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About this collection

These digital collections are made available by the Portage Historical Society.


Tales of Old Portage

About the “Tales of Old Portage” Project

Peggy Amend, a member of the Board of Directors of the Portage Historical Society 
and Judy Eulberg began reading Dorothy McCarthy’s “Tales of Old Portage” in September 
of 2008 with the intention of compiling a book featuring these articles. The articles came from a variety of sources, including clippings in Columbia County Historical Society scrapbooks, print copies of the Portage Daily Register from the 
Museum at the Portage, and photocopies and microfiche obtained from the Portage Daily 
Register. Subject terms were assigned using the Sears List of Subject Headings, on 
loan from the Portage Junior High and Portage High School Library Media Centers.


The “Tales of Old Portage” articles were scanned by Northern Micrographics of La Crosse in the early months of 2010. It was then decided to publish the articles in their original newspaper format. This meant the pages for the book had to be 17”x11” in order for them to be easily read. The unusual size of the book led to difficulty finding a publisher. Peggy and Judy were fortunate to find Castle Rock Graphix in Mauston, WI who had the ability to print pages in the necessary size. The book’s size also made it expensive to print. Fortunately we had strong support from the Portage Historical Society, Portage residents, Portage businesses and Portage history lovers who sponsored the publishing of the books.

One of the goals when publishing the book was to have a thorough index so readers could easily find anything from family, friends or businesses to subjects on area history. Laura Moss Gottlieb from Madison did an amazing job of indexing over 200 articles in a short amount of time.

Thanks to Castle Rock Graphix and Ms. Gottlieb the Portage Historical Society was able to have the book available for sale in time for Christmas 2010. The book is available for purchase for $35 at the Museum at the Portage located at 804 MacFarlane Road in Portage, WI.

About Dorothy McCarthy


Dorothy Greenleaf McCarthy was born on January 17, 1901 in Savanna, Illinois, where 
her father owned the local newspaper. She graduated from Mills College in Oakland, 
California and taught elementary schools in Rock Island, Illinois and Madison,
 Wisconsin. After receiving her M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 
she became the principal of Randall School. She married J.R. (Mac) McCarthy on February 5, 1945. They owned and operated th e
Raulf Hotel in Portage, Wisconsin from 1950-58. She was an active community leader, participating in the Women’s Civic League, Catholic Woman’s Club, Columbia County 
Historical Society, Daughters of the American Revolution and various writers’ groups .
Her "Tales of Old Portage” series appeared in the Portage Daily Register from 1958-1975.
Dorothy Greenleaf McCarthy died in Madison on February 20, 1992 and is buried in 
St. Mary’s Cemetery in Portage.



Portage Historic Homes Collection

The Museum at the Portage in Portage, WI displays a popular photo exhibit of historic Portage homes. In the summer of 2011, Andrea Hudson, a UW-Madison student, worked with the Portage Historical Society to digitize these photographs. Andrea’s objective was to prepare a digital collection of 70 Portage historical homes and describe their architecture.


Andrea worked with Judy Eulberg, Joan Indermark, Fred Galle and the Portage Public Library. The Portage Public Library gave Andrea permission to scan their collection of photos of historic homes. Judy Eulberg and Joan Indermark had both done research on the homes and shared their information with Andrea. Fred Galle provided additional photos of homes for her to digitize.


Andrea took this a step farther by researching who owned the homes at the time the photos were taken and identifying people in the photos if possible. Andrea did an amazing amount of research on the homes in a short amount of time consulting multiple sources. Some of her sources were the Portage Daily Register, “Tales of Old Portage”, Portage federal censuses, and “An Intensive Architectural and Historical Survey of the City of Portage, Columbia Co. WI”. Andrea also toured Portage to view the homes that are still standing.


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