The Grand Army of the Republic. Photo courtesy Marathon County Historical Society.

WAUSAU – Professor Brett Barker explores the Grand Army of the Republic and its membership, how it sought to shape the memory and commemoration of the war, and its presence in Marathon County during the next History Speaks event at 2 p.m. Sept. 18 on Facebook and YouTube Live.

In the years after the Civil War, Union veterans created the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a veterans’ organization that dominated the political landscape of the North for the next half century.

From advocacy for the Republican Party to its role in the creation of Memorial Day, the GAR left a lasting legacy on northern communities and the country as a whole.

Barker is a professor of history at UW-Stevens Point at Wausau and is chairman of the Department of History and International Studies at UW-Stevens Point.

More events

History Chats: September
Thursdays at 12:30 p.m.
Every week, MCHS staff Ben Clark and/or Gary Gisselman give a short presentation of an interesting topic relating to the history of Marathon County. History Chats go live at 12:30 p.m. every Thursday, as a free, online broadcast via both YouTube and Facebook Live. Past broadcasts are also available for later viewing.

Sept. 2- The Cutler Post Statue
Built by Civil War veterans to recognize local contributions, this was the first, and possibly most controversial memorial installed at the Marathon County Courthouse.

Sept. 9- World War Memorial
Standing on the Marathon County Courthouse grounds for nearly a century, this iconic memorial honors the Veterans of The War to End All Wars (World War I).

Sept. 16- The Hmong-Lao Veterans Memorial
Dedicated on the Marathon County Courthouse grounds in 2016, this monument recognizes the important work and unique situation of Hmong-Lao veterans of the Secret War during the Vietnam War.

Sept. 23- The Pine Grove Mausoleum
Guest Presenter Kathy Volkmann, MCHS Curator of Artifacts and Cemetery Enthusiast explores the history of Pine Grove Cemetery’s unique Mausoleum.

Sept. 30- The Pomeranian Settlement Marker
Gisselman discusses the monument, installed on the land of the town of Berlin Town Hall, that recognizes pioneering ancestors from Northern Germany.

MCHS is in the Woodson History Center at 410 McIndoe St., Wausau. Exhibit and office hours are Tuesday – Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, call MCHS at 715-842-5750, email, or visit