The Marathon County Historical Society’s popular History Speaks lecture series is now virtual.

The first History Speaks of 2022 will feature a livestreamed presentation “Running the River: The Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company” at 2 p.m. Jan. 22 by the staff of WVIC.

Born at the turn of the 19th century, the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Co. traces its roots from the heart of the Northwoods, through the boom of the paper and power industry, to the river valley we know today.

Since 1907 when it was established, the WVIC has operated the Wisconsin River Reservoir System and is the caretaker of water in 21 reservoirs. WVIC member companies are the owners and operators of dams along the Wisconsin River.

The importance of water conservation, flood control, low flow augmentation and regulation of a uniform flow in the Wisconsin River will be discussed. WVIC provides many recreational opportunities as well. From maintaining a boat hoist to creating resources for the Wisconsin River canoe trail, the company has at its core a desire to safeguard the waterways for all to enjoy.

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.

Admission is free. The research library is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday – Friday. Tours of the Yawkey House Museum are available Tuesday – Sunday. Call for times and prices.

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