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Photo by WJFW Newswatch 12

Century old artifact donated to Oneida County Fair Committee


Story By Rachael Eyler
Local News Published 04/07/2021 6:04PM, Last Updated 04/12/2021 11:10PM
Rhinelander - The Oneida County Fair recently received a special donation of an original poster for the 25th Oneida County Fair in 1922.

The family heirloom, nearly 100 years old, was discovered accidentally by Rhinelander resident Donna Gilley-Gager.

"My parents died in 1989 and we were going through the house and we were going through the basement, all rolled up were these two posters," Gager said.

The poster advertises the Oneida County Fair from 1922. At the time her grandfather, William T. Gilley,acted as the president of the fair committee.

Gager adds many of her favorite memories are from attending the fair every year with her father.

"I was young and to go to the fair where there's lots of activity and people there, you really felt like you were really special," Gager explained.

Now she's giving the almost century old poster a new home-with the Oneida County Fair committee.

"To have this in my hands and to actually see that it was old and wrinkled and showing signs of wear you can actually feel the 1922 times in this piece and it's pretty magical," current OCF Committee President, Meg Sprecksel said.

Sprecksel adds the artifact will be hung and remind residents of his legacy not only as one of the committee's former presidents but for the many accomplishments he made as Rhinelander mayor, entrepreneur and youngest committee chairperson to serve.

"I think he died too young, he was only 69," Gager said. "He had already done so many different things in his life and when you have that zest for living youre gonna keep on doing wonderful things."
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