Sparta museum's festive 50s flashback - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Sparta museum's festive 50s flashback

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Sparta, WI (WXOW) -

If a picture's worth a thousand words, Monroe County's Local History Room hopes their 3D snapshot of a 1950s Christmas inspires that and more.

It's the 4th year the museum created a unique holiday display, and this time they're showing what a typical Western Wisconsin living room might have looked like on Christmas morning sixty years ago. From the exact window decorating kit shown in a classic commercial, to well-preserved toys and even a lopsided tree covered in tinsel, no detail has been spared. Those who lived through the era tell historians there it's spot on.

The Monroe County Local History Room said, actually, the hardest piece to find was one of the key components to any living room.

"There aren't too many 1950s couches that are in good enough shape to use in a display, because again, it's supposed to look like its the 1950s, so your couch should look somewhat new, and it was hard for us to come across one, but thankfully we did find one down in Melvina, Wisconsin," said Monroe County historian Jarrod Roll.

While they've had other local residents contribute to the display, they're hoping it prompts even more people to record their own stories at the museum, preserving them for posterity. Roll said displays like this help people of all ages feel a personal connection to history.

"All of the sudden you get all these stories being shared like, 'Oh grandma can tell you all about this time growing up we got this sled and this happened?' or 'I have to tell you about this tree we had,' or 'Grandpa, did they really have t-vs that looked like that?!'"

Santa will also visit the display on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 1-3 in the afternoon. The Monroe County Local History Room is free to visit and the 50s Christmas display is open until January 13th. Normal operating hours are 9 to 4:30 Monday through Saturday.

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