Where Past Meets Present

Frequently Asked Questions

The last thing we want is for you to get to our unique campus and be bogged down with questions. Take a look at our list of Frequently Asked Questions to find all you need to know before you arrive. Enjoy the campus!

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Browse Questions and Answers in these categories:

What is the Rock County Historical Society?

RCHS is the Rock County Historical Society. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization, founded in 1948 and located in Janesville, Wisconsin, but we serve the entirety of Rock County, Wisconsin in promoting local and regional stories and exploring our past.

How does the Lincoln Tallman House fit in?

The Lincoln-Tallman House is operated by the RCHS, and owned by the City of Janesville. The RCHS and the City have a lease agreement in place that ensures the house and its grounds will be used as a museum forever. It is one of five historic sites on the grounds that we like to call a campus.

What educational programs does RCHS offer?

RCHS offers a wide range of educational programming throughout the year. Specifically, we currently offer the following:

Story Time for children (1st Tuesday of the month)

Tallman Talk Education Program

Walking Tours around Rock County

 

Be sure to check our event calendar for more details!

How much do the programs usually cost?

Generally, we try to keep the cost low for educational programming, and a lot of our programs are totally FREE! We want to make sure that cost is not a barrier for people to come and see us.

Are these programs for everybody?

Not every educational program will appeal to everyone, but everyone is certainly welcome to join us! We try to offer a wide range of programs, so that there is something for everyone to enjoy. RCHS is here for you and we welcome all people!

I have an idea for a program. Who should I contact?

If you have an idea for a program and want to share it with us, or co-lead that program with us, contact our Education Curator, Nathan Fuller at 608-756-4509 ext.304. We can’t promise that all ideas will be developed, but we are certainly open to hear your ideas!

I am looking for a guest speaker from RCHS to come and speak to my group. Do you do this sort of thing and how much does it cost?

We can definitely work with you to create a presentation that will work for your group. The flat fee is $50. If interested, email Nathan Fuller, the Education Curator at nfuller@rchs.us.

I’m writing a newspaper article and I need a quote about something historical; who should I speak to?

We are happy to help you with your newspaper article! If you need anything please contact RCHS Marketing at 608-756-4509 ext. 303. All media requests are funneled to our Marketing and Outreach Coordinator who then funnels that information to our history gurus. They will then get back to you and get you the information you need

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Volunteer FAQ

How do I apply?

To apply for a volunteer position, please complete the VOLUNTEER APPLICATION, and send it to us!  For anyone under the age of 18 years, please make sure to have a parent or guardian sign your application.

What positions are available?

Click HERE for a list of our current available positions.  We have both single-time events as well as on-going opportunities available.  Pick an option that works best for your schedule!

Please let us know if there is a special project that you are interested in working on!

Who can volunteer?

RCHS is always looking for passionate historians who love to share their gifts with the community. There are positions available for adults, high school students, and groups!

Do I need a background check?

RCHS requires all staff and volunteers to pass a background check.

What are the benefits of being a volunteer?

Volunteers at RCHS enjoy a range of benefits—in addition to meeting some of the most interesting people in Rock County, our volunteers are also invited to an Annual Volunteer Dinner, as well as smaller recognition events throughout the year.

Internship FAQ

How do I apply?

All interested applicants should complete the INTERN APPLICATION.  Please note the seasonal deadlines for annually posted positions! .

What positions are available?

Click HERE for a list of our current available positions.

Please let us know if there is a special project that you are interested in working on!

Can I be an intern if I am not currently a student?

Anyone interested in working with RCHS toward an academic goal, but who is not a current student, is encouraged to apply for a volunteer position—some positions can be either volunteer or intern.  We reserve the title of intern for those working toward a credit through a university, but also encourage those who are looking to work in a museum-related field to consider us when they are looking for experience that can help them meet their goals!

Where do you hold ceremonies and receptions?

We hold ceremonies with up to a total of 55 guests in the Lincoln-Tallman House—and you can pick the room! Ceremonies over 55 guests and all receptions have the option of being held on our beautiful grounds and grand porches.

Are our guests able to tour the Lincoln-Tallman House?

Absolutely. We have a number of special options that you can add to your rental package.

Do you have spaces for the wedding party to get ready beforehand?

Yes we have a number of options that the bride and groom and their wedding party can use to get ready! Let us know when you visit the site and we can show them to you.

If we are having an outdoor event, what do we do if it rains?

If your guest count is 55 or under, we are able to relocate your ceremony to the inside of the Lincoln-Tallman House. Otherwise, please take precautions for the possibility of rain through tent rentals. The RCHS can rent tents to you, or we can refer you to an outside rental company for specific sizes.  Rental tents may have flooring and be enclosed to keep wind and rain away from your beautiful dinner or dance.

Are we allowed to choose our own caterers?

As long as the caterer that you choose has a catering license, we are happy to let you choose your own! We also have a list of caterers that we have worked with in the past, so feel free to ask us for any recommendations.

Can we bring in our own alcohol?

All alcohol must be purchased through the Rock County Historical Society. Absolutely no carry-ins of any kind are allowed. We have open bar, cash bar, and combination bar options to make sure that you get exactly what you need.  If you have special requests for alcohol, you may share those requests and we will do our best to accommodate your wishes.

What kinds of decorations are we able to bring?

You may bring your own decorations as long as they will not cause any lasting damage to the site. Nails, glitter, flame, confetti, and smoke machines are not allowed.

May we have a rehearsal the evening before our wedding?

Absolutely! Our “Ceremony” and “Make History” rental packages both come with a one-hour rehearsal that you can use before your rental date.

