Where Past Meets Present

Sharing Stories

Read on for stories about people in and around our county.

Dan Koelher

Meet Dan Koehler, the RCHS intern who unearthed a lost treasure

Katherine McCully, 11th Grade

Read how COVID-19 has affected the life of Katherine McCully, an 11th-grade student at TAGOS Leadership in Academy in Janesville.

Elizabeth McCully, 10th Grade

Read how COVID-19 has affected the life of Elizabeth McCully, a 10th-grade student at TAGOS Leadership in Academy in Janesville.

Chloe Levy, 10th Grade

Read how COVID-19 has affected the life of Chloe Levy, a 10th-grade student at TAGOS Leadership in Academy in Janesville.

Anonymous Student, 12th Grade

Read how COVID-19 has affected the life of an anonymous 12th-grade student at TAGOS Leadership in Academy in Janesville.

Joey Ortega-Nieves, 10th Grade

Read how COVID-19 has affected the life of Joey Ortega-Nieves, a 10th-grade student at TAGOS Leadership in Academy in Janesville.

James Raychel, 8th Grade

Read how COVID-19 has affected the life of Jaymes Rachel, an 8th-grade student at TAGOS Leadership in Academy in Janesville.

The Schlueter Company

The RCHS Spotlight focuses on the story of a local business, service club, or nonprofit organization which partners with the Rock County Historical Society to support our various events and initiatives.

Milly Babcock

Milly Babcock is the former Director of Catering and Banquet Sales for The Hoffman House; former co-owner of Babcock Outdoor Advertising, Inc.; former President of Janesville Noon Rotary Club; a YWCA Woman of Distinction recipient; and a lifelong community supporter and volunteer.

Sister Mary Denise

Sister Mary Denise is the former Director of Nursing and Administrator at St. Elizabeth Nursing Home, and a seamstress for Stuffed Animals and Baby Item Fundraisers.

Paul Murphy

Paul Murphy is an independent freight agent with Ikon Transportation; President of the Janesville Velo Club; organizer of Janesville’s Gran Prix Bike Race; and a former Janesville City Council Member.

Harry Hauri

Harry Hauri is a Rock County farmer, retired Fairbanks Morse Employee, World War II Army veteran paratrooper, and developed the “Where Tears Run Deep” Memorial Path at Rotary Botanical Gardens.

Janesville Noon Rotary

The RCHS Spotlight focuses on the story of a local business, service club, or nonprofit organization which partners with the Rock County Historical Society to support our various events and initiatives.

Lucille Sunby

The late Lucille Sunby was a former Physical Therapy Manager, retired from the Business Office of Milton College, and a supporter of the Milton College Preservation Society.

Frank Douglas

Frank Douglas is a World War II Veteran, Normandy Invasion; Wisconsin Teacher of the Year Recipient – 1985; Founder of the Frank Douglas Living Scholarship; Retired Geography/Global Studies Teacher; and Author.

Paulette Melvin

Paulette Melvin is a retired educator; member of the Carrie Jacobs Bond Questers; former State Questers Board Member; former Janesville Area Retired Educators Board member; former Rock County Historical Society Board Member; antique dealer; and memoirs writer.

Tim Maahs

Getting to know the new Rock County Historical Society Executive Director.

Tom & Cheryl Skelly

Tom and Cheryl Skelly are the founders of Skelly’s Farm Market.

Janesville Morning Rotary

The RCHS Spotlight focuses on the story of a local business, service club, or nonprofit organization which partners with the Rock County Historical Society to support our various events and initiatives.

Jim Dumke

Jim Dumke is a retired Attorney, Civil War Reenactor, and a Rock County Historical Society Tour Guide.

Wanda Sloan

Wanda Sloan is the retired HR Diversity/Staff Development Specialist at Blackhawk Technical College, former Student Advisor at Blackhawk Technical College, State Youth Advisor for the Wisconsin Chapter of the NAACP, former Board Member of League of Women Voters, one of the leaders in Preservation of The Fairbanks Flats, and a Civil Rights Activist.

Jackie Wood

Jackie Wood is the co-owner and manager of Olde Towne Mall, Emeritus Board Member of RCHS, Board Member of the Kandu Foundation, member of Downtown Janesville, Inc., member of the Janesville Historic Commission, former Rock County Board of Supervisors, former President of The Women’s Club, former President of United Way, and former President of YWCA.

Sherry Kuelz

Sherry Kuelz is the President and Co-Founder of the CAMDEN Foundation.

Tim Cullen

Tim Cullen is the Vice President of the Rock Aqua Jays Water Ski Club, Inc., Chair of the Janesville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Owner of Roundhouse Marketing, and a Spin Instructor at Janesville Athletic Club.

