O.C.H. #11 - Gillett Historical Museum
In Wisconsin, United States
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This cache is part of a series of caches reflecting Oconto County History. Please respect the delicate nature of the surroundings, being careful not to damage vegetation and items that may be of historical significance. Reports of such nature will result in the archiving of these caches.
In 1854, the first white settler, Henry Tourtilotte set up a homestead in this area while trapping and trading with the Menominees and the Potawatomies. A young man by the name of Rodney Gillette traveling the Indian trails from Shawano to Oconto took a liking to the territory. It is said that in 1860 Mr. Gillette and his wife Mary purchased some land, sold it briefly to Mr. Tourtilott who deeded the land back to Rodney Gillette 5 months later.
After the Civil War, Mr. Gillette eventually had the land mapped and surveyed, and began to sell lots along what is now Main Street as more settlers established homesteads. From this, the city of Glllett was born. Mrs. Gillette was the first white woman to settle in Gillett Center, as it was then called. In 1870, the Gillette residence was also the area’s first post office with Mr. Gillette as the postmaster. With the completion of the railroad from Oconto to Clintonville in 1884, many new stores, shops, a cheese factory, and a brickyard sprang up. Today, what was once a forest primeval, is a rich agricultural town.
The Gillett Area Historical Museum, known as the Smith House, graces Main St. with its Victorian style and is home to much memorabilia of the days gone by. The house was built in 1908. This is the second house on this location. The original house was built by Rodney Gillette in the 1868 and sold to a Benjamin Goldberg, an attorney. It is thought that Mr. Goldberg torched the house as he was in the process of divorcing his wife who was the owner. Mr. Goldberg sold the property to Walter and Ruth Smith for $500.00 and Mr. Smith built the house using the foundation from the first house. Prior to the fire a young servant girl lived there and no account can by found of her after the fire. The Wausau Paranormal Research Society has done studies of the house for former occupants due to reported paranormal activity there…spooky! It is open for tours on Saturdays and Sundays, 1 - 4 p.m from May through Labor Day. Permission to place this cache was granted by Carol Riemer, President of the Gillett Area Historical Society.
The cache hiding place is winter friendly and holds a medium sized container that I took some creative liberties with. Please handle it carefully…I‘m not sure how long it will survive in its present state. It holds some good stuff for the kids. Please remember to trade even or up…no junk…so it maintains a quality swag supply. Thank you for your consideration.
Congratulations to HRNC for getting the FTF on their very first caching experience.
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Last Updated: on 6/29/2014 2:13:07 PM Pacific Daylight Time (9:13 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum