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Photo by WJFW Newswatch 12

Eagle River man holds historical artifact collection in home


Story By Morgan Johnson
Local News Published 11/10/2021 3:25PM, Last Updated 11/11/2021 2:18PM
Eagle River - When you look at Jack Palmer's house in Eagle River, it looks like a dreamy Northwoods cabin. But if you look at it longer, you start to see the hidden treasures.

Palmer is from Washington D.C., which is where he fell in love with the past.

"Both grandmas, my Pennsylvania grandmother as well, talked about history a lot, and they told me stories of our family, and I just was enthralled by it," said Palmer.

He was instantly hooked, and he's collected artifacts all his life. Palmer gets his historical items from his family, from donations, from auctions, and from picking.

Palmer picked a pair of chaps in Arizona that are from the 1600s. The chaps are just one piece of history that Palmer has collected with a story behind it. That's what Palmer thinks is unique about his collection.

"It's targeted, and that's the key," said Palmer. "Generally speaking, I'm not just looking for something old to bring into the house."

Palmer also wants to expand his collection--specifically into northern Wisconsin native history, logging, and the fur trapping era. But it's not like he'll stop there.

"I'll never stop," said Palmer. "It's just part of me. It's part of all of us; it's what we do."

However, Palmer does see an end goal.

"I could envision this collection being the start of something in the Northwoods someday where everybody could go, but in particular school children, and you can see real history, because these are carefully selected items from--in large part--actual historic events that can tell a story," said Palmer.
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