Museum Opens Monday, June 10th, 2024

2024 marks the 70th Anniversary of  Dr. Kate's surprise appearance on the then popular television show, "This Is Your Life",. The show aired on March 17, 1954. After the incredible events of Mr. Otto Burich and his Geometry students at the AV-W High School brought the Million Penny drive to the world's attention the television show wanted to tell the inspiring story of the humble, shy lady doctor who made house calls on snowshoes, canoe or on foot to serve her patients over 300 square miles in Northwoods of Wisconsin without a hospital. 
 
The Million Penny parade was held on Memorial Day, 1953. Over 10,000 people came to Woodruff to see the pennies on display in the AV-W school gym. After Dr. Kate, Otto Burich, Av-W student Eva Lou Clauson and others told of the efforts to build a hospital Ralph Edwards, the show's host, asked his viewers to send pennies to finish the project. Ten tons of mail came-- mostly by train-- containing over $105,000. Community volunteers sorted and counted all the mail at the AV-W school gym.

Museum Exhibits

Mail-

Million Penny Campaign

Dr-Room-

Dr. Kate’s Medical Room

worlds-largest-penny-crop

World’s Largest Penny

Plan Your Visit

The Dr. Kate Museum is the repository for memorabilia for Dr. Kate Pelham Newcomb, the 1953 Million Penny Parade and Geometry teacher Mr. Otto Burich, AV-W High School and grade school from 1891-Present and the Town of Woodruff history. There's a lot of history to get caught up on. So let's cover the essentials to help you plan your Museum visit.

Museum Hours

Mid-June through Labor Day

Monday - Friday
11 AM - 3 PM

Month of September

Tuesday & Thursday
11 AM - 2 PM

Open by Appointment for special groups,
school field trips, and bus tours.

Admission

  • Admission is Free, donations appreciated.
  • Special group tours are available by appointment.
  • School field trips and bus tours are welcome by appointment.

Get Involved

Become a Member, Volunteer, Make a Donation

Donate local historical items or contribute to the scholarship or operating fund We need your skills and ideas. If you like to landscape, design, work on the computer, meet nice people, or just give something back to your community, please give us a call at 715-356-6896

Dr. Kate Pelham Newcomb

Dr. Kate Pelham Newcomb was a popular physician in Northern Wisconsin who provided health care where few medical services were available.

Kate Newcomb, born Kate Pelham in Kansas, grew up in Buffalo, New York. Her mother died when Kate was very young; later on, when a high-school friend also died, she told her father that she wanted to be a doctor. He said no, so she became a teacher, but then she gave that up, too, to help her father after his second wife died. Newcomb eventually convinced her father to let her go to medical school at the University of Buffalo. After earning her M.D. in 1917, she moved to Detroit for an internship at the women’s hospital, working in a section dedicated to unwed mothers. She met and married her husband and eventually moved with him to his hometown of Boulder Junction, outside Eagle River, Wisconsin.

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