The Society was officially organized May 7, 2010 by an act of incorporation in the State of Wisconsin, given its non-profit status by the IRS in 2016 as an educational organization exclusively to collect, organize, preserve, protect, promote, and present the history of Altoona including but not limited to securing documents, photographs, video and audio recordings of individuals and groups, artifacts and historical buildings of interest to current and future citizens of Altoona and the surrounding area, consistent with and guided by the by-laws of the State of Wisconsin Historical Society.
Historical Society Beginning
The current Altoona Historical Society Inc. was incorporated in 2010 and received IRS non-profit status (501C3) in 2016. AHSI was founded by John and Amy Thurston, Jack Blackburn, James Klingbeil, Mark Hagen, Herb Ruscin, John Udler, Mark Quam, and Roger Rasmussen- holding its first meeting in 2009. An earlier historical organization was created to celebrate Altoona’s Centennial in 1988. This organization ceased to exist soon after the Centennial event and all funds created were eventually transferred to AHSI.
Officers elected at the first annual meeting in 2010 were Mark Quam-President; Roger Rasmussen Vice-President; Jack Blackburn- Treasurer; and, James Klingbeil-Secretary. Additional board level positions were soon created for Historian and Parliamentarian . The initial organizational meetings created a business address, banking and mail box information, plus protocol and procedures for meetings. The Wisconsin Historical Organization provided a liaison connection- this person met with the Board and provided guidance. Incorporation papers were filed with the State of Wisconsin. Initial application forms were developed for non-profit status. Both incorporation approval and non-profit status approval is in place.
During its infancy AHSI held information meetings for new members, speakers for public forums, assistants to public school historical events, developed several calendars for sale, and sold various books/booklets at public events. Future events include the above plus interviews of individuals identified as having importaHnt historical information and experience as Altoona residents. A continuation of the collection, organization, preservation, and presentation of historical documents, photographs and artifacts will serve as the major focus during 2016-2018.