Win Rothman was a charter member of the Portage County Historical Society. (Courtesy PCHS)

PCHS now accepting award submissions for work in local history

By Patrick Lynn

The Portage County Historical Society is now taking submissions for its annual award season.

The Win Rothman Award is given to individuals who make a contribution to Portage Co. history through a public history project. Projects must be about a topic relating to the history of Portage Co., and can include, but are not limited to books, articles, academic papers, blogs, digital projects, audio, and video.

Eligible projects must have been created, published, or released in the prior calendar year, so in this case, 2023. The award includes a cash prize of $500.

PCHS is also looking for submissions for the Pine and Iron Award. The organization’s highest honor, the award honors those who have done something of note to preserve Portage Co. history. These can be projects or efforts that have spanned years and have truly left a mark on our community through preservation.

Submissions must be made between Feb. 1 and March 1 by emailing project description, example, and contact information to [email protected], or by mailing to PCHS at PO Box 672, Stevens Point, Wis., 54481.

The award selection will be made by the PCHS Board of Directors. The recipient will be announced and presented with the award prior to the PCHS Annual Meeting on April 10.

“We’re hoping to see some creative projects involving our county’s rich history,” said John Harry, executive director of the PCHS. “We know there are many passionate folks in this community who care deeply about our heritage and take action on preserving it, so this is our way of recognizing those efforts.”

Win Rothman was a charter member of the Portage County Historical Society. Win Rothman, and his wife Edith, were integral members of the Society’s early days helping develop the organization’s artifact collections. When Win Rothman died in 1976, the award was established in his memory.

Today, the award fund is held in partnership with the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin. The Pine and Iron Award is named in reference to the two principal industries that built Portage Co. into what it is today — pine through logging and iron through the expansion of the railroads.

Past award recipients include Wendell Nelson, Malcolm Rosholt, Chelsey Pfiffner, and most recently Jen Brilowski, and Bill Schierl and Sarena Melotte, among many notable others. A full list of awardees is available at pchswi.org/awards.