How soon in advance of our rental time are we able to come and start setting up?

Your rental time will include prep time. Please allow for as much time as you will need to set up and take down your items when you schedule.

Where can we hold our party or event?

We hold events with up to a total of 55 guests in the Lincoln-Tallman House—and you can pick the room! You can hold larger celebrations with over 55 guests on our beautiful grounds and grand porches.

Are our guests able to tour the Lincoln-Tallman House?

Absolutely. We have a number of special options that you can add onto your rental package.

If we are having an outdoor event, what do we do if it rains?

If your guest count is 55 or under, we are able to relocate your ceremony to the inside of the Lincoln-Tallman House. Otherwise, please take precautions for the possibility of rain through tent rentals. The RCHS can rent tents to you, or we can refer you to an outside rental company for specific sizes.

Are we allowed to choose our own caterers?

As long as the caterer that you choose has a catering license, we are happy to let you choose your own! We also have a list of caterers that we have worked with in the past so feel free to ask us for any recommendations.

Can we bring in our own alcohol?

All alcohol must be purchased through the Rock County Historical Society. Absolutely no carry-ins of any kind are allowed. We have open bar, cash bar, and combination bar options to make sure that you get exactly what you need.

What kinds of decorations are we able to bring?

You may bring your own decorations as long as they will not cause any lasting damage to the site. Nails, glitter, flame, confetti, and smoke machines are not allowed.

Are we able to have a DJ and dance floor?

Due to the fragile nature of the artifacts—and low-hanging gasoliers–we do not allow dance floors in the Lincoln-Tallman House. We are flexible with music and DJs, so feel free to reach out directly to RCHS staff for approval.  Perhaps you would like to add a vendor’s rental tent outdoors and bring a DJ there.  These tents can come with flooring for dances.

How soon in advance of our rental time are we able to come and start setting up?

Your rental time will include prep time. Please allow for as much time as you will need to set up and take down your items when you schedule.

What amenities do you have for business meetings?

Our Lower Gallery of the Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center has Wi-Fi, an AV system, a podium, tables and chairs to seat up to 75 guests.

Where do you hold business meetings and what are the capacities of each?

Depending on your set-up and needs, you may have up to 75 people in the lower gallery of the Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center, 55 people in the Lincoln-Tallman House, and 20 people in the Charles Tallman Archives & Research Center.

Are our guests able to tour the Lincoln-Tallman House?

Absolutely. We have a number of special options that you can add to your rental package. Ask RCHS Marketing for details at marketing@rchs.us.

Do you provide catering?

While we do not have our own catering service, we have a great relationship with a number of local caterers to whom we can refer you! You are also free to choose your own caterer and, as long as they have a catering license, they may be used!

How soon in advance of our rental time are we able to come and start setting up?

Your rental time will include your set up time. Please allow for as much time as you will need to set up and take down your items when you schedule. t.

How many artifacts does RCHS own?

This is a tough one! We have had over 5,000 donations since the museum’s opening in 1951. Some donations have only one item and others have hundreds. Does a set of china count as 36 individual pieces or one set?  We have been transferring information from catalog cards into a software program and have recorded 12,730 items as of Dec. 2015.  We have around 23,200 donation cards, which does not include archival materials.

How do I make a donation?

Please contact the Curator/Collections Manager at the museum before bringing items in. We need to determine the Rock County connection, provenance, condition and verify the fit within our collection guidelines. We require a signed and completed Deed of Gift for legal purposes.

What are the collection guidelines?

The Rock County Historical Society has a written policy about items that will be accepted into the collection. The items need to be consistent with the RCHS mission, not be duplicated, something we can adequately store, conserve and care for, in good condition, free of restrictions and have a clear and legal title.

How do I determine my tax write off for a donation?

The Rock County Historical Society cannot provide an appraisal.  We suggest checking published price guides or contacting an appraiser.

How do I protect my historical collections at home?

Collection care is individual to the item type – paper, textile, wood, metal, etc.  In general, items should be protected from direct sunlight, stored flat, and handled as little as possible while wearing white cotton gloves.  Use acid free materials for mounting and storing.  We would be happy to provide a list of resources for acid free materials and care suggestions.

How long does a tour of the Frances Willard School take?

About two hours. We have two sessions a day during the school season, one in the morning (9 to 11:15 AM) and one in the afternoon (12 to 2:15 PM).

How much does a tour for a school group cost?

$30 per class session. Payments can either be sent by mail or processed in person. Make appointments for school groups by calling 608-756-4509, x304.

How do I schedule a visit?

You can either call the museum center (608-756-4509 – ext. 304) or send an email to the Education Curator at nfuller@rchs.us. The program does fill up quickly and please note this is based on a first come, first served basis.

Why should I bring my students to this program?

This program meets both Common Core and Wisconsin state standards in a variety of school subjects. More importantly, this is a fun and interactive experience that kids remember. Students will do activities that children did in this one-room school many years ago.

All right, you convinced me! Are there any activities I can do to help prepare my students for the experience?

Yes! Be sure to take a look at this great teacher’s resource for pre and post visit activities you can do with your students at school.

Can we dress up?

Sure thing! We encourage all students to come and play the part of a 19th century one room school student. This program is trying to get kids immersed in history and the deeper the immersion the better!

How about souvenirs? Are we able to get some?

Each student coming to the program will get a souvenir card that is theirs to keep. Additionally, teachers can elect to make a purchase order for items in our gift shop that pertain to the schoolhouse. If interested, please call (608) 756-4509 ext. 305. The gift shop is open for individual child purchases if the school leaders agree.

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