The Civil War Museum opened in 2008 and focuses on the contributions of the Upper Middle West – Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, and Michigan – to the Civil War. These states played a vital role by providing troops and supplies to the cause, even though no battles were fought in this region. The exhibits concentrate on personal stories of people from all walks of life and circumstance. Men, women and children from various ethnic backgrounds experienced life during and after the war in different ways. It is through these unique stories that the museum visitor learns about the causes and effects of the Civil War and its impact on the region.
The Veterans Memorial Gallery honors all U.S. veterans and soldiers from the Revolutionary War to present day conflicts.
Enjoy the gift shop and free programs for adults and families. Classes and workshops offered, including genealogy workshops.
Adult and school group tours welcomed. Facility rentals available. Plenty of free parking.
Nominal admission to the main exhibit which is The Fiery Trial – Friends members free.
See the Civil War Museum Movie: Seeing the Elephant in The Fiery Trial exhibit. “Seeing the Elephant” is the term Civil War soldiers used to say they saw battle. The high-tech digital movie experience allows visitors a glimpse at “the Elephant.” One of just a handful of venues nationwide using 360 degree movie technology, the Civil War Museum movie focuses on the personal experiences and accounts of citizen soldiers. Using letters, journals and diaries, the script follows several soldiers as they leave home and hearth, train with their troops, face battle together and ultimately deal with the consequences of war. “This poignant 10-minute film tells a story about the Civil War but it is also a tribute to all soldiers and veterans, as it tells the story of the ultimate life-changing experience of war, for the soldier and for the country,” comments Dan Joyce, Kenosha Public Museums Director.
Over 200 people, including actors, reenactors, film crew, technical and historical advisers and Museum staff, gathered at Old World Wisconsin (Eagle, WI) for five days in June 2013 to film Seeing the Elephant. The centerpiece of the Fiery Trial exhibit, the film gives visitors an historically authentic and accurate portrayal of Civil War battle, although not a specific, actual battle. Historical photos and special visual and sound effects augment the reenactment of battle. The Civil War Museum is grateful to nationally recognized broadcast journalist Bill Kurtis for lending his voice as narrator of the film.
The high tech film encircles viewers and thrusts them into the middle of a Civil War battle. An 11-foot 360° screen, visual and sound effects, and ground motion enhance the experience. The film typically plays once every hour, on the hour.
The museum also hosts SPARK! This monthly program is for people living with early to mid stages of memory loss and their care partners. Participants are engaged in lively conversations, storytelling, interactive exhibit experiences, object handling and other multi-sensory activities. Registration is free but required by calling 262-653-4141 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The program is at 2 p.m.
Travel Green Wisconsin Certified. Read about here.
The topic is: Slavery, Secession and the Voyage of the Lady Elgin presented by Brian Kangas. Sponsored by Milwaukee Civil War Round Table and Iron Brigade Association, the monthly lectures are free and open to the public.
During an afternoon tea, enjoy a first-person presentation of American Red Cross founder and Civil War caregiver Clara Barton as she describes her experiences on the front lines of the Civil War. Advance registration is required. $35 ($25 Friend of the Museum) for adults / $20 ($15 Friend of the Museum) children ages 10-17.
All makes and models of model trains on display throughout the Kenosha Public Museum (5500 First Ave.) and Civil War Museum (5400 First Ave.). Sponsored by Kenosha Garden Railroad Society. Free.
My Father's WWI Experiences as a German Cavalry Officer and a Reconnaissance Pilot. Paul Rempe’s story highlights the many technological changes that occurred after the Civil War, which led to millions of casualties in WWI.
A timeline of living history and military encampments that span from the Revolutionary War to World War I featuring blacksmith demos, Civil War era baseball, period music, games, and crafts for the whole family.
The 7th Annual Museum Crawl is a progressive after-hours party at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum (5608 Tenth Ave.), Civil War Museum (5400 First Ave.), and Kenosha Public Museum (5500 First Ave.).
This is the 53rd annual art fair presented by the Friends of the Kenosha Public Museums. The popular fine art fair includes outdoor and indoor art fair booths, food, and music.
Join the museum for a day filled with presentations and discussions from nationally recognized speakers. There is a fee.
Wear your costume to trick or treat and enjoy more free fun family activities at the Kenosha Public Museum (5500 First Ave.), Civil War Museum (5400 First Ave.), and Dinosaur Discovery Museum (5608 Tenth Ave.).
This collaborative event combines the Civil War Museum’s Victorian Christmas, Kenosha Public Museum’s International Holiday Faire, the Winter Kenosha HarborMarket event, and more.