Museum on Kenosha’s harbor features the history of Kenosha County, including its early settlement and industrial history, and a gift shop. Visit the Yesteryear Gallery – from settlement to 1900 see how Kenosha County developed and grew. See the Upson Oxcart, a Barn Raising & Fanning Mill, Blacksmith Shop, Railroad Depot, General Store, Barbershop, One Room School, and more. Learn about Christopher Latham Sholes and the Bain Wagon Company. The Lyman Gallery in the lobby features various shop fronts, including a Photography Studio, a Millenary, and more.
In the Rambler Legacy Gallery – see how Kenosha’s auto-making legacy shaped history through the 20th Century. Displays on the perimeter of the gallery include replicas of Thomas B Jeffery building, 1896 Fire Station No 4, and a Dentist office from the Willowbrook Sanitarium. The gallery also features a re-creation of the Sterling Bicycle Factory. Also see the permanent exhibit: Kenosha’s "Lost Industries" from 1850s thru 1970s. Click on the “events” tab for the current exhibit information and upcoming events.
Come see the Miniature Statue of Liberty from Civic Center Park! This statue was erected in 1950 with a ceremony in Civic Center Park. It was a gift to the city by local Boy Scout troops to mark Kenosha’s 100th anniversary as an incorporated city. Its new home is inside the Kenosha History Center.
During 2016, the lobby features the exhibit "Politics through the Lens of Kenosha", a three-stage exhibit that will examine local politics (March 16-May 30), the suffragette movement (June 7-August 29), and the national political scene (September 5-November 17) as we go through this election year.
During Summer 2016, view the exhibit “Extra Innings: Unique Kenosha Baseball Stories” inside the entryway of the museum. The exhibit features an early 20th-century baseball uniform along with many rare photos of past Kenosha baseball teams. Also view the exhibit “Just a Lot of Old Tools”, which features 18th and 19th century woodworking tools and planes from a local collector. The exhibit is located in the “Emporium Building” inside the museum’s Lyman Gallery. “Just a Lot of Old Tools” will be on display until the end of August 2016.
The Kenosha County Historical Society was founded in 1878 to preserve, research and present the cultural heritage of Kenosha County and Southeastern Wisconsin. The Society moved to its present location in 2001; naming its museum the Kenosha History Center. The building was built in 1917.
The museum is always looking for volunteers – to work as docents (interpretive guides), museum greeters, catalogers, archival processors, clerical assistants, and to work on special projects and events.
Visit the archives by appointment. Adult and school group tours welcomed. Facility rentals available. Free parking. The grounds include the Southport Light Station Museum (open seasonally and by appointment).
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The Kenosha County Historical Society, made up of the Kenosha History Center and Southport Light Station Museum, is Travel Green Wisconsin Certified. Read about here.
The exhibit features automobiles and other vehicles from the 1920’s, along with memorabilia from that time period.
The lighthouse and maritime museum, inside the keeper's house, documents Kenosha's lighthouse keepers, shipping and fishing history. Also climb the 1866 Southport Lighthouse. The tower stands 55 feet above the lighthouse grounds. See Kenosha, Lake Michigan and into Illinois and Racine County.
Join the Kenosha History Center for an evening of chili, music, and more.
This is the opening of the “1930’s: Revisited” exhibit. Enjoy decorations, music, refreshments, new exhibits and shop in the gift shop for unique holiday gifts.