Wisconsin is in the height of summer, yet the popular holiday decoration is already available for purchase. Former State Treasurer Cate Zeuske explains the new limited edition 2011 State Capitol ornament has a special history to it. “The ornament honors Old Abe the civil war eagle, who was not only famous in Wisconsin, but also famous throughout America.”
Zeuske notes Old Abe is the only resident ever at the Capitol; the bald eagle has rich history of raising the morale of military troops during the Civil War. Considering the 150-year anniversary of the start of that war, it seems fitting to combine the event with the Capitol keepsake. “The ornament itself depicts Old Abe, it explains that he was the Civil War mascot, and on the back of the ornament it actually has the engraving ‘Civil War Sesquicentennial.'”
To date, Zeuske says sales have generated over $50,000 for the Capitol Restoration Fund. She’s hopeful this will be their biggest year ever, attracting the attention of history buffs, those who enjoy the story of Old Abe, collectors, and lovers of the historic Capitol building. The ornament comes just in time for a Wisconsin Veterans Museum event this weekend — Eagles on the Square. This is the eighth year of selling the Capitol ornament.
NOTE: The 2011 State Capitol Ornament will sell for $16. It’s available for purchase at the Wisconsin State Historical Society Gift Shop and online store, the Wisconsin State Capitol Information Desk in the rotunda and the Wisconsin State Veterans Museum.