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Our Exhibits



Current Exhibits

Death in DuPage

Death in DuPage

October 14, 2017 - June 24, 2018

Dig into historic death culture of DuPage County. Explore codes of dress, mourning traditions, and the way death and dying were understood by the people of the past. From the settlement period, through the Civil War, and into the last years of the Victorian Era, this exhibition invites visitors to take a look at the material culture left behind.



1917: Catalyst for the Modern Era

1917: Catalyst for the Modern Era

September 17, 2017 - July 30, 2018

One period in American History stands out as a beacon of change in the county. Changes in technology, medicine, and the aftermaths of the Great War divisively changed American culture and lead to new beliefs on alcohol, women's rights, and the role of the nation.



Fun Unplugged

Fun Unplugged

Join us for this two-year exhibit series:

"Outdoor Adventures"

July 15, 2017 - February 26, 2018

Nothing says more about childhood than the great outdoors. With creativity sparked by the endless possibility of the open air, specific accessories, toys and games helped to create memories in the backyard and school playground. Those magical moments and lasting impressions of outdoor fun are recreated in this imaginative exhibit.

Sponsored by:



Adams' Dream

April 15, 2017- October 29, 2017

The history of the DuPage County Historical Museum began with one man, who had one idea. Take a journey to the past and learn about this fascinating building and the man who created it.

Listen as DuPage County Historical Museum Curator, Ashley Downing, tells WDCB Reporter, Gary Zidek, about the exhibit Adams' Dream:



Dunton Hall Art Gallery Exhibit

March 3, 2017- December 31, 2017

The story of a building offers a unique symbol for a town. Throughout DuPage, many heritage sites provide shining examples of public buildings or private residences. View samples of DuPage's building legacy during this fantastic exhibit.



Permanent ExhibitsExhibits

Enduring Values in a Changing Landscape

Journey through 150 years of history, from the settlement of DuPage County through the celebration of the 1989 sesquicentennial year. From major events to the smallest details of daily life, learn about the richness of life in DuPage County. Watch the mini documentary, "The Changing Face of DuPage," and listen to a soldier's fascinating Civil War experiences.



All Aboard & HO Gauge Model Railroad

All Aboard features artifacts and historical information on railroads in DuPage County. Located in the same space is the HO Gauge Model Railroad compliments of the DuPage Society of Model Engineers. The detailed layout covers over 2,000 feet of track and highlights some of DuPage County's railroads and landmarks in a landscape blending fact and fantasy. The model railroad is always on display and has a pushbutton activated train loop for visitors to enjoy when the Society is not operating the layout. The Engineers operate the entire railroad on the third and fifth Saturday of the month.

Interested in volunteering for the DuPage Society of Model Engineers? Click here for additional details.

Trains run from 1:30-3:30 pm on the third and fifth Saturday of each month.

2017 Train Day Calendar

January 21
February 18
March 18
April 15 & 29
May 20
June 17
July 15 & 29
August 19
September 16 & 30
October 21
November 18
December 16 & 30

The train exhibit will stay open one extra hour for Explorers Club members in March, June, September and December. Visit membership page for more information.



Inside History Gallery

This space has gone through some great changes in the past years. For young visitors, we've added a play kitchen station, historic costumes, and a wooden railroad.

The DuPage County Historical Museum aims to keep these interactive activities coming, and we can do so with your help! An architecture and correspondence station are in the works, as well as expansions to the already existing activities.

Local groups and organizations are invited to sponsor a station. Interested parties can leave their contact information at the front desk to learn how to become involved.


Special Loans


flag36th Illinois Infantry Regiment National Colors

Infantry Regiment of the Civil War, also known as the Fox Valley Regiment was organized in Aurora in September of 1861. According to the Adjutant General's Report, the Regiment included 965 officers and enlisted men, forty-seven being from DuPage County. Officers from Cook, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lawrence, McHenry and Warren Counties completed the regiment.

The 36th Illinois fought in many battles including Pea Ridge, Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Resaca, Adairsville, Dallas, Kenesaw, Atlanta, Franklin and Nashville.

Made of painted silk, this flag was brought back to Springfield after the war. Recently professionally conserved with intensive cleaning and precise repair of the fabric, the restoration of the flag has ensured that it will be an educational tool for generations to come. The restoration was made possible by generous efforts of the Illinois State Military Museum, The Illinois National Guard, the DuPage County Historical Museum, Illinois Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Camps 1 and 2, The Civil War Roundtable of Chicago, The Salt Creek Civil War Roundtable, the McCormick Foundation and many individuals. The National Colors will remain at the DuPage County Historical Museum through July 2018, on loan from the Illinois State Military Museum.


8th Illinois Guidon Dedication Ceremony July 1, 2012. Pictured, left to right: Michelle Podkowa, Sara Arnas, Aaron Ianno, Alexis Muschal, Sara Buttita

8th Illinois Cavalry Guidon

The guidon flag was carried by the soldiers of the 8th Regiment of the Illinois Volunteer Cavalry during the Civil War. Beginning in early 1862, the 8th Illinois was stationed in Washington D.C. and attached to the Army of the Potomac, fighting in their first battle at Williamsburg. The unit also fought in a number of engagements including Mechanicsville (Seven Days Battle), Hanover Court House, Seven Pines, Brandy Station, Middleburg, Upperville, and Gettysburg.

The 8th Illinois aided in the hunt for John Wilkes Booth, President Abraham Lincoln's assassin, and served as Lincoln's honor guard while he lay under the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C.

Restoration of the flag began last August at the Peebles Island Resource Center in New York. A total of $20,000 was raised to fund the work through the combined efforts of the DuPage County Historical Museum, the Illinois State Military Museum, the Illinois National Guard and Militia Historical Society and the 8th Illinois Cavalry Reenactors.

The Guidon will remain at the DuPage County Historical Museum through February, 2018, on loan from the Illinois State Military Museum.

Watch a video of the 8th Illinois Cavalry Guidon Dedication held on July 1, 2012.

Model Train