Nancy Belle Douglas

Nancy Belle Douglas is a former Professor of Art History at Milton College, and former President of the Janesville Art League.

Mary Mueller

Mary Mueller is a Certified Religious Educator and Youth Minister at St. John Vianney, former Religious Education Director at St. John Vianney, and she and her husband, Larry, are Rock County Foster Parents.

Lyke Family

This week’s Focus In story was written and submitted by Jim Lyke of Milton, WI. It details his family’s 160+ year history in Rock County.

Mark Dwyer

Mark Dwyer is the Director of Horticulture at Rotary Botanical Gardens and Forward Janesville’s 2018 Educator of the Year.

Earl Schultz

Earl Schultz – “The Ice Man” – is a U.S. Army Veteran, retired Owner/Operator of City Ice Company, former Board of Trustees for the Rock County Historical Society, and former President of the Great Lakes Ice Association.

Dave Parrish

Dave Parrish is a retired Episcopal Priest and Director of the Blue Velvet Dance Orchestra.

Larry Squire

Larry Squire is the Regional President of Johnson Bank, President Elect of Janesville Morning Rotary Club, Mercyhealth Community Board Member, and Forward Janesville Board Member.

Rich Fletcher

Rich Fletcher is the Vice President of Fletcher Pump Distributing, a Janesville Historic Walking Tour Guide, Board Member of the Janesville Performing Arts Center, and an Olympics Volunteer.

Camilla Owen

Camilla Owen is a Retired Educator, Tennis Coach, Organizer of the WIAA State Tennis Tournament, Organizer of the WIC College and the Midwest Conference Tournaments, Co-Organizer of the Janesville Community Alliance Network, and a member of the Janesville Multicultural Teacher Scholarship Fund.

Stan Milam

Stan Milam is a U.S. Army Veteran, Bronze Star Recipient – Vietnam, Radio News Broadcaster for THE BEAT, Former Radio Host of “The Stan Milam Show” on WCLO and The BIG AM 1380, Former Janesville Gazette Reporter, and Former WCLO News Director.

Edie Baran

Edie Baran is the Executive Director of the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra, Community Theater Director/Actress/Educator, and Co-Founder of Spotlight on Kids.

Diane Quade

Diane Quade is the United Methodist Women Legacy Fund Coordinator for the State of Wisconsin, former Chair of Janesville Southeastern 4-H Fair Club, Absentee Ballot Coordinator for Rock County, and a Dedicated Community Volunteer.

William Hyzer

William Hyzer is a U.S. Navy Veteran, Engineer, Physicist, World-Renowned Inventor, Photographer, and Author.

Tony Huml

Tony Huml is the Founder and President of Close The Gate Hoops, Co-Founder of Janesville Basketball Association, Founder of Local Vision TV, a former Social Studies Teacher, Forward Janesville’s 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a 2017 Janesville Hall of Fame Inductee.

Margaret & Ron Delaney

Ron is a retired electrician; both Ron and Margaret are long-time Rock County Historical Society supporters, Look West neighborhood leaders, Historic Homes enthusiasts, and community volunteers.

Edmund Halabi

Edmund Halabi is the owner/operator of Italian House.

O’Zell Golden

The Rev. O’Zell Golden is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Minister of God’s Word, Civil Rights activist, and advocate for the African American community.

Alan & Betty Dunwiddie

Betty is a former employee of Merchants Bank and former volunteer at Rock County Historical Society. Alan is a retired Merchants Bank President, former RCHS Board Member, former President of the Janesville Foundation and co-founder of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin.

Joe Pregont

Joe Pregont is the President and CEO of Prent Corporation.

Elsie Van Tassell

Elsie Van Tassell is a retired Theater Actress/Director and a 2015 Arts Hall of Fame Award Recipient.

Dale Henning

Dale Henning is a U.S. Navy Veteran, and a retired electrical engineer and stockbroker at Wells Fargo.

Jose Carrillo

José Carrillo of Janesville is a retired General Motors employee, and an activist/advocate for the Latino community.

Laurel Fant

Laurel Fant is the Rock County Historical Society’s Museum Curator/Collections Manager. She plans to retire in November 2017.

Marv Wopat

Marv Wopat is a retired UAW-GM Employee Assistance Program Representative, an Alcohol & Drug Addiction Treatment/Recovery Volunteer, and a Community Activist.

Arlene Shea

Arlene Shea reminisces about what downtown Janesville was like in the 1950s, including time she spent working at the Woolworths store.

Tony Farrell, Sr.

