From Flame to Florescent
September 17, 2016-July 31, 2017
Once considered a stolen gift from the gods; fire provided a way to alter the environment, allowing independence from the cycle of light and dark. Largely unchanged in over five thousand years, the rapid technological advances during the Victorian Era spurred the development of the methods and materials to create the first artificial sunshine. Follow the unique progression from the original flame to the familiar florescent light we know today.
Other Upcoming Exhibits:
History of Photography
October 2016-March 2017
Adam’s Memorial Library History
April 2017-October 2017
Join us for this two-year exhibit series:
February 13, 2016-September 25, 2016
Rekindle fond memories of childhood glory. Enjoy the simplicity of a time where play and learning were stimulated without electronics. Become absorbed in the delightful innocence of DuPage County’s past as you learn about the various toys and games of the 19th and 20th century.
November 12, 2016-May 29, 2017
Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, childhood was seen as a wasteful, unproductive stage in life. Toys and games were created to push children into adulthood: miniature versions of adult activities taught children rules and expectations of proper behavior, etiquette and morals. Learn how everything from army figurines to tea sets were creatively used to make children grow up faster.
July 15, 2017-February 26, 2018
Nothing says more about childhood than the great outdoors. With creativity sparked by the endless possibility of the open air, specific accessories, toys and games helped to create memories in the backyard and school playground. Those magical moments and lasting impressions of outdoor fun are recreated in this imaginative exhibit.
October 17, 201-July 31, 2016
Explore 100 years of courtship rituals and wedding traditions in DuPage County. From the Victorian Era to WWII, find out what customs have stood the test of time and which ones have changed in more than a century. Get carried away by the romance of the past, bizarre nuptial customs, and extravagant dresses that weave a tale of local history.
To learn more about becoming a sponsor of the Wedding Traditions Unveiled, please click here.
The Museum is opening a wedding registry in conjunction with the wedding exhibit. The registry is filled with items needed for school and scout groups, workshop materials, collection materials, and other essential elements that are used for free events hosted by the Museum or to care for the artifacts. Gift cards to put towards items on the registry are also accepted.
Visit the DuPage County Historical Museum Amazon.com wedding registry.
Enduring Values in a Changing Landscape
Journey through 150 years of history, from the settlement of DuPage County through
the celebration of the 1989 sesquicentennial year. From major events to the
smallest details of daily life, learn about the richness of life in DuPage County.
Watch the mini documentary, "The Changing Face of DuPage," and listen to a
soldier's fascinating Civil War experiences.
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 Engineers operate the entire railroad on the third and
fifth Saturday of the month.
Interested in volunteering for the DuPage Society of Model Engineers? Click here for additional details.
Trains run from 1:30-3:30 pm on the third and fifth Saturday of each month.
2016 Train Day Calendar
January 16 & 30
April 16 & 30
July 16 & 30
October 15 & 29
Inside History Gallery
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 can leave their contact information at the front desk to learn how to become involved.
36th Illinois Infantry Regiment National Colors
Infantry Regiment of the Civil War, also known as the Fox Valley Regiment was organized in Aurora in September of 1861. According to the Adjutant General's Report, the Regiment included 965 officers and enlisted men, forty-seven being from DuPage County. Officers from Cook, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lawrence, McHenry and Warren Counties completed the regiment.
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. Recently professionally conserved with intensive cleaning and precise repair of the fabric, the restoration of the flag has ensured that it will be an educational tool for generations to come. 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 July 2018, 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.
Restoration of the flag began last August at the Peebles Island Resource Center in New York. 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, 2018, on loan from the Illinois State Military Museum.
Watch a video of the 8th Illinois Cavalry Guidon Dedication held on July 1, 2012.