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Step into the Past: Explore History and Culture in Tomah

Tomah, Wisconsin has opportunities to explore a range of historical museums and cultural centers that could make for an exciting culture and history-filled weekend getaway. Nearby the Black River Falls region of the state, Tomah is home to Ho-Chunk culture and history. The historical commemorative area at Fort McCoy and the Tomah Area Historical Society are also sights to see, giving visitors a glimpse into the significant history of the area. Plan a visit to Tomah to check out these historic sites and learn more about the history and culture of this Wisconsin town.

Ho-Chunk Nation Museum and Cultural Center
The Ho-Chunk Nation Museum and Cultural Center is a local resource for promoting, sheltering, and preserving the past, present, and future of the Ho-Chunk way of life and culture. The center offers classes, presentations, and events rooted in teaching and experiencing the culture of the Ho-Chunk people. Whether you are of Ho-Chunk descent or not, the center welcomes all people to come and learn about the history and culture of the Ho-Chunk people, who have lived on this land long before everyone else. If you are seeking to learn about the history of the area, the Ho-Chunk Nation Museum and Cultural Center is a great place to start!

Tomah Area Historical Society
Another historical attraction to check out in Tomah is the Tomah Area Historical Society. Affiliated with the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, the museum is a non-profit educational organization that preserves the history of the area for generations to come. The museum has a variety of exhibits highlighting local history and significant historical figures, like Frank King and Chief Tomah. It is also a great place to explore the general history of Tomah. Admission to the museum is free for all, but donations are welcomed to keep the Tomah Area Historical Society up and running year after year.

Gasoline Alley
Located within the Tomah Area Historical Society, Gasoline Alley is one historical exhibit that you might not want to miss! Gasoline Alley is a comic (that is still being distributed by Tribune Media Services) that was created by Tomah resident Frank King in 1918. The comic is the second-longest running comic strip in the United States and has won many awards over the years. Come by to see the innovative ways that King successfully adapted and changed his comic throughout the years, and to learn about this significant part of the Tomah community.

Fort McCoy Commemorative Area
A final place to learn about history and culture in Tomah is the Fort McCoy Commemorative Area. Located on the nearby military base Fort McCoy, the commemorative area has a range of World War II-era buildings on site that were set aside to tell Fort McCoy’s unique history. The buildings depict soldier life during the 1940s including an administrative facility, a dining facility and one barracks. Visitors can tour the buildings and see a variety of items on display, such as bunks, footlockers and potbelly stoves. There are also informational displays highlighting the events of WWII. Visitors should note that the Commemorative Area and History Center are open to groups of 15 or more only. You can make an appointment by contacting the Public Affairs Office by phone or email. But the public has daily access to the Equipment Park and Veterans Memorial Plaza year-round between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.

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