The 1912 house at 804 MacFarlane Road, home to William L. and Zona Gale Breese after their marriage in 1928, was donated to the City of Portage in 1942. Three stipulations were made:
- That the building house a public library for 50 years
- That Zona Gale's study be preserved in its original state
- That her rose garden be continued
After the Public Library was moved to a new facility in 1994, the Portage Historical Society was established for the purpose of finding a suitable use for the building. In 1996, the Museum at the Portage was founded to showcase displays relevant to the history of the city, with the Society as its steward and force behind a continuing effort to honor the rich history of the third oldest city in the State of Wisconsin.