Old Wausau signs find their home at Evolutions in Design

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 8:36 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Evolutions in Design owner Randy Verhasselt has a reputation— he’s the guy with a lot of signs.

“Some guy you know was walking around and he was like ‘You’re like a little Wausau museum,’ Verhasselt said with a laugh. “I’m like, ‘well, sort of’.”

It started with one Wausau sign, then grew into much more.

“People started like letting me know when things happened or they got a new sign or went out of business,” he said,

Each one has a special place in Wausau with a story of how and when Verhasselt came across it.

“They remember it from their childhood. And they’re like ‘I remember when this sign was..’ They come back to visit and it’s like a little piece of Wausau history,” Verhasselt said.

67 signs total are in Verhasselt’s possession from Wausau businesses. The entire collection is not in the store.

“It’s kind of fun. It’s fun to talk to people about it,” Verhasselt said, “Great conversation starter.”

But those that do crowd the walls fill the downtown business with local life.

“A lot of the places the signs were from, they were characters,” Verhasselt said.

They give it to him because they know it’s going to a good place.

“Throughout the years, I’ll get phone calls from people saying ‘We want this to go somewhere where people are gonna appreciate it,’” he said. “Somewhere where people will see it and understand what history is about.”

He says he won’t consider selling any of them in his lifetime.

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