A Brief History

The DuPage County Historical Museum is housed in what was formerly known as the Adams Memorial Library. The building was erected in 1891 by John Quincy Adams as a gift to the community of Wheaton in memory of his late wife, Marilla Phipps Adams. In the 1960s the DuPage County Historical Society recognized the availability of the building as a new and more spacious library was being erected. In 1967 the building opened as the DuPage County Historical Museum. Designed by Charles Sumner Frost in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the building was added to the National Register in 1981.

The Museum functions as the only institution dedicated to the collection, preservation and interpretation of the material culture documenting the county of DuPage, Illinois. The collections represent artifacts collected by the DuPage County Historical Society since 1929 as well as artifacts collected by the Museum since its founding in 1965.


DuPage County Historical Museum Mission

The DuPage County Historical Museum is operated as a facility of Wheaton Park District, owned by the County of DuPage by resolution of the County Board pursuant to state statute. Its principal purposes are to educate the general public through the collection, preservation, interpretation, and exhibition of materials which document the history of DuPage County and its relationship to Illinois and the nation, and to provide local history services for historical organizations and for scholarly endeavors.

Wheaton Park District Vision

We, the Wheaton Park District team, commit to service excellence, financial stability and an enriched quality of life for our stakeholders. We accomplish this through continuous improvement of people and systems while living our values.

Photo of dedication ceremony in 1967 outside the Museum

Museum Dedication Ceremony in 1967