Due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Gov. Tony Evers’ Safer at Home order, the Octagon House Museum is delaying its opening for the 2020 season until Wednesday, June 3. The museum was originally scheduled to open on Saturday, May 2. The museum’s administrative team is working to restructure its guided tours to adhere to social distancing and safe gathering protocols.
The museum grounds are home to the First Kindergarten in America founded in Watertown by Margarethe Meyer Schurz, a restored pioneer barn, a delightful 1936 model of the Octagon House and a tour center with gift shop.
The museum relies heavily on income from guided tours to fund its operations, and it is anticipated that revenue will be reduced sharply this year with fewer guests visiting, and the possible cancelation of summer events. The Watertown Historical Society, which owns and operates the museum, is asking the community to please consider becoming society members, if they are not already, or to make a tax-deductible monetary donation to help offset the cost of ongoing expenses, which include utilities, security and maintenance costs. Membership and donation information can be found online at watertownhistory.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please call (920) 261-2796.