Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Historic Preservation Meets with Elcho Historical Society

By Richard D. Ackley, Jr.
Members of the Elcho Historical Society gathered with members of the Cultural Committee and the Tribal Historic Preservation Office last Wednesday to bring awareness of a new project involving the restoration of Woodman Hall in Elcho.
The Elcho Historical Society has a desire to integrate Sokaogon Tribal history with the accounts of advancing settlers, farmers and the forefathers who originally established Elcho. Woodman Hall, a wood structure built in 1908, was part of the Chicago & North Western Railway and has served a variety of purposes over the past hundred years. The project is exploring the restoration and conversion of the building to a museum and education center.
Elcho, Pelican Lake and Post Lake have a long history as traditional hunting and gathering areas for the Sokaogon Chippewa. As part of the Ceded Territories, the Tribe continues to hunt, fish, and gather in the area. Historical Society members brought several historical Chippewa handmade items, including beadwork, deer hide moccasins, traditional clothing and small birch bark canoes, which are part of their collection.
During the meeting, a list of physical needs assessed for the building’s improvement was part of the discussion. Tribal Historic Preservation members offered ideas including grant writing, area research and creating a timeline. The Historic Preservation Office will also assist with historical and cultural information.
The Elcho Historical Society is exploring state restoration grants, area foundation donations, and aspires to obtain National Register status.