• Kenosha History Center
  • Kenosha History Center
  • Kenosha History Center
  • Kenosha History Center
  • Kenosha History Center

Kenosha History Center

(262) 654-5770


Open Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. 12-4 p.m.


Suggested donation: $2 adults / $1 students & children.

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 the Peter Pirsch Company with a 1934 Pirsch Fire Engine, the Sterling Bicycle Company and Jeffery Company with a 1902 Rambler, Model C convertible on display, and more. Click on the “events” tab for the current exhibit information and upcoming events.

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.

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).

ARTIFACT OF THE MONTH: The Kenosha History Center celebrates the March Artifact of the Month  by showcasing a 1950's Jaeger-LeCoultre ATMOS Perpetual Motion Clock. This 1950's Jaeger-LeCoutre ATMOS Perpetual Motion Clock is from Geneva, Switerland. This was given to Joseph Fred Crosby upon his retirement from Nash-Kelvinator Corporation. Mr. Crosby worked for the Corporation from 1922-1953. This was donated by Dennis Gascoigne. Time as measured by an ATMOS clocks entails dimensions beyond human understanding: this clock loses only one day every 3821 years. It never needs to be rewound or the need of batteries. The design was invented in the late 1920's and is still available and made in Switzerland. Invented in 1928 by Jean-Leon Reutter, and then perfected and manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre, the ATMOS clock came close to fulfilling the ancient dream of perpetual motion. 

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Kenosha History Center Exhibit: My Pride & Joy

December 7, 2013 - September 28, 2014

Don’t miss this car exhibit in the Rambler Legacy Gallery featuring three different exhibits of cars during the year. The gallery also features a new permanent exhibit: Kenosha’s "Lost Industries" from 1850s thru 1970s.

Southport Light Station Museum Open for the Season

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, May 10, 2014 - October 26, 2014

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.

Kenosha Homecoming Car Show - 2014

July 22, 2014 – July 26, 2014

Join the Kenosha History Center at various locations for car shows, a car parade, and the big car show rounding out the 5 days of events on Saturday. There will be daily events. Welcome home to Nash, Hudson, AMC, Renault, Jeep, Chrysler!

Triple Dipper Ice Cream Social

August 9, 2014

Triple Dipper:  Ice Cream, Music & Fun, a Family Ice Cream Social at the Southport Light Station Museum! To help celebrate National Lighthouse Day all Kenosha County Residents are invited to climb to the top of the Lighthouse Tower for FREE!  ($5 for Out of County adult visitors.)  All children 8 to 12 years old climb FREE!

Kenosha History Center Chili Cook-Off

October 18, 2014

Join the Kenosha History Center for an evening of great chili. Chili tasting will be from 6 p.m. until it's gone. Taste and vote for your favorite chili for the People's Choice Traveling Trophy. A panel of judges will also pick their favorite for the Judges Choice Trophy.