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Overview

Details regarding the Museum’s exhibits and collections are published below.

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Changing Exhibits
Permanent Exhibits
Special Loans
Exhibit Archive
Collection Database
Photo Archive

Changing Exhibits

Wheaton Park District: Celebrating 100 Years

May 8, 2021-April 16, 2022

The Wheaton Park District is turning 100 on May 28, 2021. This exhibit explores the history of the Park District from its incorporation in 1921 up to the present day, focusing on the parks, facilities, and activities that Wheaton residents have enjoyed for generations.

Together We Win: DuPage in World War II

July 17, 2021-April 16, 2022

After entering World War II in 1941, the United States called on its citizens to adapt to new roles and lifestyles both on the home front and the battlefield. Together We Win tells of the bravery and resilience of DuPage County residents as they answered that call to assist their country and protect freedom throughout the world.

the DuPage Foundation Logo

Ballots of Power: A Century of Women’s Suffrage

Extended through July 10, 2021

Women gained the right to vote after decades of activism when the United States ratified the 19th amendment on August 18, 1920. In the 100 years since then, the women of DuPage County have used their power to vote in earnest, running for public office and advocating for change. Discover how DuPage women have influenced politics on the local, state, and national levels.

Healing DuPage: From Folk to Modern Medicine

Extended through May 22, 2021

The practice of medicine has changed drastically from the 1830s to today, evolving from the use of folk remedies to scientific treatments. Learn about the tools, ideas, and practices that DuPage County doctors and healers used to treat their neighbors’ illnesses and ailments, especially in the face of the many epidemics that ravaged the United States.

Trinkets and Treasures

Extended through September 4, 2021

While a particular object may seem meaningless to one person, it can be immensely special to another. Objects often contain memories, represent beliefs, communicate ideas, and incite emotion. This exhibit highlights several so-called trinkets in the Museum’s collection and the people who saw them as treasures.

Wheaton, Illinois: Golf History Starts Here

Ongoing Exhibit at Arrowhead Golf Club*

Explore golf history’s Midwestern beginnings by visiting Wheaton, Illinois: Golf History Starts Here at Arrowhead Golf Club. The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair lured golfers onto the greens and an appreciation of the sport grew from there. This exhibit chronicles how Wheaton, Illinois played a pivotal role in the evolution of golf and brings local golf history to life.

*Arrowhead Golf Club is located at 26W151 Butterfield Road in Wheaton, IL (Map)

Wheaton IL Golf History Starts Here logo

Video: Ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception in honor of the Wheaton – Golf History Starts Here exhibit at Arrowhead Golf Club.

Permanent Exhibits

Enduring Values in a Changing Landscape

Journey through 150 years of history, from the European-American settlement of DuPage County in the 1830s through the celebration of the 1989 sesquicentennial year. Learn how DuPage residents experienced major historical events, adapted to changing economic and social circumstances, and started lasting traditions.

Due to the exhibit’s age, staff has begun to remove and replace some of the artifacts on display to assure their long-term preservation.

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 DuPage Society of Model Engineers is a separate non-profit group that has built and maintained the HO gauge Model Train since 1965.

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

Upcoming Train Saturdays

The DuPage Society of Engineers meets every Wednesday from 8-10P for operation and maintenance; also on the third and fifth Saturdays of the month from 1:30-3:30P to operate for the public. Members must be at least 16 years old.

Those with a passion for model trains who are interested in helping to maintain and operate the railroad exhibit should contact:

Inside History

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 may leave their contact information at the front desk to learn more.

play train table and children's exhibits in the permanent children's activity space

Special Loans

36th Illinois Infantry Regiment National Colors

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.

The flag was professionally conserved from 2008-2009 with intensive cleaning and precise repair of the fabric. 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 February 2024, on loan from the Illinois State Military Museum.

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.

The flag was professionally conserved from 2011-2012 with intensive cleaning and precise repair of the fabric. 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 2024, on loan from the Illinois State Military Museum.

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

Exhibit Archive

Home Grown: Agriculture and Life in DuPage County

On Display: 2019-2020

Agriculture has been a vital element of life in DuPage County for over 190 years, providing its residents with essential foods and raw materials to make their living. Home Grown explores the historical methods and tools that DuPage residents used to farm and raise livestock and the impacts agriculture has had on the county’s economy, society, and culture.

Collection Database

Online Collection Database

The museum collection is catalogued and shared through an online collection database.

Collection Database

Photo Archive

The Museum holds more than 10,000 images in its photography archive.

The collection includes everything from local residents, businesses, schools, events and more. Only a portion of the images in the collections of the Museum archives have been digitized. If you have additional information regarding the photograph from our archive, please contact us. We hope you enjoy a glimpse into local history!

Note: Reproductions of photographs in the archive are available; pricing is based on size, quantity, and usage. Photos may not be reproduced without permission. Inquiries may be submitted regarding images which are not made available online. For more information, please contact us.

Permission to publish all Museum imagery must be obtained prior to reproducing our material in any form. Please consult our Authorization for Use of Reproductions of Materials from Museum’s Collection form for more details.