemination of the unique history and heritage of our area.

     

    Gathering here today in the Rock River Valley, the Rock County Historical Society (RCHS) acknowledges the Indigenous People whose ancestors thrived for thousands of years in this region. RCHS welcomes all the First Nations as the nations pass along their native language and traditions to younger generations.

    Learn more about RCHS

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    Visit Us

    RCHS Museum & Visitor Center
    426 N. Jackson St.
    Janesville, WI  53548
    (608) 756-4509
    View hours

    Lincoln Tallman Museum
    440 N. Jackson St.
    Janesville, WI  53548
    (608) 756-4509
    View hours