The Museum Campus
Main Museum Building
Your visit starts here. Built in 1997, the Main Building houses collections, offices, classrooms, work areas, and local history exhibits. The 1999 Kohler Addition, built in the style of a carriage house, provides the Museum’s main entrance, elevator, lobby, additional gallery space, museum store, and collections storage. Most of the Museum’s temporary exhibitions and public programs take place in this 20,000 square foot space.
Constructed in the early 1850s on farm property owned by Judge David Taylor, this Italianate two-story brick structure came into the possession of Sheboygan County in 1905, along with what is now Taylor Park. The county used the home as a jail, workhouse, drunk tank, and park caretaker’s home. In 1948, the Historical Society signed a long-term lease and, after extensive renovations, it became the Museum’s first building. It served as the Museum’s primary building until the current main building was dedicated in 1997.
Weinhold Log Cabin
Originally constructed in 1864 from hand-squared logs in Adell, Wisconsin, this home and its furnishings are typical of the residences built by Sheboygan County’s earliest German settlers. The Weinhold Cabin was moved to the Museum grounds and dedicated in 1978. The armoire on display is original to the Weinhold family. An outhouse, built in 1927, was installed behind the cabin in 1981.
This German-style wooden barn was built in Sheboygan in the 1890s, near today’s Lower Falls Road. The Schuchardt family donated the 59 x 24-foot structure to the Historical Society. Following two years of fundraising, the barn was moved and dedicated in 1984. The 1930s silo was added in 1992. The barn houses historic agricultural implements and exhibits.
Bodenstab Cheese Factory
Founded in 1867 in Howards Grove, the Bodenstab Cheese Factory was moved and dedicated on the Museum grounds in 1988. Wisconsin’s first known cheese factory was founded in 1837. By 1905, there were 120 factories operating in Sheboygan County.
Calvin Wheeler Exhibit Restoration Center
Thanks to a major gift from a long-time friend of the museum, the Restoration Center was constructed in 2009. It provides extensive collection storage along with work space for large projects and objects. The construction of the building allowed the Historical Society to consolidate its artifact collection in a single location.
Programming & Collections
The Museum annually hosts nearly 3,000 elementary students for Full-Day Education Programs including First Peoples of Sheboygan County, Journey to Sheboygan County, Historic Jobs of Sheboygan County, and The Civil War and Sheboygan County. The Museum regularly schedules educational programming for all ages to explore and celebrate the history and culture of Sheboygan County.
A variety of exhibitions of local, regional, and national interest are displayed in the main building and throughout the historic buildings on the Museum campus. Long-term exhibits highlight local Indigenous culture, maritime, trades and industries, home life, sports, and entertainment. The annual Holiday Memories exhibit presents vintage animated window displays from Sheboygan’s H.C. Prange, Younker’s, and Boston Store Department Stores.
PUBLIC PROGRAMMING AND EVENTS
The museum presents a full calendar of events to engage, educate, and entertain visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Programs include speaker presentations, music, crafts, movies, events, history walks, special tours, and much more.
The Museum’s Collection contains over 30,000 objects of interest about and from Sheboygan county. Exhibited throughout the campus, most of the collected objects are three-dimensional. The artifacts span the entire development of Sheboygan County, dating from 10,000 B.C.E to the present. Textiles represent the largest subset of the collection, with approximately 7,500 items of clothing, bed coverings, and decorative accessories. There are 1,500 archaeological specimens, primarily Native American, and 200 geologic objects. Animations and memorabilia from H.C. Prange’s Department Store and its successors total almost 500 objects. The collection also contains approximately 400 objects each of sound recordings, advertising, art, and furniture. Nearly 1,000 recreational items include dolls, board games, outdoor play equipment, and toys. There are also hundreds of objects related to local manufacturing, farming, and politics, and several thousand household accessories. In 2022, with grant funding from the IMLS, the Museum launched its first complete inventory.
The Museum also maintains a specialized Education Collection that provides hands-on learning opportunities for the Full-Day Education Programs and other programming. Comprised of period objects and reproductions, this 500-plus piece collection allows experiential learning alongside long-term preservation.
The primary mission of the Sheboygan County Historical Society is to collect, preserve, and educate about the history of Sheboygan County.
Holiday Memories Hours
Friday After Thanksgiving - December 30
Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Monday & Tuesday, Noon - 7 PM
Wednesday - Sunday, Noon - 5 PM
Additional hours by appointment for groups
Regular Museum Hours
February 1 - October 31
Monday - Friday, 10 AM - 5 PM
Saturday, 10 AM - 3 PM
FREE - Members
$10 - Adults
$7 - Senior Citizens (62+) and Active Military
$5 - Children 6 - 17
FREE - Children 5 and under
The Museum is closed New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve.