- Associated Press - Saturday, May 17, 2014

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) - Marathon County’s mummified squirrel is alive and well.

Well, maybe not so much alive.

The mummified gray squirrel many remember being on display at the Yawkey House Museum in Wausau remains in the care of the Marathon County Historical Society, although it’s currently relegated to a sturdy box in the collections area of the Woodson History Center.

For many years, starting in the 1960s, the quasi-preserved squirrel - found mummified in the chimney of the Yawkey house - was on display in a case on the third floor of the museum, said Historical Society marketing coordinator Christine Martens. The display was taken down at some point - Martens isn’t sure exactly when - but she said the rodent was transferred to the Woodson History Center when renovations were completed in the mid-2000s.

Interest was rekindled when the squirrel was featured in a “History in a Minute” YouTube video created by the Historical Society.

Martens said the squirrel - gray on one side and a sort of a yellowish-white hue on the other - seemed like a good candidate for the video because people were asking a lot about it.

“They’ll be like, ‘Where’s the squirrel?’ and they’ll talk about how he was kind of freaky looking and the mummified part, of course, is always very intriguing,” Martens told Daily Herald Media (https://wdhne.ws/1jmbXee). “And they often mention the yellow light (in the display) that gave kind of that eerie glow.”

Martens said she is unsure exactly how old the squirrel is. She said it was found “between the ‘50s and ‘60s” and it’s not clear how long it had been there when it was discovered.

The squirrel doesn’t have a name. “We never thought to name him because he’s an artifact,” Martens said.

And despite her using a male reference, Martens is unsure of the animal’s gender. So we don’t know if the mummy is a mommy.

The society started producing the “History in a Minute” videos a bit more than a year ago, creating a new one every month or so, Martens said. The videos correspond with displays in the reception area of the Woodson History Center.

One of the current displays features mid-century cowboy toys and the other showcases the Vanity brand and Kickbusch Grocery Store.

The displays and corresponding videos help give people a small peek into the history of the area, said Marathon County Historical Society librarian and archivist Gary Gisselman.

“They don’t have to see all of Marathon County history from 1839, but they can see a little glimpse of history here and there that is presented in the YouTube videos and the ‘History in a Minute,’” Gisselman said.



“History in a Minute: Mummified Squirrel” YouTube video: https://bit.ly/SYODcO

Marathon County Historical Society: https://www.marathoncountyhistory.com


Information from: Wausau Daily Herald Media, https://www.wausaudailyherald.com

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