The Marquette County Historical Society is an all-volunteer, all donation operated 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It is located at 125 Lawrence Street in Westfield, Wisconsin, but serves all of Marquette County. The location includes the 1903 Cochrane Nelson house built by T. Harry Cochrane, son of Robert Cochrane, a settler from Westfield, New York, who built a mill on the local creek in 1850 and who owned the land platted for the Village of Westfield.
After Cochrane moved to Portage in 1906, Nels Nelson purchased the home. He owned and operated a grocery and ice cream parlor across the mill pond.
The Society also manages the Kerst/Cant/Robinson Exhibit and Research building which houses an extensive collection of early artifacts from the 14 Townships, 4 villages and 1 city of Marquette County as well as records that aid in genealogy research.
Also on the grounds is the Henry Ellis Section House filled with early railroad memorabilia and the Riverside School, one of the earliest school buildings in the county and the oldest one still standing. It is connected to John Muir, who spent his boyhood in Buffalo Township in Marquette County.
Marquette County owns the land and buildings which are managed by MCHS. MCHS donated funds are used for upkeep of the building and additions to the buildings as well as all collections and activity expenses. Marquette County has shared in the cost of house preservation and grounds improvements under the auspices of the Property Department of the County.
MCHS was started by a group of dedicated volunteers in 1962.
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125 Lawrence St Box 172
Westfield, WI 53964
Marquette County, Wisconsin is the boyhood home of John Muir, often called the Father of our National Parks.
Our grounds include the Nelson/Cochrane house, the restored Riverside Schoolhouse, and the Kerst research building and museum.