Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart

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Chippewa Valley Museum Challenges You to Keep a Diary During These Historic Times

… and they’re offering prizes for kids, teens, and adults who do

Tom Giffey

Chula Margaret Remington, age 10, of Eau Claire, kept this diary in 1923. (Courtesy Chippewa Valley Museum)
Chula Margaret Remington, age 10, of Eau Claire, kept this diary in 1923. (Courtesy Chippewa Valley Museum)

Whether you recognize it or not, we’re all living through history RIGHT NOW. So why not put pen to paper (literally or virtually) and record that history? What you write can help you process your unique perspective and experiences in the here and now and also provide interesting (and historically valuable) information for future generations of your family, as well as the community and historical researchers.

Through its new “Dear Diary” project, the Chippewa Valley Museum is challenging Chippewa Valley residents to keep diaries during this historic time, when COVID-driven social distancing and the statewide “Safer at Home” order have given us both interesting experiences and a little more time on our hands than usual. Here’s what museum director Carrie Ronnander has to say:

“Diaries can sweep us into a world that we never saw, marvel at how different things were ‘back then,’ and reflect on how some things never really seem to change. ... Dear Diary is for you and the young people you know. We’re asking children and teens, and you, to keep a daily diary while you are at home, then share these diaries with the Chippewa Valley Museum. These stories will be kept in our archive, available for researchers for generations to come. All submitted diaries will be entered to win one of three prizes."

You can learn more about the project online at the museum’s website. Here are some more details:

CHALLENGE

Write in your diary everyday. It can be long. It can be short. It can be funny. It can be angry. Whatever you write about, it’s your story.

GUIDELINES

However you choose to keep your diary, paper or digital, please date each entry clearly.

CATEGORIES INCLUDE

• Kids up to 12
• Teens 13-17
• Adults 18+

BUT WHAT TO WRITE?

• What did you work on today?
• Who did you talk to today? About what?
• What are you happy about?
• What worries you?
• Whatever you’re thinking about ...

We'll let you know how to share your diary with us once the museum is open again. Each diary we receive will be entered in a drawing for one of three prizes per category!

If you have questions about the project, feel free to email the museum or visit its website. And if you’ve got a hankering for a local history experience while the museum is closed, check out its Facebook page as well as the Facebook page of the Dunn County Historical Society. Every day, via their Faceboook and Instagram accounts, the museums will be sharing amazing items from their collections, going from A to Z. The first few items have included accessories for a Barbie doll from 1965, a bullet fire during the robbery of a Menomonie bank in 1931, and an adorable curling doll from the 1920s.

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

Chippewa Valley Technical College

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.