About Wisconsin Northwest Heritage Passage

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Wisconsin’s Northwest Heritage Passage has been recognized for its advocacy, vision and support of the creative economy of northwest Wisconsin.

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Our history

• August 1999 the initial meeting of people interested in art formed Wisconsin’s Northwest Heritage Passage. They were inspired by the tourism guidebook, “The Craft Heritage Trails of Western North Carolina” and had a vision to publish something similar. US Highway 63 with 13 counties became the focal area. “An Invitation to Journey from the Great River to the Great Lake” or from Pepin County on the Mississippi River to Ashland County on Lake Superior.

• Decision was made to publish a map first and a book at a later date. In 2001, the first map had beautiful photos of artwork and produce with listings of galleries, studios, farm tours and heritage sites. This map was updated and expanded with second and third editions following in 2004 and 2009. Each time, more than 10,000 maps were distributed to tourism offices throughout northwest Wisconsin.

• The board’s vision to publish a guidebook became a reality and was published in 2011, “The Wisconsin Passage: An Adventure in the Handmade, Homegrown and Historical offerings from the Mississippi River to Lake Superior.” For information about purchasing the book, contact Arts in Hand or visit Arts in Hand Gallery in Spooner WI.

• The Arts in Hand Gallery was opened in 2013.

• In 2015 the gallery moved to present location at 210 Walnut Street Spooner. The gallery has its own store front. Since that time, the number of artists has more than doubled and so have sales. The quality of art work has always been high and the customers appreciate the variety available. The gallery is staffed by volunteers. Classes are also available.

Board Meetings

Below is the current Board of Directors. Board members are elected at the annual general membership meeting held each October. They are volunteers who help promote the organization, make financial decisions, and guide the direction of the organization.


Earl Duckett President and Treasurer

Polk County
Osceola WI 54020

Randy Lee

Randy Lee - Member

Barron County
Dallas WI 54733

Mike Threinen

Mike Threinen - Member

Washburn County
Minong WI 54859


David Haessig Vice President

Washburn County
Sarona, WI 54870


Jeneice Haessig - Secretary

Washburn County
Sarona, WI 54870


Paul Kinsley - Member

Polk County
Balsam Lake, WI 54801