The New Welcome Center!
In 2022, OCHS tackles the creation of a new entrance and "Welcome Center" in the Draeger House. Donations are appreciated! The 1897 Draeger House is a European half-timber architectural style that is being restored and reconfigured for this purpose. The building will be ADA accessible with a well-lighted entry. Restoration aspects of the project entail bringing new electrical service to the building, widening the doorways, creating a secure gated entry point and building a boardwalk and ramp to enter. The exterior trim will be painted, while the interior floor will be refinished. Some of the interior amenities will include the installation of internet service to provide credit card processing capability and WI-FI accessibility. Rotating themed exhibits will showcase various collections of artifacts and will provide a preview of what visitors will experience when they walk back in time. A permanent exhibit room of an 1800’s dress shop and millinery will provide a space to display part of OCHS’s vast textile and clothing collections.
The Ozaukee County Historical Society launched a public appeal in early 2020 to fund a much needed restoration project on the historic Cedarburg Train Station located in OCHS’s Pioneer Village. Due to the generosity of many individuals and foundations, much of the work was funded and progress began, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
During 2020, terribly worn siding and trim boards were replaced in the peaks and on the east side of the building, the old concrete steps were replaced and designed to bear the imprinted date of 1907, consistent with the original steps. The old platform was removed and a freight ramp and platform were designed and constructed to ADA specifications, allowing visitors with disabilities to be able to easily enter and enjoy the train station for the first time.
In the spring of 2021, the major work of stripping and painting the exterior of the depot and replacing the old entry doors with custom doors built to the specifications of the original blueprints was completed. Also, new transom windows were hand-crafted to replace those that had previously been boarded over and vintage porcelain shade lights were installed on the platform overhang.
Restoration of the interior elements of the train station included: 1) restoring the hardwood maple floors, damaged boards with reclaimed maple, 2) repairing plaster and painting walls according to the Milwaukee Road blueprint color scheme, 3) replacing the freight door with a six-panel sliding door per the Milwaukee Road original blueprint, 4) refinishing the original Ford & Johnson Co. oak benches, 5) replacing interior lights with vintage porcelain shade lights from the 1940s, 6) refinishing & restoring the historic 1871 desk, and, 7) design & fabricate exhibits for the 1920-1940 period of restoration.