Tony Farrell, Sr. is the former owner of Voigt Music, Outreach Coordinator for the Coroner Medical Examiner’s Association, Volunteer Director of the Suicide Prevention Network and Safety Series, and a Neuroscience Researcher.

Sister Lauretana Gorman

Sister Lauretana Gorman, O.P., of Janesville is a Sinsinawa Dominican Sister.

Quint Studer

Quint Studer is founder of the Studer Group, founder of the Studer Community Institute, chairman of Sacred Heart Health System, Inc., a nationally recognized speaker and published author.

Peg Vechinsky

Peg Vechinsky is a retired Registered Nurse and JPAC volunteer, and a supporter of the arts.

Paul Tropp

Paul Tropp of Janesville is manager of the Edgerton Performing Arts Center and a professional piano tuner.

Kathy Boguszewski

Kathy Boguszewski is the RCHS Volunteer/Intern Recruiter and a retired School Library and Instructional Technology Coordinator for the School District of Janesville.

Joe Quaerna

Joe Quaerna is the owner/operator of O’Riley & Conway’s Irish Pub in downtown Janesville.

Santo Carfora

Santo Carfora of Janesville is a former Social Studies educator, owner of S&J Consulting LLC, and past president of Diversity Action Team.

Ken Corey

Ken Corey of Janesville is a World War II veteran and owner/operator of Dubes Jewelry Store, the oldest such store in Janesville.

Leon Freeburg

Leon Freeburg of Janesville is a U.S. Army Veteran and retired social worker.

Wes Paul

Wes Paul of Janesville is a Vietnam veteran who was interviewed during the 2017 Vets Rolls trip to Washington, D.C.

Tim Pogorelski

Tim Pogorelski is the owner/operator of Boxcar Pub & Grub in Clinton, WI and also serves as a Bus Leader for the Vets Roll organization.

Christina & Jim Piccione

Christina & Jim Piccione are the owner/operators of Jim’s Pizzeria in Janesville.

Thelma Wilcox

Thelma Wilcox is a Retired Orchestra Teacher/Director and Suzuki Violin Instructor, and Organist/Choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Steve Dean

Steve Dean is the owner of Mocha Moment in Janesville.

Jaleh Dabiri

Jaleh Dabiri is the owner of Hilltop International Pub in downtown Janesville.

Kevin Murray

Tell me about a woman or women who have had a positive influence in your life: Three People come to my mind, and two are in my family. First is my grandmother, Irene Chamberlin. When I was about 7, we were in a restaurant, and my order came wrong, my lunch, and she stood up […]

Nancy Nienhuis

Memories of life in Rock County My family came out of the potato famine from Scotland and Northern Ireland. Born on this farm, I grew up here. I had to milk the cows. At that time, of course, we had no phone, no electricity, so used candlelight and wood stoves. Our water was from the […]

Naomi Hackbarth

Memories of Life in Rock County (1941-1958) We moved to a farm in Harmony Township in June of 1941. In September, I entered first grade at Blackhawk Country School on Ruger Avenue. The school had no running water or indoor plumbing. Since I was quite small, I had to have a box under my feet. […]

Al Hulick

Memories of Life in Rock County I lived in a house on “the edge of town”. It was along the Greenbelt and the creek ran close by. So much of my youth was spent playing at the creek, much like stories of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer’s adventures from Mark Twain, using debris and wood […]

Eric Beck

“Eric knows everybody, and that’s only a slight exaggeration.” -Rita Beck. Meet Eric B. Beck, a man who knows everyone in the Janesville (and most of the Rock County) community.  66 years old and Milton College ’73 graduate, he has been closely tied to the Rock County community all of his life, growing up in […]

John Scott

“There have been instances that people have told me you can’t do this, or you can’t do that, and that’s part of the reason I think I’ve succeeded. Because of people telling me I can’t do something. My philosophy in law enforcement was, if you can dream it, you can do it. If you want […]

Fairbanks Flats

What Rock County city was once known as “Jim Crow Town” and is home to only one of two company built segregated housing complexes in all of the United States?   If you guessed the city of Beloit, you are correct! If a minority stayed in the same site for twenty years, they typically would […]

Deb Perry

Beloit Historical Society this season is putting on a string of four events called Putting Down Roots. Each of these four events will highlight a different group that make up Beloit’s History. First Settlers/Native Americans (Jan), African Americans Settle in Beloit (Feb), The Tide of Immigration Begins (March) and Beloit: New Home to Hispanic Immigrants […]

Sundown Towns in Rock County

What do the towns Clinton, Milton, and Plymouth, as well as the cities of Evansville and Janesville have in common with one another (beyond all being a part of Rock County)? The answer- All of the listed towns and cities above share the same history of being sundown towns. And what exactly are sundown towns? […]