Your Town Stevens Point: New historic walking tours begin to give people the opportunity to learn about the history of the city

The Portage County Historical Society and the Stevens Point Area Convention and Business Bureau is now offering historical walking tours throughout the summer
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 8:21 AM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - There’s a new way to learn about the place people live, work and play in Stevens Point. The Portage County Historical Society along with Downtown Stevens Point and the Stevens Point Area Convention and Business Bureau is now offering historical walking tours throughout the summer.

The tours have already started happening in the downtown area. So far, the executive director of the Portage County Historical Society, John Harry said, most of the feedback from people has really just been a disappointment that there aren’t more variations of the tours being offered.

“We’re working on that. And that’s great to know. And you know, people coming on the tours, and helping us sell tours out, is a good reason to keep doing this. So people obviously want to have these kinds of experiences, and we’re happy to provide them,” Harry explained.

He said the tours give people the opportunity to really understand and become familiar with the roots of Stevens Point.

“I’m really big on programming and tours and building that base of support, and making it known that, that historical society does more than just save things. But we use all that knowledge we’ve accumulated to bring it back to the community so that they can take ownership of their history.”

However, he said becoming familiar with the history goes beyond focusing on the past, instead, he said it’s learning to build a better future.

“History is an interesting thing because it’s something we all partake in. Learning your history helps you create, and buy into why we are the way we are as a community. And so learning our history actually goes a long way into helping create a better future for our community because we notice what’s happened around us. And maybe we don’t want it to be the same anymore. And maybe we want some things to change. But if we don’t learn from the past, we can’t move forward very well.”

The tours start at the Stevens Point Area Visitors Center in Downtown Stevens Point located at 1105 Main St Suite A, Stevens Point, WI 54481. On the hour-long walking tours, people will essentially be ‘taken back in time’ each step they take closer to the river.

“Where we’re standing now in the public square was the middle of nowhere at one point, because all the settlement was happening right along the Wisconsin River,” Harry said.

That’s just some of the information people will learn on the tours. But, one thing he hopes people take away from them...

“A sense that they are in the long line of residents of this county, that are all working to make it a better place for people to live in.”

The tours happen every Monday at 11 a.m. rain or shine until Labor Day. Space is limited and tickets can be online bought by clicking here.

All proceeds go back to the Portage County Historical Society.

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