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The Rock County Historical Society will be an ever evolving, heritage based organization that seeks to

use history as a tool to improve the quality of life and economic environs of Rock County, Wisconsin. It

will be an educational destination for adults and children alike, a community center where discovery and

learning await, and a site where people can create and share their stories and their heritage in their own

way. A unique model among historic sites, the Rock County Historical Society seeks to reshape its value

in Janesville and the Greater Rock County community in how local history is seen and used, culminating

in a vital community asset utilized daily to improve life in the area.

The redeveloped Historical Society is located north of downtown Janesville, Wisconsin and with Mercy

Health System as a neighbor, is part of the historic Look West Neighborhood. These entities represent the

northern anchor of Janesville’s downtown revitalization efforts, key assets in

developing a historic corridor

between downtown Janesville to these sites

. When complete, the Historical Society will be a cultural

compliment to the commercial and entertainment growth of the downtown, being a catalyst for an

improving local and tourist economy for Janesville and Rock County.

This Strategic Plan for the Rock County Historical Society was developed by

Experience Design in coordination with Historical Society staff, trustees and

constituents, between May and October of 2014. It is a

15-year, three phase

plan

that focuses on short and long term goals to evolve the organization, taking changing

museum trends and creative adaptive reuse of historic sites into consideration as

factors for strategic direction and growth of the Historical Society.

WHY HISTORY MATTERS