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Overview

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

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.

Sponsored by:

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.

Sponsored by:

the DuPage Foundation Logo

Ghost Towns of DuPage County

September 18, 2021-June 11, 2022
DuPage County’s communities grew rapidly from the 1830s to today, evolving from rural communities to thriving suburbs. Some communities disappeared over time due to changing modes of transportation, the construction of new neighborhoods and institutions, and other factors. This exhibit will explore the County’s ghost towns and why residents left them.

Agreeable Friends: Animals in History

November 6, 2021-July 9, 2022
Since ancient times, human beings have relied on animals for essential resources and travel, taken care of them as pets, and been inspired by their beauty. Agreeable Friends will discuss the vital roles animals have played in human history using the animals of DuPage County as examples.

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

Wheaton IL Golf History Starts Here logo

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

Photo Archive

Exhibit Quicklinks:

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

Looking for research assistance or reproductions? Research assistance and copies or reproductions of photos, plate maps, archives, and records are available at the Museum. Learn More