Kenosha History Center

Peter Pirsch fire truck, Rambler Gallery, Kenosha History Center
one room schoolhouse, Yesteryear Gallery, Kenosha History Center
Kenosha History Center 2017 exhibit
toy exhibit, Kenosha History Center

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.

February 2017 Update:  New in the Kenosha History Center Gift Shop: Militaria From The Pacific War: Discovering Their Stories. By J. Forrest Pollard, Iron Lightning Press, 2016. The retail price is $35.00, with a 10% discount for Society members. The book is filled with first-hand accounts, including an interview with the author’s father, former Kenosha artist George Pollard. It also features several of Pollard’s sketches made after the Battle of Tarawa and aboard ship in the South Pacific. George Pollard was a prolific portrait painter with over 5000 works to his credit, including Presidents, Governors, and Popes. He and his wife Nan collaborated on celebrity doll books for the Lowe Company in Kenosha, and Nan would go on to illustrate over 2000 Lowe books. Their name is borne by the Pollard Gallery at the Rhode Center for the Arts. This book chronicles J. Forrest Pollard’s journeys into the history of individual war relics of the Pacific War. Ten of the most significant have been chosen for inclusion, including a chapter on relics of his father’s service in the Marine Corps. They begin with the Soviet-Japanese clash at Nomanhan, in Manchuria, in 1939, and follow through the Japanese surrender in 1945.

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 Kenosha History Center and the Southport Light Station Museum (open seasonally and by appointment), located on the same grounds, are operated by the Kenosha County Historical Society.


The museum is free; donations are appreciated.

Learn more in this Featured Business article.

The Kenosha County Historical Society, which operates the Kenosha History Center and Southport Light Station Museum, is Travel Green Wisconsin Certified. Read about here.

Tu-F 10am-4:30pm, Sa 10am-4pm, Su 12-4pm

Nearby Things

dining icon
Things to do
Things To Do
Harborside Common Grounds

Kenosha 0.19 miles

Villa DCarlo

Kenosha 0.22 miles

Trolley Dogs

Kenosha 0.27 miles

Boat House Pub and Eatery

Kenosha 0.28 miles

The Coffee Pot

Kenosha 0.31 miles

Wine Knot Bar and Bistro

Kenosha 0.33 miles