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“Go see the changing exhibit”

Kenosha History Center
Ranked #9 of 30 things to do in Kenosha
Attraction details
Reviewed June 22, 2013

We visited this museum on June 22th. There is parking in front of the building. They made copies of old shops, but you can only watch thru the windows. The most interesting part is the changing exhibit. Until end September 2013it is about locale car plants. You will see a 1917 Jeffrey, 1902 Rambler and 2 prototypes of AMX.

Thank AmarilisVos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 30, 2013

The museum offers dioramas illustrating Kenosha's past. There's a nice gift shop as well. Who would know that Kenosha had the largest American automobile manufacturing plant in 100 years ago. I nice place to spend an hour.

1  Thank Eric G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

What a Cute place to visit! We walked over from our hotel, stopped took some pictures of the Southport lighthouse. Unfortunately due to the season we visited the lighthouse keeps house was not open to tour, but we stopped in the history museum. We saw their banner on the building that morning when we went to watch the sunrise off the lake.
Reminded me of the town of yesterday at the MSI in Chicago, or House on the Rock, but the cool connection was these displays were related to Kenosha specifically.
Loved the old time outfits and hats in the front area, and the bicycle shop in the big room. Not being from the area it was great they showed pictures of the building when it was the water treatment plant, so it was a nice way to see how they re-pourposed the building to make it something everyone could enjoy. They gave some great history on industries that helped form Kenosha, as well as coporations that are still there. I felt I learned a lot while there!

Thank Travel4Fun31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Another example of senseless government waste! Nothing to see or do. Employment project for pork lobbies.

Thank YuriN92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

The Kenosha History Center is the hub of a remarkably active Historical Society that maintains this facility, the Southport Light Station and three other nearby museums. Not many cities can boast of such an interest in its past. When you go in, look for a newsprint style of handout in the info racks and you’ll see what I mean — you’ll see more activities and special exhibits listed than you can shake a stick at.

The History Center is open Tuesday thru Sunday (10:00 am weekdays, noon on Sunday). You can find their hours and location on their web site — here’s the address
This is an excellent web site that should be checked out before you visit. Also, call ahead to arrange tours and determine lighthouse hours, etc. You can drop people off in front of the door and park on the street or there is more parking just across the street.

For access to their extensive archives, call ahead to make arrangements as the archivist’s time is limited. (I won’t quote the hours here because they may change.) The archives contain newspapers, documents and photographs of genealogical and historical interest. If memory serves me, the archives are not accessible to people with mobility issues — call ahead to find out for sure. I think there were a couple of steps up to that room.

The light station (Southport Lighthouse and Lighthouse Keeper’s residence) behind the History Center has seasonal hours — usually open weekends from May to October as of this writing. It was closed on the days I was there.

The History Center itself has three exhibit areas. I felt two of the areas were very disturbing because there are things that remind me how old I am. In the huge Lobby area there is an exhibit of toys and games. The problem is that I played with some of those toys when I was a kid!! And the Rambler Legacy room has a Nash Rambler in it just like the first car I ever drove!! Am I really so old that my stuff is appearing in museums???

The Lobby has a reception desk and small gift shop crammed in with a host of eclectic displays that are interesting to wander through. It looks as thought they are all waiting for space in a bigger museum. And check out the hallway with its photo montages and old map.

The Yesteryear Gallery is a trip back through time with very small, but well done, dioramas and displays. Again, they too look like they are waiting for bigger spaces.

And lastly, the Rambler Legacy Gallery which has what looks like a bright, shiny Rambler right off the assembly line. There is also a 50s diner, old fire fighting equipment and many other dioramas. One of those dioramas had a dentist’s chair and an old dental drill right out of my nightmares. I remember those old, belt-driven drills all to well.

Give yourself 1 or 2 hours to skim through. If you dwell on reading descriptions it can be longer. I saw no lockers or places for strollers. (Some of the aisles are a bit narrow for strollers but most are OK.) I did not see any place to eat nor did I see any vending machines. There are restaurants within a few blocks of the building.

1  Thank johnfaludi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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