News & Media


Margie Wilhelmi
Director of Marketing, Wheaton Park District
630.510.4984 | mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org

April 7, 2021

DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation adds three new board members

Wheaton, IL – The DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation is pleased to welcome to its volunteer board Philip Buchanan of Naperville, Susan Benjamin of Carol Stream, and Daniel Wagner of Wheaton.

Phillip Buchanan’s passion for historic preservation has led to a career as a Project Manager for exhibit companies that focus on Museums and trade shows. One of his most recent projects included the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

Susan H. Benjamin, member and Treasurer of the Carol Stream Historical Society, has spent time organizing and documenting artifacts with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and most recently with the Robert R. McCormick House at Cantigny. Susan is also an active member of the League of Women Voters.

Daniel Wagner, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for The Inland Real Estate Group, LLC serves on numerous real estate industry and government boards and committees and is familiar with the vital role the DuPage County Historical Museum plays in our county. In 2014, the Museum received a $200,000 donation to replace the Museum’s roof from The Inland Real Estate Group, LLC CEO Daniel Goodwin.

“I am honored to be on the DuPage Historical Museum Board of Directors,” commented Dan Wagner, senior vice president of government relations for The Inland Real Estate Group, LLC. “I look forward to continuing to help preserve history for the future generations of DuPage County citizens.”

The DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation board also includes President David Thiel, Vice President Marty Keller, Treasurer Bob Jacobsen, Secretary Michael Benard and members, Samantha Bauman, Melody Coleman, Emily Doyle, Don Puchalski, and Troy Rodman.

The Foundation exists to raise funds in support of the Museum’s mission to educate the general public through the collection, preservation, interpretation, and exhibition of materials that document the history of DuPage County. The Foundation relies on revenue from special events such as Casino Night, Octoberfest and Night at the Museum. Unfortunately, with the ongoing limitations on special events due to the pandemic, the Foundation wasn’t able to host events in 2020 but is focusing its efforts on developing new and unique fundraisers for 2021.

Through the Foundation’s fundraising success over the years, its support has been able to assist with many temporary exhibits, the restoration of two civil war flags which are on display in the Museum auditorium as well as the development of various specialty publications including catalogs titled, 1917: Catalyst for a Modern Era, Early Illinois Folk Art, and Wheaton, IL: Golf History Starts Here. Many of the artifacts included in the Golf History catalog are currently on exhibit at Arrowhead Golf Club, located on Butterfield Road in Wheaton.

The Museum offers a variety of virtual and in-person programming and new exhibits including Celebrating 100 Years: Wheaton Park District Centennial opening in May, Together We Win: DuPage in World War II in July and Ghost Towns of DuPage County opening in September. 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.

The Museum is FREE to visit but donations are greatly appreciated. The Museum relies on revenue through donations, special events, and programming. It is open Tuesday – Friday 10:30A to 4P and Saturday 12 to 4P.

Learn more:

Contact: Michelle Podkowa, Museum Manager & Educator, mpodkowa@wheatonparks.org
Facebook: facebook/dupagemuseum

The Underground Railroad in DuPage County: A Path to Freedom

February 25, 2021

Curator Zachary Bishop and other local Underground Railroad experts discuss the Underground Railroad in DuPage County during the 19th century in a video produced by College of DuPage.


Margie Wilhelmi
Director of Marketing, Wheaton Park District
630.510.4984 | mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org

January 29, 2021

DuPage County Historical Museum awarded $2,500 Grant to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the United States’
entry into World War II.

Wheaton, Ill. – The DuPage County Historical Museum received a $2,500 grant to fund an exhibit and associated programs to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War II. The grant comes from the History DuPage Fund of the DuPage Foundation as part of their Community Needs Grant Program.

The exhibit, Together We Win: DuPage in World War II, will tell the story of World War II through the eyes of DuPage County residents, and will run from July, 2021 to May, 2022. DuPage men and women served overseas in the armed forces and supported the war effort at home by rationing, buying war bonds, participating in volunteer organizations, and working in the defense industry.

“As with Americans all over the country, the people of DuPage County made great sacrifices during the war to protect freedom throughout the world,” Curator Zachary Bishop said. “Together We Win will honor the contributions of DuPage residents to the war effort overseas and at home.”

The exhibit will further discuss how the controversial aspects of the war shaped DuPage and the world for the rest of the 20th century, especially war casualties, the Holocaust, Japanese internment, and the use of the Atomic Bomb.

As part of the planned virtual and in-person programming, the Museum will host local professionals who lecture, portray historical persons and sing about the 1940s. Programming will reinforce themes as well as to introduce new topics not able to be discussed at length in the exhibit.

“We are thrilled to bring this exhibit and programs to the public in honor of all those who fought for our freedom,” said Michelle Podkowa, Museum Manager and Educator. We are privileged to be working with the History DuPage Fund through the DuPage Foundation and we thank them for their continued support.”

Interested in learning more? Contact Zach Bishop, Museum Curator at zbishop@wheatonparks.org.

1910 Suffrage Auto Tour made Stops throughout Fox Valley

December 11, 2020
Learn more about the auto tour, the suffrage movement and how local organizations are celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. Zach Bishop, Museum Curator, discusses two museum exhibits on the topic.

Read More

Exhibit Explores 19th Century Education

September 22, 2019
WDCB’s Brian O’Keefe talks to Museum Curator Zachary Bishop about the Museum’s new exhibit, Making the Grade: Education in the 19th Century.

Exhibit Explores 19th Century Education

Museum Explores the History of Local Newspapers

May 1, 2019
WDCB’s Brian O’Keefe talks to Museum Curator Zachary Bishop about the history of newspapers in DuPage County as highlighted in the new exhibit, “Read All About It! Newspapers and Journalism in DuPage County.”

Listen: Museum Explores The History Of Local Newspapers

Architectural Walking Tour

August 17, 2018
Eric Schelkopf of Suburban Life interviewed Museum Manager Michelle Podkowa about the Museum’s Architectural Walking tour that took place on August 18.

DuPage County Historical Museum tour to showcase architecture in downtown Wheaton

Wheaton Theater b/w photo

Exhibit Highlights DuPage Architects

August 12, 2018
WDCB’s Brian O’Keefe talks to Museum Curator Zachary Bishop about DuPage County’s rich architectural heritage as showcased in the Museum’s DuPage Architects exhibits.

Exhibit Highlights DuPage Architects

b/w photo of museum exterior

Wheaton, Illinois: Golf History Starts Here

On Exhibit: at Arrowhead Golf Club opened June 27, 2018

July 15, 2018
WDCB’s Brian O’Keefe talks to Museum Manager Michelle Podkowa about golf history in Wheaton in a segment released during the weekend of the 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at the Chicago Golf Club.

More at Finding U.S. Golf History’s Roots in Wheaton

Wheaton IL Golf Starts Here exhibit logo

Historic Death Culture of DuPage County

Death in DuPage

On Exhibit: October 14, 2017-June 24, 2018

November 1, 2017
WDCB’s Gary Zidek talks to DuPage Historical Museum curator Mogan Valenzuela about the new exhibit, Death in DuPage.

death in dupage exhibit logo

NCTV17 Joins Museum for Birthday Celebration

Museum Celebrates 50 Years | 1967 – 2017

October 21, 2017
DuPage County History Museum Turns 50 from Naperville News 17 on Vimeo.

DuPage Historical Museum Looks Back at Origins

Adams’ Dream

On Exhibit: April 15, 2017- October 29, 2017

May 1, 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.

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